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Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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I have an iMAC running OS X 10.5.7, which has recently begun

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I have an iMAC running OS X 10.5.7, which has recently begun to lock up while it is briefly idle. I have tried all the usual techniques, but none seems to help, or even to allow me to recover. Only a hard restart will work. I have run a simple virus check, which came back clean.
Any advice on what to do? Thanks.
Howard Schue
Hello my name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help.
If you would be so kind to supply me with more information in as much detail as you can it will make it much easier.
If these are questions or information that you have already answered please answer again so I have all the info in the same place.
1- What is the approximate age of the computer?

2- How would you rate your Mac experience and savvy? (1 new - 10 expert).

3- What steps have you taken to solve the problem?

4- Have you done software updates recently?

5- Were there any other changes that you may have noticed?

6-Can you tell me what the usual things you tried are? Some peoples usual things are not the same as other peoples.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
1 -About two years old.
2 -Mac Experience -- 2
3 - Tried Option - Apple - Esc; Run Tech Tool Deluxe; Restarted computer; run ClaXav virus checker
4 - I have done all the software updates recommended on-line.
5 - None that I notices.
6 - See answer to 3.

I am sending you a PDF that I want you to download by clicking on the link.
When it is finished double click the icon in the download window (if you are using Safari) and it will open.
I want you to do the repair permissions part and save the rest for future reference.
Give the Mac time as it will seem to be doing nothing but it really is.
After you finish the repair then I want you restart. As soon as the screen goes black I want you to press and hold these 4 keys:
'R' and
wait for 4 startup chimes and then let the Mac finish the start up.
Let me know the results please.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Daniel --
So far I have no PDF.   The only e-mail I have from you sends me back to your above comment. How did you send the file?
I am sorry I forgot to include it here it comes again.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Daniel --
I followed the instructions in the PDF, then verified the disk permissions. The computer report says the disk appears to be OK, but the computer locked up again, this time with the spinning wheel of death showing.
Did you repair the permissions? Verifying does not fix any thing.
Well it looks like it is time for a fresh OS.
I am sending you the instructions to do this. It requires your Leopard Install disk. I assume there is no disk present in the CD drive.
Power up the iMac and immediately insert the install disk so that the machine sucks it in.
After that power it down by holding the power button. Then turn it on and at the same time press and hold the 'C' key.
Continue to hold (it will take quite a bit longer that if it were starting normally), let go when you see the purple screen.
The following explains what is going to happen. There will be an 'Options' button on the install window click on it to see what is offered, there will be Upgrade (probably grayed out), erase and install (don't) and Archive and Install (do) make sure to check the box that says 'Preserve user and network settings'.
Then when it is done you will have to run software update to bring it back to date.

Archive and Install
Select this option if you want to install a "fresh" system on your computer. This type of installation moves existing System files to a folder named Previous System, then installs a new copy of Mac OS X. You cannot start up your computer using the Previous System folder.
Archive and Install installations require the largest amount of available disk space because you need to have room to preserve your existing System and the new one you are installing. This is a good choice if you've already backed up your important files and are trying to resolve an existing issue. Mac OS X-installed applications, such as Address Book and Safari, are archived, and new versions are installed in the Applications folder.  For a list of which files are archived, see this article.
Some applications, plug-ins, and other software may have to be reinstalled after an “Archive and Install.” Fonts that were installed in the Fonts folder in the top-level Library folder can be installed in your new system by copying them from the Previous System folder.
About "Preserve Users and Network Settings"
You'll probably want to select the "Preserve Users and Network Settings" checkbox to import your existing accounts' Home folders, and network settings into the new system. Home folders include things such as:
     ?     Files on your desktop and in the Documents folder
     ?     Your personalized preference settings
     ?     Address Book contacts and databases
     ?     Favorite locations and Web browser bookmarks
     ?     iTunes songs and iPhoto pictures
     ?     Your network settings and locations
"Preserve Users and Network Settings" also copies the existing Shared folder in the Users folder to your new system.
Third-party software
Important: Usually it's best to reinstall third-party software after an Archive and Install installation to ensure they work correctly. The "Preserve Users and Network Settings" option leaves non-Apple-installed (third-party) items intact, though they may be moved, depending on their location.
After installation
You might wonder "What do I do with the Previous System folder?" It may contain items that you need. To determine this, once you've finished configuring, installing, and updating your applications, you can compare the Previous System to the new System. If there are things in the Previous System folder that aren't in the new System folder, copy them over or reinstall. If you're not sure what some items are (and don't seem to need them), leave them in the Previous System folder. Once you're comfortable that you've got everything you need out of it, you can delete the Previous System folder (or leave it around if you have enough free disk space).
You can’t start up your computer using the Previous System folder, but settings, preference files, fonts, plug-ins, and other items remain available in case you need to access them (which you probably won't, if you use "Preserve Users and Network Settings").
If this is unclear please ask and I will clear what is unclear up.
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