10 Replies Latest reply: May 19, 2008 8:42 PM by BGreg
Aude-Noelle Nevius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I own a PBG4, and recently it started running super slow, applications take much longer to open/close, using them as well, it's very frustrating for work.
I ran MacJanitor for daily/weekly/monthly tasks (I often shut my mac at night but leave it on once week on), I used Monolingual to get rid of extra languages, and it's still slow.

I checked on Activity Monitor and this is what I have, top 5:
- pmTool - root - %CPU 1.90 t0 2.50
- kernel_task - root - %CPU varies from .40 to 10.00
- java - root - %CPU around .50
- WindowServer - me - %CPU varies from .40 to 10.00
- WacomTablet also showed up %CPU went briefly up to 45.00

note that everything jumps around quite a bit, but pmTool, kernel_task, and WindowServer are on top more often.

At this point, I'm not knowledgeable enough to know what else to do/check, and I'm hoping some of you who are pros can help.
Thanks ahead.

PowerBook G4
  • arnie Level 5 Level 5 (4,065 points)
    slow system performance can be caused by failing hard drive, you may want to back up any important files just in case
  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
    One thing you might try is OnyX, which is a swiss army knife of disk utilities. Many have found that this helped with their systems slowing down. It's at: http://www.titanium.free.fr/pgs2/english/download.html . Do the tasks in the cleaning and maintenance tabs.

    How much free disk space do you have? You want 10%+ of your hard drive free for systems usage, less than that can really slow things down.

    In the activity monitor, under system memory, what's the page ins and outs values? If outs are high, compared agains ins, the system is spending alot of time swapping memory to the hard drive, which impacts performance.
  • Aude-Noelle Nevius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'll check out Onyx tomorrow.
    For free space, I have about 1 GB DDR SDRAM.
    Page ins/outs: 527380/152675.

    Thanks for the help.
    Z.
  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
    For free space, I have about 1 GB DDR SDRAM.
    Page ins/outs: 527380/152675.


    The SDRAM is the amount or memory your system, which is different than hard drive space.

    When you highlight your hard drive on your desktop, and hit the Apple and I keys, how much space is available? Or, click the blue apple, about this mac, more info, ata, and choose your hard drive.

    While zero page outs is optimal, 10%-15% or less of page ins is normal. Normally, the system writes a page out when there isn't enough physical memory to handle current needs - doing too much of that impacts system performance. The value your system shows says you could use more memory for what you run.
  • Aude-Noelle Nevius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    For memory I have Capacity: 93.04 GB
    Available: 69.06 GB

    So I guess for memory, the best thing to do is archive documents? Even though I do that regularly, and don't have that much on my hd?
  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
    For memory I have Capacity: 93.04 GB
    Available: 69.06 GB


    You have a large hard drive, with not much on it, if 69GB is available. So it won't help to archive anything off the hard drive - there's plenty of space for the system to work.

    The only way to reduce page outs is to buy more memory. If you have one 1GB ram today, you could put another 1GB RAM in. If you have two 512KB ram today, you could replace one or both with a 1GB ram strip. Recommend Crucial at http://www.crucial.com , Kingston (not their valueram line, though) at http://www.kingston.com , or Samsung which is sold through distributors (I've used OWC at http://www.macsales.com).

    Some other things to do ....

    Have you run OnyX yet?

    Have you run the Apple hardware test, or either of the TechTool programs, to ensure your hardware is OK? Insert the original OS X disc that says in small print on the label 'AHT Version x.x'. Reboot holding the option key down, choose the Apple hardware test, click the arrow to the right, follow directions, and choose the extended test. Does it tell you anything?

    Boot from your OS X disc, holding the C key down, which will boot from the disc instead of the hard drive. Off the menu bar, bring up disk utility, and repair disk (can repair permissions too, although you can repair permissions when loaded from the hard drive too). Any issues identified?

    When you have disk utility open, what does it say for the SMART status?
  • Aude-Noelle Nevius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I just ran Onyx and things seem to have improved a lot. I'm going to check on the memory part tonight, and run the Apple hardware test tomorrow.
    I'll report then, and thanks for the help!
    z.
  • Aude-Noelle Nevius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Unfortunately, I don't have the original OS X disc. I don't ever remember having it from the time I bought my PB. Is that normal? So I can't run any tests, which is too bad as I thought it ran better after usin Onyx, but not true. Still slow, specially using the Adobe creative suite.
    I'm going to buy the memory you recommended. And if you think I should have that disk somewhere, I'll try to search for it harder, but I keep everything organized, so don't know where else it could be.
    thanks,
    Z.
  • Aude-Noelle Nevius Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    My final update: I bought another 1GB of RAM at www.crucial.com, installed it, and this time, my problem is fixed, my mac is running great and faster than ever! Thanks for the advice.
  • BGreg Level 6 Level 6 (17,500 points)
    Good news! Glad to hear it's running well. You might want to run OnyX every once in a while, too.