Mid 2012 MacBook Pro 13" Awfully Slow

mr99

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 8, 2014
520
47
Why?

It is mid spec'd with 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD. What are some drivers that would make it run god awfully slow? My computer struggles to open safari or any web browser, takes forever to launch anything i.e. iTunes, mail, etc, sometimes the computer just freezes (beachball) for minutes at a time, I've never had a computer this slow, what is the deal?

I made a second user profile and logged out of mine + logged into that one. That profile seems to run more effeciently - why?

What can I do to revitalize my MacBook Pro?
 

rapicell

macrumors regular
Mar 20, 2013
248
58
Have you tried doing a fresh install of your OS? Sometimes that helps, specially if there's hidden junk files floating around
 
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mr99

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 8, 2014
520
47
Will it affect all of my data, files, pictures, etc? How to do it to retain all of my 'stuff'?
 
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Beecker

macrumors member
Feb 4, 2013
46
0
Michigan
Why?

It is mid spec'd with 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD. What are some drivers that would make it run god awfully slow? My computer struggles to open safari or any web browser, takes forever to launch anything i.e. iTunes, mail, etc, sometimes the computer just freezes (beachball) for minutes at a time, I've never had a computer this slow, what is the deal?

I made a second user profile and logged out of mine + logged into that one. That profile seems to run more effeciently - why?

What can I do to revitalize my MacBook Pro?

Have you ran the usual? Disk Utility, Open up terminal and type "purge".
i also use a program called "Disk Diag".

First and Second: In "Disk Utility" run "verify disk" see if it needs to be repaired. Then "verify disk Permissions" Repair the permissions.

Third: Run the program "Disk Diag" and see how much space is used up for Caches, Logs, Browser Data, Trash, ext...

Fourth:When i used to have 8gigs i would notice after a while of working with multiple programs open and running, my computer would be slow. Open up Terminal and type the command "purge". It will lag for a moment or two then you will see the empty command prompt underneath the last command "purge".

Giv these a shot and see if it helps. If it doesn't theres always backup with a fresh install of OSX.
 
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djfmf

macrumors member
Nov 28, 2012
57
0
the first day i got my mid 2012 mbp i installed 16gb of ram, 120gb SSD main drive, and put the 500gb in the optical bay. while battery life has decreased the performance is spot on. eventually i plan on swapping out the 120gb ssd for something larger, like a 256 or 512. :)
 
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smithrh

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2009
2,482
929
4 GB RAM is likely a bit on the low side these days.

I'd add RAM and consider an SSD before I'd think too much about reinstalling the OS.
 
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smithrh

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2009
2,482
929
Reinstalling the OS is free though, always worth a shot.

Barney
I disagree.

Re-installing the OS is something that people have drug over from Windows - it's not nearly as useful on MacOS.

It has costs in terms of time spent, and risk for having items go missing.
 
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mr99

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 8, 2014
520
47
Have you ran the usual? Disk Utility, Open up terminal and type "purge".
i also use a program called "Disk Diag".

First and Second: In "Disk Utility" run "verify disk" see if it needs to be repaired. Then "verify disk Permissions" Repair the permissions.

Third: Run the program "Disk Diag" and see how much space is used up for Caches, Logs, Browser Data, Trash, ext...

Fourth:When i used to have 8gigs i would notice after a while of working with multiple programs open and running, my computer would be slow. Open up Terminal and type the command "purge". It will lag for a moment or two then you will see the empty command prompt underneath the last command "purge".

Giv these a shot and see if it helps. If it doesn't theres always backup with a fresh install of OSX.
When I try "purge", it says operation not permitted...?
 
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T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,101
2,093
Oregon
When I use my sisters mid 2012 MBP with the same specs as yours it feels painfully slow to me. I've always attributed it to the HDD, my mid 2009 MBP has much less processing power but FEELS faster due to the SSD.
 
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capathy21

macrumors 65816
Jun 16, 2014
1,366
538
Houston, Texas
4 GB RAM is likely a bit on the low side these days.

This is completely dependent on usage. 4GB ram is plenty for most users who aren't doing heavy photo/video editing or running VM's.

The HHD is the culprit here. My friends wife has the mid 2012 cMBP and her's had slowed to a snails pace just like the OP. I installed an SSD for her and now the machine is fast and responsive.

It is possible that the OP could benefit from more ram (depending on usage) but that money would be much better spent upgrading to SSD.
 
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raptor402

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2011
399
2
When I try "purge", it says operation not permitted...?
Type "sudo purge". You'll have to enter your password.

Check Activity Monitor for RAM usage and pressure. It'll give you a good idea of your RAM requirements. Upgrading to 8GB memory and an SSD will be a safe bet. In around $150, you'll be able to give your MBP a new life.

Raptor
 
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SarcasticJoe

macrumors 6502a
Nov 5, 2013
605
220
Finland
So nobody's considering it could just be a crashed process? Because I've seen it be the case more than enough times to count.

Open up the Activity Monitor and check if there's a process consuming more CPU power than it should. If there is, then kill it by highlighting it and then pressing the red stop sign shaped button.

As for the idiots going on about not enough RAM, 4GB is plenty unless you're doing something really heavy. I can personally have half a dozen programs open at one time, including a browser with almost a dozen tabs, but I've never run out of RAM with the 4GB that I have on this machine. Even if you'd be running out of RAM OSX 10.9 has a feature where unused memory is compressed so don't run out of RAM.
 
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ecschwarz

macrumors 65816
Jun 28, 2010
1,293
251
Although I'm a proponent of SSDs, this machine has plenty of RAM for everyday tasks and should operate rather competently with a hard drive. Here are some things you can check out:

When you mentioned your user account not working as well as a new one - there may be some sort of process or application that is running in the background. Check your Login Items (System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items) to see if there's anything you don't need. Also, open Activity Monitor and look for any processes that are eating up a lot of CPU resources.

Check your RAM usage - open Activity Monitor and pick the Memory tab. If the Memory Pressure graph is maxed out, you may want to consider adding more.

Check to see if the hard drive has file system errors - start up while pressing Command+R to go to the Recovery Partition - open Disk Utility and use the Verify Disk function to see if there's anything wrong. If there is, repair it. If it can't be repaired, then you might want to back important things up, erase the drive, and reinstall the OS.

It also could be the actual hard drive cable - I've seen that happen on a number of these (more than one would really expect) - the hard drive acts like it's failing, but works fine with an external enclosure / USB<->SATA adapter. A known good drive also misbehaves when installed in the machine. There's something where the cable shorts against the aluminum and so the drive basically briefly loses its connection with the logic board. I think Apple charges about $50 to replace it out of warranty, although you can find and replace this easily on your own.

Finally, the hard drive could be on its way out, but I'd make sure that it wasn't the item above. These are still being sold with this configuration, so it simply having 4GB RAM and a hard drive can't be the only reason it's slow. If that were the case, a lot of the base Mac minis would be unusable.
 
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mr99

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 8, 2014
520
47
Type "sudo purge". You'll have to enter your password.

Check Activity Monitor for RAM usage and pressure. It'll give you a good idea of your RAM requirements. Upgrading to 8GB memory and an SSD will be a safe bet. In around $150, you'll be able to give your MBP a new life.

Raptor
It says data loss can occur with sudo purge? What am I at risk of losing? I have a lot of important data on my mbp.

----------

Although I'm a proponent of SSDs, this machine has plenty of RAM for everyday tasks and should operate rather competently with a hard drive. Here are some things you can check out:

When you mentioned your user account not working as well as a new one - there may be some sort of process or application that is running in the background. Check your Login Items (System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items) to see if there's anything you don't need. Also, open Activity Monitor and look for any processes that are eating up a lot of CPU resources.

Check your RAM usage - open Activity Monitor and pick the Memory tab. If the Memory Pressure graph is maxed out, you may want to consider adding more.

Check to see if the hard drive has file system errors - start up while pressing Command+R to go to the Recovery Partition - open Disk Utility and use the Verify Disk function to see if there's anything wrong. If there is, repair it. If it can't be repaired, then you might want to back important things up, erase the drive, and reinstall the OS.

It also could be the actual hard drive cable - I've seen that happen on a number of these (more than one would really expect) - the hard drive acts like it's failing, but works fine with an external enclosure / USB<->SATA adapter. A known good drive also misbehaves when installed in the machine. There's something where the cable shorts against the aluminum and so the drive basically briefly loses its connection with the logic board. I think Apple charges about $50 to replace it out of warranty, although you can find and replace this easily on your own.

Finally, the hard drive could be on its way out, but I'd make sure that it wasn't the item above. These are still being sold with this configuration, so it simply having 4GB RAM and a hard drive can't be the only reason it's slow. If that were the case, a lot of the base Mac minis would be unusable.
Thanks for the helpful post. I checked all of that and it all looks okay.
 
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MarvinHC

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2014
762
222
Belgium
How full is your HDD? When you are getting close to the full capacity it slows down the machine a lot. Just one idea that I think has not been mentioned yet.
 
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raptor402

macrumors 6502
Jun 30, 2011
399
2
It says data loss can occur with sudo purge? What am I at risk of losing? I have a lot of important data on my mbp.
By using the purge command, you remove the cache created by applications on the RAM for quick access. You don't actually lose any data. If you look at the screenshot you posted, you'll notice that you have 700+MB in "File Cache". Purge will just remove that.

Raptor
 
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yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
231
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Why?

It is mid spec'd with 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD. What are some drivers that would make it run god awfully slow? My computer struggles to open safari or any web browser, takes forever to launch anything i.e. iTunes, mail, etc, sometimes the computer just freezes (beachball) for minutes at a time, I've never had a computer this slow, what is the deal?

I made a second user profile and logged out of mine + logged into that one. That profile seems to run more effeciently - why?

What can I do to revitalize my MacBook Pro?
Buy an SSD. Then watch it boot up in just 11 seconds and watch it launch apps instantly without waiting times.
 
Comment

Crugga

macrumors regular
Nov 25, 2010
112
0
How full is your HDD? When you are getting close to the full capacity it slows down the machine a lot. Just one idea that I think has not been mentioned yet.
In fairness this is probably your problem.

Plug an external in and transfer some movies or other large files off and delete off the machine.

SSD however is a well worthwhile upgrade and a pretty easy one to do on a non retina machine.
 
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Grolubao

macrumors 65816
Dec 23, 2008
1,443
414
London, UK
Throw a SSD to it and you'll see it fly. I did the same on my late 2008 macbook pro and it's a night and day difference
 
Comment

mr99

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Jan 8, 2014
520
47
How full is your HDD? When you are getting close to the full capacity it slows down the machine a lot. Just one idea that I think has not been mentioned yet.
I'm about 50% of my capacity. I'm using 250GB out of a 500GB HDD.

By using the purge command, you remove the cache created by applications on the RAM for quick access. You don't actually lose any data. If you look at the screenshot you posted, you'll notice that you have 700+MB in "File Cache". Purge will just remove that.

Raptor
Are you talking about "purge" or "sudo purge"? "Sudo Purge" is the command that warned against data loss. "Purge" wouldn't execute for some reason.

Buy an SSD. Then watch it boot up in just 11 seconds and watch it launch apps instantly without waiting times.
From what i've read and what people on here have said, sure it will boot really fast and that's great, but i'm looking to improve the overall usage experience while on the computer. It's not just launching apps, but using them as well.

In fairness this is probably your problem.

Plug an external in and transfer some movies or other large files off and delete off the machine.

SSD however is a well worthwhile upgrade and a pretty easy one to do on a non retina machine.
I have an external but I only use it for time machine. I also looked at my HDD usage and there is something like 120GB of "other". What is that..?
 
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