Mac not running as fast as it used to

Discussion in 'macOS' started by chocolate632, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. chocolate632 macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    Hey guys

    I've had this iMac 17" Core2Duo 2.0GHz w/ 1GB RAM for about 2 and a half years now, and recently it began running slow. I'm not sure if im overreacting, and its supposed to be this slow at its age, but its really starting to bug me. There's all kinds of little slowdowns and beachballs that i've recently been seeing. Safari freezes almost 2 out of the 3 times i try to create a new tab, and it just doesn't seem as fast as it should. Especially now with Snow Leopard and this freezing dock problem i'm having.

    Well, I could only think of two things i could do to speed it up. I never really did a clean install (maybe I did going from Tiger to Leopard), but the other 3 times (and when upgrading to SL), i just did a restore from Time Machine. So i'm guessing its best to do a clean erase and install on my hard drive and manually drag my files back into place. The second thing I plan to do is upgrade the RAM (max is 3GB), i'm sure that will make it faster.

    My question is: Is their anything else I could do? and will this get rid of my random freezes/slowdowns that i'm having? It just seems like my computer isn't running very "mac-like" recently.

  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    For Safari, the only thing you really can do is empty the cache and or reset it. As for the computer (which also might help Safari) is to go to User/Library and delete the Caches folder and restart.

    You can also try to download Onyx and select things to delete from your computer.
  3. yudilks macrumors regular

    Jan 30, 2006
    If you can afford to do clean install, do it!!!! Snow Leopard runs smoother after clean install.. And also upgrade your RAM too.. Other than that, you can always try to clean up the cache in your Mac...
  4. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Jul 28, 2004
    Well, since these problems were 'normal' last week, have you run Software Updates? If you are up to date, then there may be more bugs waiting to be fixed in 10.6.3 or 10.6.4, or your hard drive may have a problem.
  5. Mr_Brightside_@ macrumors 68030


    Sep 23, 2005
    Do everything above (actually I think Onyx covers this but anyway)
    Do this:
    Applications>Utilities>Disk Utility
    Select the name of your hard drive (Macintosh HD by default)
    Click "Repair Disk Permissions"
    Let it runs its course (may take some time and slow your computer)
    When done, click Verify Disk. This WILL freeze your computer, more or less. It's ok; also let it run. If it says the Disk passed verification, you're fine (should be in a green font). If it fails or has errors, it will say so. To hopefully repair this, boot of your OS X install disc (hold C on startup) and run Disk Utility off it- Repair Disk this time, rather than Verify. When it's done, it should say the drive passed, this is good. You can then reboot. If it fails, back up everything, as your hard drive is probably dying.
    You can do the same by using Target Disk Mode with FireWire from another Mac and clicking your drive in its Disk Utility.
  6. chocolate632 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    Ok thanks guys

    Deleting the caches did seem to make it run faster, but i'll try the app OnyX and if that fails, repair my permissions. Just need to find the time!
  7. omeletpants macrumors regular

    Oct 21, 2005
    You can significantly speed up Safari by adding some IP settings suggested by the OpenDNS group. Do a search on this subject in the Apple Discussions forum on the Apple site and they will tell you what settings to add. I did this a fe days ago and the speed jumped.
  8. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Two points ... I'm very reluctant to "clean install" an OS primarily because it IS destroying data. Sure, I've got backups and backups of backups, but destroying data is destroying data. (At work, I've had my laptop wiped twice because of some sort of malware; though the techs say the machine will come back just as I gave it, it never does and I spend hours trying to recreate macros, recustomizing Word, etc.)

    Plus, I feel like there might be a real reason for whatever issue is affecting a computer. Clean installs might solve the problem, but you'll never know what the problem is, and it could just as easily be re-introduced.

    Second point ... Caches might cause some delay and clearing them out regularly is probably good advice. But in a no-one-suspects-the-butterfly scenario I wonder if people shouldn't be more diligent at using Font Book to validate their fonts. Almost all the symptoms people report can be connected to displaying information. A bad font could easily be the root of Safari beachballs.

    Just a couple of points. I defer to greater wisdom.

  9. chocolate632 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    I do have a few fonts installed, but i don't really get what your saying. Should i uninstall all my fonts? (the ones i installed manually I mean)
  10. mysterytramp macrumors 65816


    Jul 17, 2008
    Your Applications folder should have an app called "Font Book." One of its functions is to "validate" fonts. Run it and see what pops up. Maybe nothing, maybe something that could be a cause of the beachballing.

  11. chocolate632 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
    Ok so I selected all my user installed fonts and validated them. I got 15 fonts that were fine and 10 that said "Minor problems, proceed with caution". What should I do now? Just uninstall them?
  12. EndlessMac macrumors 6502

    Aug 20, 2009
    I do have a tendency to overlook fonts like most people do and just checked my fonts also. It seems like I had a lot of duplicate fonts active which I fixed by deactivating them with the Resolve Duplicates feature in Font Book.

    I noticed it did speed up the start times for applications because now it has less fonts to load on startup. Thanks for reminding me to check my fonts. My computer really wasn't slow but that fix has made my applications load up even faster. I do have 250 fonts which made a lot of duplicates. I don't think it will make as much of a difference for people who have a small amount of fonts.

    You don't have to uninstall them because unless you have a backup uninstalling them would be deleting them. If you know for sure you will not be using them then just disable them. Even if you find out later an application does need them then enabling them again is as easy as going back in to Font Book and enabling them.

    The more fonts you disable the faster some applications will start up because they don't have to load all those fonts. However you only have 25 fonts so I don't think you will see much performance difference. Are you sure you selected all fonts? I only uninstall the ones that are completely corrupted and Snow Leopard tells me not to use them. All my fonts are backed up so I can bring those back if needed but I would rather get a non-corrupt version of it instead.

    Here are some other tips for speeding up Leopard but those advices are mostly true for all Mac OS. You can ignore the introduction because they are talking about Snow Leopard.
  13. chocolate632 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 27, 2007
  14. BruceMcKenna macrumors newbie

    Dec 18, 2009

    My Macbook Pro is a year old. Suddenly began running WAY slow. Much slower than what people here are writing about. It takes minutes to open files and I get the spinning beach ball. It doesn't matter what program I have running. It takes ten times as long to reboot. I have restarted and nothing changes. Any ideas?
  15. jaredelguay macrumors newbie


    Nov 14, 2009
    You could also try opening up terminal and running

    sudo periodic daily weekly monthly
    It runs some maintenance scripts that don't usually run unless your system is running at 3 in the morning.
  16. Aneschke macrumors newbie

    Dec 19, 2009
    Beachball Spinning, PowerBook G4 Tiger running slow

    Hi.I have a PowerBook G4 Tiger that is 4 years old. It hasn't been used that much because I had another computer until two years ago and I used that one 95% of the time. I've ready everything here and still can't decide whether to use OnyX or not. I Verify Permissions about once a month. I just emptied Safari cach,altho I don't use Safari. I use Firefox and it clears automatically. However, I did a manual empty just in case.

    I'm getting the colored beachball mostly when using Word. But when surfing the net, I get the little black and white spinning beachball and loading pages seems to take a lot longer than it did two months ago. I use RoadRunner, so they came out and tested their lines. Everything fine with that.

    Another problem is that my files are not where they are supposed tobe. Examples: Photos show up in my Documents folder; DDocuments show up in iPhoto albums; when I use "Find" to search my Hard Disk for a particular file, it can't find that file. But a day or weeek later when I'm searching for something else, I'll see the file I searched for.

    Typing is delayed, too. Letters don’t appear immediately when I first start to type.

    I want to try OnyX, but I don't understand that,either.I don't know which items I should check. If asked "Where do you want OnyX to put this" or something like that, I don't have a clue.

    Can anyone tell me why things are slow and why the colored beachball, and how to fix the problem? Can anyone tell me,please, how to use OnyX? Please remember that I am NOT technical. I'm just learning and don't know the language of computers. If you can tell me what todo, could you please give me step by step instructions? I would really appreciate it!

  17. Azrel macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2005
    I understand verifying permissions has become something of a fetish for Mac users, but if you understand what it's actually doing, you'll realise you're just wasting your time if you goal is to speed up your mac:

    UNIX has a set of permissions for each file, these determine who can read and write to these files.

    Sometimes, these permissions are set incorrectly, causing problems to applications who need to access them. If that happens, you'll see applications behaving not how they should. It would rarely slow them down though.

    Repairing permissions really wont help you unless your applications start behaving silly :)

    The cause for your Mac could be many things. However, assuming it is behaving correctly here's a tip. When you install programs that run in the background, like I have GMail notifier, Little Snitch, Dropbox, macfusion, (to name a few) these applications can cause your mac to slow down - because they are doing things!

    Buy more RAM! If you're running snow leopard, 64 bit applications take more ram (for technical reasons beyond discussing here), period. 1GB is not enough. 4GB is what you need these days to run comfortably (from my experience).
  18. Azrel macrumors regular


    Jun 8, 2005
    Potentially your hard drive is about to fail. You can get a good idea of this with SMARTReporter (free). It will check the SMART status of any connected hard drive, this will try to approximate if the hard drive is about to die. Be warned though, not all hard drives have this feature.

    Other than that, it could be a misbehaving application, goto finder,

    Go -> Utilities -> Activity Monitor

    Sort the processes by Real Mem, press the red button on any processes that are very big (save all your work before doing this!).See if your laptop speeds up.
  19. bearcatrp macrumors 68000

    Sep 24, 2008
    Boon Docks USA
    How full is your hard drive? If its above 80 %, slim it down. Suggest your download yasu, check all boxes, let it run. After running a few apps, take a look at activity monitor, take a look at system memory. Look at your page ins/out. If you have more than 10% page outs of page ins, this is a indication of needing more ram. This is due to apps writing to virtual memory (aka hard disk again). I'm surprised your system wasn't choking earlier with only 1gb ram. Put 2 1gb stick of ram and you will see an improvement. Good luck.
  20. synth3tik macrumors 68040


    Oct 11, 2006
    Minneapolis, MN

    repair permissions before running something like OnyX. I good rule of thumb is to use Apple's utilities then if need be use third party. Less chances of messing something up.

Share This Page