Computer has completely gone to crap in the past month

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by TXBDan, May 31, 2010.

  1. TXBDan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #1
    Hey guys,

    I've been amazingly pleased with my early '08 Macbook Pro w/ Snow Leopard up until this past month. All of the sudden its gone to complete crap. Gmail is totally broken, my network always disconnects, its really really slow. spinning beach balls all over. Its a disaster. I haven't done anything different or installed anything new...

    Is there a virus out? How can i test my hardware? I have Win7 installed in Boot Camp, i think i'll boot over there and see how it runs. I run Permission repairs and it doesn't help. I've never done a clean reinstall. It is time for a format and reinstall? Any ideas? How can i narrow this down?
     
  2. R94N macrumors 68020

    R94N

    Joined:
    May 30, 2010
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    It might be that old apps, cache files and other temporary files are slowing it down. You can use an app like CleanMyMac to remove these files and free up some space, if you don't want to do a fresh reinstall which you would have to back up everything for, if you haven't do so already.

    CleanMyMac is a good program - there's a trial version where you can delete a certain amount of files before you have to buy the full version to continue using it.
     
  3. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #3
    Every so often it is a good idea to completely back up, reformat, and clone back.

    However, if only your system itself is corrupt, then an "archive and install" option for reinstalling your system is what you want. It is not very painful. All your settings are just like you left them. The system will zing like new again. It takes less than an hour. Put your OS install disk in and select install OS X and select "archive and install" as your option. Do not reformat the drive in this instance.

    If your hard drive is nearly full, this could also be the cause of the slowdown. Why? One, file fragmentation. And two, the bigger reason, is usually because your memory is not large enough and therefore your system is constantly addressing space on your hard drive as a form of pseudo-memory (these temp files are called swap files.) The fix is to make sure you have enough memory. 2gb should alleviate most of this problem. 4gb for sure will. 1gb is not enough memory in this day and age.
     
  4. shwc macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2005
    #4
    Everything you mentioned is network related. You have a network issue. Not a mac issue (in the strictest sense).

    It is possible that your isp may have retired, stopped using, or put a lot of traffic onto the DNS sever that your mac is using to as its default (to lookup internet addresses).

    Try switching your mac (and your router) to use openDNS servers.

    See this thread.
     
  5. TXBDan thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2008
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #5
    thanks all.

    i have 4gigs of ram and this is the 2.4ghz cpu w/ 85gigs free on a 7200rpm HD. It does seem network related, but app loading and startup time seems slow as well. I actually saw the OpenDNS thread and switched to their servers on both my computer and router. It seems a bit snappier, but nothing drastic. i

    I'm tempted to format and start over from scratch. i have good time machine backups and additional backups as well. Will "archive and restore" do equally as thorough delete as formatting? i don't want any hooks or random craps left over. Just purely my apps and my personal folder would do great.
     
  6. Sun Baked macrumors G5

    Sun Baked

    Joined:
    May 19, 2002
    #6
    A lot of beachballs in a machine with "enough" memory isn't a good sign.

    The drives these days are as consumable as batteries, the OEM drives are generally expected to die.

    ---

    May be as simple as some orphaned nodes causing problems, or some slight drive errors ... run fsck in single user mode, or Disk First Aid when booting off the Restore/Upgrade disk (aka, Disk Utility/First Aid).

    ---

    And if the problems are bad enough, like bad sectors you see when running Techtool from the AppleCare download ... only a drive format/zero Drive option will eliminate the bad sectors.

    However, note that this usually delays the road to drive death where it won't boot anymore.

    ---

    Yes, mine is in the shop getting a new drive and optical drive ... since it was getting 2-4 new bad sectors daily, and creating about 1k drive errors (dma transfer error) a week.

    Was able to repair the b-tree catalog for free using "fsck_hfs -rd" under single user mode (instead of $99 for the drive repair software) and recover all the files ... but it isn't 100% effective so back that drive up.
     
  7. spinne1 macrumors 6502a

    spinne1

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2005
    Location:
    Hermitage, TN USA (near Nashville)
    #7
    If you have good backups you can restore like new and reformat. Perhaps your drive is going south as has been suggested (and if it is the problems will probably come back when more bad sectors appear.) A two-year drive shouldn't go bad, but they do. Test your drive as has been suggested. You can use your OS install disks to do a hardware test. I'm not sure which disk. Google it.

    As for "archive and install," it is a whole new install of your system. It takes your old system and makes a folder called "old system" or something like that and transfers all your settings (IF you select "preserve users and network settings," that is.) It will feel like a crispy new OS install.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1545

    Archive and install is for folks not wanting to take the drastic step of reformatting and starting from scratch. You should be fine either way. A reformat might be your best option, BUT you should do one, then the other, because if the first fixes your problem, then you don't need to do the second.
     
  8. yojitani macrumors 68000

    yojitani

    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2005
    Location:
    An octopus's garden
    #8
    You might try using a clean-up app like Onyx: http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs/english/apps.html

    Archive and install seems a bit drastic to me at this point. It could be lots of things - a corrupted plist file, a hard drive issue, a permissions issue. It is probably NOT hardware.
     

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