Leopard sloww, choppy on G4 - possible cause

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Virgil-TB2, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. Virgil-TB2 macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #1
    I just upgraded my G4 tower (867Mhz, 1.25 GB), to Leopard from Tiger and it's performance is completely shot. Everything moves like molasses, it takes ten to twelve minutes just to boot and even blue-screens a bit, the mouse skitters around like a drunken tse-tse fly and web pages take forever to load.

    The behaviour is exactly the same in fact as when the Spotlight indexing happens for the first time, but the indexing has already completed. All the typical causes like APE and DivX have been eliminated as possibilities but the entire computer still acts the same.

    It turns out that a probable cause for my problem is the fact that the main hard drive has failed it's "SMART" test.

    I already new that the SMART status was failing when I was in Tiger, but I forgot about it since there was literally no effect. About four months ago I noticed that the drive had failed the test, but since I have daily bootable backups and I was not experiencing any trouble with the drive at all, I let it go. I am getting a new machine in a couple of weeks anyway.

    In Leopard however, the drive with the failed test shows up in bright red type when examined with the Disk Utility, and reports a "fatal error" on the drive. This causes Spotlight indexing to not only take forever (16 hours the first time on a 60 Gig drive), it also randomly fails and has to re-index itself all over again. I have allowed Spotlight to completely re-index all the drives three times already. At least 80% of the time I am using the computer, Spotlight is trying to re-index, but even those times when it's not, the user experience is the same. Choppy, severely slow, almost unusable computing. :eek:

    The point is, what was an almost inconsequential disk warning under Tiger that one has to use the system profiler to even know about, equates to a disk that can hardly be used at all with Leopard! It seems that Leopard is much less forgiving of your hard disks than Tiger was. The only solution seems to be to replace the hard drive.

    I thought it worthwhile to post this as most average users will not ever even check on the SMART status of the hard drive or even know how to. This could be a reason for very poor Leopard performance on a computer that had previously no known (or at least visible) problems.
     
  2. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #2
    A failing SMART status is fairly serious and I'd suggest you've been lucky it's lasted this long. Perhaps thrashing the disk to do the Leopard install then reindexing the entire drive has pushed it over the edge. Not much you can do other than replace it.
     
  3. Virgil-TB2 thread starter macrumors 65816

    Virgil-TB2

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2007
    #3
    Possibly yeah.

    I am mostly posting this because as I said, many average users of older machines might have failing SMART status HD's and not even know it.

    It's not like there is any message and most of the users I support at work would be surprised to know that "System Profiler" exists let alone how to use it to check your hard disks. :)
     
  4. tyr2 macrumors 6502a

    tyr2

    Joined:
    May 6, 2006
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #4
    Yeah there really should be some alerting on SMART status built into OS X otherwise you're right people don't notice.

    There's a 3rd party app called SMARTReporter which fills the gap, but it really should be there as standard.
     
  5. Capt Underpants macrumors 68030

    Capt Underpants

    Joined:
    Jul 23, 2003
    Location:
    Austin, Texas
    #5
    Have you ever thought about how, in the process of upgrading to leopard (and consequentially, the large amount of erasing and writing that the hard drive has to to during that process), your hard drive could have been pushed even closer to failure. You should take SMART status very seriously. It's a ticking time bomb until your hard drive fails, and installing leopard pushed it closer to that breaking point.

    Leopard isn't your problem. A failing hard drive is your problem. And you're lucky it hasn't given out on you yet. Back up your data.
     

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