Macbook Pro Slowed to a Crawl

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Mcthings, Mar 2, 2014.

  1. Mcthings macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008

    • Macbook Pro 13-Inch, Mid 2010 (stock)
    • 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    • 4 GB 1067 Mhz DDR3
    • OSX 10.9.1

    In the past few months, my Macbook Pro has slowed down considerably, and it has gotten to the point where it is unusable.

    A few examples:

    • Starting Microsoft Excel for Mac takes 4-5 minutes
    • Switching tabs in Safari while browsing MacRumors Forums takes 5 seconds (tab switches, blank white browser window, then the tab shows up. Page already downloaded, this is an issue of recalling it from system memory, I assume)
    • Using Mail has become impossible as most clicks result in beachball or momentary lockup
    • Clicking on a blank cell in a blank Numbers worksheet to begin entering data, it takes 5 seconds for Numbers to activate the cell to allow you to start typing, then typing is delayed, etc

    Generally speaking, system parameters don't seem to be out of control (see attached screenshots). I usually have Mail, Safari, iTunes (idle or iTunes Radio playing) open at all times. Then, I only have 1 additional application open for what I'm trying to do (Using Excel or numbers, iPhoto, etc.)

    I'm not sure what is going on. I realize that the notebook is aging, but I would think that I can switch tabs and use Mail (connected to my gmail) without much issue.

    Any ideas, or tools I can use to make sure that some strange background app isn't slowing me down?

    Attached Files:

  2. ecschwarz macrumors 65816


    Jun 28, 2010
    While most people will jump to suggesting more RAM (it won't hurt), your hard drive is almost full, which can really hurt performance. Since OS X does some paging to disk for virtual memory and there's caching, having about 5-10% free can really help.

    Have you repaired permissions on your hard drive, too? Finally, I have seen computers (both Macs and PCs) that have slowed to a crawl when a hard drive starts failing (basically locking up any time it tries to read or write to a bad block), although I think that's an extreme situation, and I'd check the others first.

    That being said, the other thing you can do is replace your hard drive with an SSD along with the RAM upgrade. This will really help with responsiveness and any sort of tasks that rely on heavy disk usage (startup, opening programs, etc.).
  3. BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    You need space.

    As a rough guide, I'd generally say that you want ~10% of your drive free at any given time, so ~25GB should always be available to your OS to maintain proper function.

    Get yourself an external drive and offload some stuff (most likely video files) off your computer, or upgrade your Mac's internal hard drive. Also, some more RAM wouldn't hurt. Hard drive first tho.

    Attached Files:

  4. MCAsan macrumors 601


    Jul 9, 2012
    Upgrade to 8GB, replace HD with 480/500GB SSD, do fresh Mavericks install, enable trim for the SSD.

    I did that for the niece's 2010 white MB 7,1 and it was like a new machine. All of that is very easy to do.
  5. Beezy253 macrumors 6502

    Sep 19, 2013
    Tacoma, WA
    Like others have said,may be how full your hard drive is, or your HD is going out... Make sure you start backing everything up.. incase your HD fails in the next few months.
  6. jmdMac macrumors regular

    Feb 8, 2010
    I did this to mine over a year ago, still feels faster today then the day I bought it.
  7. makaveli559m macrumors 6502

    Apr 30, 2012
    I seen people install 16GB of RAM on those models. It sounds like the hard drive either needs to be reformatted and have Mac OS X reinstalled or you used up most of all the space or its a common one that the hard drive is going bad.
  8. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Apr 23, 2011
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    Looks like your hard drive is getting slow. It's inherent in HDD drives, even when brand new. I can testify to that, having had a 7200rpm HDD in my 15" 2011 MBP when I bought it and facing the exact same symptoms you described.

    After installing a 512GB Samsung 840 Pro SSD in it, everything's become instant fast.

    It boots up in just 11 seconds and goes into an instantly-useable state after login.

    The videos here are of my 2011 MBP after installing the SSD. Notice how fast it is now.

    4GB of RAM also seems pretty small by today's standards, especially for a 64-bit OS. The norm today is to have 8GB of RAM (mine came with 8 and I upgraded to 16GB because I constantly run VMs and need all the RAM I have).

    For 2010 MBPs, the 13" can support up to 16GB of RAM, while the 15" and 17" 2010 MBPs can only support up to 8GB. It's strange, but it's the way it is.
  9. Mcthings thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    Thanks to all. I opened the computer today to free up some space on the hdd and it's said I didn't have enough space to perform a software update. It had clearly restarted and attempted to install os updates.

    Now, I have a white screen with the mouses icon (see attached). Any ideas?

    Attached Files:

  10. BigBeast, Mar 4, 2014
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2014

    BigBeast macrumors 6502a

    Mar 6, 2009
    If you've already tried a hard reset without fixing the problem, try resetting your PRAM. If that doesn't work, try resetting your SMC. If neither of those work. Turn the power off, disconnect all peripheral devices, and then power back on with the "D" key depressed. Run Apple Hardware Test on your computer and use the reference codes for clues to the problem. Just be prepared-- Apple Hardware Test can take hours!
  11. Mcthings thread starter macrumors member

    Sep 10, 2008
    Well, PRAM reset worked, and I deleted a bunch of stuff. Now running with 36GB free. Things seem to be a lot faster now.

    Thanks for the all the help. If things slow down again in the next couple days, I'll come back and update.

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