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Old May 26, 2009, 07:06 PM   #1
llee87
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powerbook G4 slowing and lagging a lot

My 4-year old powerbook G4 has been lagging a whole lot and just being really slow for the past couple of months.

I only had like 7 GB out of 75 GB available on my hard drive though, so I thought that may have been the problem and emptied some stuff out to an external hard drive so that it got down to 27 GB free out of 75 GB available.

However, the problem hasn't gone away and it's being just as slow... even if I'm not running any program that should take up a lot of CPU, when I'm typing stuff in a textbox (email, chat, MS word, etc), what I'm typing will seriously lag. Programs like MS documents are taking such a long time to start up and as a result slowing up any other program I was using.

Any idea what the problem might be?!?! I'm so frustrated!!

PS: (I'm not really computer savvy, so if anyone can suggest anything, could you explain in simple terms please??)
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Old May 26, 2009, 07:14 PM   #2
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How much RAM does it have? Run activity monitor for a while when doing your normal every day tasks and see how many page outs there are in your system memory. page outs are bad because it slows the system down. basically it has to go back to your hard drive to get information instead of using your memory.
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Old May 26, 2009, 07:20 PM   #3
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Have you verified/repaired permissions recently? That might be another thing to check. My PowerBook (1.33, 2GB RAM, 160GB HD, Leopard) Is flying at the moment, and runs like a brand new unit every time I use it. I wouldn't say it's the hardware (unless you have seriously low RAM, which isn't a problem for me with 2GB).

First I would verify/repair permissions, then I'd check to see if more RAM is right for you.

Don't give up on the PowerBook, they are still great computers!
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Old May 26, 2009, 07:51 PM   #4
llee87
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Can you clarify how to check how much RAM I have...? And if this is "problematic," is this something I can fix??

As for running an activity monitor and seeing how many page outs there are, do you mean checking out how many "process names" are listed in my Activity Monitor window?? (ie... not sure what page outs are)

For verifying/repairing permissions, actually, I have done that very recently, but it didn't change anything for me...
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Old May 26, 2009, 07:59 PM   #5
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I agree with supercompu, do repair disk permissions and knock out all the software things which you can do to help it. also, if an app is on for a long time it sucks RAM, so close the app and relaunch it, that gives you more leeway.

right under VM size in the system memory tab at the bottom, there is a page in/out you want it to have a 0 in the page outs or as low a number as you can. but remember, updating hardware is a last resort, if you can fix it with software.

I am just saying this because I recently updated my RAM from 512 and it has helped a little. Already, within a day, I have seen over 512 mb of ram being used on my ibook G4.
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Last edited by Corrosive vinyl; May 26, 2009 at 08:09 PM.
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Old May 26, 2009, 08:05 PM   #6
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Old May 26, 2009, 08:16 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corrosive vinyl View Post
sorry. didn't add the attachment
wow, outs should be low? this is what my system memory display says:

Wired: ~145 MB
Active: ~525 MB
Inactive: ~300 MB

Free: ~54 MB
VM Size: ~9 GB
Page ins/outs: 980264/791066

Is this the problem then?! What should I do?
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Old May 26, 2009, 08:42 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llee87 View Post
wow, outs should be low? this is what my system memory display says:

Wired: ~145 MB
Active: ~525 MB
Inactive: ~300 MB

Free: ~54 MB
VM Size: ~9 GB
Page ins/outs: 980264/791066

Is this the problem then?! What should I do?
You have the same issue I do, which is not enough memory. I'd suggest adding a little RAM if possible.
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Old May 26, 2009, 08:46 PM   #9
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Edited: Ok, did a bit of googling and I think I'm understanding the whole Page ins/outs deal. I also rebooted my computer (haha...) so numbers are looking better, although the Page ins value is consistently increasing, pretty quickly in fact. So I'm guessing this means I need more RAM? Any tips as to where to begin with this?? From the quick scans of sites I've done, this looks daunting Also, how much $$ should I expect to spend?? (just general ballpark figure...)

Lastly, what causes the page ins/outs values to keep increasing (therefore need to get more RAM)? I want to stop doing whatever it is that quickens this process :-/

Last edited by llee87; May 26, 2009 at 09:27 PM.
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Old May 26, 2009, 11:29 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by llee87 View Post
Edited: Ok, did a bit of googling and I think I'm understanding the whole Page ins/outs deal. I also rebooted my computer (haha...) so numbers are looking better, although the Page ins value is consistently increasing, pretty quickly in fact. So I'm guessing this means I need more RAM? Any tips as to where to begin with this?? From the quick scans of sites I've done, this looks daunting Also, how much $$ should I expect to spend?? (just general ballpark figure...)

Lastly, what causes the page ins/outs values to keep increasing (therefore need to get more RAM)? I want to stop doing whatever it is that quickens this process :-/
Well, without your specific model information, I don't know which RAM it takes for sure. But, I'm guessing you need PC2700 DDR SO-DIMM.

In that case, crucial RAM is expensive @ $56 per 1GB stick. If you can find a deal locally or on craigslist, you may score some for pretty cheap. You can max out at 2GB, which I recommend you do. Are you running leopard or Tiger?
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Old May 27, 2009, 07:26 AM   #11
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I purchased iBook RAM at Kahlon. PC2700 RAM is $44.50 for a gig stick. Link

However, I would check eBay or even the MacRumors Marketplace.
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