Safari clogs HD, and other slowness problems

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dudleybrooks, May 25, 2012.

  1. dudleybrooks macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #1
    Over the years my MBP has gotten slower, and the various tweaks I have read online haven't really helped. But the past couple of months it has suddenly gotten *ridiculously* slower -- beach ball all the time, keyboard not responsive, having to Force Quit frequently, even having to press the Off switch and turn back on frequently, when I can't get Force Quit to respond. Last week something happened which I'd never seen before: a message appeared telling me in several different languages that I needed to press the Off switch, then behind the message the screen slowly darkened from top to bottom like a curtain descending.

    I have 10 free MB. (I know that people recommend more, but it's been 10 free for a really long time and the extreme behavior only started recently.)

    This week I happened to check the amount of free space on the HD when a huge slowdown happened, and discovered that it said only 1.5MB free -- which I knew couldn't be right. I rebooted, and once again there were 10MB free. I eventually discovered that after running Safari (5.1.7) for a while (less than 30 minutes), the HD once again reported only 1.5MB free. So now I'm having to reboot every half hour or less. I haven't seen this behavior with any other program.

    Is this known behavior from Safari? Back when the MBP was only starting to run slowly, I never checked the HD space so frequently, so I don't know whether Safari was eating HD space back then or not. Is there possibly some Safari preference I should set differently? I've cleaned the cache, but that doesn't cause any major change in the HD space.
     
  2. robgendreau macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2008
    #2
    You answered your own question; the recommendation is to have more space for virtual memory. And this is what happens when you don't. As a matter of fact you should run with a LOT more than 10 MB (did you really mean 10 mega not giga?).

    The fact that you got by without problems before doesn't change the need for space for virtual memory. That's like saying "I never bought medical insurance before because I wasn't sick." Over time applications use more and more memory. Web sites become more complex, more pictures with higher resolution added to caches, etc etc. I ran a Mac Plus on 128k just fine...30 years ago.

    So free up hard drive space and/or buy more RAM. You might get buy using less of a memory hog than Safari, but you're eventually gonna hit the limit again.
     
  3. dudleybrooks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #3
    D'oh! Yes, of course I meant 10GB <blush>. Typing too fast.

    OK, here's the thing about freeing up space: I have virtually no data on the HD -- the data is nearly all on an external HD. I almost entirely only have programs -- programs which I use all the time! EXCEPT ... there are a couple of programs which are built into the OS, and which I never use, and which I would love to get rid of -- but the OS doesn't seem to let me.

    For example, I tried to remove App Store (a complete waste of HD space, as far as I'm concerned). I deleted the complete app, preference files, library files, as much as I could find. But something happened. It was a while ago, so I don't remember the details anymore, but either the OS would no longer work correctly and I had to reinstall the app, or the app was automatically resurrected, or something. Anyway, it's still there ... *and* it will no longer load!

    it was such a hassle and it backfired, so I haven't felt like experimenting with removing other built-ins, such as iTunes or maybe Safari if I decide to go with Google Chrome instead. Is there some special way to get rid of the built-ins which I don't want?

    BTW, I have the maximum RAM my MBP can hold.
     
  4. d00d macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2002
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    #4
    You have 110 GB of OS and applications? That seems oddly high and says to me you need a bigger hard drive.

    As I recall, removing it would disable Spotlight and any related functionality.

    I wouldn't bother, they don't take that much space.

    It seems to me you've either lost a huge chunk of space to something you don't realize or you need a bigger hard drive (10 GB nowadays really isn't appropriate on a boot volume.)
     
  5. dudleybrooks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #5
    Yep! A *lot* of programs! I don't use every program every day, but I do use every program "regularly" ... certainly it would be a hassle to remove them and then reinstall them every time I use them.

    That sounds like the kind of thing I discovered about Apple after switching over from being a lifelong Windows user: they're actually even more dictatorial than the despised Microsoft.

    OK.

    Spending any money on anything is not possible: older person on limited fixed income, many debts.

    How would I go about finding something which might be wasting the disk space? Certainly there are a lot of files which I have no idea what they are.
     
  6. dudleybrooks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #6
    I just realized, there is something which evidently I didn't make clear enough: the reduction of the available space down to 1.5GB persists even after exiting Safari ... but rebooting (and only rebooting) restores the space to 10GB. So what is it that can be using 8.5GB of HD and which can only be reversed by rebooting?
     
  7. dudleybrooks thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2011
    Location:
    San Francisco
    #7
    OK, I found a couple of programs which, even though I had them set to store data on the external HD, were creating backups on the internal HD. So I reset them and moved the old backup data to the external drive, and I now have 16GB of free space on the internal drive. So now when I use Safari, the free space quickly goes down to 7.5GB, causing painful slowness, and doesn't revert to 16GB until I reboot.

    So, again, why is Safari (or something!) using so much of the HD ... in a way that can only be recovered by rebooting?
     

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