Snow Leopard Slowdowns - Solutions anyone?

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
Over the last three months, the OSX side of my Mac Pro has been a pain to use. I say “ OSX side ” because my Bootcamp partition which is running Windows 7 on a dedicated Intel X-25M is running very smooth and is a pleasure to use. However, on the Mac side, the system is simply unusable. I have been getting endless beachballs and constant freezes when launching Safari, iPhoto and iMovie 09’ (the latter is the worst). I’ve tried resetting my PRAM, resetting the video management controller and doing an archive install of Snow Leopard and nothing has helped. I’ve followed previous advice and tried cloning my SSD Boot Drive onto another HDD which was completely free in my system. Booting from the cloned HDD showed better performance i.e. no beachballs. However with time, the issue has started again. So it seems it is not related to the SSD but rather to the OS which makes me think that I will have to do a clean install of Snow Leopard.


Now, my Mac HDD’s are set up as follows:

1: Intel X-25M 80GB G2 SSD Boot Drive
2: Hitachi 640GB Apple Stock HDD (clone of SSD Boot Drive)
3: Western Digital 1.5TB (Home folder located on this disk)

*Note: I’ve also tried creating other user accounts but it seems the problem persists on all user accounts.

The problem is I will be starting a very important project with Photoshop next month and I want this problem to be solved. So I’m thinking this is my best option:

Secure erase my SSD with instructions from Macforums
Reinstall Snow Leopard onto this drive
Clone the Hitachi Drive onto the SSD

Should this work? Any ideas or thoughts are welcome. :)
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
Also, I forgot to mention that I have been unable to install 10.6.3 on the system. After it loads the package it says an error occurred.
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
May 5, 2003
1,592
45
Québec
Hello,

Before doing a fresh install on your SSD, try installing a new OS X on that 1.5TB drive, and boot from there to a fresh user. Copy a few apps and files, and work on that system for a day or two. You'll probably have your answer.

Loa
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
Hello,

Before doing a fresh install on your SSD, try installing a new OS X on that 1.5TB drive, and boot from there to a fresh user. Copy a few apps and files, and work on that system for a day or two. You'll probably have your answer.

Loa
How can I make the 1.5TB drive Bootable if it just has my home folder on it at the moment? Is this done with the SL disk?
 

blinkfrog

macrumors member
Mar 10, 2009
43
0
*** Just checked Secure Virtual Memory is set to off. But how exactly will this affect the system?
Crypting swapped data on the fly consume some resources. Sometimes slow OS work relate to this option.

Have you inspected System Activity? May be some processes consume a lot of CPU?
Have you enough of HDD space?
Have you enough of free RAM?
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
May 5, 2003
1,592
45
Québec
How can I make the 1.5TB drive Bootable if it just has my home folder on it at the moment? Is this done with the SL disk?
I meant: make a fresh SL install on the 1.5TB. This option has big advantages: doesn't mess with your current install, allows you to determine if it's an OS problem.

If you decide to install SL on your 1.5TB drive, make sure to back-up your Users folder, or move it out of the root folder, or to rename it at the very least.

Test this fresh install with a fresh user to see if your problems persist.

Loa
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
Crypting swapped data on the fly consume some resources. Sometimes slow OS work relate to this option.

Have you inspected System Activity? May be some processes consume a lot of CPU?
Have you enough of HDD space?
Have you enough of free RAM?
My CPU usage is not heavy on the mac side. I have over 1TB of free space and 6GB of RAM so I have a feeling its an OS issue or perhaps a faulty SSD.
 

ghislain

macrumors member
Apr 22, 2009
98
12
onyx

you may try to erase caches with onyx. On my mac pro, this speed up start-up to some extent..
 

bearcatrp

macrumors 68000
Sep 24, 2008
1,604
3
Boon Docks USA
Go into activity monitor and see what your page outs look like. Shouldn't
Be more than 10% of you page ins. If it is more, that's an indication of needing more ram. But, as suggested, look at all processes to see if a process is consuming most of the resources.
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
Ok well I just finished using Onyx which found that some of my disk permissions were corrupted/faulty and cleaned them up. After restarting, the user account on which Onyx was used is even worse than before. I've checked my memory usage and its always about 1.05GB out 6.00GB being used so I have plenty. After further testing, the problem seems to be rooted with my main user account. So now I don't know whether it is the 1.5TB drive which is faulty or the SSD.
 

bozz2006

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2007
2,530
0
Minnesota
I wonder if it has anything to do with Apple's inability to perform optimization on SSDs. How full is your SSD boot drive?
 

bozz2006

macrumors 68030
Aug 24, 2007
2,530
0
Minnesota
perhaps, I don't know. I would still question how full the boot drive is. An over-filled drive will absolutely kill performance.
 

Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Jan 10, 2007
2,537
610
bleep
It might be a bad SSD.

Boot to the stock 640 and see if there is any difference. If you haven't already, ensure that the SL install on the 640 gig knows your Home folder is on the 1.5TB drive.
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
It might be a bad SSD.

Boot to the stock 640 and see if there is any difference. If you haven't already, ensure that the SL install on the 640 gig knows your Home folder is on the 1.5TB drive.
Booting to the 640GB HDD makes little or no difference. I've checked that the Home folder is in the right place and it is (1.5TB Western Digital). I have a feeling it's an OS issue. I've tried secure erasing my SSD but it hasn't worked. So, I booted into windows and erased my Mac SSD and then ran the Intel Optimizer to analyze and boost SSD performance. Now I will try reinstalling SL on the SSD.
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
Ok guys, so I've reinstalled Snow Leopard on my SSD. I took out all other HDDs from the system. The SSD is running great. Super fast boot and shut down. Apps launch quickly and I was able to install 10.6.3. Now the thing is though, I don't have my 1.5TB drive attached (the one with my old user home folder where all my files are). Now it seems the SSD is fine. So I have a feeling that it might be the 1.5TB Western Digital. So if I plug it in and set the home folder on that drive as the one I want to use and I start getting beachballs all over, how should I proceed.


P.S. Thanks for all your help guys. :)
 

Wild-Bill

macrumors 68030
Jan 10, 2007
2,537
610
bleep
If you get the beachballs again when pointing to the 1.5 TB drive, it may be that drive. I would then copy the contents of your users folder from the 1.5 tb to the stock 640. Set that as your new home folder and see if there is any difference. If there is, then its got to be the 1.5 tb drive, and see about getting a replacement.

Stinks you had to reinstall, but hey at least you know your SSD is working properly now.
 

ildondeigiocchi

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Dec 30, 2007
695
0
Montreal
If you get the beachballs again when pointing to the 1.5 TB drive, it may be that drive. I would then copy the contents of your users folder from the 1.5 tb to the stock 640. Set that as your new home folder and see if there is any difference. If there is, then its got to be the 1.5 tb drive, and see about getting a replacement.

Stinks you had to reinstall, but hey at least you know your SSD is working properly now.
Thanks Wild-Bill. I just finished testing my system with the 1.5TB set as the home folder and it was beachballs galore all over again. So I have a strong feeling it may indeed be the 1.5TB drive.
 

Loa

macrumors 68000
May 5, 2003
1,592
45
Québec
Hello,

Just to complete WildBill's idea: the plan is to verify if the problem lies in the "data" that is on the 1.5TB drive, or the "drive" itself.

Good luck,

Loa