12" PowerBook G4 Slower Than Death

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Perceptes, Dec 23, 2003.

  1. Perceptes macrumors member

    Perceptes

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #1
    Hi all,

    I've been having some really bad trouble with my system for a few weeks now. I have no idea what caused it and it's now to the point of my computer being barely operable.

    Everything goes extremely slowly. Every action I do causes everything to freeze up. The spinning beach ball appears, and sometimes even that is frozen and doesn't spin, and the disk goes chug, chug, chug, chug, pause, chug, chug, chug, chug, chug pause, chug, chug, chug for up to 5 minutes before things resume.

    This happens when I launch an application, click something in a webpage, open a finder window, or do just about anything else you could possibly imagine. It even freezes up sometimes when I'm not doing anything at all- just looking at a web page and moving the mouse around.

    The boot process also seems to take longer and longer every time I restart. I just restarted a couple minutes ago and the entire process took about 20 minutes. I get the gray screen with the spinning sun for 5-7 minutes with lots of chugging, then the blue screen chugs for about 5 minutes before the status bar appears showing the boot status. Then my desktop picture appears with no icons on the desktop or menu bar at the top. Then slowly, one by one, the icons in the top right of the menu bar start appearing directly over the desktop (that is, the actual menu bar hasn't been drawn yet.) The computer freezes and chugs for several minutes in between each icon. After a long time, the menu bar itself actually appears. Then the computer chugs some more. Then the icons on the desktop appear. I move my mouse over to the left edge of the screen to make the dock appear and it chugs for a minute before the dock pops up. Then I launch AIM and that freezes in every step of the sign on process, then shows me a blank buddy list which takes 45 seconds to draw. You get the picture.

    I checked the running processes at any given time and there doesn't seem to be anything out of the ordinary running. I assume my hardware is somehow damaged. Or would it help to reinstall the OS? Thanks for reading all this and thanks in advance for any suggestions anyone has.

    Here is my setup:

    12" PowerBook G4
    867 MHz
    256 MB RAM
    Mac OS X 10.3.2
    NVIDIA GeForce 4 MX
    Airport Extreme (not in use when this happens)
    Mat****a CD-RW CW-8122
    Toshiba MK4021GAS 40 GB internal HD
    Macally Ice Mouse Jr and iPod dock are the only peripherals plugged in

    P.S. I noticed in the preview of this post that it thought I was trying to put a swear word in the model name of my CD-RW drive and bleeped it out. Ha! I think you can guess what it is.
     
  2. csubear macrumors 6502a

    csubear

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2003
    #2
    do you have apple care? you should try running the hardware check disk. it sounds like you logic board, or memory is bad. If you have an apple store near you take it in and see what they say. If not give apple care a call. If you don't have apple care then they are going to call it a software problem untill they says its a hardware problem, and with out apple care they might charge you or tell you they are going to charge you if it is a software problem. g/l
     
  3. Perceptes thread starter macrumors member

    Perceptes

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2003
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    #3
    For anyone that might have read this and wondered, I backed up, wiped my hard drive, and then reinstalled Panther and it works fine now. I guess the OS just got really corrupted somehow... No clue how it happened.
     
  4. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #4
    this happened to me also. ive did the same thing you did. while my puter is running better it still is too slow... slower then before. my hardrive makes click noises. so im just going to upgrade my hd. how does one prevent this sort of thing from happening in the first place?
    i think one of the reasons my hd is going bad is because of the amount of music i kept on it. i once got my hd down to 3.5gb of free space... and i am told this is very bad for a computer. what kind of regular maintenance tasks should one perform on thier hd to keep one from having these problems... obviously i know about the music deal... i just wont be doing that anymore... but you know other things beside that.
     
  5. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #5
    i have a four year old ibook and for the first three years, it worked very consistently, but then it got really slow and started crashing more than usual

    i restore disked it and reinstalled all the other third party software and it's been pretty good for a year now

    with my pc computers, i routinely do this to keep things working normally and it is more necessary with windows...i heard osx, panther 10.3.0 is somewhat problematic but 10.3.1 is much better
     
  6. cubist macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2002
    Location:
    Muncie, Indiana
    #6
    I suggest adding RAM.

    With 256MB, you may be swapping from time to time. If you have a lot of programs loaded, this will cause a lot of disk activity - and a lot of disk activity, on a laptop, means s-l-o-w.

    I guess you probably have 128+128, so you'll need to get a 512MB SO-DIMM (about $50) and replace the replaceable 128.

    Yes, and try to keep your free space above the size of your RAM, so there is room to swap to!
     
  7. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #7
    whats restore disk do? hows that different then re installing the os?
     
  8. krossfyter macrumors 601

    krossfyter

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2002
    Location:
    secret city
    #8
    Re: I suggest adding RAM.



    where are they selling a single 512MB ram chip for an apple laptop at? link?


    im not understanding the free space above ram thing.

    my ram is 512 so i should go no lower then 512kb?mb? in free hd space?
     
  9. r6girl Administrator/Editor

    r6girl

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2003
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #9
    Re: Re: I suggest adding RAM.

    512 mb ram sticks can be found at www.crucial.com. i just ordered one myself for my rev. A 12". they aren't $50, though - at crucial, it's $109 or something. i'm sure you can get them cheaper elsewhere, but you get what you pay for in terms of quality...

    marianne
     
  10. jefhatfield Retired

    jefhatfield

    Joined:
    Jul 9, 2000
    #11
    that's a pc term for erasing everything on your computer and bringing software back to the original condition from the factory as it was shipped in its box

    you have to back up your personal files and reinstall them after the restore process and it's kind of a pain

    in my four year old ibook, i had to do this once last year

    with my pc laptop, i have to do that whole process more than once a year on average for my windows 98 computer
     
  11. Marlon_JBT macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2003
    Location:
    Detroit, Michigan
    #12
    I'm having the same problem. See this thread. I think my problems are hardware related, but I'm happy that reinstalling the OS fixed your problem.
     

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