iMac slows to a halt but everything other device/computer+ kitchen sink works??
January 4, 2013 7:09 PM   Subscribe

My old PC laptop runs perfectly as do any tablets on my apt public wi-fi. The iMac computer (Snow Leopard), slows to a halt and won't get to pages after a few times. I have done several things such as reset PRAM, gone to /Library/Preferences and moved all the files in the System Configuration folder to the Trash, and restarted Mac...The second bit helped for a week and now it is doing it again, no matter what browser. MacKeeper says the computer is alright, and airport utility just tells me I am connected to the internet. (I've done the reconnecting and assistant and diagnostics but nada...) I cannot figure this out and I have scoured the net. If somebody was downloading a ton on it, I would at least understand but any other devices work fine. My husband wants throw it out the window. Any ideas?
posted by chicaboom to Technology (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I had similar symptoms with an Apple MacBook Pro a long time ago. Turned out to be a slowly failing wifi card.
posted by ryanrs at 7:35 PM on January 4, 2013

have you pulled up the network settings on both the PC and the mac to check they are the same?

What's the error you get when a page doesn't load?
posted by titanium_geek at 7:35 PM on January 4, 2013

Try running ccleaner and see if it cleans up any browser stuff.
posted by oceanjesse at 7:40 PM on January 4, 2013

Response by poster: same settings...depending it says 'not connected..check settings' depending on which browser or it will eventually connect several minutes later. When I did trash the System Config, it worked great for awhile but then later when trying it yet again, it will be lightning quick for -say- 3 clicks around and then just draaaaaaaaaaaggggggggg. The computer worked perfectly for the first 2 months of 3 I have been using wi-fi. On my own wi-fi I had before I moved here from another state, it was awesome. I would pay for wifi if it was the wi-fi but it isn't. My laptop and kindle can stream Netflix and even download things reasonably. I just don't get it.
posted by chicaboom at 7:41 PM on January 4, 2013

What do you mean when you say you deleted the "System Configuration" folder? My Mac (running Snow Leopard, too) doesn't even have such a folder. Where did you read that doing this would fix a problem with a wifi connection?

Have you tried a fresh user account?
posted by bcwinters at 7:46 PM on January 4, 2013

Response by poster: @bcwinters - Library/Preferences/SystemConfiguration -- it was on MacOS Hints and the Apple Discussion board among other trusted sites. This isn't the best link I found but here is an example of it mentioned...I wrote the directions and printed the pages out weeks back on this, PRAM, etc. Its out there.>This isn't the best link I found but here is an example of it mentioned...I wrote the directions and printed the pages out weeks back on this, PRAM, etc. Its out there.
posted by chicaboom at 7:55 PM on January 4, 2013

I see, my bad, I was searching for it with the space. When you delete the plist files in that folder, upon restart the next thing you'd have to do is set your network back up again. What settings are you entering? Where are you getting those settings from? It seems like you could just be recreating the same issue again. Can you use different DNS details, or a static IP address instead of dynamic...anything to break the cycle?
posted by bcwinters at 7:59 PM on January 4, 2013

Response by poster: no worries, bcwinters...(I use airport assistant and start from scratch...) I tried namebench but that didn't seem to matter. I just ran ccleaner for mac and it is working fine now...BUT it tends to do that sometimes (I am not as trusting as I was a few weeks ago) so may have to give it a bit. And yeah, I am wondering if I am creating the same problem as well. I have even renewed the DCHP liscence but I don't think that mattered. (I tried the and settings as well as posted on other sites along with namebench findings...)
posted by chicaboom at 8:03 PM on January 4, 2013

Are you sure you're using Airport Assistant? Unless I'm losing my mind, there shouldn't be any Airport Assistant in Snow may be running an app that was left behind from some previous version of OS X, which could definitely be giving you wonky results. (There's Airport Utility, which is used to configure Airport base stations, but that won't be of any use since you're using public-ish wifi. And there's a Network Setup Assistant within System Preferences > Network, but you can also just set those things up manually without too much trouble, especially once you've done it a few times.)
posted by bcwinters at 8:18 PM on January 4, 2013

Response by poster: (facepalm) I meant Network Setup Assistant. Apologies. I have done it so much I have my own names for them at this point. :)
posted by chicaboom at 8:25 PM on January 4, 2013

Response by poster: I have total confidence when I do have my own wi-fi it will work fine so I am not losing too much is just the inconsistent strangeness of it. It returns like a bad cold, you know..and just enough to make one crazy. I don't expect lightning speeds but the slooow circle as a page may load is ......probably a time I need to practice patience....and that it is isolated to this iMac is strange. (I even tried a different location in the apartment...)
posted by chicaboom at 8:28 PM on January 4, 2013

Maybe interference from something else, Bluetooth, phones, etc? Try turning off everything you can think of and see if it changes.
posted by bongo_x at 9:43 PM on January 4, 2013

I suspect your DNS server. Check the advanced settings for the wifi connection in the Network preference pane--the server addresses should be the same as on the windows boxes. If it is querying a nonexistent or slow server to resolve names into dotted addresses, it would cause these symptoms.
posted by blob at 10:38 PM on January 4, 2013

I know you reset PRAM, but it is the SMC that handles Airport card. For iMac, shut down then pull plug in the back. May as well do PRAM again while shut down. I see SMC reset solve seemingly "missing" and intermittent Airport card issues every day.
posted by skypieces at 10:51 PM on January 4, 2013

Are you really using and as your DNS servers, or did you misremember those when typing them here? Where did you get those numbers? Google's free public DNS servers are and, you could try those. It would be really helpful if you would post exactly what you're doing when you use the Network Setup Assistant.

Have you run a bandwidth test, like with or a similar site? If your DNS settings were wrong, the site would be slow/piecemeal when loading, but then the actual test itself would run relatively smoothly.
posted by bcwinters at 5:56 AM on January 5, 2013

MacKeeper says the computer is alright...
This right here might be part of your problem.

I would suggest uninstalling MacKeeper. Then, download and install something like ClamXav and run a full scan of your iMac.
posted by Thorzdad at 7:34 AM on January 5, 2013

Response by poster: @bcwinters - I tried Google among others when I ran Namebench as well as the etc based on many sites mentioned in previous convesations...I reverted back to original settings. It seems to be working fairly ok at the moment. It might seriously have been ccleaner that helped. Mybe it is possessed.

@Thorizdad - Why would MacKeeper cause this? I am willing to uninstall but it has been really helpful in speeding and cleaning my mac up (before this strange occurrence). BTW, I had ClamXav when this originally happened but thanks for the head's up.
posted by chicaboom at 10:44 AM on January 5, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks all for your input. I am sure I can fix this over the weekend.
posted by chicaboom at 10:45 AM on January 5, 2013

« Older Opposites have attracted. Now what?   |   80s young adult book about Egypt cats and angst Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.