MacBook running like a dog. Any ideas?

sunfast

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Oct 14, 2005
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London
My MacBook - faultless until earlier today is running awfully. Apps bouce for ages and ages (20-30+ times), copying a file to my external HD is going at about 1meg every 5 seconds, spinning beachballs everywhere, apps say "not responding" and everything is really slow. Dashboard takes 20secs to come up for example.

I've logged out, I've restarted and no change. Can anybody help me? I'd be soooo grateful :(
 

FleurDuMal

macrumors 68000
May 31, 2006
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London Town
sunfast said:
My MacBook - faultless until earlier today is running awfully. Apps bouce for ages and ages (20-30+ times), copying a file to my external HD is going at about 1meg every 5 seconds, spinning beachballs everywhere, apps say "not responding" and everything is really slow. Dashboard takes 20secs to come up for example.

I've logged out, I've restarted and no change. Can anybody help me? I'd be soooo grateful :(
Have you had any kernal panics? Have you installed your own third party RAM?
 

sunfast

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FleurDuMal said:
Have you had any kernal panics? Have you installed your own third party RAM?
Never had a kernal panic on any mac (to date!). I do have third party RAM in but that passed a full memtest and has been in there happily for a couple of months.

mkrishnan said:
Run activity monitor and sort by % CPU... what're the top few items? Or screengrab it and post it.
Ironically it has just settled down - I dug out my G4 to post and left the MB alone. It seems happy at the moment - no processes of any note at all. But it really did have a fit, and was massively unresponsive for quite a long time. I hope it was a one off episode anyway.

Is there something I could do maintenance wise to keep it from messing up like that again?

And thank you all very much for such quick replies
 

skunk

macrumors G4
Jun 29, 2002
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Republic of Ukistan
sunfast said:
Never had a kernal panic on any mac (to date!). I do have third party RAM in but that passed a full memtest and has been in there happily for a couple of months.



Ironically it has just settled down - I dug out my G4 to post and left the MB alone. It seems happy at the moment - no processes of any note at all. But it really did have a fit, and was massively unresponsive for quite a long time. I hope it was a one off episode anyway.

Is there something I could do maintenance wise to keep it from messing up like that again?

And thank you all very much for such quick replies
My set-up keeps spiking in Safari, activity rockets to 100% and then down to 2%. Is it connected to Safari, perhaps?
 

frenetic

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2004
226
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Amsterdam
This sounds very much like a hard drive failing. Open disk utility, and check the smart status of your drive. If it says failing, back up crucial data immediately. If I were you I would also run the disk utility from the install disk and run "repair disk".
 

NextTuesday

macrumors member
Aug 31, 2006
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Cork, Ireland
Might I reccommend (as a second last resort, last being contacting Apple) wiping your Hard-Drive and re-installing OS X again? (after you back-up, of course)
 

sunfast

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frenetic said:
This sounds very much like a hard drive failing. Open disk utility, and check the smart status of your drive. If it says failing, back up crucial data immediately. If I were you I would also run the disk utility from the install disk and run "repair disk".
This is interesting. I wondered about this and consequently verified the disk using disk utility. It reckoned it was all good. The drive isn't very old (1 year) so it shouldn't be wearing out should it?
 

mkrishnan

Moderator emeritus
Jan 9, 2004
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Grand Rapids, MI, USA
You are way below the "mean time between failures." But there's an underlying normal distribution. Drives do occasionally fail early. Verifying the disk actually has NOTHING to do with this though. Be careful. Verifying means that the disk *logical* structure is valud -- not the physical structure. The check for physical structure is that Disk Utility should say the disk has a SMART status of Verified at the bottom of the window.
 

sunfast

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mkrishnan said:
You are way below the "mean time between failures." But there's an underlying normal distribution. Drives do occasionally fail early. Verifying the disk actually has NOTHING to do with this though. Be careful. Verifying means that the disk *logical* structure is valud -- not the physical structure. The check for physical structure is that Disk Utility should say the disk has a SMART status of Verified at the bottom of the window.
This is remembering off the top of my head (not at my mac now) but I think it said something like SMART status N/A. Does that make sense?
 

frenetic

macrumors regular
Feb 11, 2004
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Amsterdam
I think that is a bad sign... If I am not mistaken your start-up hard disk should always be verifiable. Once yo get back to your mac check it out again.

I just had to think of a failed hard drive because that is exactly how my powerbook reacted when its hard drive failed: slow reaction times, taking ages to open apps...
 

sunfast

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frenetic said:
I think that is a bad sign... If I am not mistaken your start-up hard disk should always be verifiable. Once yo get back to your mac check it out again.

I just had to think of a failed hard drive because that is exactly how my powerbook reacted when its hard drive failed: slow reaction times, taking ages to open apps...
That's not my start up disk I wasn refering too - it's my USB2 external. Will check SMART status of my startup when I get home tonight.