My MacBook Pro is running slow

sirkification

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
16
0
My early 2011 MacBook Pro has all of the sudden gone painfully slow. I must admit, I've failed to turn it off the last few days. Before I continue here are the specs

Processor: 2.3 GHz intel Core i5
Memory: 4gb
Graphics: Intel HD graphics 3000 384mb

I've looked on past threads and the two options I have noticed are to do a little trick before starting up my laptop and switching the power to my wall and press the shift, alt and command key while holding the power button for 10 seconds. That didn't work. I've also just plain restarted my laptop and that didn't work either. The other option is to use the command "purge" or "sudo purge" as I have mavericks installed. However when it prompts me with my password, it won't let me enter anything in so once I hit enter I get the message "sorry, try again". Almost forgot the details I'm getting from the activity monitor. I don't know what these mean, so if someone could care to tell me, it would be much appreciated

CPU
System: 77-84%
User: 1.09%
Idle: 21.15%

Memory
Physical memory: 4.00gb
Memory used: 2.88gb
Virtual memory: 4.00gb

CPU details are ranges each second so it was hard to get an exact reading. If anyone could help me out that would be great! I would love to be able to go on a website with out waiting for long time again.
Also I've noticed one process name that is taking a lot of my CPU. Kernal_task. 284-300%. CPU time - 1:27:30.75
 

simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
The kernel is a core part of the OS, I would wait it out, it should calm down soon (maybe Spotlight is indexing). Also see what else (if anything) is using a lot of CPU power, sometimes that can trigger the kernel to work hard.

Can you post a screenshot of activity monitor showing CPU usage?
 

johnnnw

macrumors 65816
Feb 7, 2013
1,211
18
I'm assuming you've tried restarting?

Besides the kernel panic, I found an unrelated thing making mine slow was the terrible 5400rpm hard drive. Everything in general was sluggish and I upgraded to an ssd and could not be happier. iTunes went from 7 bounces to open to not even one now. WAY snappier, which I like.
 

sirkification

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
16
0
Here are the screenshots.

John, I just replaced my harddrive under applecare because it failed. For some reason they didn't give me the exact replacement and bumped up the space from 320gb to 500gb. However that was almost 3 months ago and I've only just reached 100gb. Might be a silly question, but could that upgrade be the problem?
 

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simon48

macrumors 65816
Sep 1, 2010
1,315
88
Here are the screenshots.

John, I just replaced my harddrive under applecare because it failed. For some reason they didn't give me the exact replacement and bumped up the space from 320gb to 500gb. However that was almost 3 months ago and I've only just reached 100gb. Might be a silly question, but could that upgrade be the problem?
The upgrade shouldn't be a problem. How long has has it been up and running like this? Have you tried restarting? Normally this just means there's some maintenance going on and it will calm down shortly.
 

TechZeke

macrumors 68020
Jul 29, 2012
2,366
1,981
San Antonio, TX
What's up with all the threads about base model 13" 2011 MacBooks pros acting slow lately? This has been like 3rd the thread on this specific model.

As such, my response for this will be the same as the others: Upgrade to at least 8gb of RAM and a new SSD and the problems will be solved.
 

sirkification

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
16
0
The upgrade shouldn't be a problem. How long has has it been up and running like this? Have you tried restarting? Normally this just means there's some maintenance going on and it will calm down shortly.
It's been running like this for a few days now. I've tried restarting numerous of times. I've had a friend that suggest to reformat everything, but no one ever wants to do that.

Tech, I would upgrade the ram and hard drive but I don't really have the money for it at the moment as I am saving up to build my own PC seeing that the new mac pro is way out of my budget.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
It's been running like this for a few days now. I've tried restarting numerous of times. I've had a friend that suggest to reformat everything, but no one ever wants to do that.

Tech, I would upgrade the ram and hard drive but I don't really have the money for it at the moment as I am saving up to build my own PC seeing that the new mac pro is way out of my budget.
It is a pain to reformat but is the best method. What happens on a fresh reboot? What type of CPU usage are you seeing with kernal_task on a fresh startup?
 

sirkification

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
16
0
It is a pain to reformat but is the best method. What happens on a fresh reboot? What type of CPU usage are you seeing with kernal_task on a fresh startup?
That screenshot is on a fresh reboot, you can see the graph hasn't even made it's way to the other side of it. The only time I've noticed it going back to it's normal speed is when I wake my computer from sleep but after a few seconds, it's back to being slow again. I've also noticed that my fan has been going pretty much non stop while I'm at my computer. Usually there is a few moments of silence, but I constantly hear it.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
That screenshot is on a fresh reboot, you can see the graph hasn't even made it's way to the other side of it. The only time I've noticed it going back to it's normal speed is when I wake my computer from sleep but after a few seconds, it's back to being slow again. I've also noticed that my fan has been going pretty much non stop while I'm at my computer. Usually there is a few moments of silence, but I constantly hear it.
I would personally do a reinstall but keep all data in tact to start with.

http://support.apple.com/kb/PH10763

Same thing applies with Mavericks. It will keep all data but have a good backup anyway. If that fails, do a full wipe and reinstall.
 

yjchua95

macrumors 604
Apr 23, 2011
6,725
230
GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
Here are the screenshots.

John, I just replaced my harddrive under applecare because it failed. For some reason they didn't give me the exact replacement and bumped up the space from 320gb to 500gb. However that was almost 3 months ago and I've only just reached 100gb. Might be a silly question, but could that upgrade be the problem?
Looks like kernel_task has gone haywire. I used to have this problem on my 2011 15" MBP and the only way to solve the problem was a reformat. After a fresh install, the problem disappeared.

In my case, the kernel_task would go haywire from startup and even prevented my MBP from shutting down (no choice but to force shutdown).
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,089
444
Elkton, Maryland
Looks like kernel_task has gone haywire. I used to have this problem on my 2011 15" MBP and the only way to solve the problem was a reformat. After a fresh install, the problem disappeared.

In my case, the kernel_task would go haywire from startup and even prevented my MBP from shutting down (no choice but to force shutdown).
Did you attempt to reinstall without wiping the drive?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,307
8,951
California
That screenshot is on a fresh reboot, you can see the graph hasn't even made it's way to the other side of it. The only time I've noticed it going back to it's normal speed is when I wake my computer from sleep but after a few seconds, it's back to being slow again. I've also noticed that my fan has been going pretty much non stop while I'm at my computer. Usually there is a few moments of silence, but I constantly hear it.
Try a couple things...

Do a safe mode boot by holding the shift key when booting. That clears some cache files and also strips out any login/startup items. Does it do this in safe mode?

Also try making a new temp user account and login to that account. Does it still do it there? If it does not that tells us it is something about your account causing the issue.
 

sirkification

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
16
0
Try a couple things...

Do a safe mode boot by holding the shift key when booting. That clears some cache files and also strips out any login/startup items. Does it do this in safe mode?

Also try making a new temp user account and login to that account. Does it still do it there? If it does not that tells us it is something about your account causing the issue.
Both still show the same result. I'm attempting to reformat everything now. Reinstalling the OS didn't do anything. Just to double check I am doing it right, is this how to reformat my mac?

shut it down
turn it on holding the command and R key
Select disk utility
erase internal harddrive
go back and reinstall my OS
 

sirkification

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Apr 15, 2011
16
0
Both still show the same result. I'm attempting to reformat everything now. Reinstalling the OS didn't do anything. Just to double check I am doing it right, is this how to reformat my mac?

shut it down
turn it on holding the command and R key
Select disk utility
erase internal harddrive
go back and reinstall my OS
Just an update. After doing those steps, absolutely nothing has changed. Could something have happen physically to my processor for it to be acting like this?
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,307
8,951
California
Both still show the same result. I'm attempting to reformat everything now. Reinstalling the OS didn't do anything. Just to double check I am doing it right, is this how to reformat my mac?

shut it down
turn it on holding the command and R key
Select disk utility
erase internal harddrive
go back and reinstall my OS
Just an update. After doing those steps, absolutely nothing has changed. Could something have happen physically to my processor for it to be acting like this?
Yes, that is the correct way to do a fresh install. Confirm at the end of the fresh install all you did was make a new account and test it without importing any apps or anything?

Is kernel_task still spiking CPU usage?

Try running the Apple Hardware Test. Also command-r to recovery again and run a verify disk and see if that reports anything.