Old Macbook slowing down... advice?

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by wendyphd, Jul 30, 2013.

  1. wendyphd macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    #1
    I have an older Macbook that I'm really hoping to get another year out of. But, it's slowing down BIG time. Apps run slow (Firefox, Safari, Email etc.), the spinning beachball of death makes a regular appearance. I've even had a few unexplained kernel panics.

    I've replaced the hard drive with a brand new one. I replaced the RAM with new RAM. I repair permissions and clean caches etc. I've cleaned out everything I can on the system (it's got more than 25% free space). I've uninstalled unused apps. I've turned off animations, turned off spotlight etc. I don't use it for anything more than internet, email and documents.

    It's a late 2008 Macbook 2 GHz duo, running OS 10.7.5 with 2 gigs of RAM.

    Is it running an operating system that's too new for it? When I upgraded to 10.7 I didn't do a clean install, so that's an option (I didn't want the hassle of reinstalling all apps). Should I try to back everything up, wipe the drive, install an older OS (which one? 10.6?) and then move need stuff over?
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    My guess is that your 2GB of RAM may be contributing to your performance issues. Your MacBook can take up to 8GB of RAM. To determine if you can benefit from more RAM, launch Activity Monitor and click the System Memory tab at the bottom to check your page outs. Page outs are cumulative since your last restart, so the best way to check is to restart your computer and track page outs under your normal workload (the apps, browser pages and documents you normally would have open). If your page outs are significant (say 1GB or more) under normal use, you may benefit from more RAM. If your page outs are zero or very low during normal use, you probably won't see any performance improvement from adding RAM.
    If you're having performance issues, this may help:
     
  3. madmacfan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2012
    Location:
    London, United Kingdom
    #3
    If you have replaced the hard drive and changed the ram, the performance issues could be as a result of overheating. Open up your macbook by removing the screws on the underneath and then gently lift the topcase (keyboard/ trackpad bit) away, disconnect the ribbon cable. Clean out the fans, vents and the heat exchanger and put it back together to see it it's made a difference. 2GB ram by todays standards is quite low. I'd say 4gb would be about right. Be sure to use the correct type of ram at the correct clock speed, as anything else would cause kernel panics and would slow down the system.
     
  4. wendyphd thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2013
    #4
    So page in/outs that are like 137 gigs are BAD, right? Wowzers.

    I added 1 more gig of RAM, since I had the chip from another computer. I'll order some more and see if that helps out.

    thanks!
     
  5. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #5
    I have a 2008 black macbook with 2 gigs of ram and clean osx snow leopard...and it fly's! I tried lion and found it ran good,but not as zippy as with snow leopard (so went back).

    You may also will want to make sure you reset the smc and pram...and if still slow.....I would take apart and clean fans,and redo thermal paste on cpu

    http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Replacing+MacBook+Core+2+Duo+Heat+Sink/524/1
     
  6. Habberkuk macrumors member

    Joined:
    Mar 2, 2013
    Location:
    Under your bed...
    #6
    I would suggest downgrading to Snow Leopard. It's probably a bit difficult, but that should help a lot since 10.6 was focused on hardware optimization. Upgrading the RAM to 4 Gb+ would help speeding it up as well.
     
  7. tom vilsack macrumors 68000

    tom vilsack

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2010
    Location:
    ladner cdn
    #7
    While always adding ram helps,in this case (as I have same model) if doing a clean install of snow leopard doesn't help,all the extra ram in the world won't make a difference...as it's then probably dust/thermal paste/hardware related issues...

    As I said in my post...I have same model,with snow leopard (clean install) and 2 gig's of ram...and my macbook fly's along! Never do I get the beach ball...great little laptop!
     

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