6 Replies Latest reply: Oct 21, 2010 5:50 PM by Bruce Bathurst
Schatzy Level 1 (0 points)
My Power Mac g5 with an operating system of 10.4.11 is running slow and I need to know how to clean up my Mac. If anyone can give me directions, I will be most grateful.

Thank you,

Power Mac g5, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • Baby Boomer (USofA) Level 9 (57,297 points)

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=305454 Mac OS X 10.4: FileVault - "There isn't enough space on your hard disk..." alert

    Empty the trash!

    Open up your application folder & go through all your apps. Trash all the apps you no longer want and/or use.

    An easier way to do this is to open the Application folder in list view & press the Command+j keys.
    In the the dialog that appears, click the "This Window Only" button & the "Calculate All Sizes" check box.
    Wait a bit until your file & folder sizes have all been calculated, then click the "Size" column to sort your apps from the fattest to the most anorexic.

    Get rid of all your photo files you don't want and/or need. Same goes for those pics off the websites you downloaded (gifs, jpegs, etc.).

    Get rid of all your music files you no longer listen too. Especially, if you already have the actual CD/DVDs or you can later redownload from a website.

    Use Spotlight to make sure you got rid of everything. You can even trash directly from Spotlight!

    Drag what you don't want and/or need to the trash. Better yet, download this neat little shareware app demo called AppZapper. It basically does all the work for you by not only trashing the apps but the apps preference files, caches & all its associated files.

    Another software that does the above is AppDelete. Best of all this software is free!

    Burn what you want and/or need onto CDs or DVDs.
    Not everyone has the luxury of purchasing an external HD and/or Mobile accounts to store their "stuff.”

    You can check with your ISP to see if they offer free storage space. Most if not all do now-a-days.
    There are thousands if not millions of free storage facilities on the web also. Use your favorite search engine to search them out as they come in different storage sizes to fit your needs & wants.

    Check for duplicate fonts.
    Applications>Font Book
    Select “All Fonts”
    If you see any “black dots” next to any fonts this mean you have duplicates and/or multiple versions of these fonts.

    To clean this up, select a “black dotted” font or the Apple + click to select multiple dotted fonts;
    What the above does is turns off the duplicates & multiple version fonts. Not delete them.
    More than likely the “extras” were installed by other programs and/or other users.

    Clear out font caches
    Use FontNuke. It does all the work for you. And, best of all it’s FREE.

    Printer Drivers
    Get rid of all the printer drivers you don’t need & use except the ones for your current printer(s)/scanner(s).
    HD>Library>Printers Folder
    If you accidently threw something out that you needed for your printer/scanner it can be easily obtained from the manufacturer’s website and/or from the CD that came w/the printer/scanner.

    Garage Band
    Has about 1GB of loops stored. Get rid of some some them. You surely don’t use, like and/or need them all.
    HD>Library>Audio/Apple Loops>Apple>Apple Loops For GarageBand
    Or just get rid of the Garage Band app altogether if you don’t use it.

    Get rid of extra languages
    Strip your computer down to your “native” tongue.
    You can do this with a FREE utility called Monolingual. Another app that apparently does all the work for you. I’ve never used it. However, a lot of users here swear by & recommend it highly.
    However, there is a warning for *native English speakers*. Make sure you keep BOTH English and English (United States).

    Other Resources:

    HD Space Checkers:
    Disk Inventory X (FREE)

    WhatSize (SHAREWARE)

    OmniDiskSweeper (FREE)

    GrandPerspective (FREE - donation)

    Slimming your hard drive

    Rule of thumb: You should never let your hard drive get to where you have only 10-15% of space left.

  • Bruce Bathurst Level 2 (330 points)
    Macs have a OOUI interfaces, so my approach is in this spirit. On my Desktop, I create a folder for each project I'm working on. I continually delete files, as the project progresses, then archive the finished one to CD or DVD, using 'DVD Spanner'.

    DVD Spanner

    I use archival media (Verbatim or Taiyo Yuden), and keep a Taiyo Yuden off site, and a LightScribe labeled Verbatim near the computer, to use when possible.

    On my pocket key ring is a LaCie key for tiny, daily backups of system settings and project folders.


    On the rare occasion of a catastrophic disk failure, I can just rebuild the OS, then restore iBackup.

    The object is to keep the boot disk as free as possible at all times. I also nest folders to keep few files in each. Although applications don't take much space, I use 'AppCleaner' to remove those I try and don't like.


  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)
    Hi Schatzy, and a warm welcome to the forums!

    As already mentioned Free Space is very important, how much Free Space is on your Hard Drive first of all? Click on the Macintosh HD on the Desktop, then do a Get Info on it.

    I think you should get Applejack...


    After installing, reboot holding down CMD+s, (+s), then when the DOS like prompt shows, type in...

    applejack AUTO

    Then let it do all 5 of it's things.

    At least it'll eliminate some questions if it doesn't fix it.

    The 6 things it does are...

    Correct any Disk problems.
    Repair Permissions.
    Clear out Cache Files.
    Repair/check several plist files.
    Dump the VM files for a fresh start.
    Trash old Log files.

    First reboot will be slower, sometimes 2 or 3 restarts will be required for full benefit... my guess is files relying upon other files relying upon other files!

    Disconnect the USB cable from any UPS so the system doesn't shut down in the middle of the process.

    And if your Broesing is slow, try putting these numbers in Network>TCP/IP>DNS Servers, for the Interface you connect with...

    Then Apply

    DNS Servers are a bit like Phone books where you look up a name and it gives you the phone number, in our case, you put in apple.com and it comes back with behind the scenes.

    These Servers have been patched to guard against DNS poisoning, and are faster/more reliable than most ISP's DNS Servers.
  • Bruce Bathurst Level 2 (330 points)

    Thanks for reminding us that more than disk space affects speed.

    Correcting permissions can have a great effect. If the OS can't write to a file because it's not permitted to, it will often think that the file is being appended by another process, that can't be interrupted, and it will try every few seconds until it times out. This is not uncommon, which is why I keep the Console (output for standard error) in the Dock. When the litte blue bar stops, I open the Console to see what's happening. A damaged file system can work, but be very slow. Finally, the first think I check, if a computer slows for no reason is the Console, where I send messages about malware.

    +First reboot will be slower, sometimes 2 or 3 restarts will be required for full benefit... my guess is files relying upon other files relying upon other files!+ -DB

    Fill'in up those empty caches. This is a good argument for running a program like 'applejack' between 'projects', which keep different data in the caches.

    One optimization seldom mentioned is defragmenting free space (not files). Apple recommends defragmenting huge data files that nearly fill the disk when being worked on (movies). Between edits, these leave little file fragments throughout the whole disk, which will eventually inhibit swapping, which requires contiguous disk space (defragmented free space). I compress with 'iDefrag' to defragment free space, but when programming in OS/2, I had to perform one or two file-by-file backup and restores daily just to keep the HPFS file system from grinding to a halt (HFS+ is much better at resisting fragmentation of files, and now free space.

    Thanks to Apple for telling us about the recent 'free space' fix to HFS+.

    BTW, I like adjusting how many logs to keep and not erasing them. They're useful, for example, to see just when a problem started.
  • BDAqua Level 10 (122,276 points)
    BTW, I like adjusting how many logs to keep and not erasing them. They're useful, for example, to see just when a problem started.

    Yes, that can have a slight advantage... but after clearing them & using AJ, if the problem still exists they'll be recreated & have far less to filter through to narrow the problem down.
  • Bruce Bathurst Level 2 (330 points)

    Good point.

    However when I know the first date & time of a failure, I know who was using the administrator's account, or just what different I was doing (from other logs) at that time. (The lazy diagnosis.)

    PS. I should add file system damage, which really slows a system.