Dec 29, 2010
as of yesterday evening my Mac is currently unusable so I'm hoping someone out there has a solution for me.
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I've been having problems with my iMac 24" 8,1 model (using 4 GB RAM with ca. 87 GB of space available on the HD, Leopard 10.5,8).
During the last few weeks I've been experiencing long delays and lots of spinning beach balls, usually whilst working in Photoshop CS2 (on an admittedly very large file). I assumed it was the file size that was the problem, and that when I was done things would be fine.
However, yesterday on trying to save my work, the computer really struggled and after an age - around 20 minutes - I got a "failed to save" warning for the file, saying there was a problem with the scratch disk (unfortunately, I didn't read this warning very closely).
Just after that I got a warning from Time Machine that latest backup had failed. Then the Mac froze showing beachball, and force quit didn't work so I did a hard reboot and was presented with the dreaded flashing question mark for the first time.
After several restarts it found the startup disk but the problem has now become chronic - Photoshop freezes after opening, Firefox too, even Preview. Beachball each time and impossible to force quit, requiring hard restart and most often getting the flashing question mark...
So far I have tried the following: reselected my HD in Startup Manager, verified the disk and repaired permissions in Disk Utility (everything fine), also Repaired Disk booting from Mac OS X Install disc (again HD fine) and reset the PRAM.
I don't know if it's of importance but I noticed in the Activity window Kernel Task is using 1,7 GB of RAM - is that normal? Also, whilst using Safari I got the beach ball and CPU for the program shot up to 95,5%!!
Short of erasing and reinstalling OS X I don't know what to try!