Early 2008 MBP is running extremely slow, and freezes every minute

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by mac mac mac, Dec 5, 2011.

  1. mac mac mac macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #1
    I have an early 2008 MBP running on 10.7.2, and it's running extremely slow especially in the past few days. Last night it got worst. I would get a beach ball every minute, and the computer freezes for about 10 seconds. When that happens, my music would pause, and nothing works during that 10 seconds. Then the cycle repeats itself (beach ball every minute, and freezes for about 10 seconds). I only have Safari, iTunes, and Aperture opened (wasn't doing any post processing, just looking at pictures).

    I've rebooted the computer, repaired disk permission, ran OnyX, and repaired the startup disk. I don't know what else I can do. I reinstalled Lion just a few months ago because Aperture was running extremely slow. I looked at the Activity Monitor, it looks like iTunes uses more than 100% of the CPU at times, and mdworker also uses a great deal of CPU power from time to time. Quitting and relaunching iTunes didn't resolve the CPU issue. iTunes Match wasn't running when this happens. Do you know what's causing this, and how I I can fix it? Is it really time time to get a new computer?
     
  2. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #2
    It sounds like it's just a minor issue. MDworker is just an indexing tool from spotlight. Spotlight has been a headache ever since they implemented it with Tiger. I don't know why itunes is being a cpu hog, but basically when you see the spinning wheel, the computer is waiting on something. Often it's a physical piece of hardware. It sounds like it may just be slamming your hard drive. If you had disk warrior I'd say run that as it does help drive performance somewhat, but I don't really want to suggest buying stuff.

    There are a few ways to deal with spotlight and its pesky indexing. I can't remember all of it right now, but you can drag the system folders into the privacy tab so that it will stop actively indexing them. I'm pretty sure there are settings to control how often it does this, which might solve your issues completely. I think this is probably an issue of a somewhat slow, overtaxed laptop drive.

    As for Onyx and disk utility, that's basic maintenance. It will not solve real problems. I don't think you have any problems with any major hardware. I need to ask, how full is your hard drive? That can affect it a bit too, but it sounds like a spotlight bug. Make sure you don't have any peripherals devices connected, and add your boot drive to privacy under spotlight in system preferences. Reboot after this. See if the problem persists. If the spinning wheel issue stops occurring, I will search for spotlight scripts, but you haven't stated anything that suggests you need a new computer.
     
  3. mac mac mac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #3
    Thank you for your help. I have a Segate 500GB 7.2K as my primary drive, and it's about 60% full. I have two external hard drives and two network drives attached to my MBP. Could that be a possible cause also? I have the network drives auto mount whenever I log in. I already excluded all of the external/network drives from the Spotlight indexing last night, but I'll add the system files and reboot it. I hope this will solve the problem. I don't want to a computer right now. I'm waiting on the 2012 iMac with Ivy Bridge :D
     
  4. thundersteele macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2011
    Location:
    Switzerland
    #4
    how about turning iTunes off for a while, and see if it gets better.

    spotlight (and thus mds) can be deactivated, I forgot how, but google will know.
     
  5. thekev, Dec 5, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 5, 2011

    thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #5
    Yeah you can deactivate it completely via the terminal, but it doesn't always work perfectly if you try to re-enable it later, at which point you're left with messed up search functions. I just want to help him track down the problem. The HFS+ file system can get a bit laggy. It develops minor errors pretty easily which slows things down. I don't know if you recall a few years ago around Tiger where spotlight would actually affect the stability of many programs. It caused a lot of bottlenecks with disk IO in general. If it's not a spotlight issue, we can start to look into other things :), but I really don't think the OP's computer is fried in any way here.

    Oh do try disconnecting the external drives just to rule that out. Sometimes firmware issues with external drives can cause a bit of hanging in some situations. If it stops once you disconnect them, I'll think of a way to address that. Anyway yeah spotlight has caused a lot of issues over a long period of time. In Tiger and Leopard photoshop users always experienced stability issues due to spotlight. Photoshop writes a lot of data to scratch disks, and OSX would attempt to index it as it was being written. Your symptoms aren't really matching a gpu/logic board issue, which is good. 60% full shouldn't be an issue. If it was 90% that might be different. It definitely sounds like the issue is predominantly on the software end and/or OS end.
     
  6. mac mac mac thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2008
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    #6
    Thanks you guys. I rebooted the computer and the mdworker process is no longer hogging the system. iTunes is also calming down, although my music still pauses every now and then. It's strange but oh well. Maybe I'll try to reset iTunes preferences next. I wonder if this has anything to do with iTunes Match, but the files are played locally.
     
  7. thekev macrumors 604

    thekev

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2010
    #7
    I'm glad that worked. Disk Warrior might help somewhat too if your drive access is slow. It cleans up the directories so the drives tend to operate a bit smoother, but it's almost $100. I have it because I've been reliant on it for a long time. From your symptoms, buying a new computer wouldn't be a guarantee that you'd never experience such an issue again. If that laptop is fine for you on speed, I'd suggest keeping it for a while. We're unlikely to see any really amazing updates next year.

    I don't know anything about Itunes Match other than that I've heard nothing but bug complaints on the subject.
     
  8. Ledgem macrumors 65816

    Ledgem

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Location:
    Hawaii, USA
    #8
    I remember having an issue with mdworker hogging up processor power on and off. I don't recall it ever causing my music to stutter, though.

    In my case, the problem was apparently corrupt Spotlight files - I'm pretty sure mdworker was throwing errors in the Console. The procedure was to disable Spotlight, and then delete the Spotlight index from each drive and partition (and I had quite a few!). Upon re-enabling Spotlight, everything had to be re-indexed from scratch, which took a while... but that fixed the problem.

    I'm sorry that I don't recall the commands to use for this - Googling around will probably reveal them.

    Another thought: are you having any hard drive issues? Listen carefully to your drive for any weird clicking and such. If your entire system is stuttering, it could indicate early signs of drive failure.

    Edit: It looks like you're using the exact same computer configuration as me! (2.4 GHz early 2008 MBP, 6 GB of RAM... I went with a 500 GB Momentus XT for the hard drive, though.) Still going strong over here, have mixed feelings about the unibody MBP design, hoping to get a few more years out of this one.
     
  9. AnonMac50 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2010
    #9
    I know I have this slow issue on my MBP a lot, even without mdworker. Does that on Lion and Snow Leopard.
     

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