8 Replies Latest reply: Sep 21, 2010 11:48 AM by Ralph Johns (UK)
Whitecity Level 2 (340 points)
I have a 5,1 MBP, 2.4 C2Duo, 4gb ram, 640gb hd (270gb free), Snow Leopard (fully up to date).
I have repaired permissions, defragged my drive, created new user accounts, reinstalled OSX, replaced the drive, upgraded the ram, flashed the pram, etc etc, nothing helps. The machine is slow as a dog. Beachballs all the time. Activity monitor shows nothing running to speak of - typically only 10-15% processor usage and yet it will beachball for minutes at a time. Apple Genius says there is nothing wrong, or that it could be the hard drive or ram. It isn't. Any ideas?

15" PB, Mac OS X (10.6.4)
  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (71,126 points)

    I would start with looking at the Activity Monitor (Application/Utilities) and seeing what seems to be hogging the CPU.

    I would then check System Preferences > Accounts > Login items on your main Account to see what is starting up when you Login to the Mac User account (Computer).

    Could be searching for an External Drive that you have asked to mount at Start Up that is not here.

    If you go to Spotlight does it appear to be Indexing ?

    10:08 PM Monday; September 20, 2010
  • Whitecity Level 2 (340 points)
    Thanks - there is nothing obvious in the activity monitor - am is showing maybe 10-15% processor usage. I have removed all startup programs. Spotlight is not indexing, and I have told it to ignore all my external drives.
    Thanks for the ideas!
  • dwb Level 7 (22,615 points)
    So what does Activity Monitor say about RAM? How much free RAM do you have and what's your page out situation?
  • Whitecity Level 2 (340 points)
    I'll track it tomorrow - right now what I'm noticing is that mds is using about 150mb of read, and 900 of virtual memory, and it's not even doing anything.
    One thing that is especially painful is iPhoto - iPhoto slideshows are the worst - it can take 30-40 seconds to set one up from the moment you click slideshow.
  • iVmichael Level 6 (13,725 points)
    It's doing 'something' if its using that amount of CPU and RAM ... Spotlight could be reading through and Indexing a newly loaded PDF document or anything with a lot of text in for example.

    Run /Utilities/Terminal and enter
    *sudo mdutil -i off*
    (enter admin password)

    Then check and see what Activity Monitor reports ?

  • pkhata Level 1 (5 points)
    I'm sorry Whitecity, I don't mean to "crash" your thread, but I have the same late 2008 Unibody MBP and also lots of "beachballs" lately, though not all the time. I've also defragged my drive, though I still have the original 5400 rpm unit. For me, this started in the last 6 months or so: even in Microsoft Word, sometimes a plain edit which normally is instantaneous will take like 20 seconds to execute. Once it starts doing this, it sometimes helps to restart (though it's a pain).

    Also, Quicktime movies that used to play flawlessly now tend to play haltingly (and now, even songs in iTunes may halt, which never happened before)--every couple of minutes or so, the movie soundtrack will freeze for about 5 seconds, however when it resumes, it has skipped those 5 seconds. Watching Activity Monitor, the only anomaly I noticed is the disk activity will plunge to zero at the freeze. It seems these same Quicktime movies play OK from my external FW800 drive, so I'm wondering if it's my HD which is starting to fail, but in Whitecity's case, he's replaced his HD.
  • dwb Level 7 (22,615 points)
    It seems these same Quicktime movies play OK from my external FW800 drive, so I'm wondering if it's my HD which is starting to fail,

    in the IT biz we used to call this a clue

    but in Whitecity's case, he's replaced his HD.

    slow down issues can be caused by lots of different things and the two obvious and easy to check are CPU usage and RAM usage. Thankfully OSX doesn't bog down like Windows so we don't have to wipe and reinstall every year the way many Windows users do.
  • Ralph Johns (UK) Level 9 (71,126 points)
    On my G4/1Ghz Dual processor running 10.5.8 I get between 2 an 8% showing as CPU usage.

    Aside from the system I have Firefox open and Mail.
    My Keyboard and Mouse is a wireless one though, plus I have a Graphics Pad plugged in.

    My login Items are limited to iTunes Helper, one item for the keyboard and another for the mouse, Growl Menu and TextExpander.

    I would alos check Console and see if you have any particular repetitive messages being thrown up in the Console Log or the System Log.

    7:48 PM Tuesday; September 21, 2010

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