9 Replies Latest reply: Apr 12, 2013 9:02 AM by John Galt
fabthi Level 1 (0 points)

Hi all

I previously had Snow Leopard 10.6.8 on my iMac 2.66 Intel Core 2 Duo; excellent, very fast and reliable.

Then I bought an iPad and since I needed to use iCloud syncing functionalities, I therefore had to upgrade my iMac OS to Mountain Lion...unfortunately!

The machine takes now almost 3 minutes to start, after that Mail (v6.3) takes an additional 2 minutes before it's fully functional, so it happens I have to wait some 5 minutes before I can read or write an email......

And that's not all; the infamous Apple wheel appears after starting most of my usual applications (Lightroom, Photoshop, even Firefox, Skype and others) and the whole machine seems very sluggish and poorly reactive

And, last but not least, I also found out I can't use as before my external monitor with its native resolution....Mountain Lion doesn't detect it !!!

Not happy at all with it, but my main concern is how to fix it.

Thanks to all


iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.3), Powerbook G4 Mac Os X (10.4.11)
  • Radiation Mac Level 5 (4,635 points)

    How much RAM does it have installed?  Mountain Lion has been shown in these Forums to be very memory intensive during use, and requires a "minimum" of 4 GB of RAM to have any speed at all (barely), and more RAM helps immensely.  The OS would like to use 4 GB of RAM for itself ideally, leaving little to run Applications.

  • fabthi Level 1 (0 points)

    I have 8GB.

    Just curious: can I go back to 10.6.8 and if yes how?

    Thanks for your help

  • drdocument Level 4 (3,010 points)

    8GB should be plenty. My MacBook Pro is running 10.8.3 just fine with 4GB of RAM, currently showing more than 800GB free (in Activity Monitor).


    Others have found speed improvements of 10.8.3 with:

    Repair permissions

    Reset PRAM

    Reset SMC

    Clear font caches

    Verify all other apps are fully updated

    Restart more often for a couple weeks.

    Be sure Spotlight has a chance to fully reindex.

    Verify at least 15% (preferably 20%) free space on startup drive.


    Some of these may be of significant benefit since you upgraded from 10.6.8, as there are lots of differences.

  • Eric Root Level 8 (45,095 points)

    Reset NVRAM/PRAM


    Reset SMC


    You can revert to Snow Leopard, but you will have to erase your hard drive to do it. You can achieve some iCloud syncing in Snow Leopard for Mail and Calendar. There is also a way to sync contacts, but having tried it, I can't recommend it.


    Maybe these will help:


    Performance Guide


    Why is my computer slow


    Why your Mac runs slower than it should


    For the Applications problems and things in general


    Try setting up another admin user account to see if the same problem continues. If Back-to-My Mac is selected in System Preferences, the Guest account will not work. The intent is to see if it is specific to one account or a system wide problem. This account can be deleted later.


    Isolating an issue by using another user account


    If the problem is still there, try booting into the Safe Mode.  Shut down the computer and then power it back up. Immediately after hearing the startup chime, hold down the shift key and continue to hold it until the gray Apple icon and a progress bar appear. The boot up is significantly slower than normal. This will reset some caches, forces a directory check, and disables all startup and login items, among other things. If the system operates normally, there may be 3rd party applications which are causing a problem. Try deleting/disabling the third party applications after a restart. For each disable/delete, you will need to restart if you don't do them all at once.


    Safe Mode


    Safe Mode - About


    General information.


    Isolating issues in Mac OS X


    Troubleshooting Permission Issues


    Step by Step to Fix Your Mac


    Upgrade Nightmares  

  • Linc Davis Level 10 (184,770 points)

    First, back up all data immediately, as your boot drive might be failing.


    There are a few other possible causes of generalized slow performance that you can rule out easily.


    • If you have many image or video files on the Desktop with preview icons, move them to another folder.
    • If applicable, uncheck all boxes in the iCloud preference pane.
    • Disconnect all non-essential wired peripherals and remove aftermarket expansion cards, if any.


    Otherwise, take the steps below when you notice the slowdown.


    Step 1


    Launch the Activity Monitor application in any of the following ways:


    ☞ Enter the first few letters of its name into a Spotlight search. Select it in the results (it should be at the top.)


    ☞ In the Finder, select Go Utilities from the menu bar, or press the key combination shift-command-U. The application is in the folder that opens.


    ☞ Open LaunchPad. Click Utilities, then Activity Monitor in the icon grid.


    Select the CPU tab of the Activity Monitor window.


    Select All Processes from the menu in the toolbar, if not already selected.


    Click the heading of the % CPU column in the process table to sort the entries by CPU usage. You may have to click it twice to get the highest value at the top. What is it, and what is the process? Also post the values for % User, % System, and % Idle at the bottom of the window.


    Select the System Memory tab. What values are shown in the bottom part of the window for Page outs and Swap used?


    Next, select the Disk Activity tab. Post the approximate values shown for Reads in/sec and Writes out/sec (not Reads in and Writes out.)


    Step 2


    If you have more than one user account, you must be logged in as an administrator to carry out this step.


    Launch the Console application in the same way you launched Activity Monitor. Make sure the title of the Console window is All Messages. If it isn't, select All Messages from the SYSTEM LOG QUERIES menu on the left. If you don't see that menu, select

    View Show Log List

    from the menu bar.


    Select the 50 or so most recent entries in the log. Copy them to the Clipboard (command-C). Paste into a reply to this message (command-V). You're looking for entries at the end of the log, not at the beginning.


    When posting a log extract, be selective. Don't post more than is requested.

    Please do not indiscriminately dump thousands of lines from the log into this discussion.

    Important: Some personal information, such as your name, may appear in the log. Anonymize before posting. That should be easy to do if your extract is not too long.

  • William H. Magill1 Level 2 (200 points)

    I must concur with the original poster -- 10.8.3 is incredibly slow! Boot times and application launch times. It was bad under 10.8.2, but has gotten worse of late.


    27 inch iMac Intel (mid 2010)

    Model:     iMac11,3

    Processor: 2.93 GHz Intel Core i7

    Memory:    8 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

    Graphics:  ATI Radeon HD 5750 1024 MB


    I wind up rebooting my machine frequently because of a particular problem in a specific on-line game I play. That is not the issue -- the issue is how LONG it takes OSX to recover after that reboot -- and even after the OSX login screen has been processed.


    It is clear that A LOT of the time is spent by OSX attempting to make things look faster -- the desktop starts to appear, then the various icons begin to popultate as generics, then they begin to convert to actual "correct" images. All of that is part and parcel of the "look-ahead" scheme.


    The console log is full of messages like "mdworker[9453]: Unable to talk to lsboxd"

    (which apparently relate to spotlight and were caused by the 10.8.2 upgrade)


    Interestingly, one thread I ran across over at macrumors implies that a "safe boot" makes the problem go away.


    Hmmm... will try that and report back.

  • John Galt Level 8 (44,680 points)

    William H. Magill1 there is something wrong with your Mac that is unrelated to its operating system.


    Read the very first line in Linc Davis's response, and then please post a new question. Your hardware is completely different than the OP's and requires different actions. Responding to someone else's post will not result in the attention you require. Thanks!

  • William H. Magill1 Level 2 (200 points)

    Who is John Galt?


    LOL -- "Your boot drive might be failing." That could be the first line posted in response to any question asked on any of these support forums. DUH!!!

    [And yes, Apple did RECALL and replace my hard drive -- every iMac user should check on that recall bulletin.]


    Continuing on with my earlier post...

    Yes, performing a Safe boot (shut down, hold shift while powering back up) and then waiting until you have completely logged back in -- (don't bother to launch anything, just wait about a minute after the desktop populates) before restarting again.


    Very interesting differences. Under Safe Boot:

    1- all of the "mdworker: Unable to talk to lsboxd" messages have stopped being posted to the Console log. They used to appear every few seconds.... a big I/O load is now gone.


    2- In safe boot, the desktop appeared, and then "boom" in one fell scan" all desktop icons were populated WITH their correct (i.e. complete) icons.  (Not surprisingly, no stickies, hmm.)


    3- After the reboot following the safe boot, time to login seemed to be "faster" -- however, the "fast desktop" was gone... interestingly the Stickies displayed almost immediately after the desktop, but then it was about another minute before the generic desktop icons appeared, and another 20-30 seconds until they were populated with the correct icons.


    Other apps do "their thing" -- too much inteaction with the Internet to determine if/what kind of slowdowns might be them, and which migh be results of the current DDoS impacting internet performance in general. (And I happen to have Verizon FIOS which has its own DNS issues!)


    So, yes, the Safe Boot, did do something. How significant an impact, only time will tell.


  • John Galt Level 8 (44,680 points)

    William H. Magill1 wrote:


    LOL -- "Your boot drive might be failing." That could be the first line posted in response to any question asked on any of these support forums. DUH!!!


    For good reason, since it is often after a user has lost all his data that he regrets not taking this simple and fundamental precaution.


    Continuing on with my earlier post...


    Please do not. "Safe Boot" is a troubleshooting mode only and other than performing some cursory actions does not in itself solve a thing. You are going off in the weeds.


    As I wrote, post a new question. Responding to someone else's post will not result in the attention you require.