9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 29, 2011 4:24 AM by vala85
vala85 Level 1 Level 1

I have a 2008 white MacBook. In the beginning it was extremely quick (startup/shutdown/loading of apps) however as time has gone on it has become a bit slower in doing all these tasks.
I have upgraded the RAM to 4GB (from Crucial) and tbh I didn't find this to have done much even though the reviews/opinions of others suggested it would.
I now am thinking of upgrading the OS to snow leopard however am worried that this too may disappoint, plus im thinking it may be worth simply waiting for lion to come out in the summer.
Compared to the what the MacBook came with in the beginning it hasn't got that much installed on it (iWork, TomTom, Skype) so im a bit puzzled as to what could make it slower.

Anyone got any suggestion as to what I could do before I make any purchases?

MacBook, Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • Limnos Level 9 Level 9
    How full is the hard drive?

    Are these apps the identical versions you ran back in 2008? Newer versions almost always require more resources.
  • vala85 Level 1 Level 1
    according to disk utility from a capacity of 148.7GB I have 110.6GB available.

    as for different versions of the apps, there the original ones. I haven't got the latest of all of them but they have, for example iWorks, had software updates but as far as I can remember not many.
  • Limnos Level 9 Level 9
    Sounds like plenty of space on the hard drive. A full hard drive can slow down OSX.

    I think more memory can slow down a computer on startup because it takes longer to test it. However, once started things go faster. May be wrong.

    Probably some slow down due to having more files, etc. Computer needs to read and write items to cache and directory. Some run system-only partitions to get around having data files sharing same drive as system.

    Try doing a bit of spring cleaning by starting up in Safe Mode, then restarting.

    [Mac OS X: Starting up in Safe Mode|http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107393]

    [What is Safe Boot, Safe Mode? (Mac OS X)|http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1564]

    [Safe Boot takes longer than normal startup|http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107394]

    [Mac OS X 10.4, 10.5 - Computer shuts down during Safe Boot|http://support.apple.com/kb/TA24054]

    Here's a whole bunch of reading on the speed up topic. Not sure if it is all up to date. In particular, avoid the "maintenance" tools unless you know of a specific issue.

    [Mac OS X speed FAQ|http://www.macmaps.com/Macosxspeed.html] - general reference on performance in various Mac models

    [Tips to optimize your Mac OS X experience|http://www.giantmike.com/speedX.html]

    [Mac Tune-up: 34 Software Speedups|http://www.macworld.com/article/49489/2006/02/softwarespeed.html]

    [52 Ways to Speed Up OS X|http://www.imafish.co.uk/articles/post/articles/130/52-ways-to-speed-up-os-x>

    [Tuning Mac OS X Performance|http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/performance.html]

    [11 Ways to Optimize Your Mac's Performance|http://lowendmac.com/eubanks/07/0312.html]

    [The Top 7 Free Utilities To Maintain A Mac.|http://mac360.com/index.php/mac360/comments/thetop_7_free_utilities_to_maintain_amac>

    [Mac OS X: System maintenance|http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=607640]

    [Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance|http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html#Anchor-31774]

    [Kappy's Personal Suggestions for OS X Maintenance|http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=8230024#8230024 ]

    [a brody's Topic: Myths of required versus not required maintenance for Mac OS X|http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1772235]

    [Are the desktops cluttered with files and folders?|http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?messageID=7668937] and [related comment|http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=9168594], and [here|http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=10434647]

    [Problems from insufficient RAM and free hard disk space|http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/lackofram.html] and more details on this [http://discussions.apple.com/message.jspa?messageID=11476663]
  • Lyssa Level 6 Level 6
    Hey vala85,

    Limnos has given you some excellent recommendations. Your computer should be flying along with 4 GB of RAM and Leopard. I have a computer just a bit older than yours and it runs fabulously.

    Make sure your data is backed up, just in case.

    Get SMART Utility here:

    Run the utility & let me know if you get anything other than a "Passed" result.

  • vala85 Level 1 Level 1
    I've gone through the boot up and shut down in safe mode. I'll continue now working through the list and seeing if I can get the MacBook running any quicker.

    As for the smart utility I downloaded it and ran it. Came back with passed.

    I shall report back once I've gone through the remainder of the list previously posted.

    thanks for all your help so far.
  • Lyssa Level 6 Level 6
    Good luck & let us know how things go

  • vala85 Level 1 Level 1

    well i've given most of the suggestions offered to me a go and unfortunately I can't seem to still get my MacBook running up at the speed it was previous.


    Could this be a battery/power issue? My battery is slowly dying and is no longer holding its charge for as long as it used to. could this be a cause to the slow running?

  • ~ Jim ~ Level 1 Level 1



    This is just a thought but try checking the status of your RAM (Apple Symbol>About This Mac>More Info>Memory).  Check to see that it is recognizing the RAM and that the statuses are "OK".


    - Jim

  • vala85 Level 1 Level 1



    yes it recognises the installed 4GB of RAM and the status states its 'ok'.

    i've just upgraded to Snow Leopard and run another repair disk permissions and the system is now noticeably quicker! hooray!!!

    its also freed up some HD space, although that wasn't too much of an issue as before I was only using at most 40GB of 160GB!


    looks like for the time being its gone back to normal. i thought it could have been my battery as the system does seem to go through the charge quicker then when it was new however the condition report on my battery is 'good condition'.


    so for now it seems like its solved. let's hope it stays this way!


    thank you all who have contributed in helping me resolve this situation!