fix for general poor performance?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by boynigel, Jun 18, 2014.

  1. boynigel macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2009
    #1
    my mac mini is a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 w/2 GB of RAM. lately it has been running terrible. something as simple as using the scroll wheel on my mouse immediately makes the spinning pin wheel appear, i don't thing it's a web connection issue as it does this in iPhoto too. my flash player is totally up to date also. when these types of things happen on my intel imac, i simply run disk warrier and the problem gets solved. not an option on the mini whereas it has no disc drive. my only option is disk utility which, unless i've been going about it all wrong, does nothing to fix the problems. any suggestions?
     
  2. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #2
    So two questions to start with... first is why do you think your mini doesn't have a disk drive? Did you upgrade it to an SSD?

    Second question is what new software or updates have you made recently? Essence of the question is "what's different since before the problem and now"?

    Beyond that the first thing I'd think is memory may be an issue; but it could be other things as well. Run Activity Monitor to see what memory usage looks like as well as cpu usage. If you don't know how to interpret what it says, run it and then when you have problems do screen grabs of what it says for memory, cpu, etc. and post here.
     
  3. jbarley, Jun 18, 2014
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2014

    jbarley macrumors 68030

    jbarley

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    #3
    You could also run Your copy of Disk Warrior on the problem system via 'Target Disk Mode', using your iMac as the host and the mini as the target.
    Another option would be to clone Disk Warrior to an inexpensive USB pen drive, then you could use that to boot your mini.
     
  4. boynigel thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2009
    #4
    i think it doesn't have a disk drive because there is no slot to slide a disc into. i've done no upgrade to an SSD (don't even know what that is). regarding software updates, i haven't done any in a few months. i checked recently to see what was available and the only update needed was for iTunes, on which i passed for now.

    i should mention that the problems got bad long after my last update. my system hard drive is 500GB, currently with 305GB still available FWIW.

    regarding trouble shooting with Activity Monitor, what am i most concerned with- CPU, System Memory, Disk Activity, Disk Usage, or Network?
     
  5. paulrbeers macrumors 68040

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    Dec 17, 2009
    #5
    Seeing as how you are running only 2GB of RAM, my guess is that would be the first cuplrit to your problems. 4GB is virtually the minimum anymore with 8GB being better. Check Activity Monitor and see if you are having page outs...
     
  6. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #6
    Okay, your mention of "disk drive" had me thinking you meand the hard drive and didn't realize you were referring to the optical drive (CD/DVD drive). You mean you don't have a way to boot from a CD to run your program. jbarley's idea is a good one; or you could borrow an external USB optical drive to use.


    What to focus on with Activity Monitor? Memory first, as 2GB memory is getting tight especially if you've updated your OS and all your applications. See which application(s) are taking up the most memory. CPU / Disk Activity / Network excesses may indicate something you didn't know was running was chewing up all the compute resources thus slowing the whole thing down. By posting screen captures of all of them, the bright people here can more accurately suggest what to look more deeply into.
     
  7. boynigel thread starter macrumors regular

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    Jul 19, 2009
    #7
    what's the trick to posting the image here? i used Grab, but this forum won't accept a tiff file. i tried changing the suffix to jpg but it still recognized it as a tiff
     
  8. fa8362 macrumors 65816

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    #8
    There's no need for a screen shot. You need more RAM. 2 GB isn't enough for anything.
     
  9. Kentuckienne macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

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    #9
    Use keys Command + shift + 4 and you'll get a small cross hair cursor .... use this to draw a rectangle around just the part of the screen you want to capture, and it will save the image to desktop as a png file. I think you can also put it to the clipboard or save it to dropbox, where you can get a link to distribute. There are other options:

    Command+control+shift+3 captures the entire screen to the desktop without you having to select anything
     
  10. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #10
    Why not just use the screenshot utility built into OSX? See http://guides.macrumors.com/Taking_Screenshots_in_Mac_OS_X

    By the way, renaming a TIFF file to .jpg doesn't change the contents any more than slapping an Apple sticker on a Lenovo makes it run OSX.

    You're jumping to conclusions. Yes it's the most likely source of issues, but by no means the only possible one. Personally I think it's smarter to make a recommendation based on the actual evidence instead of just assuming. Especially when you're (effectively) spending someone else's hard earned money.
     
  11. boynigel thread starter macrumors regular

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  12. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #12
    Okay, good info. First, about your 2GB of RAM. As suggested, it's usually better to have 4GB at minimum these days, often 8GB depending on what you're doing. However your screenshot shows you'd not even used all 2GB at the time you took it. See here for explanation of the Free/Wired/Active/etc: http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1342

    So yes it'd be nice to upgrade your memory (RAM), but it likely wouldn't solve the issue at hand. This is why it's good not to jump to conclusions as some have; you'd have spend some money and not been any better off.

    I'm thinking the HPShortcutManager software is what's impacting your system. A quick Google on that process name comes up with the following links:

    Based on the info in those links, my recommendation is try the following steps and see if it helps the situation:

    I'm also mildly curious why Firefox is using so much CPU, but I suspect the HP software is the main trouble maker.
     
  13. Jambalaya macrumors 6502a

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    Jun 21, 2013
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    UK
    #13
    EDIT: I've seen what's posted above so perhaps my comments lack finesse but I stand by them, IMO if you are going upgrade RAM skip 4 and go to 8.

    Definitely too little RAM, my base spec Mini with 2gb RAM and 160hdd ran like a dog. 8GB RAM will sort you out. If you wish you can add an SSD or new HDD too, I put in a Western Digitial Black 750HD, runs at 7200 rpm and was cheap for storage. Plenty of how to threads on here.

    ----------

    FYI to change format just open in Preview and save as / export
     
  14. ticotoo macrumors member

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    Jul 8, 2010
    #14
    failing hard drive

    Typically what you are seeing can be a indication of a failing hard drive. The drive is continuing to reread sectors and/or remapping bad sectors on the fly. That results in very long data access times. The other suggestion are fine, but I always check the hard drive. However, many times a HD will pass the simple tests at boot up or those run through disk utilities. or a S.M.A.R.T check. It may be a good time to just replace the HD with a SSD. It will seem like you have a "new" computer. The speedup is significant.
     
  15. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #15
    OP wrote above:
    [[ my mac mini is a 2.3 GHz Intel Core i5 w/2 GB of RAM ]]

    This is a "late 2012" Mini with USB3, is this correct?

    If that's the case, I'd do this:

    1. Install a SINGLE 8gb RAM board into one of the memory slots (either one will do).
    This will "bump you up" to 8-9gb of RAM, shouldn't have "memory problems" after that.

    2. You said you didn't even know what an SSD is -- it's a "solid state drive", FAR faster than a spinning hard disk drive (HDD). Since you probably aren't inclined to be opening the Mini to install an SSD (which can be a risky job), you can add one externally and get a -BIG- jump in speed.

    Here's what you need to do that:
    a. An SSD, of course. Right now the "sweet spot" in pricing is in the 240-256gb range. A "bare drive" will run you about $100-130 (depending where you buy and what's on sale). I'd suggest either a Samsung, a Crucial, or an Intel drive.
    b. An enclosure or "dock" to put the drive into. I'd suggest this:
    http://www.amazon.com/Optimized-Ina...190901&sr=8-1&keywords=inateck+usb3+sata+uasp

    Installation couldn't be easier. You just:
    - push off the top cover
    - slip SSD into slot
    - put top cover back on
    - initialize SSD with Disk Utility
    - install a copy of the OS onto it
    - move your accounts over to it
    IMPORTANT: unless you get a higher-capacity drive (say, 480gb which runs about $200+/-), you will have to be selective about how much you copy over. Some large files, such as movies, can be "left behind" on the internal HDD and run that way.
     
  16. deeddawg macrumors 604

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    #16
    Can't be. The late 2012's weren't offered with 2GB RAM and the i5 was 2.5GHz; last model with 2GB was the base 2011 which also matches the 2.3GHz i5 and thus no USB3http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mac_Mini

    With page outs at 60KB, swap used of 2.9MB, Free memory almost 300MB, and Inactive memory at over 300MB the existing 2GB of ram wasn't even fully used at the time of the screen grab.
    Tell me again how would adding another 7GB of Free memory would help? :D

    Kidding of course -- yes, a memory upgrade is probably worthwhile, and an SSD is also a great investment, but look at the presented evidence first. I strongly suspect the HP printer software first.

    Also - an SSD upgrade is going to be a lot more involved in this instance. Based on the posts, probably best to have a shop take care of it as I suspect the OP doesn't has a lot of experience digging around fragile computer innards.
     
  17. BJonson macrumors 6502a

    BJonson

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2010
    #17
    A ram upgrade and an SSD upgrade and a place to do it for you will run you about $300. That is cheaper than buying a new computer but believe me when I tell you if you add 8gb of ram and an SSD you won't believe how fast your computer is going to be.
     
  18. mr.steevo macrumors 65816

    mr.steevo

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2004
    #18
    Just a stale fact.

    Disc = CD/DVD/etc.

    Disk = Hard drive disk

    The original poster was correct in saying the mini does not have a disc drive.
     
  19. Kentuckienne macrumors regular

    Kentuckienne

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    Sep 19, 2013
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    No>me<where
    #19
    I don't have any HP software on my Mac, but I had an HP printer on my PC that installed a bunch of code for its "utilities" and it took me almost a year to figure out it was killing me. Eating up CPU, causing memory conflicts, BSOD ... I spent a couple of hours uninstalling and then purging every HP thing I could find out of the registry except the one printer driver, and it was back to "normal".
     
  20. Fishrrman macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #20
    One other thought for the OP:

    If you are using Mavericks (or Yosemite), GO BACK to Mountain Lion 10.8.x.
     

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