Back to Snow Leopard after slow Mountain Lion

Discussion in 'iMac' started by thewolfro, Sep 4, 2012.

  1. thewolfro macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 27, 2009
    #1
    Hi All,

    I thought of sharing some of my experience i had with Lion/Mountain Lion on my iMAC.

    First of all i would like to say that my iMac is not top of hardware anymore. here is what i have:
    CPU 2.66 Intel Core 2 Duo
    Memory 4G 1067 Mhz DDR3
    iMac 24 inch

    Since i bought my Mac (4 years ago) i never did a clean install so i gradually upgraded over the years from Leopard to Snow Leopard, Lion, and Mountain Lion.

    After every upgrade system looked fine. However few weeks after i upgraded from Lion to Mountain Lion my system became extremely slow. Even just browsing the web became a nightmare. Not to mention using Photoshop which was really hard to work with.

    Looking only at the CPU and memory i could not identify what was going on because in general no process was taking over the resources.

    What i have noticed however is that the HDD was having a lot of activity.
    I disabled indexing since Lion days and i disabled it again after upgrading to mountain lion. However i did not see any improvement.
    The disk space utilization was not extremely high. I was still having 100GB free on my disk but i had only one single partition.

    I hoped that the 10.8.1 would fix my issue but i did not see any improvement.

    Because i suspected something might be wrong on the disk i decided to create two different partitions so after i freed more space (300GB) i started the disk utility and wanted to create another partition. Process started fine but it got stuck in the same place for more 2 hours at "resizing partition" or something like that. I did some reading on the web and i have seen users with similar experience that were stuck for even one day so i decided to quit the disk utility... what a mistake. After quitting this my free 300G became 20G free space or something like that.
    I did run a partition check and i have seen some errors so i decided to quit the whole thing.

    Now i am running snow leopard again (fresh install) and i feel like i have a brand new Mac (that is because it is extremely fast compared to what Lion and Mountain Lion was).

    I am not sure what is going at apple but feel very disappointed.
    At the moment apparently they advertise officially that the only method to get Mountain Lion is to upgrade via AppStore (no CD/DVD install), but apparently the upgrade process screwing up big time.

    I also have a MacbookPro 13 inch, i5, 8GB running Lion since it was brand new and does not have any issue. so i guess the upgrading process apple is advertising is to be blamed or it is just that in order to run Lion/Mountain Lion one needs better hardware than Apple is advertising at the system requirements.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. applexpanther macrumors newbie

    applexpanther

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Location:
    Moonwell
    #2


    I'd say RAM. Cut back on the running apps, or buy more ram.
     
  3. fa8362 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2008
    #3
    Hi,

    All you needed for Lion was 8GB of RAM for $40.
     
  4. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #4
    Yes, when the system runs out of free RAM it will use "virtual memory" on the hard disc. This will look like very heavy disc usage- just like you describe- for which nothing you do will seem to make much of a difference. You could test this by opening "Activity Monitor" and getting the memory pane on screen, then going about your usual business. I bet you would have seen the RAM get allocated away to nothing and that would lead to the hard drive "virtual memory" taking over and slowing everything down.

    If you decide to try ML again, I too would suggest a big RAM upgrade. And I'd suggest installing ML on a separate drive hooked up via firewire and then booting into that drive for testing. Open Activity Monitor and execute what is described above. Keep an eye on that free memory after you open software. But if you approx. double your RAM, you probably wouldn't have any problem. If it works, consider cloning the external drive to the internal. If it doesn't work, you'll be able to go back to SL again very easily.

    All that said, I miss Snow Leopard. I think it was the best. These last two seem to have steered away from a great computer OS to woo in the iDevice people. IMO.:(
     
  5. odipan macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Sep 6, 2012
    #5
    How did you do it?

    Hi thewolfro,
    same problem here: slow and erratic (keeps turning off everything after 3 mins of inactivity! no solution to be found).
    How did you go back to Snow Leopard from Mountain Lion without loosing your data?

    Intel iMac i5, 4G
     
  6. konradphoto macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2012
    #6
    I'm considering doing the same thing.

    Does anyone of you know if the Mountain Lion Time Machine backup is compatible with Snow Leopard? (I would like to do a clean install of Snow Leopard and use the backed-up data from Mountain Lion to restore everything on Snow Leopard). Thanks!
     
  7. xkmxkmxlmx macrumors 6502a

    xkmxkmxlmx

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2011
    #7
    As others have said, Ram is your answer for sure. That said, Snow Leopard is the last great OS X version. I loved everything about it and mostly nothing about the later updates (except the cloud synching and such).

    Long live Snow Leopard!
     
  8. ThEkNIGhT macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2012
    #8
    Hello,

    I got the same issue after upgrade to Mountain lion, and this's my iMac:

    CPU 2.7 Ghz Intel Core i5
    Memory 8G 1333 Mhz DDR3
    iMac 27 inch
     
  9. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I've got a 5 year old iMac and have upgraded with each release without doing a rebuild. It has 4 Gb Ram. I've not seen any of the problems you describe. Every so often there's a lot of disk activity if I hit an application that's been swapped out. But, for 95% of the time, it's not slow at all.

    I suspect it's not Mountain Lion, but a shortcoming of your machine, either insufficient memory or a disk problem. I'm not sure why you thought that a repartition would fix things, but I suspect that problems on the disk caused that to fail as well. It's the error messages from your partition check that were important here. Did you follow those up?
     
  10. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #10
  11. slicke101 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2010
    Location:
    Stockholm, Sweden
    #11
    This. I did an upgrade from snow leopard to mountain lion on my 2010 mbp with 4gb ram. The computer ran horribly afterwards. I then burn the image to an usb and did a clean install. Afterwards everything ran smoother than with snow leopard. Im very happy with the upgrade.
     
  12. NunoBerny macrumors regular

    NunoBerny

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #12
    I don't have an iMac yet (wtf,Apple????), but have this question regarding virtual memory:
    - can I turn it off completely (on ML, Lion and/or any other flavour)?

    Thanks.
     
  13. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #13
    Sounds like your HDD is not working properly, it probably has a bad sector which could cause slowdowns.

    Believe me, I experienced this back on my PC, I had four harddrives fail me in 4 years because of weak PSU. It always started with computer slowdowns and after few months the system wouldn't boot, then I'd reinstall the system, it would work for few months/week... then it would fail to boot again.

    More RAM would probably help but shouldn't be a major problem. Try to cure the sickness, not treat the symptoms-
     
  14. HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #14
    I wouldn't take my input as some form of critique of virtual memory. IMO, it's implemented just fine in OS X. The system is built around the concept of being able to use it when needed.

    However, that said, you can do searches for turning it off. For example: http://hints.macworld.com/article.php?story=201106020948369

    Using VM does slow things down. But the better option is adding or maxing out RAM, not turning VM off. The core concept of VM is when the user is needing more RAM than they actually have. If you see that you are using VM often, it's like a soft system alert that you could benefit by expanding your physical RAM.
     
  15. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #15
    before you tell him he may have bad harddrive or need more ram did you not read his post? he said after a clean install of snow leopard his computer ran great....therefore! if he did a clean install of mountain lion i bet it would also run great!...
     
  16. NunoBerny macrumors regular

    NunoBerny

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #16
    Maybe I'm used too much to the Windows way, where everything slows down regularly even with one or two programs open, for no apparent reason. I hate it. ;)

    Hopefully, when I start using MacOS I'll change my mind.
     
  17. HobeSoundDarryl, Oct 4, 2012
    Last edited: Oct 4, 2012

    HobeSoundDarryl macrumors 603

    HobeSoundDarryl

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2004
    Location:
    Hobe Sound, FL (20 miles north of Palm Beach)
    #17
    Between Windows & Mac (I use both and am not overly biased to one vs. the other like most here), I generally feel like OS X runs smoother, faster, better. I like Windows 7 just fine and use it for tools that are not available on the Mac side.

    My comments in this thread of SL vs. the new OS incarnations are more about feeling like SL was the last real MAC-focused version of the OS. IMO, Lion and now Mountain Lion are trying too hard to unify iOS and OS X. The cheerleaders will sling comments like "don't like it, don't buy it" and "stock price $X shows who knows best" and similar, but none of that changes my own opinion along these lines. I wish OS X had stayed closer to SL than where its gone with iOSification.

    I can understand why Apple is doing it and I can even appreciate some of the benefits that come with those changes. However, I can also recognize the negatives and fault changes that just make using the OS harder or less efficient than how it is in SL.

    There's been 2 major OS updates and I've still not moved on to either. Apple usually only maintains support for OS versions about 3 iterations back so sometime this year, I'll have to upgrade and just deal with it or take the risks in sticking with a version probably no longer getting any security updates, etc. Apple-created software will typically require newer OS versions too, so one needs to upgrade if we want to keep using such Apple tools.

    Personally, I just wish Apple had evolved OS X by building anew upon Snow Leopard rather than "borrowing" most of the "new" from iOS. Nothing particular against iOS but I don't own Mac desktops & laptops to feel more like I'm using a bigger iDevice. I don't covet the iOS experience on Macs.

    Nuno, you'll be new to the Mac so you won't really have a feel for what SL was like vs. ML. As such, you'll probably love it. Don't let my knowledge of how things used to be affect your enthusiasm for giving the OS a try. Coming in fresh, I'd probably think ML is the greatest OS ever. I came to Macs after the change from OS9 to OS X. As such I barely knew what OS 9 was like. I recall reading lots of grumbles from the "liked OS 9 better" crowd in the early days of OS X. However, since I didn't come to the Mac with that first-hand experience, I couldn't really tell how much I was missing (or not missing). To me OS X was terrific- even those early versions. It might be very similar for you stepping in at ML vs. knowing SL or earlier.
     
  18. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #18
    Yes, the point that I and (perhaps some others) was making was that it was not necessarily Mountain Lion at fault here, which the original poster was implying. It is possible that he had bad sectors on his hard drive that a fresh install cleared up. It's also possible that after fresh install, the bad sectors are still there just waiting to be discovered. That a repartition appeared to get stuck and that a partition check appeared to return (unspecified) errors also points to a potential hard disk issue.
     
  19. NunoBerny macrumors regular

    NunoBerny

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2012
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    #19
    Despite being new, I've been following MOS for quite a while.
    I too dislike the move towards iOS, which is clearly the intention with Lion and Mountain Lion.
    I think there is a place for each and merging them together is definitely not something I like.
     
  20. comatory macrumors 6502a

    comatory

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2012
    #20
    you're funny. have you read mine?

    thank you, at least someone here has comprehensive reading skills.
     
  21. johto macrumors 6502

    johto

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #21
    Your system seems fast because your did a CLEAN INSTALL.
    You would have experienced a snappy system also with the Mountain Lion, if you installed that with clean install.
     
  22. designs216 macrumors 65816

    designs216

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Down the rabbit hole
    #22
    I've been using ML since the day of it's release and have experienced strange random beachballing on just about any operation I asked my MP to do. Windows vanish and apps stall for no reason and I had to restart a several times a day.

    Though I liked being able to resize a window from any corner and also Messages, I decided that the productivity and stability advantages of Snow Leopard make it the best OS for enterprise users.
     

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