2006 Mac Pro is VERY slow. I'm talkin 1997 PC flash backs.

davidnssbm

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 23, 2009
173
0
So my Dad's Mac Pro has been acting up the past year. I can't tell if it just needs more RAM or if something is the matter. It's a pretty pimped out machine, but lately it's been sooooo slow. I'm having dell 1997 flash backs here. I'm talking 20-30 seconds to open a "file open" button. It's odd because I can edit huge video projects and photoshop files, but it's the LITTLE things that are hiccuping.

perhaps someone can help? Here are the specs:


Model Name: Mac Pro
Model Identifier: MacPro2,1
Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
Processor Speed: 3 GHz
Number Of Processors: 2
Total Number Of Cores: 8
L2 Cache (per processor): 8 MB
Memory: 4 GB
Bus Speed: 1.33 GHz
Boot ROM Version: MP21.007F.B06
SMC Version (system): 1.15f3
Serial Number (system): 1572305EUPZ
Hardware UUID: 00000000-0000-1000-8000-0019E3F944E6


again, the symptoms: sometimes when trying to open a file or function the computer stops, and makes that "warming up sound" like its rebooting and REALLY takes its time to think. It seems to only be doing these symptoms on small functions and tasks.
 

davidnssbm

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 23, 2009
173
0
I'm not sure if I've EVER cleaned it. Also, how can I tell if it's a bad HD? are there any tips I can do to figure this out? The computer has 2 internal HD and plenty of externals plugged in.

Also, how do you recommend one cleans it safely?
 

noodle654

macrumors 68020
Jun 2, 2005
2,066
19
Never Ender
I'm not sure if I've EVER cleaned it. Also, how can I tell if it's a bad HD? are there any tips I can do to figure this out? The computer has 2 internal HD and plenty of externals plugged in.

Also, how do you recommend one cleans it safely?
I would try running Disk Utility from the OS X discs.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,886
380
Inside
If it is a bad hard drive it would be the startup disk. Open Disk Utility, click on your drive, then in the lower right check what the S.M.A.R.T. Status is. "Verified" is good. Anything else is bad. Also check your other internal drive.

Note: SMART isn't always right. It could say "Verified", but the drive could still be failing. I'd still backup all your data.
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,883
407
London, UK
That really does sound like your hard drive is failing. I'd strongly recommend backing up your files immediately and look at buying a new boot drive.

Edit: I wouldn't trust SMART. One of my hard drives was showing clear signs of failure but there were no SMART issues. I cloned the data onto a new drive - no more problems.
 

Bennieboy©

macrumors 65816
Jan 15, 2009
1,276
1
england
I'm not sure if I've EVER cleaned it. Also, how can I tell if it's a bad HD? are there any tips I can do to figure this out? The computer has 2 internal HD and plenty of externals plugged in.

Also, how do you recommend one cleans it safely?
i had a powermac G5, took the fans out ram hard drives, dyson vacuum cleaner once a week and a small paint brush for the tight areas ;) most people use a compressed air blower though it's a lot faster ;)
 

trojanvillage

macrumors member
Jan 1, 2008
49
0
Toronto
Clean and replace HDD

If you notice things like Finder Folder queries, boot time, etc, things that access the hard drive frequently, then yes, the HD is starting to go. It's time for a new one. Even in my MBP late 08, i noticed the problem. IMHO, your MP should still scream if you have 4 GB of Ram.

You would probably benefit with the increase in HD space too!

Certainly give it a cleaning. i would recommend taking it outside, somewhere like a porch or patio, using an air can to get those 4 yr old dust bunnies out. You should do this, at the very least, once a year. Remember, don't get anything inside the machine, and certainly not water. If you must, wipe flat surfaces off with a dry cloth.
 

davidnssbm

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 23, 2009
173
0
okay so I did repair disk on the main drive and it not only says its OK but the SMART status is verified! what gives!
 

davidnssbm

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 23, 2009
173
0
okay, I will! I'm a newbie though. Do I literally just buy a new drive and swap it out? is it that simple? how do I know which drive to buy?
 

Spanky Deluxe

macrumors 601
Mar 17, 2005
4,883
407
London, UK
Any SATA 3.5" drive will do. The sweet spot in pricing at the moment seems to be the 1.5TB 7200rpm drives.

You'll want to put it into an empty drive bay slot (open the mac up, pull out a drive bay and install the drive, it's easy when you give it a try). Then the best way would be to use your OSX install disk to boot up and in the installer use the menu at the top to start the disk utility. Then restore your old system drive onto your new drive. Once done, take out your old drive and put your new drive into slot 1. That should do it. It'll likely take about 45 minutes or so at a guess to do so make sure you do it at a time when you don't need to use your mac for work etc.
 

McGiord

macrumors 601
Oct 5, 2003
4,533
287
Dark Castle
Check with Activity Monitor what is going on, and if there is something in particular bogging down your Mac.
What OS are you running? Is it up to date? When you started to notice the slow down? After installing something?
 

davidnssbm

macrumors regular
Original poster
Oct 23, 2009
173
0
its snow leopard and everything is up to date. it's hard to tell when we noticed it because it happened slowly but surely so we got used to it as time went on. I moved back from college recently and used it and was like WTF dad this computer SUCKS

edit: how do i use activity monitor
 

tomscott1988

macrumors 6502a
Apr 14, 2009
619
483
UK
Look for program percentage

lol no i mean how do i read it. what should i be looking for
Look at the cpu % column and see if any programs are hogging the cpu usage aka high percentage, also check out your system memory see how much you have, also you could check the login programs.

Sounds like you could do with re-installing a fresh copy of snow leopard too, a fresh install always speeds things up. Although the mac does a good job of solving fragmentation, the disc still gets fragmented and old drives that have never been re-formatted do get slow, so the drive could just be slowing down because of bad blocks. The speed could also be due to the drive being nearly full having no space for information, the computer does use your hdd as physical memory, the less space it has the slower it is and struggles to find data as efficiently as a drive with more space would.

Back up your data format the drive and re-install snow leopard, that may be an answer, before you buy a new drive (maybe solving the problem). Computers do slow over time, fresh installs do speed things up. But I do agree with the others here a new drive would be a better choice, 4 years old the drives do have a shelf life and i seem to remember the the 2006 mp shipped with pretty small drives.
 

lloyd709

macrumors 6502
Jan 10, 2008
312
0
Get an SSD

I went from a standard fast spinny boot disk to a an SSD and I couldn't believe the difference it made to how fast my 2007 Mac Pro felt. You don't need a big one - just big enough to hold your operating system and apps. Keep everything else on a different disk. I went for a 120 Gig.

Your machine will then feel like it's hot off the press!!!
 

philden

macrumors member
Jul 28, 2010
38
4
check external drives

You say there are several external drives, as well as the internals. If the drives are sleeping, then your file-open dialogue will wait for them all to wake before opening.

Try disconnecting the external drives, or at least set them not to sleep in System Preferences- Energy Saver.
 

GlynJones

macrumors 6502
Jun 15, 2005
323
2
You say there are several external drives, as well as the internals. If the drives are sleeping, then your file-open dialogue will wait for them all to wake before opening.

Try disconnecting the external drives, or at least set them not to sleep in System Preferences- Energy Saver.
I get that when my Drobo drives go to sleep. As it has 4 drives in there you can hear it spinning up each drive individually and i get the beach ball until all 4 have spun up.

I agree, disconnect all the external drives and see if the problem goes away.
 
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