MacBook Pro REALLY slow

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Hengest, Oct 23, 2013.

  1. Hengest macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #1
    I have a 2013 MacBook Pro with 4 gigs of RAM, 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5 processor, and it's running so slow that it's become almost unusable. I've tried lots of things: Spotlight isn't indexing, virus scan came up clean, rebooted, reinstalled Firefox, disabled add-ons on firefox, closed all apps, etc., and strangest of all, it runs this slow even when Activity Monitor shows 98 percent of the CPU being idle.

    Is this just because I have only 4 gigs of RAM? It seems like nothing made in the past ten years should be running this slow, even bottom of the line computers. Any suggestions would b much appreciated.

    Hengest:mad:
     
  2. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #2
    I'd strongly suggest upgrading your RAM to 8 GB or more.
     
  3. Hengest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #3
    Yeah, that's definitely what I'm leaning towards right now. I'm installing a software upgrade, and even that is being stupid. It's been stuck at "About 5 minutes" for the past half hour.
     
  4. Hengest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #4
    Update: Now it's been stuck at "less than a minute" since shortly after my last reply. I'm going to let it sit for a couple hours while I'm in class, but what do I do if it never finishes updating? Can I just manually shut it down without causing it to screw itself up even worse?

    Another thing: I've heard that having too many items on a desktop can slow a computer down. Well, I don't have very much on my desktop, but I do have one 10GB encrypted DMG file where I store my sensitive files. Could the size of this file be causing it? Again, it seems ridiculous for such a new computer to be running so slow, and for no apparent reason.
     
  5. benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #5
    I doubt the encrypted dmg file has anything to do with why your computer is being slow. Too many items on a desktop won't slow your computer down. However, if you have too many files on your computer (e.g. not enough disk space), that can absolutely slow your computer down tremendously, particularly on lower ram systems (4gb). If there's no swap space for your computer, it becomes unstable.
     
  6. Hengest, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    Hengest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #6
    No, I have at least 100G of free space. But right now I've gone from having a speed problem to having an I-need-to-reinstall-OS-X-but-Time-Machine-is-being-a-piece-of-***** problem.

    Actually, I'm still having a speed problem. I have to wait about ten minutes between each click just to try to reinstall the OS. If this thing hadn't cost me over a thousand dollars I'd throw it in the trash right now.

    Edit: OS X Installer is telling me it's going to take about 52 hours to restore everything. Is this normal? Last time I tried it gave me a similar time frame and eventually encountered an error.
     
  7. benthewraith, Oct 23, 2013
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013

    benthewraith macrumors 68040

    benthewraith

    Joined:
    May 27, 2006
    Location:
    Miami, FL
    #7
    I'm really sorry to hear that. Computer problems can be extraordinarily frustrating. :S

    In that case, I wonder if your installation was corrupted at some point during the download. It shouldn't be though. Did you run Disk Utility and inspect the drive to see if it could be failing?

    EDIT: How exactly are you trying the reinstall? Are you using a bootable USB or DVD and doing a clean install? Or are you trying to install the OS again and keep the home folder intact? Are you running the reinstall from the recovery partition?
     
  8. Hengest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #8
    No, I haven't run Disk Utility to inspect the drive. I'll do that next time I can get it to respond when I click on something . . .

    I tried erasing the disk from Disk Utility and then reinstalling directly from my EHD (Time Machine). I just now managed to get online, so I'm going to try downloading a new copy of OS X. I'll let you know how that goes.
     
  9. Nickwell24 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #9
    Definitely run disk utility and make sure the disk isn't damaged. When booting your computer hold Cmd + R to boot into disk utility. I'd suggest running Verify Disk and Verify Disk Permissions to see if you have corrupt file or a bad disk.
     
  10. Hengest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #10
    Update: Well, after a total reinstall of the OS, and an upgrade to 8G RAM, it's running as slow as ever, plus I can't access the Applications folder from Finder and iTunes is skipping. This thing has aggravated me so much I now have a constant tension headache, and as a grad student I literally do not have another minute to spare dealing with this ********. This thing has already put me several days behind in my work.

    If I can get it to respond, I'll run Verify Disk, but if that doesn't magically fix everything I think I'm just going to throw this thing in the closet until winter break.
     
  11. Hengest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #11
    Update: Ran Repair Disk, everything looked Ok. It seems to be running MARGINALLY better now. Still can't access Applications though. I can only hope that its current malfunctioning is only due to Spotlight indexing, but it's often acted up without the indexing going on. Activity monitor still shows around 90% idle at times.

    If I have to shut it down due to freezing one more time, in the closet it goes.
     
  12. chown33 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2009
    #12
    One of the symptoms of a failing disk drive is that reads or write take much much longer to complete. What's happening is the drive itself detects an error, and it retries, sometimes with many repeats, until it eventually succeeds. It's the repetitive retries that produce the slowness.

    Note that because the drive itself is doing the repeated retries, and because it eventually succeeds, this won't show up as a disk error to the OS. As far as the OS can tell, the read or write worked, since no error was reported.

    One other effect of this kind of disk failure is that sometimes there will be disk errors, and they will occur in the directory structure. These appear as apparently empty folders, missing files, and other loss of file-system structure. A "Verify Disk" may see these, or it may not. If a "Repair Disk" fixes these, they may spontaneously reappear again later, and sometimes not be fixable. Repeated attempts to Repair Disk will eventually prove fruitless, as the errors increase at a faster rate than repairs can fix them. Usually by that point, you're losing file data, so that becomes the primary symptom, rather than inexplicably empty directories.


    When a disk drive is failing this way, it may or may not show up in the SMART status (see bottom of window in Disk Utility.app).

    Yes, I've had disks fail this way: slow reads, slow writes, no SMART status warning.

    The safest thing to do is get as much data off as possible, and onto another disk drive. Minimize the amount of writing to the failing disk, which means NOT doing things like replacing the OS, "Repair Disk", "Repair Permissions", etc. Anything that writes to the failing disk is more likely to be corrupted and become unfixable.

    Think "abandon ship" instead of "plug the leaks".


    TL;DR: Assume the disk drive is failing. Replace it ASAP instead of trying to salvage it.
     
  13. Hengest thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2011
    #13
    Fair enough. Thanks for all you guys' help. I'll look into getting a new hard drive tomorrow.
     

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