Macbook is painfully slow

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by mrcourt123, Jan 4, 2011.

  1. mrcourt123 macrumors member

    Jan 16, 2008
    My wife has a Macbook (2.16 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo - Mid 2007) that has become painfully slow. We brought it into the Apple store just before her Apple Care expired and they replaced her hard drive, as they said there were some issues with it. I maxed out her RAM last night to 2GB (and yes, the machine is recognizing the RAM just fine). I also upgraded to Snow Leopard this morning. Other than that, there hasn't been any work done to the computer. She uses it for very low intensity things, and doesn't do much more than surf the internet and load photos into iPhoto. That said, the HD only has about 5GB of free space.

    Now I know it is nearly impossible to diagnose any problems with the machine through a message board like this, but I am wondering if anyone can offer any insight into the most common reasons a not-too-old computer with a new HD, 2GB of RAM, and the most recent OS would be incredibly slow. I keep her Activity Monitor open in the dock so she can see how much of her memory is being used, and it's kind of interesting to see. Upon start up (with the new memory installed) about 3/4 of it is free. After opening just about any program it shoots down to about half free, and similarly, upon opening another program (it doesn't seem to matter which one) she has about 1/4 of her memory free. Of course, closing down the programs free up some of the memory, but it doesn't seem to get back to that 3/4 that were there upon start up.

    I usually have a decent grasp on what is going on with a computer, but when it comes to something like this I don't really know where to turn (especially without Apple Care to eat the cost of a fix). So... anyone have any thoughts on what I should do to get the machine running at a relatively quick pace again?
  2. rien333 macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2010
    The Netherlands
    The solution is very simple: You need more free disk space. I´m sure there are things she doesn´t need (Like old photo´s) and can be deleted. If the iPhoto library is really the only thing taking space try moving it to a exeternal hard drive. If you want to see what is taking away your disk space, I recommend this app:
  3. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus


    Sep 8, 2010
    How big is the HDD? You don't want to let the free space get below 20% of the maximum capacity of the drive. Having 5GB free could be part of the problem. Also it's good that you added more RAM, but I think that particular model will max out at 3GB. I have a similar MBP from early 2007 and I added 4GB to it, but because of the chipsets at the time, the OS will only recognize 3GB. But that extra 1GB bump I got made a world of difference. Plus I added a 500GB 7200RPM HDD. The added spindle speed helps too.

    What are your page in's/page out's like under activity monitor? That will tell you if there isn't enough RAM and that it needs to use the HDD as a swap disk, and since you don't have much free space, that will slow the machine down a lot.

    Also have you updated Snow Leopard to 10.6.5? There were some improvements to RAM management in the update that some folks have noticed.

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