New MBP is slow

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
Hi

Let me start out by concluding that i have googled this, a lot, and simply want your advice anyway!

My 1.5 months old MBP (before the update = 2,56GHz 13" 4GB RAM) have been slow for the past few weeks.
I really don't understand this, since it's all new and should be running a lot more smoothly.

I get the Beachball a lot even when just using Safari while having a few light apps running in the background.

The only things i've tried so far is repairing the disk permissions and having Spotlight re-index my harddrive(s).

1. Can someone please have a look at my Activity Monitor and see if there's a problem there - i myself can't seem to find it, since i have a bunch of free and passive RAM to spare.

2. Can the problem be having to many applications installed - not running? Can't see why since they aren't running, but i'm not sure.

3. Can the problem be having my external harddrive (USB) plugged in all the time? Again, just wanna make sure!

4. What about having VMWare Fusion installed and having Win XP on Suspend (not Shut Down) in there? Again, can't see why, since the Fusion app itself is closed.

5. Having a lot of Spaces (six)?


Thanks a bunch in advance!


EDIT: Forgot to ask. Are there any test(s) i can run to get an idea of how much slower my MBP is than it "rightfully should be" - something to compare it to?
 

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rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
If it ain't a hardware issue (which i really don't hope - and don't think since i don't remember it being slow the first week or so), shouldn't a reinstall of Snow Leopard be able to fix everything causing the system to slow down?

Would an Archive and Install do the trick?
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
No - didn't know you could do that. Will that check the HDD for issues / errors on the "physical disk" (the hardware)? It would be awesome to rule out this whole thing being about hardware!

My OS is in danish, so would it be the button that, translated, is called "Control disk"?
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
I tried the "Control disk".

No problems found.

Does that conclude that it ain't the HDD that's causing the slowness?
 

robeddie

Suspended
Jul 21, 2003
1,777
1,732
Atlanta
I tried the "Control disk".

No problems found.

Does that conclude that it ain't the HDD that's causing the slowness?
My inclination is that you may very well have a faulty hard drive. But before getting a new one, try:

1) Diskwarrior 4.2 (if you can borrow or buy a copy). It's a killer program that for years has been the defacto first choice of Mac techs, and often solves most hard drive problems other repair programs (even Disk Utility) don't even find. There have been countless times I thought a had a 'hardware' problem and BINGO, Diskwarrior solves it.

2) P-ram reset.
(Resetting PRAM and NVRAM)
>Shut down the computer.
>Locate the following keys on the keyboard: Command, Option, P, and R.
>You will need to hold these keys down simultaneously in step 4.
>Turn on the computer.
>Press and hold the Command-Option-P-R keys. You must press this key combination before the gray screen appears.
>Hold the keys down until the computer restarts and you hear the startup sound for the second time.
>Release the keys.
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
Will try your suggestions out, but damn - really hoped it wasn't an hardware issue!

Anyway, if it is infact an hardware issue:

1. Any idea how long it takes for Apple to replace the HDD and send me back my computer - any experiences?

2. How would Apple actually conclude that my harddrive IS broken and thus give me a new one?
 

416049

macrumors 68000
Mar 14, 2010
1,844
2
Hi rasmus you could try running a hardware test which is located on the original install disc that came with your mac and press d after the restart and see if any problems were found
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
maril1111, will do!

Just though of something else.
My Dashboard is super slow to load - 5 to 15 secs - the first time i use it after the computer has been sleeping. And i don't have more than 5 very light widgets because of this.

Do that also indicate a faulty hard drive - since i figure Dashboard is loaded from that after having slept?
 

CubeHacker

macrumors 65816
Apr 22, 2003
1,102
39
Might want to go into energy preferences, and set your hard drives to not spin down when idle. It might take some drives 5 seconds or so to spin up and get ready, and this might be causing some of the initial slowness. Not sure if this is your problem, but it doesn't hurt to try.

I generally recommend turning that option off anyway, as its not physically good for a drive to constantly be spinning up/down throughout the day.
 

ae3265

macrumors member
Feb 3, 2009
85
0
Will try your suggestions out, but damn - really hoped it wasn't an hardware issue!

Anyway, if it is infact an hardware issue:

1. Any idea how long it takes for Apple to replace the HDD and send me back my computer - any experiences?

2. How would Apple actually conclude that my harddrive IS broken and thus give me a new one?
What is firefox doing that it's eating 30+% cpu???

Watch activity monitor and sort by CPU, FF shouldn't be taking up that much on a regular basis...make sure you're on the latest version and you might want to start looking at what extensions you have loaded. Is it still slow when FF is closed?

I think you need to rule out software issues before hardware. Often, when a disk goes bad you can hear it spin up and down or give off a "clicking" noise.

Is it slow when you first restart your computer? If not, how long does it take to get slow? (Note: when you very first login, some programs have to start, so give it like 2-5 minutes). Does your computer restart in the same amount of time as it did when it was new (or close)?
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
Did all the stuff you guys suggested - nothing helped. Even DiskWarrior.

Don't know why all those tests don't recognize that there's a problem, cause i really really think my hard drive is broken / faulty.

Called Apple Support and described my problem to him and he agreed that the drive is probably a faulty one - and have been from the start. If i think it through it was probably this slow since the start.

He suggested doing a full erase of my drive and seeing if it's still slow then - if it is, the drive's broken.

Guess that's what i'll have to do then!
 

Matthew Yohe

macrumors 68020
Oct 12, 2006
2,198
129
Yeah, it's your external drive. And it probably doesn't respect any option in your energy preferences to spin down the drive.

OS X still has an issue with USB drives where it halts the entire system, beachballs and waits for external drives to spin up.

Disconnect your drive and test that.
 

AdamA9

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2010
1,216
344
I get the Beachball a lot even when just using Safari while having a few light apps running in the background.
I get this a lot on my iMac. Very frustrating since I've only had it a couple of months. Already seems my Mac is slowing, although I was told by plenty of people that OS X doesn't slow down; it's only Windows that does.
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
Matthew Yohe -> Think i experienced this slowness before, when not having it plugged in all the time, too - but i'll try it out again!

Since you say USB, i guess i can still leave my FW800 external HDD for Time Machine plugged in all the time!?

AdamA9 -> Yeah i f***ing sucks. A brand new, high-specced computer with a "can't-slow-down" OS - and yet it still is infact slow!
Have yours done this from the very start? Maybe you have a faulty hard drive too (if mine actually is)!?
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
Just to be sure.

When you're talking about setting my hard drive to not slow down when idle, you mean this option, right?
 

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AdamA9

macrumors 65816
Feb 2, 2010
1,216
344
Matthew Yohe -> Think i experienced this slowness before, when not having it plugged in all the time, too - but i'll try it out again!

Since you say USB, i guess i can still leave my FW800 external HDD for Time Machine plugged in all the time!?

AdamA9 -> Yeah i f***ing sucks. A brand new, high-specced computer with a "can't-slow-down" OS - and yet it still is infact slow!
Have yours done this from the very start? Maybe you have a faulty hard drive too (if mine actually is)!?
No not since I bought it. But over the past month I've noticed that when it's sleeping, it is taking much longer to wake up, sometimes up to 15 seconds when before it was almost instant - also the beachball keeps appearing, typically when using iTunes, but sometimes other programs.

I do a lot of web/picture editing, and told the guy in-store what my uses were and he said this machine should cope easilly, and that I wouldn't experience slow-down. Maybe I have a fault, maybe I don't - I just wouldn't have expected to notice this much difference after just a couple of months.
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
Hmm my computer starts up absolutely instant from sleep mode.

But does that say anything about whether or not my hard drive is faulty?
Isn't the sleep mode start up time based on memory (RAM)?
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
It's driving me crazy that the beachballs are so random, so i can't seem to figure out whether or not it's the hard drive - or just some software screwing up from time to time.

Have no problem doing a clean OS install, but these beachballs being so random makes it hard for me to figure out whether or not it it'll have helped, since.

Please tell me, do you guys only VERY rarely have beachballs? Like only when doing super heavy work?

Also, i really wanna know, how Apple would check my hard drive to determine the status of it - if i send it to service?

Thanks again
 

TaSobekRa

macrumors newbie
Apr 18, 2010
3
0
If its not hardware, then it has to be software related. Go to -/Library drag the caches file there to the trash. Then go to ~/Library then drag the Caches file there to the trash. Then restart the computer holding down the shift key till you see the apple icon, safe boot. After you log in dump the trash, and shut down. When you start up after the startup chime press Command+Option+P+R till you hear the chime a second time. Release the buttons at that time. If that doesn't work I would definately do an archive and install.
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
Thanks TaSobekRa, nice description of what to do!

Just wanna know, if your suggestions doesn't help, if archive and install would be a good idea. Wouldn't a full erase be a better idea, to clean the system totally of possibly bad software?

I might be wrong, cause i've used Windows all my life and are not used to Mac OS X and the way it's built.
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,155
1,127
Pennsylvania
Thanks TaSobekRa, nice description of what to do!

Just wanna know, if your suggestions doesn't help, if archive and install would be a good idea. Wouldn't a full erase be a better idea, to clean the system totally of possibly bad software?

I might be wrong, cause i've used Windows all my life and are not used to Mac OS X and the way it's built.
Generally, archive and install will re-load all of the files onto your computer, and fix any corrupt files. A clean install will also wipe the use preferences.

I'm surprised no one's asked.

1) How full is your hard drive? If it has less than 10% free, it might be that OS X is running out of space.

2) Try creating a new user account, and use that one for a while. See if that account slows down. If it does, it's an OS/hardware issue, but if it doesn't, it might be something in your user account screwing up.
 

rasmusDoh

macrumors regular
Original poster
Nov 30, 2009
186
0
I have 60 / 250 GB left, so that's not the problem.

Will try the user account thing.
You say that if that one slows down too it's an OS or hardware issue.
If it is an OS issue would the solution the be archive and install - or would a full erase have to be done?
 

tabasco70

macrumors 6502
Mar 10, 2009
316
0
Japan
Last year my year-old Macbook was doing something similar. Safari would beachball alot, or it would take a while to view all my documents in Finder. Sometimes the everything would freeze would for about a minute and resume. The experience wasnt completely slow, but rather choppy.
I deleted a lot of stuff and reinstalled Safari but it didn't really fix anything.
I tried to ignore it but then Safari started crashing after beachballing, and then one day my computer refused to start up.
I reinstalled the OS after fiddling around with it and everything was fine. Apparently I'd installed some fonts that the OS wasnt really appreciating.
 
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