Still pinwheeling after a clean reinstall of Mavericks

sarahpeller

macrumors newbie
Original poster
Aug 9, 2010
3
0
I have been researching how to make my computer run faster and it looked like doing a clean reinstall of Mavericks might be the way. So I removed everything and did a fresh install. But I'm noticing already that things are still sluggish. Just trying to arrange/rearrange my bookmarks in Safari, I was up against a few minutes of waiting while the pinwheel spun around and around. Anyone know what I might have missed or how I can move forward?

I have a MacBook Pro 15 inch from around 2009. I've installed as much RAM as I can... Anything else?

Thanks!
 

thejadedmonkey

macrumors G3
May 28, 2005
8,004
547
Pennsylvania
How much RAM do you have in it? Does the system report that much RAM?

What sort of HDD do you have? 4500rpm? 7200rpm?

How many open programs do you have at once?

How full is your hard drive?

I should add, Mavericks is horribly optimized for HDD's, and even my dad's iMac from 2013 (and 8gb of RAM) pinwheels often.
 

T5BRICK

macrumors G3
Aug 3, 2006
8,089
2,057
Oregon
Either your HDD is old and slow, or dying. Upgrade that thing to a SSD and it'll feel like a whole new computer.
 

Arelunde

macrumors 6502a
Jul 6, 2011
980
28
CA Central Coast
If you just did the re-install today there's a delay period when all the apps are re-downloaded in the background. The spinning wheel shows there's background activity. So leave your device on and let it catch up.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,344
8,962
California
I have been researching how to make my computer run faster and it looked like doing a clean reinstall of Mavericks might be the way. So I removed everything and did a fresh install. But I'm noticing already that things are still sluggish. Just trying to arrange/rearrange my bookmarks in Safari, I was up against a few minutes of waiting while the pinwheel spun around and around. Anyone know what I might have missed or how I can move forward?

I have a MacBook Pro 15 inch from around 2009. I've installed as much RAM as I can... Anything else?

Thanks!
That machine should easily run Mavericks with no issues. As others mentioned, it does sound like maybe your HDD is dying.

Do a command-r boot to recovery and from there use Disk Utility to run a verify disk. What does that report?
 

Fishrrman

macrumors P6
Feb 20, 2009
17,425
5,647
jadedmonkey wrote above:
[[ I should add, Mavericks is horribly optimized for HDD's, and even my dad's iMac from 2013 (and 8gb of RAM) pinwheels often. ]]

I believe you're onto something here.

I'm going to -guess- that Mavericks was developed at Apple by guys using SSD's and the fastest Macs available (at the time), with little thought as to how well it would run on older machines.

Yes, it will still "run" on older, HDD-equipped Macs.
But it won't run that -fast- ...
 

Tubamajuba

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2011
2,072
2,008
here
Mavericks runs far better on an SSD, but I'm having a pretty good experience on an HDD. Certainly doesn't feel slow, unless I'm accessing or modifying a huge amount of files on the disk. I think people have become so accustomed to the speed of SSDs that HDDs are no longer acceptable. If you moderate your expectations, you'll be just fine on an HDD. Mavericks is no slower on an HDD than any other OS.

As others have said however, constant pinwheels could mean the hard drive is failing.
 

groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2006
1,071
794
Either your HDD is old and slow, or dying. Upgrade that thing to a SSD and it'll feel like a whole new computer.
My MBP is late 2013 and has the same problem.

He shouldn't have to upgrade his HD to a SSD to compensate for a slower OS.

----------

Mavericks was never optimized for HDDs in the first place, it was built to run on SSDs.

Sure, it'll work on a HDD, but it won't run. It'll crawl.
Source?
 
Last edited:

KoolAid-Drink

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2013
1,346
325
USA
Open Console (Applications/Utilities), click the search bar on the upper right corner. Type i/o - does anything appear in the results?
 

maflynn

Moderator
Staff member
May 3, 2009
64,089
30,685
Boston
Seems like the drive may be the culprit as others stated, but give it time to finish indexing.

I'd also run the diagnostics and see what the SMART status says
 

ssls6

macrumors 6502a
Feb 7, 2013
535
144
Everyone thinks of a clean install differently.

A truly clean install is:

1) wipe drive
2) install mavericks and MIGRATE NOTHING
3) sign in with cloud

You can copy your home stuff over later
You can install key applications later
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,344
8,962
California
Experience. My 15" 2011 MBP (7200rpm 500GB HDD) crawled on Mavericks, even after clean installs.

Same story on my friends' 13" cMBPs with 5400rpm drives.
If Mavericks is "crawling" on those machines with a true clean install, there is a hardware issue like a bad drive or something going on. I installed Mavs on my old 2008 Macbook my daughter now uses with a HDD and 4GB of RAM and it works just fine.
 

bbfc

macrumors 68040
Oct 22, 2011
3,129
679
Newcastle, England.
Experience. My 15" 2011 MBP (7200rpm 500GB HDD) crawled on Mavericks, even after clean installs.

Same story on my friends' 13" cMBPs with 5400rpm drives.
Experience. My Early 2011 13" MBP runs Mavericks just fine. As does my housemates Late 2011 15" MBP. No slow downs.

Chances are that Spotlight is still indexing your drive.
 

groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2006
1,071
794
If Mavericks is "crawling" on those machines with a true clean install, there is a hardware issue like a bad drive or something going on. I installed Mavs on my old 2008 Macbook my daughter now uses with a HDD and 4GB of RAM and it works just fine.
That's a load of bull. If you upgrade to a new OS and it suddenly has problems it doesn't mean a hardware problem. I have the same issue on my computer and when I downgrade back to ML it works perfectly fine. Plus my computer was only 3 months old. I tried an upgrade as well as a fresh install (wiping the drive and installing) and it consistently performs poorly.

Id be willing to entertain the idea that it could be an older app that hasn't been compiled for compressed memory or something related to the new under-the-hood features of Mavericks.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,344
8,962
California
That's a load of bull.
Nice way to start a discussion.

If you upgrade to a new OS and it suddenly has problems it doesn't mean a hardware problem. I have the same issue on my computer and when I downgrade back to ML it works perfectly fine. Plus my computer was only 3 months old. I tried an upgrade as well as a fresh install (wiping the drive and installing) and it consistently performs poorly.

Id be willing to entertain the idea that it could be an older app that hasn't been compiled for compressed memory or something related to the new under-the-hood features of Mavericks.
You are changing the argument. I said a true clean install. That means there can be no incompatibility with old software because none is installed.

For example, the previous poster mentioned Mavs had trouble on a 15" 2011 MBP. If this was a systemic issue with Mavs on that specific model there would be 50 page long threads here talking about it, but there are not. There are seemingly random threads here and there talking about a small subset of machines with no common element. That to me points to a hardware issue with the subject machine.

We can agree to disagree and that is fine.
 

groove-agent

macrumors 65816
Jan 13, 2006
1,071
794
Nice way to start a discussion.



You are changing the argument. I said a true clean install. That means there can be no incompatibility with old software because none is installed.

For example, the previous poster mentioned Mavs had trouble on a 15" 2011 MBP. If this was a systemic issue with Mavs on that specific model there would be 50 page long threads here talking about it, but there are not. There are seemingly random threads here and there talking about a small subset of machines with no common element. That to me points to a hardware issue with the subject machine.

We can agree to disagree and that is fine.
Issues from a fresh install still doesn't necessarily mean a hardware problem. My issue is that he is being told to go out and replace the hard drive with an SSD as a solution. That is not a solution because you don't know for sure there is something wrong with the HDD. That's like a doctor telling you to get a prosthetic foot after getting a new pair of shoes that hurt your feet - without any X-rays etc.

Probably a better way of going is to make sure he runs a low-level scan on the hard drive, or even time machine his Mavericks install and throw ML back on and test it. If ML runs fine on his existing hardware, it's likely not the hardware. My issue is that if you have to downgrade to ML to make your machine run smoothly, you shouldn't be excluded from iLife/iWork upgrades.

How do we know these machines have no common element? I don't think I've seen a thread listing all the machines that are having this problem. If the hardware is seemingly random then it could be a particular type of software installed.
 

Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,344
8,962
California
Issues from a fresh install still doesn't necessarily mean a hardware problem.
I guess we'll just agree to disagree then.

If you have bone stock Mac and do nothing but a clean install of Mavs and you are seeing these two minutes to launch Safari issues and long beach balls just launching Finder... you have a hardware problem of some sort.
 

KoolAid-Drink

macrumors 65816
Sep 18, 2013
1,346
325
USA
For those having problems after a Mavericks install, I'd recommend the following:

a) Run the Apple Hardware Test (press ALT and D simultaneously when turning on your Mac) for all early-2013 and older machines. Let the AHT diagnostics run.

b) Downgrade temporarily to 10.8.5 (if you had it purchased in the App Store), give it a few days, and if performance seems better, you'll have your answer. Be sure to do a Time Machine backup of the Mavericks config, though.

c) Do the same old stuff that's always suggested if you haven't done so already (repair permissions, restart, re-apply the 10.9.2 combo installer).