over-filled the HD; cleared HD; Mac still sluggish

Discussion in 'macOS' started by 4miler, Jan 25, 2011.

  1. 4miler macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2009
    MacBook Pro, 500GB HD - on an overseas trip I filled the Hard Disk to near capacity with photos, leaving about 40GB remaining. Understandably the Mac was a little sluggish at startup, and also noticed slow response in apps such as browsers (Firefox, Safari, Chrome), e.g. after typing some letters, it would take a few seconds before the letters would appear on screen.

    Upon returning home from the trip, I transferred all the photos off the Hard Disk such that there is now 265GB free, i.e. around 55% of the Hard Disk is now empty.

    However, the sluggish response remains - mostly when I just start up a browser. e.g. it might take 8 seconds for the letters to appear in the browser field. Sometimes when I press the delete button, there is a similar time lag.

    This time lag disappears after a few minutes.

    e.g. when I started up Chrome browser, it took 8 seconds for the words www.macrumors.com to appear in the URL field, but now, as I typing this the there is no time lag.

    Any comments?
  2. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    Try running the system utilities Onyx or Yasu
  3. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
    Just curious, how much space would you recommend leaving open, about 20%?
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    10 to 20 percent.
  5. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    I wouldn't call 40gb over filled.

    Open Disk utility
    Verify disk
    Repair permissions

    Open Terminal, use
    sudo periodic daily weekly monthly
    and enter admin password
  6. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    Perhaps your drive has become badly fragmented. It happens.

    There are two ways to get the drive "cleaned up" again.

    First way:
    Get ahold of an app that defragments and use it.
    Probably the best out there is "iDefrag".
    "Drive Genius" can also defrag, as can TechTool Pro.

    Note: you WILL need the ability to "boot externally" to do a defrag on your internal drive. This means you should have a bootable, external drive from which to do this. Actually, you should have a bootable external drive anyway.

    Second way:
    If you have an external drive that is large enough to hold the full contents of what you currently have on your internal, you can use either CarbonCopyCloner or SuperDuper! to clone the contents to a free drive (or partition on another drive). This should create a bootable backup that is an exact copy of your internal.

    Then, boot from that "fresh clone", erase your internal, and _copy back_ the cloned contents. You will end up with a drive "just as it was before", content-wise, but all the data will be rewritten contiguously, leaving a solid block of free disk space at the end.

    Either way should give you the same end result: a cleaned-up drive that will probably run somewhat faster.
  7. 4miler thread starter macrumors member

    Oct 11, 2009

    Thanks. I verified the disk and repaired the disk permissions, and things are back to normal. As for Fisherrman's suggestion, I'll keep that up my sleeve for another tine. Thanks once again.
  8. benhollberg macrumors 68020


    Mar 8, 2010
    So I have a 500 GB hard drive, ten percent would be 50 GB left open. That seems like a lot.
  9. bmcgonag macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2007
    10% is a decent cushion. I'd say leave about 6 GB free at the least. You should be okay, but near 10 GB you'll start to see sluggish behavior a lot of times.
  10. munkery macrumors 68020


    Dec 18, 2006
    If your computer feels sluggish then remove some data to provide more free space. Keep the amount of free space as close to 10% as possible.

    External drives provide a lot of capacity for little money if you don't need all that data with you. You can even partition an external drive to provide both data storage and backups.
  11. MattInOz macrumors 68030


    Jan 19, 2006
    I would have said over 20percent over that the effects is good.

    20 down to 10percent you'll probably not notice any issue unless your using big files or apps (CAD, Photoshop, Movie stuff). In which case you'll have decent sized VM and scratch files taking you must lower in operation than you see. So the larger your data the more space you should keep open.

    below 10 you'll notice the speed and risk corruption.

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