I/O slow, beach balling.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by AndyMoore, May 16, 2011.

  1. AndyMoore macrumors 6502

    AndyMoore

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #1
    I got my iMac (specs in sig) in January. The first thing I did was to use Migration Assistant to move my Apps and data from my old 20" iMac and carried on from there.

    However, sometimes it's not as swift as I expect it to be. It beachballs a fair bit on loading Apps and when booting. It's most likely down to having only 4Gb of RAM (Only 4Gb . . . my speccy had to make do with 48k :) ) but it does seem excessive.

    I had 4Gb RAM on my 20" iMac and it doesn't seem this bad. I've done the usual house keeping, repairing permissions, Onyx, checked login items etc.

    I'm wondering if it's just because the 1Tb HDD is a bit slower because it's bigger or if Migration Assistant has copied over a load of junk that's slowing things down.

    Also, on the subject of repairing permissions. It always shows a lot of Java files that need repairing but it never seems to fix them. Not sure if this is normal or not, I know with L/SL there were always a few items that repairing permissions would show.
     
  2. tsugaru macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #2
    There's an Apple KB notice regarding the Java permissions. I would disregard them, as they say.

    As for the cruft, try doing a fresh install. Migration Assistant brings everything over (if you selected it that way.) When I migrate to a new Mac, I just copy over files that I need and reinstall apps. Takes a little longer, but at least I know there won't be any issues down the road from taking configs from a different machine.

    And while you're at it, spend the $50 to get another 2 x 2 GB RAM sticks for your Mac. Or max it out at 16GB for ~$200 if you are feeling frisky.
     
  3. AndyMoore thread starter macrumors 6502

    AndyMoore

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #3
    I suppose my question is really, could / would Migration Assistant be the cause?

    What does it copy over that could cause a faster machine to slow down?
     
  4. tsugaru macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2003
    Location:
    Edmonton
    #4
    Drivers and config files from a previous machine that aren't quite optimized for the new one.

    Example - copying over World of Warcraft. Game ran fairly choppy going from my old 24" 2.66GHz iMac to my 27" Core i7. Once I removed the config file containing stuff pertaining to the old Mac and rebuilt it from scratch, it sang.

    Plus, when you use migration assistant, or restore from Time Machine, it'll copy everything. You may not have everything still on your machine (ie you deleted a program, it's preferences are still there.)

    Example - I had a couple of software programs on my i7 2009 (360 Controller Driver, Parallels extensions) that were copied over when I used Time Machine. After seeing this stuff in verbose boot mode, I reformatted again and just copied over my media data and a couple of apps, and reinstalled the rest of my apps. No more issues.

    Try booting your Mac in verbose mode.
    See this Apple KB:
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1492

    Hold Command + V while the machine is booting, and you'll get a screen that gives somewhat of a scenario of what your machine is doing while it boots.

    Or you can open up terminal and type in:

    sudo nvram boot-args="-v"

    (will ask for admin password, then you can reboot and take a look at it, without having to hold Command+V)

    Maybe something is trying to load that isn't there. In my case, I had a couple of orphaned extensions from an install of Parallels that I had removed, but I guess weren't removed from the system, and was holding up my boot time.
     
  5. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2008
    Location:
    Everywhere And Nowhere
    #5
    In some cases, it's best to drag the app a drop it where you want it and don't copy everything over.
     
  6. AndyMoore thread starter macrumors 6502

    AndyMoore

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    Feb 8, 2008
  7. rufhausen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #7
    I might first try the steps laid out here:
    http://techpatio.com/2010/apple/aperture-3-performance-fix-slow-aperture-run-faster

    The post is about Aperture, but removing the caches as described should help other apps to. You might want to the remove the Preferences files for any apps that are causing problems as well.

    This made a huge difference for me with Aperture and many other apps after I used Migration Assistant.

    I have no regrets now about using Migration Assistant instead of a fresh install.
     
  8. AndyMoore thread starter macrumors 6502

    AndyMoore

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #8
    I cleared all the caches, system and user / application using Onyx and ran through all the maintainence that can be done in Onyx.

    Didn't have much effect. :(
     
  9. AndyMoore thread starter macrumors 6502

    AndyMoore

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #9

    I've followed the advice in that article and cleared all those cache files. Once the iMac has been running a while, I'll know if it's made any difference. Does seem a little smoother so far but I'be not had enough time to properly test it.

    On another point, I'm considering bumping up the RAM. I currently have the stock 4Gb and realise that going from 4Gb to 8Gb will give me a big performance gain but is there much difference going from 4GB to 12Gb?

    4Gb from Crucial is £34 and 8Gb is £68. If I get 4Gb and want to add more later then I'll have to chuck the 4Gb away but 8Gb is a bit too much cash for me at the moment.

    Is the difference between 8Gb and 12Gb really noticeable?
     
  10. AndyMoore, May 19, 2011
    Last edited: May 19, 2011

    AndyMoore thread starter macrumors 6502

    AndyMoore

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #10
    Thought I'd add an update after running the iMac for a while.

    Clearing those cache files (that Onyx seems to miss) has made a HUGE difference to the way OS X runs. There were over 1Gb of cache files that I deleted which must have been loaded on each boot, otherwise they're a bit pointless, which must have been taking up a quarter of my memory on their own.

    My usual apps are loaded which are -

    Safari, Mail, iCal, iTunes, GeekTool, Twitter, Last.fm plus a few small background apps and Activity Monitor shows that it's still got 1Gb free, over 700Mb of inactive (usable) memory and Page Outs is low. Uptime is only 16 hours so I'll keep a close eye on it but I recommend if anyone else if having similar issues then clear out the cache files mentioned in the link above -

    Hard Drive/Library/Caches
    Hard Drive/System/Library/Caches
    Hard Drive/Users/(Your user)/Library/Caches
     

    Attached Files:

  11. rufhausen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #11
    Having those cache files brought over by Migration Assistant is certainly a flaw IMO that Apple should take a look at. I'm sure there are plenty of people who will use MA and never come across the information I found in the link above or won't be comfortable deleting those files themselves.
     
  12. rufhausen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2007
    Location:
    Littleton, CO
    #12
    I went from 4 to 8 right away and frankly, I haven't noticed much of a difference yet since the iMac was so fast to begin with. I'm sure there's a benefit in using apps like Aperture that I just haven't seen yet, but unless you are doing some really intensive stuff, it's hard to imagine 12 being that much of a performance boost over 8.
     

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