mac mini slows down over time

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by monoguy54, Mar 12, 2005.

  1. monoguy54 macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2005
    Canton OH
    1.42 ghz mini, 512 ram, superdrive, bluetooth & airport.
    Just switched to mac & purchased mini 5 days ago; getting used to the machine and OS. Works great......except later in the day (evenings) after the machine has been on it really gets bogged down. The 'bounce' in the dock icons is really delayed and the program start-ups are noticeably slower, lots of beach balls. Watched this phenomenon again this evening with one of my college kids observing, was noticably slower in starting apps (e.g. iphoto, system preferences) than this afternoon. Re-started the machine, and things ran great, were practically instantaneous.

    As I said before, just learning the machine, the interface & the OS. not doing anything really processor intensive and hardly any multi-tasking; probably no more than 3-4 apps ever open at one time.

    Ideas, help, please.
  2. Mav451 macrumors 68000


    Jul 1, 2003
    Have you tried closing ALL running programs, and then restarting them? I am wondering if OSX is not letting go (or saving) memory from programs run earlier that day.

    CMD-Q all open programs, and then see if iPhoto (or whatever) opens just as slow. I would be surprised. I used to do this with 512MB RAM, I would close explorer.exe on my XP machine (and close everything else). Starting the explorer process again, I would free easily 100MB of swap/page file, in addition to clearing whatever crap had built up the days before.

    Now that I'm on 1GB, however, that is completely unnecessary. I don't think you have to close the "Finder" process...but perhaps quitting everything would help?
  3. risc macrumors 68030


    Jul 23, 2004
    Melbourne, Australia
    When it slows down open the Activity Monitor it could be as simple as the daily maintenance tasks running in the background - which would explain why it worked perfectly when you restarted.

    I dunno why they don't install it by default but imho every Mac running OS X should have anacron installed.

    Anyway I HTH - Activity Monitor or a terminal with top open would be the best tools to diagnose this.
  4. monoguy54 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2005
    Canton OH
    previously loaded print driver?

    thanks for the tip regarding activity monitor.

    Even though the mini is not running slow now I took a look w/ activity monitor. Noticed some activity [0-16%] by "Lexmark X73" which was a printer/scanner that I previously tried to install earlier in the week, but it did not work with osx 10.3.8. I remember seeing in another thread somewhere discussion about a lexmark scanner 'terminate-but-stay-resident' type of program playing havoc with a mac.
    Anyway, how do you uninstall the leftovers from a previously installed printer & drivers?
  5. Lacero macrumors 604


    Jan 20, 2005
    Throughout the course of a day, sounds like a program is leaking memory. Go to Activity Monitor and check your memory settings. Pay particular attention to the amount of wired memory is used at restart and the amount is used when you notice the mac slowing down. Wired memory should be at a consistent level throughout a normal day.
  6. monoguy54 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2005
    Canton OH
    thanks again,

    We forced the Lexmark process to quit and the cpu % dropped off quite a bit. it had been gradually climbing due to the lexmark process.
    Wired memory is now at 64.39 MB.
  7. deebster macrumors 6502

    Oct 21, 2004
    Olde Englande
    If the Printer driver was installed using an installer package then hopefully it will have an uninstall option in it.

    Failing that do a search in the Finder and delete any Lexmark files you find. These should more than likely be in your /Library/Printers and /Library/Startup Items folders, but also check your home (/Users/yourusername/...) Library too.

    Probably best to do a restart after that.

    Other things you might want to check are if you have anything set to auto-launch upon login/restart, which you can check from the 'Accounts' pane of System Preferences. And in the 'Printer Setup Utility' app you might need to delete the reference to the printer. Could be worth checking that first, actually.
  8. monoguy54 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2005
    Canton OH
    Thanks all for the tips and help.
    I am pretty confident that we located the issue, system has been running over 9 hours now since we found the lexmark process in the activity monitor and quit it. No slowdown; went back thru my history pages and found the post I read about 5 days ago regarding the lexmark print driver issue and the description was exactly what i observed on the activity monitor.

    if i were more experienced on the forum i would post the link here, instead i'll copy the excerpt, the thread is "Mac OS X 10.3.8 Released" and it is post "461" by autrefois;

    My powerbook's been up 1 day, 17 hours 15 minutes now. A new record I believe.

    What did it for me?

    Killing the Lexmark X73 driver in the Activity Monitor. After looking around on Apple discussions, I thought that maybe my kernel_task was the problem. I looked at the activity monitor and my %system alone was at 98.99% of usage! I restarted, thinking that could not be a good thing.

    I then launched Activity Monitor, and I saw that after maybe an hour or so of relative quiet, the Lexmark driver started to bounce back and forth from almost 0 to 20/30%. I quit it and it's been purring along ever since. I can still print thru my Lexmark X73, so I think it must be the scanner function. I'll have to test that out later.

    To test out my theory, I did the same on my PM, things went great. I restarted, left the Lexmark driver going and once again after several hours it was slowed down to almost a complete stop, killed the Lexmark driver (which took quite a while to do, the system was so unresponsive!) and now it's running smoothly the past 9 hours even without a restart.

    Again thanks to all who helped! Now I hope to really begin enjoying my switch to mac.

    Next project is to network the new mini and the old winxp machine thru a linksys router.
  9. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus


    Mar 10, 2004
    Bergen, Norway
    Don't know if deleting ALL Lexmark drivers are quite necessary... I regularly print using a Lexmark T620 and have never had any more severe problems than the occasional paper jam...

    have you installed anacron, like risc suggested, and applyed the usual wonderdrug: Repairing permissions...? Which is really a good idea whenever you have installed something requireing admin password...
  10. monoguy54 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 12, 2005
    Canton OH
    Have not installed anacron (yet). I am still only a 6-day os x user. but i intend on doing more research on anacron so as to understand what it does.
    regarding lexmark, there certainly are lexmark products that will work with os x, however based upon my research and recent experience, the particular machine that I have, the Lexmark X73, by all accounts is not yet completely compatible with os x 10.3.8. unfortunate because of the 3 inkjet printers i've had the last 10 yrs i liked this one the will stay with the windows machine running in the basement.
    thanks for the tip on anacron.

Share This Page