First Mac, want to know how to clean up OSX

coasterider

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 29, 2010
219
14
Washington, DC
I have had my first MacBook now for about a year. Its beginning to slow down quite a bit, which is expected I guess. I have been looking around for ways to speed things up, but I do not know what they mean, how they work, how to do it. I have a MacBook Pro 13in, 2.53 C2D, 4 GB ram, 500 GB hard drive, running 10.6.4. I also have a bootcamp of Win7 64 bit Ultimate but I am not having any problems with that.

Apparently there is a way to reinstall the OSX that preserves everything, but a clean install of the operating system. I bought this before Snow Leopard, so do I insert the Snow Leopard disc to do it? I tried restarting and booting from the disc but I must have missed something because it just booted normal.

Anyways, advice from those much more wise than I would be much appreciated.

EDIT: I ran xBench 3 times after a clean shut down, averaged roughly 138 every time. Is this normal for my specs?
 

alust2013

macrumors 601
Feb 6, 2010
4,779
1
On the fence
Well, I believe if you boot from the disk, which you can do by holding option when powering on, then when options come up, select the OS X Install DVD, you can reinstall the OS and it won't delete your stuff. Still a good idea to have a backup though.
 

coasterider

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 29, 2010
219
14
Washington, DC
how much space is left on your harddrive?
160.03 GB

Well, I believe if you boot from the disk, which you can do by holding option when powering on, then when options come up, select the OS X Install DVD, you can reinstall the OS and it won't delete your stuff. Still a good idea to have a backup though.
I held down Option, maybe I did it at the wrong time. I have a 1 TB hard drive that I set Time Machine up on and it constantly backs up and updates. I read that this restore puts files into a "Previous System" folder or something, is this just temporary and then it restores everything back to normal?
 

TopHatPlus

macrumors 6502
Aug 1, 2010
441
0
Southern Ontario
hey i ran leopard for 3 years very smoothly and i had a buddy install snow leopard and it cleaned everything up beautifully, i am not sure how to do it once snow leopard is already installed, but the hard drive question earlier once you hard drive started to get a certain amount full it started to slow down a bit, i also have the 160 gb hdrive and i have around 30 gb left and that slows me down slightly >_< (around 5 gbs when i import video to edit it)
 

Eddyisgreat

macrumors 601
Oct 24, 2007
4,851
1
No reason OS X should slow down unless your drive is heavily fragmented, you are overtaxing your hardware (particularly memory), there is a hardware error, or there are lots of things starting up at login and lots of useless widgets.

The first tool I would use is Onyx which is freeware and have it do a removal of all the useless temp files and fix disk permissions. Then I'd go through and see if there are any widgets and startup apps that are no longer needed. Finally, use the disk that came with your machine to do a hardware test.


Activity monitor will tell you if you are running out of ram and it's paging out to your disk. If using less than 4 gigs o' ram, I'd upgrade to atleast that much. Power users can benefit from 8 Gb.

Reinstall is a tad drastic unless you've installed epic sized applications (Adobe Creative Suites, Final Cut, PT etc) and for some reason they are messed up.
 

Tim018

macrumors regular
May 31, 2009
108
1
Heres what id try.

there are two things that i find can make a mac slow down. you are out of ram, or you have a task that is using way more cpu than it should

Open up "activity monitor" (just type it into spotlight) and open up the "system memory" tab, how much ram is listed under "free?" if its less than 500mb id definitely say something is using more ram that it should or you have a lot of unnecessary stuff open (such as widgets, startup programs)

second, going up above that where all the tasks are listed and click the "cpu" tab to sort by cpu usage, and see if you have any runaway apps. if anything is idling at more than 5-8% id say something is up

hope that helps
 

coasterider

macrumors regular
Original poster
Jun 29, 2010
219
14
Washington, DC
Thanks guys for all the advice. I am currently doing a disk repair via onyx advice. Hopefully this helps. I'll also use some of the tools from onyx to clean up temp files and such. Watching the disk repair it's getting w lot of missings and error read counts.

I also noticed that it does idle with very little free ram. No idea why, I don't use widgets. And the processor idles at around 8% which sounds normal.

Edit: looking at the completed disk repair it says I have to update boot support partitions what does this mean?
 

HLdan

macrumors 603
Aug 22, 2007
6,383
0
Thanks guys for all the advice. I am currently doing a disk repair via onyx advice. Hopefully this helps. I'll also use some of the tools from onyx to clean up temp files and such. Watching the disk repair it's getting w lot of missings and error read counts.

I also noticed that it does idle with very little free ram. No idea why, I don't use widgets. And the processor idles at around 8% which sounds normal.

Edit: looking at the completed disk repair it says I have to update boot support partitions what does this mean?
If your Onyx cleanup doesn't help then you should really reinstall Snow Leopard. It automatically does "archive and install" which archives your files but installs a new system folder leaving out unnecessary problematic files.
 
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