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Old Aug 23, 2011, 07:54 PM   #1
mfranks985
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How to speed up slowing macbook?

Hello everyone.

I have a 5,1 unibody macbook for dec 2008. Its a 2GHz with 2 GB of ram.
It has been a great computer but it is starting to get slow and somewhat laggy. Safari has crashed on my numerous times in the last few weeks.
I am not using any Antivirus or anti spy/malware software.
Any tips or tricks to make it fast again or run like new WITHOUT restoring it from my OSX CD. I do not want to have to backup all my photos, music and reinstall/ update WOW.

This is my first mac.
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Old Aug 23, 2011, 08:10 PM   #2
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Have you considered using Onyx? Most people report that is speeds up slowing Mac's. It really sped up my friends old Macbook which seemed to just be collecting random files and what not. It has many other uses too, I use it for deleting my porn history when my girlfriend uses my computer.

http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/11582/onyx
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 01:18 AM   #3
Mutinygraphiks
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Another thing you can try is upgrading the ram and maybe the original hard drive.
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 10:48 AM   #4
ranviper
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Also CleanMyMac is pretty good at speeding things up. You can google it for free
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Old Aug 24, 2011, 05:56 PM   #5
Young Spade
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Well for one, you should have a time capsule laying around your house somewhere just in case something messed up

But to answer your question, get Onyx and find a good guide on what to do with it;

I'd also suggest getting a new hard drive as they tend to gradually have a higher chance of failing as time progresses; if you have the money, get a SSD.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 12:51 PM   #6
GGJstudios
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ranviper View Post
Also CleanMyMac is pretty good at speeding things up. You can google it for free
One app that I would not recommend, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere, is CleanMyMac. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. Also, it does not "speed things up". It has zero effect on performance.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 05:33 PM   #7
fullojellybeans
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Try this.

Go into your user folder and rename one file .old

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist

Rename that file to com.apple.finder.plist.old

Log out of your account and log back in. See if that speeds it up at all.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 05:51 PM   #8
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by fullojellybeans View Post
Try this.
Go into your user folder and rename one file .old
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
Rename that file to com.apple.finder.plist.old
Log out of your account and log back in. See if that speeds it up at all.
That only rebuilds the Finder .plist file. It has absolutely nothing to do with, and will have no effect on, the issues that the OP described.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfranks985 View Post
Its a 2GHz with 2 GB of ram.
Depending on what you're running, this may be part of your problem. Launch Activity Monitor and look at the System Memory tab at the bottom. If your "page outs" and "swap used" are high numbers (over 1GB) under normal workloads, you likely need more RAM.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfranks985 View Post
It has been a great computer but it is starting to get slow and somewhat laggy.
Also in Activity Monitor, change the "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes" and see what processes are consuming system resources.
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfranks985 View Post
Safari has crashed on my numerous times in the last few weeks.
Have you reset Safari, clearing your cookies and cache?
Quote:
Originally Posted by mfranks985 View Post
I am not using any Antivirus or anti spy/malware software.
Nor do you need to. You don't need any antivirus software to protect Mac OS X from malware. No viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any, since it was released 10 years ago. The handful of trojans that exist can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install:
Mac Virus/Malware Info

Last edited by GGJstudios; Aug 25, 2011 at 05:57 PM.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 07:12 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
One app that I would not recommend, based on the number of complaints that have been posted in this forum and elsewhere, is CleanMyMac. As an example: CleanMyMac cleaned too much. Also, it does not "speed things up". It has zero effect on performance.
Not necessarily true. Before I used it and after there was a noticeable difference. You can't argue what I ACTUALLY experience. lol.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 07:18 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by ranviper View Post
Not necessarily true. Before I used it and after there was a noticeable difference. You can't argue what I ACTUALLY experience. lol.
Did you measure actual performance, or did you just have a "feel" that it was faster? Deleting files off your hard drive doesn't speed up performance, unless you're almost out of drive space and your system is paging a lot. Performance is directly related to what apps are running, not to what's installed or stored.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 07:55 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Did you measure actual performance, or did you just have a "feel" that it was faster? Deleting files off your hard drive doesn't speed up performance, unless you're almost out of drive space and your system is paging a lot. Performance is directly related to what apps are running, not to what's installed or stored.
The placebo affect is a mighty powerful one.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 09:14 PM   #12
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Most likely upgrading the RAM will speed things up. I think your macbook takes up to 8GB?
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 09:17 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Did you measure actual performance, or did you just have a "feel" that it was faster? Deleting files off your hard drive doesn't speed up performance, unless you're almost out of drive space and your system is paging a lot. Performance is directly related to what apps are running, not to what's installed or stored.
Hard drive was about full, (used HDD) of logs, backups, etc. Used it before I wiped the HD clean to see if it would make a difference and it did. Apps went from 6-7 bounces to 1.
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Old Aug 25, 2011, 10:05 PM   #14
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by ranviper View Post
Hard drive was about full...
Which explains your performance boost, as I said. It's nothing that CleanMyMac did. You would have gotten the same effect by deleting user files off your drive. It doesn't matter what data is removed, whether it's movies, music, spreadsheets or application-related files. If your drive is almost full, there's not enough space for memory swap files, browser cache files, etc. If you still have around 10% or more of drive space free, deleting more won't have any effect on performance.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 12:10 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by GGJstudios View Post
Which explains your performance boost, as I said. It's nothing that CleanMyMac did. You would have gotten the same effect by deleting user files off your drive. It doesn't matter what data is removed, whether it's movies, music, spreadsheets or application-related files. If your drive is almost full, there's not enough space for memory swap files, browser cache files, etc. If you still have around 10% or more of drive space free, deleting more won't have any effect on performance.
Sigh. The point I was trying to make, by doing anything to help this kid speed up an old macbook, is that perhaps some of his issues were due to a full HD and CleanMyMac does a wonderful job and cleaning those simply and quickly for you. Sheesh.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 12:49 AM   #16
GGJstudios
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Originally Posted by ranviper View Post
Sigh. The point I was trying to make, by doing anything to help this kid speed up an old macbook, is that perhaps some of his issues were due to a full HD and CleanMyMac does a wonderful job and cleaning those simply and quickly for you. Sheesh.
As has been reported many times in this forum and elsewhere, CleanMyMac has created serious problems for many who try using it. In spite of the fact that you may have had luck with it so far, with as many problems as have been reported, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, especially when there are less problematic alternatives.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 05:59 AM   #17
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Sigh. The point I was trying to make, by doing anything to help this kid speed up an old macbook, is that perhaps some of his issues were due to a full HD and CleanMyMac does a wonderful job and cleaning those simply and quickly for you. Sheesh.
OnyX is what you need. It does a much better job. I had OnyX for a while and it was good but I really didn't need the application as macs run most of their own scripts and the other stuff isn't that hard. If you're going to get something, get onyx.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 06:09 AM   #18
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And get more RAM! at least 4gig! I have the same macbook as yours (late 2008 unibody) and when I installed lion, jeez it was slow! I upgraded to 4gig about 2 weeks ago and its been smooth since!

I'm also now looking to change my hard drive, possibly to a 7200rpm one! (although that wont affect your performance, but a noteworthy upgrade nevertheless)
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 11:42 AM   #19
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As has been reported many times in this forum and elsewhere, CleanMyMac has created serious problems for many who try using it. In spite of the fact that you may have had luck with it so far, with as many problems as have been reported, I wouldn't recommend it to anyone, especially when there are less problematic alternatives.
Well I am suggesting simply from my experience, and I havent read anything bad or had any bad issues with it so far. I haven't gone looking for any complaints in the forums either, thus why I haven't read any. TheMacFeed.com had a decent review of it, so. It was MacKeeper that got the bad wrap.

ANYWAYS, Yes, I also use Onyx and I would definitely suggest that as well, it's fantastic.

And more RAM as well. I upgraded my Alum Macbook to 8GB and it runs lion NO problem.
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Old Aug 26, 2011, 11:56 AM   #20
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ANYWAYS, Yes, I also use Onyx and I would definitely suggest that as well, it's fantastic.

And more RAM as well. I upgraded my Alum Macbook to 8GB and it runs lion NO problem.
+1 for these two points. Right now I'm on SL with 4 gigs of RAM; after I get settled into school with finances and all, I'll probably treat myself to some more RAM.

I have Onyx installed as well; don't use it often but it's good to clean out the system once in a while.
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Old Aug 27, 2011, 05:28 AM   #21
chrisman
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Good job staying away from the mac keeper and other antivirus. OnyX is good.
You can delete the cache ~/Library/Caches
Delete Safari's preference file ~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.safari.plist (you must quit safari)
Repairing permissions doesn't normally help but it's worth a try
How much free disk space do you have?
Don't get too many things on your desktop.
Quit applications that you won't be using.
Use activity monitor to find items that are being resource hogs.
Use google.
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Old Dec 24, 2011, 01:11 PM   #22
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this might help

Cleaning out your browser cache will help tremendously. I clean out out every night. It's like throwing out unnecessary paper cluttering your desk in the office. I use Onyx as well.
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Old May 18, 2012, 05:57 PM   #23
RBST
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MB 5,1 Speed Upgrades

I just got a MacBook 5,1 (Late 2008 Unibody); upgraded the ram to 8GB; and installed a 250 GB SSD as my boot drive. The speed improved dramatically after those installations.

I tested the speed against our dual quad-core 2.8 MacPro with 10GB ram. The MB launched Photoshop CS5 and opened a 1.49 GB *.psd file faster.

Another option if SSD is too expensive is to install a hybrid drive as your boot. I just installed a 750GB Seagate Momentus XT as a secondary drive to replace the optical drive. It's pretty quick.

I know you don't want to reinstall your OS and WOW. But, if you decide to go this route, you could clone your current drive and restore it onto the new drive.

The only issues I'm encountering are kernel panics and high power consumption. I searched for similar problems, and some users on other forums relate those issues to Lion, and recommend downgrading to Snow Leopard. I like Lion. But, stability and battery life are important factors.

Besides that, I highly recommend these upgrades…
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Old May 19, 2012, 11:53 PM   #24
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And get more RAM! at least 4gig! I have the same macbook as yours (late 2008 unibody) and when I installed lion, jeez it was slow! I upgraded to 4gig about 2 weeks ago and its been smooth since!

I'm also now looking to change my hard drive, possibly to a 7200rpm one! (although that wont affect your performance, but a noteworthy upgrade nevertheless)
Getting a 7200rpm drive will absolutely affect performance. 5400rpm drives are SLOW. You'll never want to go back to them again. Same thing with going from a 7200rpm drive to an SSD.
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Old May 19, 2012, 11:56 PM   #25
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Getting a 7200rpm drive will absolutely affect performance. 5400rpm drives are SLOW. You'll never want to go back to them again. Same thing with going from a 7200rpm drive to an SSD.
That depends on the capacity, as well. Some 5400 drives are faster than some 7200 drives, due to higher density.
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