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iMac 27

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I am considering buying a new computer, but have always been a Windows user since 1982... I had also just purchased a new 2TB hard drive (thinking that was my problem with my current main computer) and am now wondering whether it would be easy to install it as a second drive - as they do sell it with the option, but as mine is brand new, I would prefer obviously to do it myself. Is this possible, and is it possible to upgrade the RAM at a later date yourself, as I have always done with previous computers as it became necessary.

Also, whilst I am here, perhaps someone maybe able to confirm if the i5 is a better purchase than the i7. I do not require it for gaming, or at least not large video games, only for small ones like sudoku.

Advice and thoughts would really be appreciated.

Carol
post #2 of 16
You can't install a second drive in an iMac. They offer an SSD+HDD option on the 27", I believe, but it's only a 2.5" bay for the SSD. Your 2TB drive won't fit.

You can upgrade RAM on your own, and should. NEVER buy RAM or HDDs from Apple.

What will you be doing with it? If you're doing real work, get the i7. If you're using it as just a home computer, an i5 would be more than enough.
post #3 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your quick reply.

I guess now I am retired I will not be doing real work, but having worked with computers and their forerunners since IBM's came out, I have always tried to buy the best and top of the range. I gather that the iMac isn't that good at upgrading, but having had another browse around - I expect the i5 is probably enough.... but will I regret it.. ?

I will also want to install the ability to use some windows programmes for which there are no equivalents, and one programme is Parallels I think, but can't recall the name of the other.

Is there one better than the other with that?

Carol
post #4 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by corconx View Post

I expect the i5 is probably enough.... but will I regret it.

Probably not, though at least wait for the 20th to see what new hardware/software are announced.

Quote:
I will also want to install the ability to use some windows programmes for which there are no equivalents, and one programme is Parallels I think, but can't recall the name of the other.

You're thinking of Parallels and VMWare.

Quote:
Is there one better than the other with that?

Yes, it's called Boot Camp. Built into OS X, Boot Camp allows you to natively run Windows in its own partition. Pro: You get your machine's full power (computationally and graphically). Con: You can't run it side by side with OS X.

I hate virtualizing, but that may just be me. Boot Camp's also free. You can set up a Boot Camp partition and have Parallels read it, too. So if you want to quickly hop into Windows without rebooting, open Parallels and it'll boot from the dedicated partition.
post #5 of 16
Thread Starter 
Thanks again for that, and what is happening on the 20th, as I have been away for 7 weeks on holiday in France, I am not up to date, as it is only next week, it isn't long to wait, but what for?

Carol
post #6 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by corconx View Post

Thanks again for that, and what is happening on the 20th, as I have been away for 7 weeks on holiday in France, I am not up to date, as it is only next week, it isn't long to wait, but what for?

Carol

Mac event. Likely iLife and iWork '11, as well as at least a redesigned/new MacBook Air.

iMacs are also due, I guess, so it's worth waiting.

http://www.appleinsider.com/articles...ober_20th.html
post #7 of 16
Thread Starter 
I did buy an iMac i5 and although ordered in the store, I had it delivered, as it was a bit big for taking on the train.

Unfortunately for me, I have had problems from day 1 - it all started with iphoto and Time Machine - and problems just kept coming. Calls to Apple were answered and different things tried, and when I more of less broke down after three weeks in tears (all this is really unusual for something to get me down that bad), I finally got put up to the next level.... Fortunately they were Irish and at least I could understand better, but the problems still continued.

I have reformatted and reinstalled several times, and just thought that maybe it was ok, but I got up this morning to yet another Time Machine error - can't back up - and so I have written and requested either a replacement (not repair) or indeed a refund.... as this has been happening since the beginning.

I now wait for the outcome.

Firstly I was told my external drive 2TB - which I had partitioned into 2 x 1TB wasn't big enough for my 1TB internal drive - which does sound strange to me, but nevertheless I went out and purchased yet another 2TB HDD and reformatted, and used that as a TM backup - the errors did not stop - so I don't believe that was the problem in the first place....but more money I had ended up spending.

Secondly having purchased Parallels 6 and installed it after about 2 weeks I was told that was what was causing the backup errors with TM....

So another complete copy of my docs etc., was carried out over last weekend and another reformat of the mac drive was done and even installation didn't go straightforwardly....

Carol
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by corconx View Post

I have reformatted and reinstalled several times, and just thought that maybe it was ok, but I got up this morning to yet another Time Machine error - can't back up - and so I have written and requested either a replacement (not repair) or indeed a refund.... as this has been happening since the beginning.

Firstly I was told my external drive 2TB - which I had partitioned into 2 x 1TB wasn't big enough for my 1TB internal drive - which does sound strange to me, but nevertheless I went out and purchased yet another 2TB HDD and reformatted, and used that as a TM backup - the errors did not stop - so I don't believe that was the problem in the first place....but more money I had ended up spending.

Secondly having purchased Parallels 6 and installed it after about 2 weeks I was told that was what was causing the backup errors with TM....

It sounds like you are going to way too much trouble for this. You don't have to keep reinstalling when you hit a problem like Time Machine backups. You also don't have to use Time Machine. There is a free program called Carbon Copy Cloner that will backup your data to an external drive:

http://www.bombich.com/

It will make the external bootable too. Your external drive only needs to be a bit bigger than the content you plan to have on the machine, it doesn't have to exceed the size of the drive itself.

If you have a 1TB drive but only use 200GB, you don't need larger than a 1TB backup drive. It's good to have about 50% extra to allow for getting new content though so even a 300GB drive would suffice if you have 200GB of data.

Time Machine backs up all your changes so uses up more space than the above program which keeps just the latest version.

If you are having problems backing up Parallels drives, you can exclude them from Time Machine using the Time Machine options:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.h.../en/15622.html

You can back them up manually if you like or even use a shared folder and just back those up. It's good not to back them up because if you have created a 20GB Windows drive, every time you make a change to it, Time Machine thinks it's new so has to backup 20GB every single time, which is unnecessary.

How much space are you using on your internal drive? If it's less than 500GB, I'd suggest selling or returning your bulky 2TB drives, getting some money back for them and replacing them with much cheaper drives. Even portable bus-powered drives are enough for backups and you don't really have to keep them plugged in.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marvin View Post

It sounds like you are going to way too much trouble for this. You don't have to keep reinstalling when you hit a problem like Time Machine backups. You also don't have to use Time Machine. There is a free program called Carbon Copy Cloner that will backup your data to an external drive:

http://www.bombich.com/

It will make the external bootable too. Your external drive only needs to be a bit bigger than the content you plan to have on the machine, it doesn't have to exceed the size of the drive itself.

If you have a 1TB drive but only use 200GB, you don't need larger than a 1TB backup drive. It's good to have about 50% extra to allow for getting new content though so even a 300GB drive would suffice if you have 200GB of data.

Time Machine backs up all your changes so uses up more space than the above program which keeps just the latest version.

If you are having problems backing up Parallels drives, you can exclude them from Time Machine using the Time Machine options:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.h.../en/15622.html

You can back them up manually if you like or even use a shared folder and just back those up. It's good not to back them up because if you have created a 20GB Windows drive, every time you make a change to it, Time Machine thinks it's new so has to backup 20GB every single time, which is unnecessary.

How much space are you using on your internal drive? If it's less than 500GB, I'd suggest selling or returning your bulky 2TB drives, getting some money back for them and replacing them with much cheaper drives. Even portable bus-powered drives are enough for backups and you don't really have to keep them plugged in.

I know I don't have to but I have been doing as directed by AppleCare - I fortunately paid the £139 for it, and so have made use of it.

I will have a look at the link you have added, thank you for that....

I feel the machine should have been replaced at the first hurdle within the first series of errors, and I am aware that I thought I had a large enough disc for use as a backup - but again, I have never used macs before so was going by what they have instructed me....

In my working life I used to be an evaluator in 1982 of the programmes available for the IBM and I had to find those suitable for banks to use and then to train their staff as well, so my experience is quite vast in Dos and Windows (the earlier has now been mainly forgotten through lack of use) I was never any good at programming, but haven't need it...

But when the manufacturer tells you that your 1TB backup partition is NOT LARGE enough you do something about it....

Carol
post #10 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by corconx View Post

I feel the machine should have been replaced at the first hurdle within the first series of errors

It wasn't a hardware fault though. You don't replace hardware when you have a software problem because if you got a replacement, it would do the same thing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corconx View Post

But when the manufacturer tells you that your 1TB backup partition is NOT LARGE enough you do something about it....

You will have experience working with computers and filesystems though so you should only weigh their suggestions into what makes sense to you.

If you look at the bottom of a Finder window when your main drive is selected or choose file > get info when the main drive is highlighted, it tells you how much space you are using. This is how much the computer is trying to backup so if you only have 200GB used and it is filling 1TB, you know something isn't right.

Look for your Parallels disk image and check what size it is. If it is 20GB and your backup is done daily, Time Machine will try to store incremental versions of those files so could store 14 x 20GB = 280GB after a week, which it doesn't need to do.

So, you just exclude the Parallels disk image from the Time Machine backup process and that should sort the issues. No more slow backups, no more filling the 1TB drive etc. There may be other large files doing a similar thing. If you have used over 600GB of your internal drive, don't use Time Machine, use the above program instead.

Support staff are paid to follow guidelines so they recommend what they are told to recommend as they are acting on behalf of the company. Their suggestions won't necessarily be the best ones in a given situation.

Are you trying to use Parallels in the same way you used your old PC? For example, did you create the Windows drive with a large size? Even if you had an old PC with a large hard drive, you wouldn't make the Parallels one a large size. You should only make it 50GB at most. You also shouldn't get into the habit of running Windows software that you used to use unless you absolutely can't find a Mac equivalent.

List all of the programs that you run under Windows and need to use Parallels for and people here can offer suggestions for Mac equivalents. You may not even need to use Parallels at all.
post #11 of 16
Thread Starter 
Marvin - but we believe it is a hardware problem, and not software... I returned parallels and have not done anything about installing bootcamp or looking at Fusion. Apparently there is a problem with backing up with TM and they are working on it. There are only a few programmes I may need for Windows for which we haven't yet found a substitute....

Parallels was created in only about 90gb. the one programme I haven't found an equivalent to is POIEdit which I use for sorting my POI's for my Garmin. I generally have to convert them from TomTom into a Garmin format, and I expect there may be a programme, and it allowed me to put several categories together to get over the Garmin limitations.

I purchased Office for Mac to get over the Office situation, and I have also purchased Photo Elements 8 - as I have hated the way iPhoto seemed to store my photos.... and to date I have not yet added my photos into the new configuration. They all sit on a mac formatted drive which was a 2TB one partitioned into half, with half my documents, and half my photos (all from Windows). I have copied over the documents over to the new mac HD that I may need, and have left them all in the external one. My Photos still sit on the other half...

Hence as I have now realised I may not need Windows at all, if I can find something for my POI;s I will not bother with bootcamp etc.

I love my Mac, I just wish it would work and backup

I have downloaded the software and now have to work out which is the best way to use it

Carol
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by corconx View Post

Marvin - but we believe it is a hardware problem, and not software... I returned parallels and have not done anything about installing bootcamp or looking at Fusion. Apparently there is a problem with backing up with TM and they are working on it. There are only a few programmes I may need for Windows for which we haven't yet found a substitute....

Parallels was created in only about 90gb.

This would cause a backup problem even if it worked with Time Machine though. That 90GB of data is just one big file so it has to keep backing up the whole 90GB every day after you've run Parallels. There may be issues backing up the file format - that's been known to happen with some virtualization packages but either way, just excluding it from backup would work. Parallels should really do that on installation because there is no other way they can do it.

You do that in the Time Machine options, just add the folder containing the Parallels image file, which you can find in the Parallels settings. It will possibly be in /Users/carol/Documents/Parallels. Just exclude that folder if there is a 90GB file in there and your Time Machine shouldn't have a problem unless something else is happening with it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corconx View Post

the one programme I haven't found an equivalent to is POIEdit which I use for sorting my POI's for my Garmin. I generally have to convert them from TomTom into a Garmin format, and I expect there may be a programme, and it allowed me to put several categories together to get over the Garmin limitations.

Hence as I have now realised I may not need Windows at all, if I can find something for my POI;s I will not bother with bootcamp etc.

There may not be an equivalent for that app - you can try GPSBabel:

http://www.gpsbabel.org/download.html

There's an alternative way of running Windows apps too besides a VM. Crossover simulates Windows in a way that allows some apps to run:

http://www.codeweavers.com/products/cxmac/

This may allow you to run POIEdit, save the files and sync with the native POILoader.

You can keep using Parallels if you like though, as I say if you exclude it from backup, it shouldn't affect anything else. It might be an idea to try shrinking the disk image though. 90GB is a lot of space to use for a single app.

Quote:
Originally Posted by corconx View Post

I have downloaded the software and now have to work out which is the best way to use it

In Carbon Copy Cloner, you would choose the internal drive on the left and external on the right and choose incremental backup. You can then exclude items from backup. You'll have to exclude Parallels from that backup too because it will do a similar thing. It won't backup multiple 90GB of data and make the space run out but it will backup 90GB every time, which is slow and unnecessary.
post #13 of 16
Thread Starter 
As I said (or think I said) I returned Parallels so no longer have it anyway. I am currently cloning the Mac HD to an external bootable drive, this is just in case this machine does get returned, and I will not have to go through copying everything again, I will then set it to backup as you have suggested. IIR I had no chance to make a smaller partition for Parallels and Windows.... it was the smallest it would allow, it may have been 65GB.... Cheers

Carol
post #14 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

You can't install a second drive in an iMac. They offer an SSD+HDD option on the 27", I believe, but it's only a 2.5" bay for the SSD. Your 2TB drive won't fit.

You can upgrade RAM on your own, and should. NEVER buy RAM or HDDs from Apple.

What will you be doing with it? If you're doing real work, get the i7. If you're using it as just a home computer, an i5 would be more than enough.

What is wrong if she buys the 13 inch core 2 duo and saves money also? It would be good for her.
post #15 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by gerald apple View Post

What is wrong if she buys the 13 inch core 2 duo and saves money also? It would be good for her.

The OP wanted a desktop! And she has already purchased it.

You really do make some weird posts Gerald.
post #16 of 16
Thread Starter 
With all the problems I have had with my iMac, I have followed the instructions from the Apple Care Tech Team, and have formatted and reformatted and zeroed the drives, but still problems persisted, and I would like to say how helpful they all were, especially at the end Mr Mark Kelly, and they are going to replace my system, nor repair it. Whatever is wrong with it, we have never got to the bottom of it, but we certainly have tried for 2 months.

At one stage I was so frustrated, that I even ended in tears, because nothing seemed to sort it, and when yu spend a lot of money on something you feel let down...

I just hope that I don't get a lemon next time around.

I have liked the machine so am going for another one.

Carol

PS Happy New Year
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