How to Fix a Slow Mac?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by magicjames92, Jan 26, 2008.

  1. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2007
    #1
    I have an intel core duo imac, and it has been running slow. What's a good way to get it running like it did when I bought it? Clean it up?
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    CRAZYBUBBA

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto/Houston
    #2
    With safari you could always clean out your caches etc..

    System- uninstall uneeded programs make sure that you have ample free space.

    I personally just re-install the OS.. I think it's more of a psychological thing, in any case that works too.
     
  3. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    #3
    You're not the only one that reinstalls the operating system, I used to do it constantly when I was running Windows, it's a habit I'm trying to break so that I don't start doing it on my Mac as well.

    As per the OP's original question:

    Are you using Mac OS X 10.4.x (Tiger) or Mac OS X 10.5.x (Leopard)?

    1. Clear Safari's cache, that way you don't have eons of internet cruft floating around on your computer. You can do this by clicking "Safari" in the menu bar and then click on "Empty cache". This will delete all of the cached pictures, HTML pages, etc that you've viewed on the internet.

    2. Use a utility like "OnyX" to run all of the maintenance scripts on the Mac or leave it run overnight without sleep mode so that these scripts run.

    3. Uninstall applications that you don't use -- if you installed "Application A" last year and you no longer use it, it's probably safe to remove it. Just don't remove the applications that come with Mac OS X.

    4. Burn old or unused files to a disc like a CD or DVD and then remove them from your hard disk to reclaim some hard drive space.

    5. Make sure you don't have a lot of images or other files on the desktop, as Mac OS X will render thumbnails and your computer may "feel" slower.

    6. Repair disk permissions by running Disk Utility (/Applications/Utilities/Disk Utility.app) -- select your hard drive and click on "Repair permissions".

    7. Last but not least, once you've done all of this, restart. :)

    This should help bring your system back to "good-as-new" status. You could also try an "Archive and Install" if you're really feeling up to it.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Location:
    Lexington, KY
    #4
    Onyx

    I can second the guy above. My safari and some other assorted programs would randomly hang, but I ran Onyx and everything is 100% fixed. Try that....
     
  5. macrumors newbie

    Jetmart

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #5
    What are permissions and what are you doing when you "Repair permissions"?
     
  6. macrumors newbie

    Jetmart

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    #6
    I ran "Repair Permissions" and got these warnings

    see attachment
     

    Attached Files:

  7. macrumors 65816

    CRAZYBUBBA

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto/Houston
  8. macrumors 6502a

    forafireescape

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2008
    Location:
    NJ
    #8
    Really? I've been using Onyx in Leopard and it's been flawless.
     
  9. macrumors 65816

    CRAZYBUBBA

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2007
    Location:
    Toronto/Houston
    #9
    sorry, I had read that off of the "apps that don't work in leopard" sticky. They have likely updated it now.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2007
    #10
    Yeah, they updated Onyx to be compatible with Leopard. I've noticed that a lot of the applications on the "not compatible" list have been updated for Leopard, so the list needs to be revised.
     
  11. JDR
    macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #11
    You could also physically add more RAM...I doubled the memory of my iBook G4 about a year ago, and I've seen it come back alive. I wouldn't recommend purchasing it directly from Apple though, it's too pricey. I used Crucial and got it priced okay.
     
  12. macrumors regular

    BioChron

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2006
    Location:
    Alaska
    #12
    Add more RAM, and/or reinstall the OS if possible. That worked for me.
     
  13. Guest

    MikeTheC

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    Location:
    Gallifrey -- Capitol City, Prydonian Sector
    #13
    To understand what to do about fixing a slow-running computer, one must first consider the potential factors involved in impacting system performance.

    Disk Space (Total vs. Free):

    There's a threshold below which it probably doesn't matter how much data you have on your hard drive. However, once you start really loading the HDD up, you're basically starting to interfere with Mac OS X's ability to generate, keep and use swap files (these are the container files used for virtual memory functionality). If you impact this sufficiently, you will notice system performance degradation, but more likely than not you'd notice stability issues first.

    RAM (Total vs. Free):

    Other than CPU usage (see below), this is generally the single biggest culprit in performance reduction of otherwise normally-functioning systems. It may be time to upgrade your RAM, or it may be you just have too many things being held in it (that is, you've left large documents open in the background, or you're running apps that are just memory hogs, or there's a memory leak somewhere, etc.) Usually, if this is the case, simply rebooting will resolve it.

    CPU Usage:

    The more things (OS, drivers, so-called "userland" apps, etc.) you have running, the more of a performance hit you'll get, no matter anything else about your computer. There are various utilities you can use to see what's going on, or you can just bring up a terminal window (Applications > Utilities > Terminal) and type in "top". That will bring up a list of the top things on your system, and show you amongst other things their CPU %, which tells you how much of a load they're putting on your system. (Oh, and when you're done using top, just type "q" to quit out of it. Then go ahead and quit out of the Terminal app.)

    Bad RAM and/or Bad HDD:

    Too often these kinds of hardware issues are nebulous in their symptomology, and are like that itch you can't quite scratch. Depending on the degree and/or type of failure, your computer may still pass it's POST, and your HDD might still pass SMART. Typically there will be some degree of corrupted data associated with these failure modes, but often as not what gets corrupted (but is beyond your ability as a user to perceive directly) is the OS and/or swap files, etc. Failed HDDs in particular can have the symptomology of slower and slower data access or data writing speeds.

    Now, I'm not trying to scare you or make you go out and buy new RAM and a new HDD, but you should be aware of all the factors involved.

    Ultimately, if you've tried every other diagnostic and troubleshooting approach, nuke and pave your system, and see how it behaves. IF you go this route, don't put the computer back into a production mode until you are absolutely certain there are no further lingering issues. You do that for two reasons. First off, if the HDD (or RAM) is in the process of failing, all you're going to wind up with is more corrupted data, data which might well be important to you. Second, when you start adding things to the system, you add to the complexity of the situation, and prevent yourself from being able to truly isolate the problem.

    Having been a tech most of my adult life, naturally I've run across numerous instances of failed hardware. All that means is that I've had a higher statistical likelihood of seeing a hardware failure since, on the whole, hardware failures are generally pretty rare. In MOST cases, this kind of problem is either software-induced or user-induced, not hardware-induced.
     
  14. rbw
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
    #14
    uninstall

    Sorry this is so basic, but how do I uninstall? HELP on my Macbook Pro doesnt help.
     
  15. macrumors 68040

    miniConvert

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2006
    Location:
    Kent, UK - the 'Garden of England'.
    #15
    Drag them to the trash and then empty the trash, unless the app comes with its own uninstaller.
     
  16. rbw
    macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 2, 2008
  17. macrumors 68040

    trainguy77

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2003
    #17
    Also go into system preferences then accounts then login items for your user. Remove anything listed that you don't use anymore.
     

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