MBP runs like a dog

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by jeremyschultz, Jun 5, 2007.

  1. jeremyschultz macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Clive, Iowa USA
    #1
    Hi, I bought the last MBP in November when it came out—got the top-end model with 3GB RAM. The problem is that now it runs extremely slow:

    • A few minutes to boot up and everything is sluggish for a few minutes afterward
    • Launching a big app like CS3 or Entourage takes a couple minutes
    • The beach ball happens a lot with anything from using a drop-down menu to opening Firefox

    I assumed part of it was a lack of hard drive space (140GB used out of 150GB) so I got that down to 100GB and used Disk Utility and a maintenance app to optimize everything, but the improvement is only marginal. My next thought is to get 50GB more hard drive space by moving things over to an external drive.

    Any ideas?

    Jeremy
     
  2. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #2
    Makes me wonder if you have bad RAM or some other problem in need of warranty service.

    Some suggestions in no particular order:

    1. Look in Activity Viewer to see if you're running CPU-hogging apps or widgets all the time--even accidentally. Something in your Login Items or Dashboard could be a dud.

    2. Run YASU (free at versiontracker.com)

    3. Run the Hardware Test off of the DVD.
     
  3. StayingOccupied macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    #3
    Is it pheasable to store everything on your external and wipe clean and re-install OSX and programs?
     
  4. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #4
    Sure - just make sure you have a full backup. It may be needless aggravation though if you haven't tried all other fixes first. (Or if you have defective hardware/RAM.)

    If you're reinstalling the OS and all apps fresh, then everything you need should be in your Home folder. (Just keep it simple by using the same account/home name when you re-install.) Back up the whole Users folder to get all accounts including the Shared folder if you use that.

    There may also be custom stuff you have installed in the root Library--like screensavers, fonts, etc. if you have installed them for all users instead of just your main account.
     
  5. StayingOccupied macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2007
    #5
    I was asking him :p
     
  6. jeremyschultz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Clive, Iowa USA
    #6
    Activity Monitor shows that the CPU gets taxed relatively little—usually runs around 10–25%, and most apps aren't using much CPU. I do notice that my Entourage and Firefox cause it to spike over 50% for some reason—wouldn't expect them to do that. They tend to be my worst offenders.

    I do have some Dashboard widgets, I will try uninstalling all those and see if it helps.

    I can try reinstalling everything, but will try everything else before I do that.

    Jeremy
     
  7. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #7
    If your CPU isn't being taxed, then that's not the problem. I wouldn't worry about your widgets.
     
  8. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #8
    Agreed. You've got something else going on. Your HD should be checked next, using fsck if you know how or by restarting on your restore disk and running Disk Utility if you don't.
     
  9. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #9
    You can also run disk repair simply by holding Shift when you restart. (Which also puts you in Safe mode--which is a good test too: us your machine still slow? Then restart again to get out of Safe mode.)

    But disk repair that way doesn't show you any feedback or tell you if it found anything. Probably there's a log some place with that info, but if you have your DVD handy, that's an easy method that gives you feedback.
     
  10. Planner Dude macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 31, 2006
    #10
    Woof!

    All the Dogs I know can run pretty fast...four legs are better than my two!:D
     
  11. jeremyschultz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Clive, Iowa USA
    #11
    Thanks for the help, I had run Disk Utility a few days ago off the install disk and did it again just now—both internal and external disks are good to go. But the problems seem to persist.

    I used Activity Monitor tonight and made some observations:

    • CPU is never taxed, RAM is never more than 50% used
    • Disk Activity gets really active during use
    • Most applications are hanging every time they are launched

    I think it is a disk issue like you have said, I'm not sure now if I need to find a better disk utility or take it down to the Apple Store for testing.

    Jeremy
     
  12. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #12
    I'd run the Hardware Test next then.

    And make a backup of important files ASAP. Mail, addressbook and bookmarks are all in your Home/Library.

    Good luck!
     
  13. crees! macrumors 68000

    crees!

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2003
    Location:
    MD/VA/DC
    #13
    And how much RAM does it say you actually have in System Profiler? I've dropped down to 1/2 of what I've originally had because of bad RAM. Never knew till I checked what it was registering.
     
  14. Ibjr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Eastern seaboard
    #14
    Take it to an Aple store and talk to a genius.
     
  15. DsurioN macrumors regular

    DsurioN

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2007
    #15
    Any computer will do this after a while. Macs are no exception. I recommend backing everything up and installing OS X fresh. It always makes a big difference for me. Then watch which programs you install and which affect your performance the most. Also watch out for programs running under rosetta. Especially ones that run in the background... such as the Office 2004 services.
     
  16. Ibjr macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Eastern seaboard
    #16
    Ah, maybe if you are using XP but unless you played around with kernel extensions and apps that loaded on start up this shouldn't be happening. XP gets slower b/c of the register, startup apps, and bloated AV software.
     
  17. keenkreations macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 20, 2005
    #17
    I had something like this happen to me before. The programs were not launching slow, but some programs would not launch at all. My Photoshop CS 2 was refusing to open, and so was my Office applications. What I ended up doing was to backup the hard drive and re-install the OS by using the option "Archive and Install". That fixed all my problems that I had with my MPB. In retrospect, I think me using Monolingual was a bad idea, since it took out more files than I expected, but I am not exactly sure if my deduction is correct.
     
  18. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #18
    Not so. Windows may slow down over time, but OS X does not unless something has gone wrong. I've been using the same install that came on each of my Macs--going back 4+ years and misc. dirty updates--and never had that problem. Slowdown over time is not the norm for Macs.
     
  19. Fwink! macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2002
    Location:
    Earth
    #19
    Depends on how you use your mac, you could have a fragmented drive (yes it does still occur).

    I like DiskWarrior & Drive Genius to keep things in order.

    Not as much with my MBP, but definately the desktop G4's (old but good).
     
  20. jeremyschultz thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2006
    Location:
    Clive, Iowa USA
    #20
    Cool, thanks for the info everyone. I agree that this performance hit isn't just a natural occurrence. I will try archiving and reinstalling OS X and then go to the Apple Store and see what they say.

    I checked my memory, and System Profiler does see 3GB. Over the course of use I do notice it uses more and more memory, but much of it is listed as "inactive" and at least 1GB stays "free."
     
  21. nownot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2007
    Location:
    tx
    #21
    i know what the problem is ....... the economy.
     
  22. grabaslab macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2002
    Location:
    all over
    #22
    Slowdown

    I agree with Nagromme. We've been running 4 Macs (2 laptops, 2 towers) for 4 years now, and I've never needed to do a re-install. There are, however, a few other things to look at that may help. While a disk clean up is definitely indicated, you should also look at login items; get rid of as many as these things as possible, as well as launchers like overflow and dragthing. I've found butler to be quite good w/o slowing me down. Other culprits can be heavy hitting apps like the CS3 suite. Heavy apps like these tend to install a whole bunch of extras that would only be useful on large scale setups (project collaboration software and TSRs/login items). i tend to turn as many of these off as possible. While CS2 and CS3 are largely indispensable, they do add some clutter. Also, look at your fonts; prune them and run font doctor. I;ve had font conflicts and corrupt fonts bring a dual pricessor tower to its knees. Worse, you immediately re-import your problem after a re-install when you bring back your fonts. I don't trust apps like Monolingual, it's buggered me before.. lastly, there's little stuff like turning off aid for assistive devices, file sharing, and such Although it's only a slight hit, It all counts. Check your fonts. Corrupt Fonts are notoriously hard to find and clean out, as are font conflicts. Good Luck.
     
  23. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #23
    It's funny, but no matter how often you tell people that a reinstall isn't necessary and probably won't help, a lot of them will go right ahead and do it anyway.
     
  24. nagromme macrumors G5

    nagromme

    Joined:
    May 2, 2002
    #24
    It's overkill usually, but it does fix most things--which is why tech support is so quick to suggest it sometimes.
     
  25. YellowMac macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2006
    Location:
    Seoul, South Korea
    #25
    Getting back to helping a brother out...

    I've had slowdown problems before with a couple usual culprits. Luckily, you don't have to deal with the registry or a dll version nightmare. I don't miss those days.

    Try:
    1. Create a new user account and try logging in as that user from startup (without being logged in twice!). Test for speed. If it's not sluggish, the problem is probably somewhere in your user prefs and setup. Move on to step 2.

    2. Turn off all of the items in your 'Startup Items' Control Panel. Test for speed. If this doesn't help, move to step 3.

    3. In Activity Monitor, look through your active processes for things that look 'out of place'. Anything starting with "HP" (usually part of their All-in-one printer software package) can slow your computer to a crawl. You can search for these app names on your computer and delete them. /Library/Printers/HP and the Applications folder is a good place to start.

    4. Kill unnecessary Dashboard widgets. I'd try killing them all, and seeing if that does anything. Then add them back one-by-one until you slow down again.

    5. I'd continue, but I'm pretty sleepy. Lots of good tips can be found at the following site:
    http://www.macmaps.com/Macosxspeed.html

    If step 1 gets you running at normal speed, it's a setup/software issue 99.9% guaranteed. If not, then you might unfortunately have a hardware issue.
     

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