a little help, please (PowerBook G4 slow)

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by kooch, Feb 6, 2006.

  1. kooch macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    #1
    Hi.

    I'm gonna ask some pretty simple questions, but, frankly, I'm confused, so any help would be appreciated.

    I have a PowerBook G4. I've had it for about 3 years. I simply have loved it.

    But these days, it's running VERY slowly. Loads things slowly, does the internet slowly, deals with iPhoto slowly...and so on. I spend a lot of time watching that spinning rainbow beachball.

    I mainly use my computer for e-mails, internet surfing, some word docs, lots of photo stuff...both iPhoto and simple Photoshop editing. Also iTunes (can't fit any more on my laptop...have lots more in my iPod (30GB Photo).

    Many tiomes I have tried to download files, clean up unused docs, photos, etc. from the PowerBook, with thoughts of having more space and hopefully seeing it run faster. I'm still not having much luck.

    The PowerBook is generally in pretty good shape, although I did drop her once, and the casing "sprung" a bit. No serious damage, but the sides appear a little warped.

    I have been thinking all this must be signaling I should invest in a new powerbook or ProBook and get back some speed...or something. But, honestly I'm a little lost.

    Maybe there's not so much wrong with my machine, and maybe there are some simple steps I can take to get it running faster, so we can get back to the joy we once shared.

    This is the general information I have copied from my "Hardware Overview"...any help, thoughts or suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks in advance.

    Hardware Overview:

    Machine Name: PowerBook G4 12"
    Machine Model: PowerBook6,1
    CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (3.3)
    Number Of CPUs: 1
    CPU Speed: 867 MHz
    L2 Cache (per CPU): 256 KB
    Memory: 640 MB
    Bus Speed: 133 MHz
    Boot ROM Version: 4.5.5f4

    DIMM0/BUILT-IN:

    Size: 128 MB
    Type: Built-in
    Speed: Built-in

    DIMM1/J31:

    Size: 512 MB
    Type: DDR SDRAM
    Speed: PC2100U-25330
     
  2. rdowns Suspended

    rdowns

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2003
    #2
    Have you repaired permissions?

    Do you run maintenance scripts regularly?

    Deleted caches in Safari? Reset Safari?
     
  3. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #3
    What OS are you using??? 10.2, 10.3 or 10.4??? Have you installed anything big recently??? upgraded???
     
  4. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #4
    If you've upgraded the OS, it's important to note that often newer OS versions take more system resources.

    An upgrade to a 1GB RAM stick in the user-serviceable slot might help immensely.

    Also - and this will be a pain - backing up all your files and installing the OS from scratch - "Erase and Install" - should get you back to new-PB glory. Over the years, lots of garbage builds up, and, esp. if your disk is pretty full and/or really fragmented, a clean install could work wonders, and might - in the end - be faster than trying a hundred small things... if you back up properly!
     
  5. stridey macrumors 65816

    stridey

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    #5
    Jeez, yankeefan24, you sure like question marks...

    OP, how much free hard drive space do you have left? OS X likes at least 5GB, and 10 if it can get it for swap files.
     
  6. kooch thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2006
    #6
    thanks

    About 6 months ago I installed Tiger OSX 10.4

    I have tried transferring all info onto an external hard drive (guess I did it correctly), and tried a "clean install". Things seemed pretty good for a short period of time, but I'm basically back to slow-time.



    "OP, how much free hard drive space do you have left? OS X likes at least 5GB, and 10 if it can get it for swap files."

    How do I know the answer to this?



    "An upgrade to a 1GB RAM stick in the user-serviceable slot might help immensely."

    How do I do this?



    "Have you repaired permissions?
    Do you run maintenance scripts regularly?
    Deleted caches in Safari? Reset Safari?"

    I've done these Safari options, but not sure about how to do the "permissions" or "maintainence scripts" things.


    Thanks for yopur thoughts.

    Kooch
     
  7. discoforce macrumors 6502a

    discoforce

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2004
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #7
    I think stridey might be on to something re: free hard drive space:

     
  8. stridey macrumors 65816

    stridey

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    #8
    Open any Finder window. At the bottom, you'll see something kinda like this:
     

    Attached Files:

  9. jsw Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #9
    Just make sure you don't have iDisk or some other network drive selected, or else you'll get the stats on that drive.
     
  10. yankeefan24 macrumors 65816

    yankeefan24

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2005
    Location:
    NYC
    #10
    ok. to check free hdd space, open any hdd based finder window (applications or home will work.)

    not sure about ram on older powerbook

    repair permissions: applications then utilities, then disk utility. then click on your harddrive (mac hd) and then click verify and then repair permissions.

    never heard of maintenence scripts.
     
  11. stridey macrumors 65816

    stridey

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2005
    Location:
    Massachusetts, Connecticut
    #11
    For repairing permissions, open up Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app), select your hard drive on the left, then click the "Repair Disk Permissions" button.

    For maintainance, there are many ways. The easiest is to download and use MacJanitor

    Edit: Some of this covered by Yankeefan24, who got to the post before I did. :)
     
  12. TLRedhawke macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Sep 17, 2004
    #12
    I have the same PowerBook (#1 in the signature), and it's not worth upgrading to a 1GB stick. 640MB total is plenty. I use the machine for far more than you do, and 640 is tons. However, repairing permissions, and possibly formatting and reinstalling the OS might help. I do a fresh install everytime I change hardware, or upgrade the OS.
     
  13. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #13
    One thing I have learned the hard way is that you simply MUST have backup. At LEAST a second hard drive, although burned media is better because it is more stable, and off-site backups are ideal (but how many of us really have that).

    With backup, you can restore your system to good running again when there is trouble (assuming the backup is a good running bootable system)
     
  14. GITANAJAVA macrumors regular

    GITANAJAVA

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2006
    Location:
    Have ibrik, will travel.
    #14
    RE: a little help, please (PowerBook G4 slow

    K,

    Was having similar issues this past week and received stellar guidance and advice here__

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=177965

    I found it especially helpful that the posters kept it simple for this teknophobe. :)

    Best luck,
     

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