First birthday and maintenance?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by charris, Aug 8, 2006.

  1. charris macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Hello! I've been so impressed with the responses to questions on this forum that I thought I'd throw my own out there.

    Next week, my G4 iBook turns one year old! This is also the first anniversary of my switch to Mac. While I've been really happy with my iBook, I've noticed that it's slowed down a bit over the year as I've added programs, files, etc. I've noticed the slow-down most in tasks like computer start up and the opening of programs (everyday ones like Safari, Mail, Word, etc.). I have 1GB of RAM and a 100GB hard drive (my stuff occupies about 50GBs).

    How much of a slow-down is normal? I know there are probably numerous factors that would affect speed, but I was wondering if there's anything I can do to optimize my computer's performance. I'm not very computer or Mac savvy, but I just feel like there's some sort of "spring cleaning" I can do. Gosh, I feel stupid asking this, but should I reformat my Mac periodically? Can I even reformat my Mac? I have some spare time this weekend, so I was planning on backing up (using my DVD burner), anyway.

    Any suggestions? Thanks in advance for your help!
  2. iTwitch macrumors 6502a


    Mar 30, 2006
    East of the Mississippi
    My iBook turned 1 today, someone from Apple gave me a call (wanted to see if I wanted Applecare, I didn't). :D

    Anyway, I'm not a switcher but I love my iBook. So here's an early happy birthday to you and yours.
  3. steamboat26 macrumors 65816


    May 25, 2006
    Arlington VA
    I would say a little slow down is normal after 1 year. Some of the PCs my family have slow down within the first 2-3 months we own them. Anyways, i just revived the imac in my signature by installing a new OS, and it runs as fast as i remember (i am even surprised by the speed of my 5 year old imac). Maybe reinstalling the OS and taking some of the more useless programs (other languages and printer drivers) to save a little space might speed it up. Also, if you have an ibook that can take 1.5 GB of RAM, i would reccommend upgrading it.
  4. 7on macrumors 601


    Nov 9, 2003
    Dress Rosa
    hmmm, my powerbook never slowed down in the 3 years I used it. Could it be a relative sorta thing? (eg faster things come out, makes your once fast machine look slow). I'd say if your computer is noticeably slower it could be 3rd party drivers. My Macs have all started up a tad slower when i have wacom drivers installed. Also delete your cache files (any folder named "cache" can have it's contents deleted) Also remove old log files. If you sleep your mac at night then the log files don't get rotated out. I had a 6 GB log file once (though that was due to a glitch).
  5. iMeowbot macrumors G3


    Aug 30, 2003
    A bit of a slowdown is normal if you have a lot of software installed -- depending on what software it is.

    Programs that install little background tasks, or are set to start at login, are going to slow things down a little bit. It's inevitable, you have software running when no software was running before.

    Plugins, extensions, fonts will all take little hits here and there, not a constant drain on the system or anything like that, but the programs where they are used will take a little longer to start, or to display some menus, and so on.

    Also, if you have more things running, you are using more memory. Do you have enough for the added jobs? Maybe you're swapping a little more than would be optimal...

    Just for kicks, you may want to try creating a new user account, and try a fresh restart and login in as that user to see how response is. If there is a noticeable difference, it may give you some hints about what is behind the apparent slowdown.
  6. _Matt macrumors 6502

    Aug 24, 2005
    Back up everything important and do a clean install. In addition, clean off her case. :)

    Clean install works like a charm. I've done it twice to my PowerBook and afterwards this system feels brand new.

    edit: or just reset all of your web browsers and use some freeware like Onyx to clear all the unimportant junk.
  7. charris thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 13, 2006
    Boston, MA
    Thanks a bunch! I'll back up my files and try your suggestions this weekend.

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