Need suggestions from pros

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by Joshtin, Apr 25, 2009.

  1. Joshtin macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    Please bare with the long post. I just need some suggestions on what I should do to help my wifes macbook.

    Ok her macbook is about 3 years old now. The specs on it are:
    1.83 GHZ
    512 MB of Memory
    60GB HD (of which there is only 9GB left)

    We dont want to get another one yet basically cause we cant afford it. But we want to speed it up and get rid of some of the issues it is having.
    1. It takes a while to boot up
    2. Sometimes when coming back from screen saver it will open and then the screen will go black again.
    3. When you have a couple programs open it just realls bogs down.
    4. It doesnt search the internet as quick as mine does on the same network.
    5. It wont keep the SSID saved so you have to rechoose it everytime

    How much would it cost to get this thing running like new again. OR, how much could we get for a 3 year old macbook. and then maybe get a new one?

    Thank you
  2. iLog.Genius macrumors 601


    Feb 24, 2009
    Toronto, Ontario
    Looks like it needs a bit of maintenance. Adding RAM will definitely do you some good, will speed up your computer a bit. The rest of your problems seem to be software related. Instead of running maintenance applications like Onyx, I suggest just backing up important data and perform an erase and install.
  3. Joshtin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    How do you perform a full system restore? Or how do you do what you are suggesting?
  4. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    Get more RAM (~$40), larger HDD (~$70).
  5. GfulDedFan macrumors 65816


    Oct 17, 2007
    If your MacBook is a core duo as opposed to core 2 duo, you can upgrade up to 2GB of RAM maximum.
  6. o2xygen macrumors regular

    Jan 25, 2009
    +1 for increasing the RAM and erase + install.
  7. JamesGorman macrumors 65816


    Dec 31, 2008
    Id say buy a 250gb 7200rpm hard drive, or even a 160gb drive. Max out the ram(will differ depending on which model you have) and like everyone else suggested, do an erase and install. That should bring your system back to life.
  8. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    to perform better, i'll echo that you need more RAM and more hard drive space. do that stuff and see if it solves your issues. you may not need to reinstall the os. if you do want to reinstall the OS, it's very easy. put in the disk that came with your macbook, open it, click on "archive and install". it will reinstall the OS, while preserving all your data and your settings and preferences. but definitely more RAM and bigger hard drive first.
  9. core2duo macrumors member

    Apr 26, 2009
    I definitely agree that you could use some more memory. Given how cheap it is these days, there's really no reason not to max out your system. Just make sure you're getting good quality stuff, especially if you're planning on running Leopard. Bad memory can be a huge pain.

    As far as the rest of your issues...

    1. Operating systems tend to slow down over time, as your hard drive fills up and temporary files start to accrue. There are some things you can do to overcome this, however. For example, disable any login items you may have, clear the ~/Library/Caches, /Library/Caches and /System/Library/Caches folders, make sure your desktop isn't filled with tons of files, etc. Also, since you have a portable machine, it probably wouldn't hurt to run Disk Utility to check on the health of your hard drive. Just make sure you have a good backup first.

    2. This sounds like it could be a corrupted sleep image. Try deleting it and seeing if the issue persists. The location is /private/var/vm.

    3. Again, this ties back into the amount of memory you've got. A good way to get perspective on this is to open Activity Monitor, and go to the memory tab, and take a look at how much each application is taking up. While you're there, take a look at your processes and see if anything seems to be taking up more than it's fair share of the processor. You may have something going on in the background that you don't even know about.

    4. Try resetting Safari (or whatever browser you use), and switching to another network location.

    5. This is probably a corrupt preference file issue. Try deleting ~/Library/Preferences/

    Hope that's helpful!
  10. bozz2006 macrumors 68030


    Aug 24, 2007
    another thing to do in the interim before getting your HDD and RAM would be to maybe run a program like Onyx, that does all the maintenance stuff on your computer. I was getting beach balls on my aluminum macbook recently and I ran Onyx, and now we're in better shape. Your computer executes certain actions automatically, and most of the time OSX is set to do these things in the middle of the night. If you, like I, turn your computer off at night, some of these things don't get done. so, run onyx. do the full palette of automation tasks.
  11. gerbilbox macrumors regular

    Nov 30, 2003
    As everyone else has said, you have very little RAM and very little hard drive space left.

    The first priority is to upgrade to 2GB RAM. It's a big jump from 512MB, so it will give you a very nice and solid boost in performance. It's an easy upgrade and it's inexpensive. OWC is a good brand for RAM and they have good prices (less than $30): World Computing/53DR2SPAIR2G/

    The hard-drive is the second priority. Hard drives slow down as they fill up with programs and files, and your hard drive is painfully close to full. Your MacBook accepts 2.5" SATA hard drives. Prices range from $50 for 160GB to about $100 for 500GB at

    People here have suggested other software-based tips, and they should help, but I think your MacBook is really bottlenecking on the RAM and hard drive. I think your computer will fly after these upgrades. I had a three-year old MacBook that kept moving along beautifully once I upgraded the RAM and hard drive.
  12. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
    Know a friend who had the exact same computer, but didn't really want to buy a new computer—upgraded the RAM to 2GB and the HDD to a 250GB 7200RPM. Cost him only $80; it might a little more (since I gave him the RAM for free). Now the computer runs like new.
  13. Joshtin thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 25, 2009
    Thank you for everyones help. I think what we are going to do is get 2GB of ram and upgrade to a 250GB hard drive. This may be a stupid question but once we upgrade the hard drive will all the old files and programs like word be deleted?

    Second is I have a newer machine that I just installed leapord on and I mine as well upgrade mine at the same time If i upgrade to 2GB ram and a new hard drive will i have to reinstall leapord and all the files on the mac and windows side of things?

    Thank you so much for everyones help!!
  14. Shake 'n' Bake macrumors 68020

    Shake 'n' Bake

    Mar 2, 2009
    1. Yes, you should do a Time Machine backup and reinstall from there.

    2. Yes.
  15. ppc750fx macrumors 65816

    Aug 20, 2008
    The easiest way to go about this is the following:

    1. Buy more RAM. I'd pick up two 1GB modules if I were you.
    2. Buy a bigger drive. WD sells a 500GB drive for < $100 (you can get them for about $90 on eBay.)
    3. Buy an external SATA -> USB connector.
    4. Hook the new drive up to the SATA -> USB connector.
    5. Boot your Mac from the restore disks.
    6. Use Disk Utility to clone the internal drive to the external drive.
    7. Replace the internal drive with the external one.
    8. Done.
  16. MacGeek767 macrumors member


    Mar 31, 2009
    Chicago, Illinois
    Unless you back up the data on ur harddrive now to an external harddrive, then restore the backup to the new drive, EVERYTHING will be erased.
  17. Melissajulle macrumors newbie

    May 5, 2009
    need suggataion

    Please bare with the long post. I just need some suggestions on what I should do to help my mobile.

    my mobile noika N72
  18. 127079 Guest

    Sep 20, 2007
    ROFL - Go and get RIM'd (a crack berry)

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