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DarkNetworks
Sep 9, 2006, 05:09 PM
For the past week, my iBook slowed down tremendously. I can barely run a single application at a decent speed. Every few minutes, the spinning wait cursor appears (hard disk spins) and I'll have to wait for a few minutes before i can continue using my iBook again. Is there anything I can do to resolve this issue? I recently did a clean format and everything went quick and this issue is something recent. My iBook specs are 800Mhz G4 and 256MB RAM in it. Do you think if there's something wrong with the HD or should I get more RAM in it? I've been thinking about upgrading / putting more RAM in it but will it help? I don't want to spend approx. 100 and end up doesn't help speed up my iBook. Thanks in advance.

This is what I mean by spinning wait cursor
http://developer.apple.com/documentation/UserExperience/Conceptual/OSXHIGuidelines/art/cu_waitcursor.gif



IJ Reilly
Sep 9, 2006, 06:54 PM
Probably you will get the answer that more RAM is essential -- and in your case I'd say you are operating with the bare minimum -- but if I hear you correctly you are noting a recent change in performance over what you are accustomed to. This suggests an issue, other than RAM, unless you have changed the way you are using the Mac fairly drastically.

My first suspicion in your case is a problem on the hard drive. You should check this before doing anything else. Do you know how to run fsck in Single User Mode?

pianoman
Sep 9, 2006, 07:02 PM
you dont' say what version of OSX you're using, but in any case 256 is not a good amount of RAM to have anymore. while that may have been acceptable a few years ago, you really need 512 to run the basic apps and at least 1GB to do more intensive stuff.

that said, try repairing permissions in Disk Utility. i did that last night and freed up about 300MB of RAM (out of 2GB). i would look into getting more RAM soon or buying a new computer.

good luck.

IJ Reilly
Sep 9, 2006, 07:13 PM
Right on cue, I guess.

If nothing else in the way the Mac is being used has changed, a degradation in performance cannot possibly be attributed to a lack of RAM.

Diagnose your problem before you try to fix it. This is always the soundest approach. Otherwise you are simply firing blindly into the darkness in hopes of hitting something.

DarkNetworks
Sep 10, 2006, 02:15 AM
but if I hear you correctly you are noting a recent change in performance over what you are accustomed to. This suggests an issue, other than RAM, unless you have changed the way you are using the Mac fairly drastically.


I've not really changed the way i used the Mac. After the format, everything was running pretty good. Yeah since it's an older Mac, yeah there'll be waiting times and all but not really to this extent. I stopped using the iBook for a few days due to travelling and when the next time I power it up, this issue starts. I'm suspect it might be the HD as well. It spins pretty loudly and very frequently, during the waiting process.

Do you know how to run fsck in Single User Mode?

I'm not sure how I can do this, can you run down the steps for me?

you dont' say what version of OSX you're using, but in any case 256 is not a good amount of RAM to have anymore. while that may have been acceptable a few years ago, you really need 512 to run the basic apps and at least 1GB to do more intensive stuff.


I'm running Tiger v10.4.7. Yeah I know and I've been thinking for quite some time to upgrade to 1GB. But right now, I'm thinking, what if I spend the money and don't get any speed out of it.

nitynate
Sep 11, 2006, 06:56 PM
I'm running Tiger v10.4.7. Yeah I know and I've been thinking for quite some time to upgrade to 1GB. But right now, I'm thinking, what if I spend the money and don't get any speed out of it.
If you dont get a speed increase from 256MB to 1GB I will eat my own hand.

IJ Reilly
Sep 11, 2006, 10:31 PM
I've not really changed the way i used the Mac. After the format, everything was running pretty good. Yeah since it's an older Mac, yeah there'll be waiting times and all but not really to this extent. I stopped using the iBook for a few days due to travelling and when the next time I power it up, this issue starts. I'm suspect it might be the HD as well. It spins pretty loudly and very frequently, during the waiting process.

Any condition that changes independent of any other known change is worthy of investigation. Personally, I would not throw much/any money at a computer this old and not especially if its unlikely to fix the actual problem. Based on the description of the symptoms I would suspect an ailing hard drive. To run fsck:

Reboot in single user mode by restarting and holding down:

cmd-s

... until the black screen with white text appears. At the prompt, type:

fsck -fy [including the space, return]

If repairs are reported, run fsck again until no repairs are reported. Then, at the prompt, type:

reboot [return]

Try at least this much before you let anybody spend your money. Let us know how it goes.