Mac Slow....No one can fix it

RebelYell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 10, 2009
6
0
I'm new around here and if this has been posted, i apologize. My mac is running so slow that I've almost thrown it out the window several times. Everything used to run great and then it started slowing down. After I installed Snow Leopard I feel like it hit a wall. Since then, I have gone to the genius bar and they have wiped my computer clean and re-installed snow leopard and once i rebooted from time machine, the problems are back. Next time I went the the genius bar, they put a new, larger hard drive in and then after I rebooted from time machine it was all back again. Logically, this makes me feel like I have some crazy corrupt file that I keep putting back into the computer when I use time machine, but what can I do? Safari always quit on me (I just put google chrome on and it doesn't quit, but still runs so slowly), Word takes about a millenia to load, any other program takes far too long to load, and hten it all runs slowly when I have things working. I'm in law school so I really just use the internet and ms word. I have a bunch of pictures and songs on the computer, but there is plenty of room on the computer. Thoughts? I don't feel like upgrading the RAM is going to fix the issue...I just verified the disk and it said to reboot from the startup disk and run disk repair, and I will when I get home but I feel like I'm in a death spiral here. Any help would be appreciated

Model Name: MacBook
Model Identifier: MacBook3,1
Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo
Processor Speed: 2.2 GHz
Number Of Processors: 1
Total Number Of Cores: 2
L2 Cache: 4 MB
Memory: 1 GB
Bus Speed: 800 MHz
Boot ROM Version: MB31.008D.B00
SMC Version (system): 1.24f2

Its a 160 GB hard drive with 98.53 GB free....
 

RebelYell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 10, 2009
6
0
the most demanding application running right now is "google chrome helper" at 13%ish and disk repair_packages (I am running repair permissions right now) at ~6%...

I'm not sure what the google chrome helper is but i don't feel like its the problem because I just switched to it 2 days ago?
 

RebelYell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 10, 2009
6
0
I've got a virus program that my old school told me to install called virusbarriers...just noticed that jumped to the top with 20% and about 8 additional files running at negligible % CPU...might that be the issue?
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Aug 13, 2002
6,967
370
Chicagoland
Memory: 1 GB
That might be a problem.

How much swap space is being used?

I am not surprised restoring from a backup will bring you back the same problem. You need to take some notes on when this is happening.

What apps are running?
how much memory are they using?
how much swap space is being used?

Also, how much read/write is happening to the HD?
 

RebelYell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 10, 2009
6
0
How is the disk activity? Read/write /sec?
Data Read/sec jumps from 270's to the 600's and Data written/sec jumps from 0 to the 600's.

and the virusbarrier program was only up high for a bit...now its nowhere to be found

That might be a problem.

How much swap space is being used?

I am not surprised restoring from a backup will bring you back the same problem. You need to take some notes on when this is happening.

What apps are running?
how much memory are they using?
how much swap space is being used?

Also, how much read/write is happening to the HD?
It happens all the time now. My mac never runs quickly...from the moment of startup it is slow to load apps (any of em), run them, etc. If i start up and only open a browser, it takes a while to actually pop up and then takes a while to load the page. If I open a document in word, it takes a while to do that. And I'm not exactly sure what swap space is
 

gnasher729

macrumors P6
Nov 25, 2005
16,512
3,103
I'm new around here and if this has been posted, i apologize. My mac is running so slow that I've almost thrown it out the window several times. Everything used to run great and then it started slowing down. After I installed Snow Leopard I feel like it hit a wall. Since then, I have gone to the genius bar and they have wiped my computer clean and re-installed snow leopard and once i rebooted from time machine, the problems are back. Next time I went the the genius bar, they put a new, larger hard drive in and then after I rebooted from time machine it was all back again. Logically, this makes me feel like I have some crazy corrupt file that I keep putting back into the computer when I use time machine, but what can I do? Safari always quit on me (I just put google chrome on and it doesn't quit, but still runs so slowly), Word takes about a millenia to load, any other program takes far too long to load, and hten it all runs slowly when I have things working. I'm in law school so I really just use the internet and ms word. I have a bunch of pictures and songs on the computer, but there is plenty of room on the computer. Thoughts? I don't feel like upgrading the RAM is going to fix the issue...I just verified the disk and it said to reboot from the startup disk and run disk repair, and I will when I get home but I feel like I'm in a death spiral here. Any help would be appreciated

Memory: 1 GB

Its a 160 GB hard drive with 98.53 GB free....
Go to www.crucial.com and get more RAM for your MacBook. 1 GB is not very much. You can get a single 2GB chip for about £37 and two 2GB chips for 4 GB total for about £75; adding the RAM yourself is quite simple and there are guides around here. That should help a lot. And throw that anti-virus software out; it won't do you any good.
 
Feb 15, 2009
5,486
1
Boston, MA
the most demanding application running right now is "google chrome helper" at 13%ish and disk repair_packages (I am running repair permissions right now) at ~6%...

I'm not sure what the google chrome helper is but i don't feel like its the problem because I just switched to it 2 days ago?
Google Chrome Helper is the process that manages tabs for Google Chrome. Normal to be there.

I've got a virus program that my old school told me to install called virusbarriers...just noticed that jumped to the top with 20% and about 8 additional files running at negligible % CPU...might that be the issue?
Anti-Virus programs on Mac OS X tend to take up a LOT of RAM. Is there anyway to disable it to check? Also, anti-virus programs are not needed on Mac OS X and cause more problems than they fix (if any).
 

iShater

macrumors 604
Aug 13, 2002
6,967
370
Chicagoland
And I'm not exactly sure what swap space is
Use this link to find out what it is. Either attach a screen shot here that look like that, or type up the info.

Also, do disable the anti-virus and see what impact that has. AV software sometimes scans every file opened, that ads over head in memory and to disk I/O.
 

ewilson6

macrumors 6502
Nov 30, 2006
368
3
Make sure you go into system preferences-->sharing and turn off file and windows sharing, this sometimes speeds up the computer

also download onyx and run it, click on parameters and uncheck the box that says enable spotlight indexing on startup. This should help your mac run a lot faster.

--Eric Wilson
 

Velin

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2008
1,479
915
Hearst Castle
and once i rebooted from time machine, the problems are back . . . .

Next time I went the the genius bar, they put a new, larger hard drive in and then after I rebooted from time machine it was all back again . . .

Logically, this makes me feel like I have some crazy corrupt file that I keep putting back into the computer when I use time machine, but what can I do?
Redoing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome, is the definition of insanity.

Step 1: STOP reloading from time machine. Period.

Why would you continue to do this when it may be the source of the problem in the first place? Notice I didn't say "is," I said "may be." You won't know until you test.

Step 2: FRESH OS X install. Wipe the hard drive clean, install Snow Leopard. Do all the updates.

Don't install anything else. No programs, no virus crap, nothing from school. Just a clean OS install.

Step 3. USE the Mac after the fresh OS X install.

Load and run your browsers. Open up multiple windows and programs -- iTunes, the iLife suite, etc. Is the computer slow? Is it operating normally?

If it is, then plainly you have an issue with your previous configuration. If the hardware operates normally with a fresh install, your prior software configuration is the issue. And now you can troubleshoot the software problem -- you won't need to waste time and money with hard drive replacements, RAM swaps and tests, etc.
 

RebelYell

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Dec 10, 2009
6
0
Redoing the same thing over and over, expecting a different outcome, is the definition of insanity.

Step 1: STOP reloading from time machine. Period.

Why would you continue to do this when it may be the source of the problem in the first place? Notice I didn't say "is," I said "may be." You won't know until you test.

Step 2: FRESH OS X install. Wipe the hard drive clean, install Snow Leopard. Do all the updates.

Don't install anything else. No programs, no virus crap, nothing from school. Just a clean OS install.

Step 3. USE the Mac after the fresh OS X install.

Load and run your browsers. Open up multiple windows and programs -- iTunes, the iLife suite, etc. Is the computer slow? Is it operating normally?

If it is, then plainly you have an issue with your previous configuration. If the hardware operates normally with a fresh install, your prior software configuration is the issue. And now you can troubleshoot the software problem -- you won't need to waste time and money with hard drive replacements, RAM swaps and tests, etc.
i kept reloading from time machine because the people at the mac store told me to. I only did it twice with different methods of fixing. I don't pretend to be a computer whiz...i listen to the people that call themselves geniuses. I did think about not reloading it but I didnt have the time to do so...I need access to a lot of those files all the time so I didn't have time to trial run for a week. I did get that hard drive for free though :D

Use this link to find out what it is. Either attach a screen shot here that look like that, or type up the info.

Also, do disable the anti-virus and see what impact that has. AV software sometimes scans every file opened, that ads over head in memory and to disk I/O.
I got rid of the virusbarrier program (I think, it still has an icon on my top bar? I searched for the program in my harddrive and threw everything related to it in the trash and the program that it (and only it) used for updates). Anyhow, there is the screen shot, it seems like I don't have much free RAM but where in the world is it all going?
 

Attachments

ziggyonice

macrumors 68020
Mar 12, 2006
2,385
1
Rural America
I've got a virus program that my old school told me to install called virusbarriers...just noticed that jumped to the top with 20% and about 8 additional files running at negligible % CPU...might that be the issue?
I'd recommend removing that. Virus programs aren't needed on Macs — and they just slow down your computer.
 

Willis

macrumors 68020
Apr 23, 2006
2,263
4
Beds, UK
I got rid of the virusbarrier program (I think, it still has an icon on my top bar? I searched for the program in my harddrive and threw everything related to it in the trash and the program that it (and only it) used for updates). Anyhow, there is the screen shot, it seems like I don't have much free RAM but where in the world is it all going?
Could you repost put sort by Real Ram
 

shadowbird423

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2009
274
125
Chapel Hill
I got rid of the virusbarrier program (I think, it still has an icon on my top bar? I searched for the program in my harddrive and threw everything related to it in the trash and the program that it (and only it) used for updates). Anyhow, there is the screen shot, it seems like I don't have much free RAM but where in the world is it all going?
Not good... You need a dedicated program like app zapper (Google it) to uninstall programs on macs. You should visit the Virus Barrier website to see if they have an uninstaller. Your incomplete uninstallation is why you still have an icon in your top bar.
I second what someone said earlier, WIPE your computer clean and start over. I think you should invest in a high capacity flash drive/external hard drive and back up important documents (not programs!) and plug it in when you need them. If your mac is still slow, it is surely a hardware problem.
 

Velin

macrumors 65816
Jul 23, 2008
1,479
915
Hearst Castle
so it appears that i didn't fully delete the virusbarrier, but where can i find the files that are left? are they in the library files? I have searched everywhere i know but am unable to come up w/ anything
Reread my suggestion, and do it. Clean install, use the computer, do not back up from Time Machine.

Report back to us after that.

Also, if you need certain files from your Time Machine / Capsule, you can use various utilities to access the hard drive without having to reinstall all the junk. But more about that after you first troubleshoot whether your slowdown is hardware or software related.
 

janush

macrumors newbie
Dec 8, 2009
18
0
this is a bit left field but I saw a similar post on the apple forums and a response that seemed to do the trick was to uncheck "calculate all sizes" under View in the Finder menubar (if it's checked) - quite a few people posted that this dramatically increased the speed of their mac under snow leopard.
 

melinhead

macrumors newbie
Dec 31, 2009
3
0
Similar problems

Hi, I just wanted to chime in and say THANK YOU for all of your efforts on this. I've owned my new MBP for two weeks now and have been hating life with it. I sold my old one just a little too soon, otherwise this new machine would have gone back to the store. But instead I've had to fight through the spinning beach ball every 30 seconds and a complete inability to get work done. I stumbled upon this thread while trying to resolve my own issues similar to the initial ones listed here.

A few tips here have helped. I miss Apple's Classic OS on days like this - a lot of this should have been self evident and nearly common sense, but it just escaped me somehow.

Killing all the sharing options seemed to go miles. I need screen sharing on, but that may have to wait. I shut off sharing for Windows, etc. Good move.

Installed Onyx, did the whole reboot with system CD and repair the disk. It did in fact have issues. I had not considered this since the hard drive I'm working with is brand new with a brand new system... except that then I used Apple's utility to move my files from my old MBP which obviously gunked it up.

So that's it. I didn't do a lot and already those changes have dramatically reduced my number of spinning beach balls. Keeping my fingers crossed.

Thanks and Happy New Year to all.

Mel

15" MBP 2.53 GHz, 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3, 10.6.2
 

shadowbird423

macrumors 6502
Sep 8, 2009
274
125
Chapel Hill
Happy to hear this sorted out your issues. Have you tried repairing disk permissions in disk utility? It usually helps in situations like these.
Happy new year!
 

cjmillsnun

macrumors 68020
Aug 28, 2009
2,399
45
I got rid of the virusbarrier program (I think, it still has an icon on my top bar? I searched for the program in my harddrive and threw everything related to it in the trash and the program that it (and only it) used for updates). Anyhow, there is the screen shot, it seems like I don't have much free RAM but where in the world is it all going?
Right now you are at the bare minimum for Snow Leopard. It is recommended to have 2GB.