Extreme OSX Slowness is Killing Me!!!! Something Must be wrong...

kbonnel

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2004
469
0
In a nice place..
Hello Everybody,

Hopefully somebody can help me out here. In the last day and a half my Powerbook 15" 1.5GHZ has been acting very very strange. I don't know if I have a hardware problem, but OSX isn't working the way it normally does. When I boot the system up, everything usually works ok, but when I start to open applications the system slows to a stop. I spend more of my time looking at the darn circle color wheel!!! After about 30 seconds of that (maybe a minute) the application will come up (safari for example). I will open a web page and the system will hang again. I can still move my mouse around. During this state I can start other applications but they just bounce in the bar and do nothing. At least not for 30 seconds to a minute then everything seems to go forward a bit and then the system will hang again.

I have run Disk Utility five times, and each time some new permission/ownership issue will get fixed, but the system still isn't working properly.

Any Ideas?

Here are my specs:

PB 1.5GHZ 15"
1.5GB Ram
80GB 5400 RPM Drive (24GB free)
2xFW400 Drives (disconnected at the moment until I figure out the problem)
10.3.8

P.S. the system has been running fine for months, with no new hardware/software additions since the last apple update.
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
Try running the program Activity Monitor in /Application/Utilities. Then try sorting on the %CPU column - which program is taking up all the CPU?

Also there are tabs along the bottom. Look at "Disk Usage" - is it almost full? Also look at "System Memory" is it also all used?

Maybe also open System Preferences/Accounts and look at the login items for your user. Try removing all the programs from there. It could be one of these startup items is crashing and taking up your CPU.
 

kbonnel

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2004
469
0
In a nice place..
Thx for the info, I will do those things very soon. I am currently testing my startup disk. Whenever I do anything on the disk, the system dies. Hopefully it isn't the problem (but it would be nice to know what is wrong).

Anybody have a disk replaced from apple? How long does it take? Do apple stores do this, or do you have to ship it to apple?

Thx

Kimo

broken_keyboard said:
Try running the program Activity Monitor in /Application/Utilities. Then try sorting on the %CPU column - which program is taking up all the CPU?

Also there are tabs along the bottom. Look at "Disk Usage" - is it almost full? Also look at "System Memory" is it also all used?

Maybe also open System Preferences/Accounts and look at the login items for your user. Try removing all the programs from there. It could be one of these startup items is crashing and taking up your CPU.
 

kbonnel

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2004
469
0
In a nice place..
Update:

I did a disk scan on my boot disk, and nothing seemed to be wrong. Something must going on. When I rebooted to OSX it took forever. (a couple of minutes). When I was able to start the activity monitory, the only process that seems to take any cpu time is the "WindowServer" process. Whenever I move a window around, say the Safari window, the cpu usage jumps between 20 - 30 percent. And it stays like that for a long period of time (30 seconds at least). Then it drops back down to 1 - 4 percent usage. Moving the mouse around the screen can make it jump up to 60% usage. Anybody else see this?

As for my disk/memory usage, I have 24Gigs free of disk, and over a gig free of memory.

One last thing, is it common for ownership/permissions of files/directories to keep changing? When I use the disk utility I always seem some incorrect setting that it fixes.

Kimo
 

mmmdreg

macrumors 65816
Apr 14, 2002
1,393
0
Sydney, Australia
my old computer started going reaaaally slow.. boot ups taking 15 minutes and stuff.. it turned out to be a bad hard drive, even though utilities showed it being fine. Could be.. =)
 

kbonnel

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2004
469
0
In a nice place..
Well I just did a hardware test, and I get the following:

Mass Storage: Error detected

Error Code
2STF/4/3: ATA-100 ata-6 - Master

The error showed up 1min and 13 seconds into the test.

I wonder if it is a harddrive error or a controller error.

Any ideas?

Kimo

mmmdreg said:
my old computer started going reaaaally slow.. boot ups taking 15 minutes and stuff.. it turned out to be a bad hard drive, even though utilities showed it being fine. Could be.. =)
 

broken_keyboard

macrumors 65816
Apr 19, 2004
1,144
0
Secret Moon base
kbonnel said:
When I was able to start the activity monitory, the only process that seems to take any cpu time is the "WindowServer" process. Whenever I move a window around, say the Safari window, the cpu usage jumps between 20 - 30 percent. And it stays like that for a long period of time (30 seconds at least). Then it drops back down to 1 - 4 percent usage. Moving the mouse around the screen can make it jump up to 60% usage. Anybody else see this?

As for my disk/memory usage, I have 24Gigs free of disk, and over a gig free of memory.
All of that is perfectly normal, so it is not a software problem.
Just more evidence that is the hard drive...
 

Nuc

macrumors 6502a
Jan 20, 2003
798
6
TN
What about your ram

I've heard of people's ram going bad. Did you buy this from the apple store or 3rd party? If you bought it 3rd party take out the 3rd party ram and try it with the stock ram... If this doesn't work then you have that to check off your list for possible problems...

This is my opinion, and is probably what I would do before getting the HD replaced from apple....

Hope things work out for you!

Nuc

Edit: sorry didn't read your last post. Hope you get it fixed fast!
 

kbonnel

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 1, 2004
469
0
In a nice place..
Yea ram is one of the things I was thinking about, but from what people have been reporting, bad ram usually leads to system crashes, etc. My OSX environment is stable as a rock, even with a bad hard drive :) While I never had ram go bad on me, I am sure there is a time in the future just waiting with my name on it.

Hopefully I can figure out the best way to get it replaced.

Kimo

Nuc said:
I've heard of people's ram going bad. Did you buy this from the apple store or 3rd party? If you bought it 3rd party take out the 3rd party ram and try it with the stock ram... If this doesn't work then you have that to check off your list for possible problems...

This is my opinion, and is probably what I would do before getting the HD replaced from apple....

Hope things work out for you!

Nuc

Edit: sorry didn't read your last post. Hope you get it fixed fast!
 

Similar threads

  • xWhiplash
9
Replies
9
Views
1K
  • Reality4711
3
Replies
3
Views
967
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.