2364 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Mar 12, 2010 4:23 AM by Rod Hagen
How much free space do you have on the drive, adam?
Perhaps the most common causes of slow operation after you have been using a computer for an extended period of time are are:
1) insufficient hard drive free space - this results in substantial free space (and ultimately file) fragmentation. It also means that you are regularly reading from , and writing to, the much slower inner sectors of the disc.
Aim to keep about 20% of the drive empty at all times (10% at an absolute bare minimum). If you are a video or audio buff who regularly works with large files in situations which demand speedy access you may need to go as high as 50% free.
2) Directory corruption - boot up every month or so from your OS DVD and run Disk Utility to "repair disk" - see http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1417
3) Corrupted or duplicated fonts - a variety of applications install their own fonts and it is not uncommon to find that some are duplicated, or become corrupted, or are rendered obsolete by changes in the OS over time. Use Font Book or a third party utility to check for them and then remove them. See Kurt lang's excellent article about font management for more information.
4) The presence of a "rogue" background process that is consuming CPU time. Many different things can be involved here. Virus checkers, printer drivers (especially if an item is hung up in a print spooler), just about any process that runs in the background. Corrupted spotlight or .DS_Store files and the like can produce such issues too. http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1473 provides information on how to use Activity Monitor to locate "runaway processes" (which can also affect battery charge life, etc).
adam hornsby wrote:
... But it is still going slow for some reason. One thing i have never noticed it doing that it is now, is 'indexing' in the spotlight icon. i have never seen that before, spotlight always just used to work for me.
See point 4 in my previous post. A corrupted Spotlight index will result in one of the "mds" processes running incessantly. Try re-indexing. See http://www.macyourself.com/2009/01/13/spotlight-trouble-re-index-your-entire-har d-drive-for-search/ for a basic guide to the process.