Kappy's Personal Suggestions for OS X Maintenance
For disk repairs use Disk Utility. For situations DU cannot handle the best third-party utilities are: Disk Warrior; DW only fixes problems with the disk directory, but most disk problems are caused by directory corruption; Disk Warrior 4.x is now Intel Mac compatible. Drive Genius provides additional tools not found in Disk Warrior. Versions 1.5.1 and later are Intel Mac compatible.
OS X performs certain maintenance functions that are scheduled to occur on a daily, weekly, or monthly period. The maintenance scripts run in the early AM only if the computer is turned on 24/7 (no sleep.)
If you are using a pre-Leopard version of OS X, then an excellent solution is to download and install a shareware utility such as Macaroni, JAW PseudoAnacron, or Anacron that will automate the maintenance activity regardless of whether the computer is turned off or asleep. Dependence upon third-party utilities to run the periodic maintenance scripts was significantly reduced since Tiger. (These utilities have limited or no functionality with Snow Leopard, Lion, or Mountain Lion and should not be installed.)
OS X automatically defragments files less than 20 MBs in size, so unless you have a disk full of very large files there's little need for defragmenting the hard drive. As for virus protection there are few if any such animals affecting OS X. You can protect the computer easily using the freeware Open Source virus protection software ClamXAV. Personally I would avoid most commercial anti-virus software because of their potential for causing problems. For more about malware see Macintosh Virus Guide.
I would also recommend downloading a utility such as TinkerTool System, OnyX 2.4.3, or Cocktail 5.1.1 that you can use for periodic maintenance such as removing old log files and archives, clearing caches, etc.
For emergency repairs install the freeware utility Applejack. If you cannot start up in OS X, you may be able to start in single-user mode from which you can run Applejack to do a whole set of repair and maintenance routines from the command line. Note that AppleJack 1.5 is required for Leopard. AppleJack 1.6 is compatible with Snow Leopard. (There is no confirmation that this version also works with Lion or later.)
When you install any new system software or updates be sure to repair the hard drive and permissions beforehand. I also recommend booting into safe mode before doing system software updates.
Get an external Firewire drive at least equal in size to the internal hard drive and make (and maintain) a bootable clone/backup. You can make a bootable clone using the Restore option of Disk Utility. You can also make and maintain clones with good backup software. My personal recommendations are (order is not significant):
2. Data Backup
3. Deja Vu
6. Synk Pro
Visit The XLab FAQs and read the FAQs on maintenance, optimization, virus protection, and backup and restore.
Always have a current backup before performing any system updates or upgrades.
Additional suggestions will be found in:
2. Mac OS X speed FAQ,
3. Speeding up Macs,
4. Macintosh OS X Routine Maintenance,
5. Essential Mac Maintenance: Get set up,
6. Essential Mac Maintenance: Rev up your routines,
7. Maintaining OS X,
8. Five Mac maintenance myths,
9. How to Speed up Macs, and
10. Myths of required versus not required maintenance for Mac OS X.
Be sure you have an adequate amount of RAM installed for the number of applications you run concurrently. Be sure you leave a minimum of 10% of the hard drive's capacity or 20 GBs, whichever is greater, as free space.
What is an "older pro but has upgraded hardware"? If you have installed more memory, that is pretty much all you can do.
Macs do not need "cleaning" unless it involves a soft cloth. Do not succumb to slick marketing tactics that promise magical results by downloading anything claiming to "clean" or "optimize" or "speed up" your Mac. They can do no good and are very likely to cause problems that will prove difficult to fix.
macbook pro, mid 2010
processor 2.66 intel core I7
mem 6 gig ddr3
graphics intel hd 288, plus a second graphics card nvideo geforce gt 330
I am noticing definite slowing down, especially in startup. i am getting a lot more colour wheel' hangs as well, so there does have to be something that is going wrong. I know taht it isn't the same as pc, but installing software and deleting it still accounts for lost files, and there has to be a way to optimize startup files being loaded and such, I will look at that post you put below this as well.
Get rid of poorly written third party cleaning software.
Try starting in Safe Mode and see if the problem still occurs?
Restart holding the "shift" key.
(Expect it to take longer to start this way because it runs a directory check first.)
If this works look in System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login items and delete any third party login items (-), you can always add them back with the (+). Also look in /Library/Startup Items. Nothing is put in that folder by default, so anything in there is yours.
I wouldn't call a mid-2010 MBP "old" yet.
From what you describe I would start your MacBook by booting OS X Recovery and running Disk Utility from the Utilities menu. Select your startup disk on the left and then Repair Disk. Report any errors it finds. A failing hard disk could explain your long startup times, and the only permanent fix is to replace the disk (permanent, that is until the replacement HD fails).
If Disk Utility reports no problems, find out what is causing your slowdowns. "Lost files" themselves may occupy hard disk space but are otherwise inert. On the other hand remnants of third party system modifications that you installed can certainly cause problems. Generally speaking such things cannot be completely removed by simply dragging their apps to the Trash. You must use their uninstallers, if one was included with those utilities.
Apple Support Communities contributor etresoft wrote this very useful app to quickly gather certain system information that may help point to a cause of your slowdowns. Go to his website, download and run EtreCheck:
Copy and paste its output in a reply. That may prove useful.
sorry it took so long.
DU found no errors on safe startup option. below is the clip board copy, I used the etrecheck in safe mode. should I do that in normal mode?
MacBook Pro - model: MacBookPro6,2
1 2.66 GHz Intel Core i7 CPU: 2 cores
6 GB RAM
fcserver - Path: /Library/StartupItems/fcserver
HW_CreateNetwork - Path: /Library/StartupItems/HW_CreateNetwork
HWPortDetect_driver - Path: /Library/StartupItems/HWPortDetect_driver
Qmaster - Path: /Library/StartupItems/Qmaster
OS X 10.8.2 (12C60) - Uptime: 0 days 0:8
Hitachi HTS545050B9A300 disk0 : (500.11 GB)
disk0s1 (disk0s1) <not mounted>: 209.7 MB
internal hdd (disk0s2) /: 499.25 GB (16.85 GB free)
Recovery HD (disk0s3) <not mounted>: 650 MB
HP Portable HD BB07 1 TB
disk1s1 (disk1s1) <not mounted>: 209.7 MB
leopard (disk1s2) <not mounted>: 999.86 GB
Apple Computer, Inc. IR Receiver
Apple Inc. Built-in iSight
Apple Inc. BRCM2070 Hub
Apple Inc. Bluetooth USB Host Controller
Apple Internal Memory Card Reader
Apple Inc. Apple Internal Keyboard / Trackpad
at.obdev.nke.LittleSnitch Version: 2.5.3
Problem System Launch Daemons:
Problem System Launch Agents:
[not loaded] at.obdev.littlesnitchd.plist
[not loaded] com.adobe.fpsaud.plist
[not loaded] com.adobe.versioncueCS4.plist
[not loaded] com.bombich.ccc.plist
[not loaded] com.eltima.ElmediaPlayer.daemon.plist
[not loaded] com.logmein.logmeinserver.plist
[not loaded] com.microsoft.office.licensing.helper.plist
[not loaded] com.parallels.desktop.launchdaemon.plist
[not loaded] com.timesoftware.timemachineeditor.backupd-auto.plist
[not loaded] at.obdev.LittleSnitchNetworkMonitor.plist
[not loaded] at.obdev.LittleSnitchUIAgent.plist
[not loaded] com.adobe.CS4ServiceManager.plist
[not loaded] com.epson.ews.launcher.plist
[not loaded] com.logmein.logmeingui.plist
[not loaded] com.logmein.logmeinguiagent.plist
[not loaded] com.logmein.logmeinguiagentatlogin.plist
[not loaded] com.parallels.desktop.launch.plist
[not loaded] com.parallels.DesktopControlAgent.plist
[not loaded] com.parallels.vm.prl_pcproxy.plist
User Launch Agents:
[not loaded] com.divx.agent.postinstall.plist
[not loaded] com.google.keystone.agent.plist
[not loaded] com.leadertech.PowerRegister.EPS2.3225e2aba39c7d96ac29a3778c5ebb7a.plist
User Login Items:
3rd Party Preference Panes:
Adobe Version Cue CS4
Flip4Mac WMV Plugin.plugin
User Internet Plug-ins:
Google Earth Web Plug-in.plugin
41.8 % com.apple.qtkitserver
32.2 % sandboxd
1.5 % Finder
1.5 % EtreCheck
1.1 % WindowServer
0.5 % fontd
0.0 % coreservicesd
0.0 % imagent
Thanks. Any one of your user Login items could be a problem but Magic Menu in particular is a leftover from Stuffit that I gave up on a long time ago because it caused problems.
You could either disable them individually or create a new, "temporary" user account to determine if your system runs normally without all that stuff.
Creating a temporary account to isolate user-specific problems: Isolating an issue by using another user account