OSX going very SLOW!!- should I REINSTALL OSX? BACKUP?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by jason2811, Aug 1, 2006.

  1. jason2811 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    #1
    Okay for whatever reason, the last couple of days my MACBOOK has been going very slowly. I added 2GB of RAM from OWC about a week and a half ago and the computer was going pretty fast. Whenever I would start my computer up all the startup programs (Preview, Textedit, iTunes, Adium, Synergy) would all open instantly and wouldn't bounce on the dock at all. Now when I restart my machine I see all those applications bouncing on the dock for about 3-5 bounces (Firefox takes like 8, is it supposed to be that way?), this NEVER used to happen before. So I think there is a problem with my OSX and I want to reinstall it.

    However, I don't want to lose all of iTunes music, my iPhoto pictures and settings (you knwo how iPhoto makes all of it's little subfolders and stuff), and all the other programs I downloaed. So what would be the best way to back up my system? I don't have an external HD or a .mac account. I'm scared that backing up my system and then transferring it all the stuff back over after the reinstall would bring back the item that was causing the slow down. Would this happen?

    So what should I do? Sorry this was so long. Any help would be great.
     
  2. jason2811 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    #2
    Would it be bad to just back all of files up onto black DVDS? I mean couldn't I just drag all of my iTunes files and iPHoto library and documents onto blank dvds and then reinstall my other programs like Adium and Limewire? Bad Idea?
     
  3. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #3
    You could be short on available RAM for some reason, i.e. memory leak. Use Activity Monitor to see if anything is causing a problem.

    You could also need to clean up the system by letting it run its daily/weekly/monthly processes. There are tools that will allow you to select those to run other times too.
     
  4. jason2811 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    May 8, 2006
    #4
    Can you explain to me how I would do the last things you mentioned? Thanks.
     
  5. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #5
    Running Activity Monitor: look in your Applications folder. There should be a folder called Utilities. Look in there.

    The idea is to look for processes that take too much RAM / CPU. Specifically, the two columns that say %CPU and Real Memory. I included a picture so you'd know what to look for.

    To run the daily/weekly/monthly processes, open the Terminal application (should be found in the Utilities folder as well), and type in:
    Code:
    sudo periodic daily weekly monthly
    Press return, and type in your password when asked.

    You can also try to run Disk Utility and check the SMART status on your HD. If it says "Failing", back up your stuff and replace it. If it says everything's okay, your idea of reinstalling is probably a good one.

    To back up your files, you can drag the "iTunes" folder (in your music folder) and the "iPhoto Library" folder (in the Pictures folder) to a blank DVD. To save your apps, just drag your Applications folder to a blank DVD as well. Your settings for your music and pictures should be saved, but not your apps. Hopefully there's enough room on a blank DVD for your stuff (4.3 GB).
     

    Attached Files:

  6. jason2811 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    #6
    Thanks alot. Three questions though:
    1) You said "If it says "Failing", back up your stuff and replace it. If it says everything's okay, your idea of reinstalling is probably a good one." Is that mistake? If it says everything is okay, I should still do a reinstall?
    2) You said to drag my Application folder onto a blank DVD but then you said that everything BUT my applications will be saved. How do I back up my applications?
    3) If activity monitor tells me which program is taking up too much RAM what should I do about it? Thanks.
     
  7. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #7
    1) Hmm, maybe I'm going too far in saying "reinstall". But if your problems aren't solved by the other methods that have been mentioned, then i would do it. I would try the other suggestions first, though.

    Before you reinstall, you can run the "Hardware Test" that came with your Macbook and see if it's a hardware problem. Put the install DVD that came with your Macbook in your computer, and reboot. When the computer reboots (after the chime), press the letter D on your keyboard and hold it until the hardware test starts.

    2) I meant that the settings for your applications would not be saved. The applications themselves will be. However, I am not sure about applications that require an installer. Also, there are some default apps that get installed with the OS. You don't need to save those.

    3) On the top of the window, there's a red stop-sign like symbol that says "Quit Process". Click that with the offending process selected, and the memory/CPU that process takes should be freed up.
     
  8. jason2811 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 8, 2006
    #8
    Here is my Activity Moniter. Does anything look fishy or like it's taking up too much RAM? I know nothing about computers or memory or anything so I'm sorry if I'm annoying you. :confused:
     

    Attached Files:

  9. CuteGothTech macrumors member

    CuteGothTech

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2006
    #9
    If I were you, I would try removing things from the startup and see if that clears it up. Sounds to me like you had everything start up at once after you booted the computer. And that after you added a few more things to boot up, it would take awhile. I think right now any computer would seem a little slow if you had it launch every application on it at startup. I would try that out first.
     
  10. After G macrumors 68000

    After G

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #10
    Looks like you don't have a problem with a bad process. I'd try what CuteGothTech says.

    Edit: That VM size makes me wonder how much space you have on your hard drive. Having not enough space for virtual memory (around 5-6 GB) can make things slow. Check how much free space you have. (It's the Disk Usage tab, in the Activity Monitor, near the bottom.)
     

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