Mac slows down throughout the day

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by lara77, May 26, 2011.

  1. lara77 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #1
    Hi, I have a MacBook Pro, 1 year old. 4 Gigs of Ram. 200G hard drive with 40 gigs of free space. When I boot up my Mac in the a.m. it runs fine (does take awhile to start up, but I have a handful of items in my start folder, so that's probably why: skype, yammer, ical, etc.)

    Everything is nice and speedy at first. But as the day wears on it gets slower and slower and slower. I have to restart it every 4 hours or so. I do have a ton of things open, but they're all open at the start of the day, so I don't think that's the problem (safari, word, firefox, transmit, yousendit, quickbooks, skype, yammer, text wrangler). As soon as I restart it, it's speedy again...for a few hours. Then the spinning rainbow starts up whether I'm typing in Word, email, google docs, in a browser form, etc. and it gets worse and worse until I finally can't stand it and I reboot.

    I do have time driver that I hook up once a day, so I'm all backed up :).

    I've run onyx and it didn't make any difference.

    Any ideas at all for me? Thanks so much!

    Lara
     
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core

    miles01110

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2006
    Location:
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    #2
    Bump the RAM to 8 GB, or close applications if/when you don't need them.
     
  3. lara77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #3
    I don't think that's the problem, though. I'm not running any really RAM-intensive programs (like photoshop or video tool software). We're talking Word, firefox, text wrangler). AND....I've ALWAYS run all of these open at the same time, since day 1, and never had a problem. Why in the last few weeks has this started to happen? I really don't think this is a "need more RAM" issue. Any other ideas for me?

    Thanks!

     
  4. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #4
    My many years of Mac and Windows experience has shown me that Mac is not that good at dealing with memory leaks or memory fragmentation as some call it. The only way to deal with it is to do a warm reboot. As much as I love Mac OS, I am realistic in it's short comings, which are few.

    As much as I hate to say it, my computers running XP Home and XP Pro are much better at handling memory leaks.

    My Core i7 computer running Snow Leopard and Windows 7 Home, 64 bit does not get much use, so I am not able to comment on it's memory use at this time. I will check it out this week and report back.
     
  5. lara77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #5
    Yes, but I have always had the same RAM and had the same programs open, so that cannot be my issue. Something has changed to slow my system down in the last few weeks. Anyone else have any other ideas besides saying it's a RAM issue? Thanks so much!

     
  6. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #6
    Your hard drive is getting full. Have you added any large files or a lot of music, video, etc in the last few weeks?
     
  7. lara77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #7
    No, I've had about 40 gigs free for the last few months. Any time it drops below that I take stuff off my hard drive. Again, though, if that were the problem why would it not be an issue when I first start up? The hard drive isn't changing after a couple hours of use....

     
  8. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #8
    Your hard drive has severe fragmentation and is part of the problem. The rest of the problem is that after running several hours, the memory becomes fragmented, and then the computer initiates "Virtual Memory". Virtual memory means the computer uses the hard drive for memory when RAM memory is low. When the hard drive is fragmented, virtual memory is even slower.

    You should remove more stuff off the hard drive and then defragment it.
     
  9. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #9
    I'm curious to why you need iCal to boot on startup.
     
  10. lara77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #10
    Okay, thanks. I'll defragment. Sounds like I also need a bigger hard drive. I share dropbox via corporate account for work and I can't delete anything out of there so I'll need to boost the size of my hard drive and maybe add more RAM while I'm at it. Thanks.

     
  11. lara77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #11
    Because it syncs up with my google calendar, which I share with work peeps and I need it to send me alarms (google calendar is notoriously unreliable for sending the reminders it is supposed to so I can't rely on that!).

     
  12. Mal macrumors 603

    Mal

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2002
    Location:
    Orlando
    #12
    I would skip the defragmenting step if you are planning to replace the hard drive with a larger one. If you don't do a block-level copy, then the new hard drive will not be fragmented any more once the files are moved over. I would buy a new hard drive, install it and put a system on, then use Migration Assistant to move over the files from the old drive (you'll need an external interface for the drive to do that, so factor that into the process if you don't have one). That will kill two birds with one stone, so to speak.

    jW
     
  13. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #13
    I spent more time with Snow Leopard, and I get the same memory leaks as with Leopard, Panther, and Jaguar.
     
  14. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2009
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    iCal can send alarms without being booted. However, you do need it open for it to sync. Lion should hopefully eliminate that problem though.
     
  15. maccompaq macrumors 65816

    maccompaq

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    #15
    I did some checks to verify that the Snow Leopard memory leaks are as bad as Leopard, Panther and Jaguar.

    However, Windows 7 is much worse than OSX and Windows XP when dealing with memory leaks. That is my experience. Your experience may differ.
     
  16. lara77 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    May 26, 2011
    #16
    Problem solved!

    Hey, I thought I'd let you all know what solved my problem. Turns out it was Firefox's add-ons, especially Firebug. As soon as I disabled that, I'm back to being able to keep my Mac on all day without needing to reboot, and it stays super-speedy. Interesting, huh? Just thought you'd like to know :). Thanks for all your suggestions.
     

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