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15" Macbook Pro running very slow: Beach ball of death

46094 Views 17 Replies Latest reply: Jun 20, 2013 6:24 PM by Therealsirchief RSS
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Humpfree Erleynmeyer Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Oct 23, 2012 9:09 AM

Hey guys, well i have a 15" macbook pro from 2007 and recently it's been very very slow. Before last night, it ran fine, and had its moments, but right now, i get the beach ball about every few minutes. Don't know what it is, help please! Running 10.6, not sure if it's the hard drive or maybe i just need to update?? Also maybe overheating??  I'm not that tech savy, so make it as simple as possible please:) Thanks

MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.8)
  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,855 points)

    Can you tell us how much RAM (Memory) you have? It's listed by clicking on the  in your title bar....go to About this Mac and it's in the 1st window.


    We would also like to know what size hard drive you have and how much free space is on it.

  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,855 points)

    How to find hard drive size and Free Space.


    If you click on your Hard drive  icon (should be upper right hand corner of your screen)...when the  window opens it says at the bottom how much Free Space you have on your  drive.


    If you go to the , click on About This Mac, click on More Info... in that window. The next window says how big you hard drive is under on Serial-ATA.....look under Capacity:


    We need to know this cause if a hard drive is too full it slows things down and creates operational difficulties.

  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,855 points)

    That's plenty of free space! 10 to 15% is advised.


    Try using Disk Utility to do a Disk Repair, as shown in this link, while booted up on your install disk for OS 10.6.8 and under. If you are running 10.7 or 10.8 run Disk Repair from Disk Utility on your Recovery System. It shows you how in the link.

    You could have some directory corruption. Let us know what errors Disk Repair reports and if DU was able to repair them. This could just be a start in repairs and you may need a better utility to finish the job.

    Then Repair Permissions.

    No need to report any Permissions errors........we all get them.

       DALE

  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,855 points)

    You could run fsck or a safe boot, as shown in the link, but it's not as good as running Disk Repair on the disk. Worth a try though....might help.

    Let us know.

  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,855 points)

    Humpfree Erleynmeyer wrote:

    i plan to find the disk this week

    Any luck?

  • Russa Level 4 Level 4 (1,315 points)

    .. check to see how much memory is being used once you start running things.. you could be experiencing page swaps.. this means you run out of memory and everytime you try to do something the computer unloads unused data and attempts to load it with data you need.  This will slow things considerably.


    Run the program called Activity Monitor form your Utilities folder. Click on the System Memory tab. If Page Ins/Outs is high or Used = Free then you're running out of memory and need to upgrade.


    If you need more memory you should be able to upgrade it to either 3GBs or 6GBs from your 2GBs depending on your model. Yes, I know, Apple will say you can only address 2GBs in your machine.. but it can physically address more. See


    You probaly want to consider uppgrading your disk too...

  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,855 points)

    Were you able to run Disk Repair booted on your install disk?

  • Dale Weisshaar Level 6 Level 6 (15,855 points)

    Well, you are stuck then. I think more RAM will help depending on what you do with your Mac. I have 4GB installed.

    Here's a Spinning Beachball faq. But you'll need a repair disk, most likely, to get anywhere. The Snow Leopard disk is fairly cheap at Apple Phone Sales.

    What I use....

    If you don't have Disk Utility's Disk Repair you'll need a more robust utility to repair it.

    I would recommend DiskWarrior. It is the best at directory repairs. It rebuilds then actually replaces your old directory. I feel every Mac owner should have a copy.  It also has File System repair now and hard drive S.M.A.R.T. diagnostics.

    Make sure you get the disk so you can boot up on it to run repairs. You can also install it on another drive and run it from there to repair this one. DW works faster that way. But sometimes a badly damaged system can be deemed unrepairable by the installed version, but if booted and repaired from the DW disk it may be repairable. This has happened to me.

    I use DW once a month to try and catch errors in my system from getting too far out of hand. It has repaired every little and big issue I have ever had with my  three Macs.

    If you have a good backup, hopefully a clone of your system before you had issues, an Erase and Install will also rid you of this issue. But, beware! You will lose everything on the drive with this procedure. Let us know if you need help with that!

    Good Luck!  DALE

  • rachogg Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 31, 2012 9:27 AM (in response to Russa)

    I'm having a similar problem to the one started in this thread and just found your reply. Maybe you can help. My computer is running slow and I'm forever staring at the sbbod. Wondering if it might be a page swap problem.  Here are the details of my MacBook Pro....any thoughts?


    2 GB 1067 MHz of RAM/Memory

    Capacity 159.18 GB

    Free 74.84 GB


    I went to Disk Utility and clicked on Verify Disk and after it cycled through a bunch of stuff it said that everything looked ok. I'm out of town right now or I'd use my actual disk. I opened up Activity Monitor, clicked on System Memory and here's what it says:


    Free - hovers between 190-260 MB

    Page ins - 7.74 GB

    Page outs - 4.56 GB


    Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated.



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