Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Jul 22, 2013 6:51 PM by Spencerlholbert
juliusfromkansas city Level 1 Level 1

running slow

iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.5)
  • X423424X Level 6 Level 6

    Try doing smc and pram reset.


    Then if that doesn't work try searching google for lots of other discussions in the apple communites on this same subject:


    imac running slow

  • FrenchToast Level 3 Level 3

    Have you tried taking vitamins, or raising your carbo-hydrates intake?


    Oh, you meant your computer is running slow...? Oh, OK... Well, then,  the advice X423424X gave you is probably a good one!


    (I've always found that using explicit titles helped people willing to help know when they can be of assistance, and when they cannot)

  • missed_call Level 1 Level 1

    You should have posted your computer type...


    Standard Practice when looking for slowness issues:

    •• Backup Your things if you care about them.  As a computer owner this is all on you •••



    1) (For mechanical hard drives) Check to see if your hard drive is failing.  You will need to use the Console application located in your Utilities folder.  You will need to check your kernel.log file to see if you have any disk0 I/O errors.  This is how your computer indicates a hard drive failure.

         ---> 10.5.x: There is no kernel.log file.  Instead you'll be checking your system.log file

         ---> 10.6.x: You have a kernel.log file.  Look in the /var/logs/ section of Console for your kernel.log file

         ---> 10.7.x: You can see your kernel.log file next to your system.log file

         ---> 10.8.x: There is no kernel.log file.  Instead you'll be checking your system.log file


    2) If your drive does not appear to be failing, then you should check to see if there is anything that is using up your resources.  Use Activity Monitor (from Utilities folder) and view all processes by their CPU usage.  If nothing looks out of place (i.e. *process x* is using over 80% of my CPU...), then move on to the next step.


    3) Verify that your file system isn't malformed.  For this you will use Disk Utility in your Utilities folder.  In the first aid tab, choose Verify Volume.  DO NOT RUN REPAIR PERMISSIONS.  They don't do anything important.  WAIST OF TIME.  People who think that they are important to repair (often) obviously don't know anything about how the system works.  Your file system is way more important.

    for more info on your file system repair look here:

         • Permissions show who should be able to open/modify/execute a file

         • Your file system is what keeps track of WHERE a file is.  If you can't find it then who cares about the permissions.


         3.1) You can attempt to repair any file system issue from your Recovery Partition:



    4) If all of those look ok, then you can try getting rid of your cache files in your user account.

         This article mentions the trick to show the user library folder:

         Essentailly you hold down the 'option' key when you are looking at the Finder's Go menu drop down list.

         • Open the Library folder (This is the user account library folder.  NOT the root level library folder)

         4.1) Open the Cache folder.  Delete everything in this Cache folder and then log out.  You don't have to empty your trash.  Just delete it (command delete, see


    5) If None of this has worked you could try reinstalling the OS, however you might have also missed a more subtle issue that was in your log files.  This might include graphics card failures or other components that are failing.  A reinstall (without restoring from a backup, however restoring your user account only is a second best) is a great way to rule out Software VS Hardware.

         • Take it to your local apple store if this does not work

  • Massimofromsavona Level 1 Level 1

    Yeah, the apple store will probably charge you for reinstalling the system, and in a few days you will have the same slow performance. At least this is what happens with Mountain Lion.


    I have done ALL the procedures, including the last resort of taking the machine to service.


    I am going back to Snow Leopard.

  • edudrey Level 1 Level 1

    Thanks, Missed_call, i've just found that my disc needed repair and did it. Now, let's see if it gets slow again.

    In time, it's a MacBookPro running everithing at last level. It's used to get a little solw whenever a Microsoft Office is running and that's why I'm using Mail instead Outlook. but recently (2 weeks) it started to slow sometimes and crash windows. It returned to normal after a re-boot (a shame for a MAC!!). thanks again, Eduardo

  • edudrey Level 1 Level 1

    AGAIN: 3 hours and it got uncontrollabel by the mouse or touch pad. Meanwhile, huge amount of recently email messages desappeared completely. I checked and the HD is corroded again.


    Is this a Mountain Lion software problem or a Macintosh HD faliure?


    MacBook Pro tatally updated, protected by McAfee.


    I'm going to back up and repair again, but I cannot afford loosing information like this. Can going back to Lion be a interim solution?



  • missed_call Level 1 Level 1

    I'm sorry to hear that edudrey.  It sounded like it was going well up until then.


    I have some questions about the issue.  When you use the word 'corroded' what do you mean.  Is your file system corrupted?  Is the behavior of the computer just not right?  Or is it something else?


    •• For a continually corrupting file system ••

    - ALWAYS check your kernel.log (Now just system.log in 10.8) for "disk I/O" errors by using in the Console utility (Macintosh HD -> Applications ->Utilities -> Console).


    Any disk I/O errors (except a single very rare case) indicates a failing hard drive.  The hard drive will need to be replaced.  No software fixes here.


    ••••• IF there are no disk I/O errors then continue to this section •••••

    For file corruption:

         • File corruption can be caused by failing RAM and turing off the computer without properly shutting it down.  If you have to forcefully reboot your computer then you are increasing the odds of this type of corruption - which leads to having to force reboot your computer...

    Run Your Apple Hardware Test to check your RAM, logic board, and some other EFI based tests (does not test graphics cards). 


         AHT (apple hardware test) instructions do not mention the looping mode.  The test will run and if it finds a problem it will put a RED error code on the screen.  Write this error code down.  However the test can only identify problems that it is able to experience during the test.  It just isn't possible to find problems that happen intermittently with such a short test. Looping allows the test to run again if no trouble is found.  This increases your odds of finding intermittent issues.  It's like betting on multiple positions of a roulette wheel. 

    ---------> Enable Looping: At your test screen hit 'control L'.  (control like a windows shortcut, not the apple command key).  You will see  "looping enabled" appear.  Hit start and go to bed.  Check it in the morning.


         • File corruption can also be from a bad hard drive although this is less common.  If you are under warranty I would call in just to get the issue recorded.  They will waste your time with resetting nvram and the other stuff which does not apply to your issues, BUT they can record the issue into your case history.  When you make it to a genius bar (at an actual Apple owned store - not your local apple authorized dealer), they can check your history and make an better diagnosis from those notes.


    Please do describe the specifics of what you are seeing (corrupted file system, freezing, etc).  The symptoms are important.

  • missed_call Level 1 Level 1

    Massimofromsavona wrote:


    Yeah, the apple store will probably charge you for reinstalling the system, and in a few days you will have the same slow performance. At least this is what happens with Mountain Lion.


    I have done ALL the procedures, including the last resort of taking the machine to service.


    I am going back to Snow Leopard.

    FALSE - Apple doesn't need your $40.  The genius bar is free for software support.


    AASP(apple authorized service providers) - Don't have the genius bar.  Apple authorized resellers are not owned by the Apple corporation but they tend to be very skilled.  They often have very good quality work because they have to get it right the first time.  However they do charge for their time and service.


    I've had them install operating systems for me at the bar and all they wanted was for me to keep an eye on it.  The lady told me that as long as she is able to work with the next person in line then it would be ok.

  • edudrey Level 1 Level 1

    So here goes more information:


    1 - Yes, corrupted files is the correct word.

    2 - And I have tried to re-start the computer with everithing disabled and check the HD: OK, GREEN.

    3 - Then I start opening item by item and found that when MAIL is OPEN, the HD is reported RED, incorrect amount of exteded atributes.

    4 - Closing MAIL, it reports GREEN again.

    So, probably is the MAIL that crashes.

    5 - As additional information, I run MS Office for MAC, but the MAIL presented the problem even before I check the PPt and Excel.

    So it seems to be software.


    Any clues?


    Tahnl you,



  • edudrey Level 1 Level 1

    After the intial debug, I guess the problem is more likely to relates o Mountain Lion issues, So I posted the same question in another thread that seems to be more correlated to my problem.


    thanks folks and misse_call for your kind support,



  • missed_call Level 1 Level 1

    I doubt it's a 10.8 thing.  I've personally dealt with hundreds of installs of 10.8 and I've never seen this behavior before.  Corrupted file systems are somewhat common to Apple's HFS+ system.  Sort of the Achilles' heel of the platform.  We woud have been past this if Apple actually implemented zfs or another file system, but that's for anotehr time I guess. 


    The Extended Attributes on the files could be from mail updating its files.  Once those changes are saved to the file system they should be permenant until changed, given that it is written to the drive.  So my only thoughts would be that mail is writting attributes and the changes are not being applied correctly. 


    • Still trying to isolate hardware vs software.  We know that the corrupted file system is a symptom but it should not be corrupting that soon.

    -- Possible Causes--

    1) Bad Hard Drive - Unable to record the data correctly but not throwing disk I/O errors

    2) Mail application -  The mail application is inherriting a problem from the user mail folder and this is causing it to not flushing files to the filesystem correctly

    3) Other hardware - bad RAM (unlikely but still possible, however I would expect more random behavior), possibly something else.  Run the hardware test for 4 loops and see if anything comes of it.


    Triage Mail issue first:

    • Turn on the Guest user in your System Preferences and configure the Mail program exactly the same way yours is.  See if you can recreate the behavior in that account.  This should only take 5-10 mins to setup.  The rest is downloading the mail contents.


    Last thing if it is not hardware and the software continues to be wonky --> At some point you might want to reinstall the OS but you'll need to backup first.  I would perform and erase and install.  After that manually add back the user and then reinstall the apps.

  • edudrey Level 1 Level 1

    Hi, missed_call, I'll do that, I mean the Mail issue triage. I personally believe that is a mail issue inherited from Outlook.


    (While I used Outlook I had a problem with the daemon files and had to rebuilt the identity and it was when the Newton Disc (the colored disc) problems got worse and worse. When moved back to MAIL, I lost a lot of e-mail files and in fact Mail has never operated accordingly, presenting many issues).


    I'll go this way and find an external way to back up (this is my only MAC and I live on a small city whereI doubt I'll find a Time Capsule to buy at once.


    Thanks again,



  • edudrey Level 1 Level 1

    It's true: when logged on through the Guest User - a totally clean user never used before - I could open and use MAIL and after some e-mails, I tried to verify the HD and it returned GREEN.


    So it seems related to MAIL capability to adequately write the files in my regular user.


    Wich is the next step? Is it possible to uninstal and reinstal MAIL only or the data base is definitely corrupted?


    in this case, I guess the procedure starts backing everything up on an external HD through Time Machine. And then what? I'm not used to such procedures like manually ad the user, will I need to set everything up in my user again? Is it needed a system disc or else to run the erasing? Is it safe? Is there a detailed informaiton so I can follow? The new installation will be completely from internet?


    Yes, sorry, too many questions, but you are really helping.





  • missed_call Level 1 Level 1

    A simple attempt could be to rename your user's Mail folder and then relaunch mail. This will force mail to essentially create fresh copies from the server, much like what the guest user did.


    - Manually Rebuilding Apple Mail -

    (Mail should NOT be running)


    1) open the Users Library folder:

      • In the Finder, click on the "Go" menu and choose "Go to Folder..."

      • type "~/Library", without the quotes into the Field

    2) Either move the folder called Mail and the folder Mail Downloads out of the library (like to a folder on the desktop), or just change the name.

      • example: Mail -> Mail_original

    3) launch the Mail program.

Previous 1 2 Next