To Reformat or Not to Reformat

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by bzen, Aug 17, 2008.

  1. bzen macrumors member

    Jan 31, 2008
    I'm running a PowerBook G4 12" 1.33 512MB 10.4.11 and 16GB free on the hard-drive. I'm a grad student and I use the computer mainly for word-processing, internet, skype and some specialized linguistic software.

    Well, I shouldn't use "running" quite so loosely. In the past year the computer has slowed down drastically. I am at the point I can really only run two programs at a time. The slow-down doesn't seem to be in running programs but in opening or closing them. And, forget about trying to shut-down the computer, it can take almost 20 minutes from the time shut-down is selected to the time it finally turns itself off. Boot-up is the same way. Same goes with Safari, itunes, Word, saving files and the like.

    I am wondering if it would be helpful to reformat (The computer has never been reformatted). I'm in the middle of studying for comprehensive exams, however, and I really don't want to spend the time if it isn't going to make much of a difference. Some of my linguistic software will be huge pain to set up, and, in general, I just don't have the bandwidth to deal with reformatting unless the energy is worth the results.

    I am hoping to finally replace the machine toward the end of the year (though, I say that every year and never do. Yet, considering, I think this year will be different ;)).

    Thanks for any advice.
  2. WildCowboy Administrator/Editor


    Staff Member

    Jan 20, 2005
    Bumping that RAM up to the max of 1.25 GB would probably help a lot, but you may not want to put that kind of investment into it if you're really going to be getting a new machine in the very near future.

    A clean install can help speed things up, but it can also be a real pain to get your data backed up, and then get all of your apps reinstalled and data moved back over.
  3. soberbrain macrumors 65816


    May 9, 2008
    I agree with adding more RAM since 10.4 needs 256 MB RAM minimum. I've got 1.5 GB RAM on my 1.25 GHz PowerBook and it has definitely made multitasking much easier.

    I've been a happy customer with, but search the forums if you want other recommendations.
  4. dacreativeguy macrumors 68020

    Jan 27, 2007
    There really isn't much point in putting more money into that computer. I could recommend more RAM, 7200 speed HD, and upgrading to Leopard which all would increase performance, but after the money and effort you'd be halfway to an entry level MacBook.

    If it were me, I'd sell the powerbook for a few hundred (I got $600 for an 867GHz 12" with a few extra batteries last year) and buy a MacBook. It will blow away any performance gains you could ever hope for with a 3-4 year old Powerbook!

Share This Page