Cause of MacBook slowdown & few possibilities

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by zeroq, Mar 14, 2010.

  1. zeroq macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2010
    I'm a puter-moron (thus I migrated to Mac from PC). Though I've been using my MacBook for over 2 yrs I'm pretty much a newbie. I've been only using the most basic of the basic functions on the mac - never had time to learn meself much. Anyhow my macbook is slowing down quite a bit for the last few days; I notice the rainbow spining loading symbol thingy quite a bit here and there but, e.g. when I'm in the Bookmark Manager there is significant slow down especially moving folders around (I do have massive amount of bookmarks/folders... I didn't think bookmarks draw on the system much).

    I have some guess as to what might be causing the bog down but not precisely sure what though (or could be "all of the above"). I've been doing a few things that I haven't/don't usually do as I have more time lately to tutor myself and try things out.

    So here is what I have and what might be few possible causes:

    2008 Black MacBook 2.2 GHz Intel Core 2 duo w/ 4 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM and I run Safari, Firefox and Chrome all at the same time.

    1. I've been downloading large video files right to the macbook's HD (I do have a 500GB 2.0 USB External HD but I haven't quite figured out how to do it precisely yet... I dabbled at trying to DL a 0.5 GB file but seemed to take forever...): according to iStat 82GB used and 67GB free. I believe there is approx 25~30GB increase in the last couple weeks. (Btw I have another External HD for Time Machine: 90GB used 60GB free)

    2. I've been increasingly leaving more and more TextEdit files open... perhaps 20+. I usually leave only a few open.

    3. I use Expose - 9 spaces and generally have at least 8 browser windows+ open. Lately I've been leaving more browser windows open like 15+ but backing down to keeping 8 browser windows open didn't really help.

    I have feeling its the sudden mass of vid files on the HD but I'm not sure how much is too much. I suppose I could eventually figure out by saving the vid files etc to Ext HD etc but I'd really appreciate any pointers and suggestions. Thanks much.
  2. chill. macrumors 6502

    Sep 1, 2008
    why are you using 3 browsers at the same time?

    1. yes, as your hard drive fills up there will be worse performance because it takes longer to seek out files

    2. yep, burdens memory

    3. yep, burdens memory

    open up activity monitor (utilities, activity monitor) and post a screenshot from that. also post a log from your console (utilities, console).

    there could be any number of factors and pinpointing it is exhausting. easiest solution would be to do a clean reinstall
  3. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    You can try to repair permissions via Disk Utility and look at Activity Monitor (select to SHOW ALL PROCESSES) and sort by CPU use to see what process might take all the CPU cycles (if).

    1. Don't you know how to use the Finder or what do you haven't figured out yet?
    Look at the browsers' (or the download software's) preferences to select where to store the files you download.

    2. + 3. The more open applications and the more windows you use, the more the slow down is explainable. I have five to 25 open applications at any time, but at the end of the day, I close the ones I haven't used for a while.

    If you have 67GB free out of 160GB (148GiB), then that is okay.
    If it would be 6.7GB it would be more worrisome.

    Also have a look at the following links, as the information presented there might be helpful in your future endeavours into Mac OS X and could clear up initial confusion and may even prevent harm to your system or your files. - text - videos - text - shortcuts
  4. zeroq thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2010

    Well some site load up faster/ works better with some browsers I noticed and I like certain features of certain browsers that I like to have at hand.

    screen shots of activity monitor:



    as for 'posting a log from console' I don't know what that means. However I've never ever even opened the console before so it was interesting to look at... Here is a screen shot of the the console's last activity portion which was in May of last year:


    What does "clean install" involve? I mean it was working acceptably only a few days ago. It's not bad right now but I'm definitely noticing it slow down doing certain tasks etc. Wouldn't it get back to where it was if I remove to the vid files from the HD and open less browser window and text files?

    I have a Fujitsu PC notebook that's pretty much seized (I only use it to do the location data base updates for my radar detector... and it takes forever). If I get around to doing it I'm going to remove/uninstall everything except for the bare necessity and defraggin (which I've never ever done either!!). Do you mean something like that?
  5. zeroq thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2010
    What does "repair" exactly involve; everything will be safe? There was no "show all processes" option on Activity Monitor. Edit: NM, I found it :rolleyes:

    What do you mean? Yes I do use the Finder.

    Ah! That's where you do that... however all the files appear foggy and I can't select them. Why is that?

    I'm working on many documents/files all at the same time while I'm browsing multiple sites etc. I'd rather have them all open instead of constantly trying to locate the exact file that I was working on and open them every few minutes. It's not like I keep files that I don't need open.

    Like I said I' I've nada to say :)o as I look for a hole crawl in). Anyhoo, thanks much for the links; I appreciate it. I'll check em out.
  6. spinnerlys Guest


    Sep 7, 2008
    forlod bygningen
    Repairing Permissions

    I meant this:

    I want to know what you haven't figured out yet.

    If you mean the small window that opens when you select the folder where the downloads are saved to, than that is normal, as you don't open the files or have any other use for specific files. You only select a FOLDER with that window, not FILES, that's why they are grayed out.

    Also look at your System Memory activity via Activity Monitor or iStat, and also have a look at this quite old program. As of this site, some people have succeeded in using 6GB of RAM in the model you use.

  7. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    When you are downloading to your hard drive, that will cause slow downs - are you downloading torrents at all?
  8. zeroq thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2010
    NO. No torrents.

    I tried that with my PC back a couple of years ago (and failed or quit in the middle... not savvy at these things at all nor did I have time). I'm not doing that again (unless it's become much simpler now and somebody stick a gun to my head). I'm a guy who gets this ][ close to smashing my computer setting up email accounts.

    Spinnerlys, apparently I *haven't* tried to save from the Finder. Thanks again. I'm checking all your suggested articles out.

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