8 Replies Latest reply: Jan 12, 2011 6:43 AM by JoeyR
NewArchStudent Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
I bought a Macbook in 2007, with an Intel Core Duo, 2Ghz processor, and 1GB of memory. It's slowed down over the years, but generally it's running pretty well (there's no huge problems). Does anyone have any tips to make it run like new? I've already reinstalled the operating system. I found something on a discussion board that recommended OnyX, but was hesitant to download a file without really knowing what it is...

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
    That machine can use a maximum of 2GB of RAM (2 x 1GB modules). Increasing your RAM from 1GB to 2GB will give you a significant performance boost. If you've already done a clean install of the OS, OnyX won't make that much of a difference. That utility is more for maintenance or cleanup. Unless your drive is nearly full or you're experiencing some serious issues... I've never found OnyX to really have much impact. Increasing your memory will give you the biggest bang for just a little buck. I believe that machine came with an 80GB drive. That may be enough for you, but it might be a good idea to consider replacing it with a newer, higher capacity drive.
  • Ramy M. Level 1 Level 1 (15 points)
    Like JoeyR said above, upgrading the RAM is a great way to make your MacBook faster for a reasonable price.

    As far as software, what I'd recommend you to do is to restore your MacBook with a fresh install of Mac OS X using the gray DVDs that came with it. Upon installing, choose as little options as possible - skip all the printer drivers, additional languages and all that stuff; most people don't need those. Run all your software updates, and keep your Mac clean using tools like CleanMyMac. I also like to run Monolingual to free some hard disk space when I install a fresh copy of OS X on my computers.

    Also, you can check out this neat article at LifeHacker: http://lifehacker.com/5252183/clean-up-and-revive-your-bloated-sluggish-mac

    Hope this helps!

    Ramy
    Specialist
    Apple Store, Carrefour Laval

    +Disclaimer: Apple does not formally provide technical support on the Site. However, any information that is provided by Apple or Apple employees is offered on an “AS IS” basis without warranties of any kind.+
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    NewArchStudent:

    In addition to boosting your RAM installation to the maximum, your issue may be with your HDD as well. Two things specifically with regards with the HDD. First is age. The average life of the internal HDD of a Mac laptop is 3 to 5 years with about 1% failing in year one. The second factor is how much you have on your HDD. You need to maintain a buffer of a minimum of 15% total disk capacity as contiguous (unfragmented) free space for swap files and directory growth. To check the health of your HDD download and run SMART Utility - 2.1.2. In terms of free space can you tell us the total capacity of your HDD and how much of it is free/available capacity?

    cornelius
  • NewArchStudent Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm embarrassed to say that there is 8.5 GB available on my 80GB hard drive. I definitely need to clean it out...

    If I reinstall MacOS, will I have to reinstall all of my applications? I don't think I have that disc anymore anyway...
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    I definitely need to clean it out...

    Agreed. And as soon as possible. First I would make a backup/clone on an external firewire HDD. Then you can begin the work of slimming down the volume on the internal HDD. Run Repair Disk in Disk Utilities to be sure that your directory is in good shape. Repair it if necessary.

    There are some things you can remove from the current installation that will give you a bit of breathing room. Dr. Smoke's FAQ Freeing space on your Mac OS X startup disk will help you through that process.

    If your directory is sound you don't need to reinstall. You can archive stuff you don't need to keep on the internal HDD on CDs, DVDs, or an external HDD. Eventually, however, you should consider a newer larger capacity HDD. The one you have may fail without notice, so be sure to have a backup that you keep current.

    Good luck.

    cornelius
  • NewArchStudent Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks so much!
  • cornelius Level 6 Level 6 (17,825 points)
    You are very welcome. Please don't hesitate to post back should you have further questions.

    Good luck.

    cornelius
  • JoeyR Level 6 Level 6 (8,275 points)
    If you are going to reinstall your OS anyway... you might want to consider getting a new hard drive. They're relatively inexpensive and easily replaced. As your current drive it over three years old now, it's a good precaution to take.