Previous 1 2 Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Jan 23, 2007 9:21 PM by Patddfan
Patddfan Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
what would be the easiest way to speed up my computer (without upgrades to the hardware)? I have tried using norton speed disk, and that seems to never work, so I wanna know what would be the best way to speed my computer up! thanks!

iBook G4 (Early 2004), Mac OS X (10.3.9), 2 external drives and 768 MB RAM
  • ParentalUnit Level 4 Level 4 (1,440 points)

    You could start off by getting rid of all Norton products, as they tend to be resource hogs.

    Second, just what are you trying to speed up? One thing that might help is making sure that you quit all running programs except the one you're actively using.

    What other add-on software do you have? Do you use it actively? If not, dump.

    You could try booting from one of your external drives, if they're firewire and HFS formatted - the laptop drive in your iBook isn't exactly the fastest. Remember to eject any drives that you are not actively using, though.

    I'll mention but suggest you avoid until you understand exactly what you're doing the Unix command nice.

    That's about all I can think of that doesn't involve changing hardware. Anybody else?

  • =D Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Hi Paddfan, not to be picky but what do you mean by speed your ibook up?

    Do you mean speed up your start up speed? If so correct me if I'm wrong but you might be able to change the order in which you processor reades different things e.g. HDD, CD Drive. Or what programs actually enable at startup, obviously the least amount of programs needed to startup the quicker your logon.

    Do you mean your shut down speed? Here again you would close applications you do not need to be running.

    You could possibly play around with your RAM, setting priorities for certain hardware in your ibook altho you'd have to be very skilled to do this.

    I don't know if you can play around with the processors in ibooks like you can with AMD's??? but if so then you could peak your processors mhz output.

    One other tip would be to keep everything organised because the more organised you are the easier it is for your ibook to find things on your HDD making it slightly quicker, this is almost like what Defrag in windows XP does.

    Regards Mike.
  • Ryan Temple Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Found In Apple Support:

    From the Apple menu, choose System Preferences.
    From the View menu, choose Energy Saver.
    Click Options.
    From the Processor Performance pop-up menu, choose Highest.

    Also known as "PowerStep," this option allows the software to change the microprocessor's clock speed and/or turn off the L3 cache, slowing down to conserve power or speeding up when more speed is needed.
  • Patddfan Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    my computer is running very slowly now, and I wonder if I can fix this (the programs take way too long to startup, and starting up takes about 5-15 minutes each time!) how can I fix this? I have tried to defrag it w/ norton systemworks, but it isn't possible to defrag because of open files on the drive (but I don't know how to close the open files)! also, I already know that this problem can't be solved with any energy saver settings cause I tried it and no significant performance boost! thanks!
  • Adrian Clarke1 Level 4 Level 4 (3,580 points)
    Norton SystemWorks? Norton SpeedDisk? Aren't those Norton utilities a contradiction in terms? As ParentalUnit has advised, probably the most effective thing you can do in the short term is get rid of the Norton stuff.
    Concerning the general slowdown apart from the Norton issue, though they're probably connected, how much free disk space do you have? As a general rule of thumb OS X likes at least 10% of the HD size as free space for swap files and virtual memory. Much less and it could cause the sort of problems that you are experiencing, as well as more serious consequences like data loss and OS corruption.

    Go to the Apple menu top/left of the screen>About this Mac>More info>ATA and select the second ATA reference in the RH pane. About ¾ of the way down you should see:

    Capacity:xx.xx GB
    Available: xx.xx GB

    Fill in the xxs and report back.

    Good luck,


    iBook G4 1.07GHz, 30 GB, AE, 768mb; & iMac 17" 'igloo' G4:768mb 80 GB (10.3.9)   Mac OS X (10.4.7)   Belkin WiFi F5D7632, Epson C86, Shredder! Oh, and the iMac's got a droopy arm…
  • Ravena Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Ive got exactly the same problem with my iBook G4!! I open up safari and it takes ages and its not just safari, its most applications. More and more applications are 'not responding' and simple tasks take forever.
    I dont know what to do.
    My capacity is 27.82 GB and availability is 2.79GB. Is this the problem do i not have enough space?
    Please help if you can.

    iBook G4   Mac OS X (10.3.9)  
  • PB PM Level 4 Level 4 (2,480 points)
    The general rule of thumb is to have 10% of your drive free for virtual memory. If you only have 256MB or 512MB of RAM, consider getting at an upgrade to at least 768MB or better yet 1GB.
  • laura & steve Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    These are similar problems that I'm having with my iBook. It's about 2years old but I have 14.44 GB out of 37.13 GB free space.
    It's taking a long time to start up applications and to do simple tasks like scrolling down the page in a word document.
    I recently installed Tiger but could this really cause my computer to run slower? Sorry that I'm not solving anyone's problems here and just adding my own,
    rest assured Patddfan, you're not alone.

    iBook G4   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
  • Christopher Rios 2 Level 1 Level 1 (120 points)
    The one thing that I always do that really seems to help, once a year I completely wipe the drive and then reinstall the OS and any data that I absolutely need. It helps to have an external hard drive to back everything up onto but you could also do it with CDs and/or DVDs.

    I think of it as a spring cleaning for my computer. I usually end up with at least 10GB more space because it forces me to actually go through and decide what data I really need, or what apps I really use. Of course it takes awhile to reinstall everything but in the end it always seems like my machine runs smoother and apps open faster.

  • yogilebear Level 1 Level 1 (135 points)
    It seems to me that as the iBook G4's are becoming 2-3 years old now, the volume of problems reported here and similar forums, have increased considerably.

    Pat, i think you should reconsider and scrape up some pennies for a HD upgrade. I have 2004 iBook similar to yours, and was forced to replace HD after 2+ yrs of hard usage. Replaced 60GB,4200rpm with 80GB, 5400rpm; not a huge jump, but feels like night and day. Well worth the money I paid, feels like a new 'book.
    Other than that, evict norton, empty caches, do permissions, keep 10% free.

    laura, how much ram are you using to run Tiger? Like popcorn and money, more is better.

    iBook G4, 1.33gHz   Mac OS X (10.3.9)  
  • laura & steve Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    thanks for all the suggestions guys, no improvement yet but I'll keep trying to keep my HD free of excess files.
    yogilebear- sorry to be such a girl about this but I have no idea how to find out how much RAM tiger is running on, coud you give me a hint or tip? I'd really appreciate it,


    iBook G4   Mac OS X (10.4.8)  
  • Patddfan Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    As a general rule of thumb OS X likes at least 10% of the HD size as free space for swap files and virtual memory. Much less and it could cause the sort of problems that you are experiencing, as well as more serious consequences like data loss and OS corruption.

    my boot disk (250 GB Lacie FW drive broken up into 4 partitions) has the following:
    Capacity: 58.09 GB
    Available: 33.46 GB

    I am also having a lot more programs crash, and some applications (such as safari, iPhoto 5, Microsoft office X/2004, EyeTV and iTunes 7.0.2) are taking way too long to startup, and sometimes I get a 'beach ball' instead of a pointer. this never used to happen before! I wonder how many more people have had this problem and not tried to solve it? but just what is the solution?

    oh and btw, I have had to install Mac OS 10.3.3 (and updates) a total of 8 times since I first bought my iBook G4, and about an hour ago, one of the partitions that I installed OS 10.3.9 on got corrupted, and I am now trying to figure out how to prevent this from happening!

    (P.S.) I was unable to locate the correct 1 GB memory module for an iBook G4 from any local retailers (except apple!) I did however manage to locate the 512 MB memory module for my iBook at Circuit City, and it was much cheaper than Apple, but at this point, it would be pointless to spend more than $75 on upgrades since most users machines are at least 18 months old!
    (as quoted from my previous posting 'upgrade or replace my iBook G4?')

    (P.P.S.) which is a more effective tool for hard drives: Norton Systemworks, Tech Tool Pro, apple disk utility, or is there something better I haven't yet heard about? also, I have worked with linux before, so I am somewhat familiar with terminal commands, but not completely!

    iBook G4 (Early 2004)   Mac OS X (10.3.9)   Network systems analysist, 2 external drives and 768 MB RAM
  • Patddfan Level 1 Level 1 (35 points)
    since my iBook will be 3 years old this summer, I am not going to upgrade anything else that is "internal!"

    Anyways, I have already spent $125 upgrading the memory, and with the remaining upgrades (Larger HD and DVD+/-RW Drive) it would make sense to just save up for a new Macintosh. It might be a few years before I can get a new one since I don't get a lot of money to work with, but I'll eventually get a new MacBook or iMac. Thanks though!
  • Tshaqwade Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    You might also try using Onyx. DL the version appropriate to your OS. Select "Optimize System" under "Maintainence." Select "Complete Optimizaion." Also, you can change the loading speed oof Safari by selecting the "Parameters" tab and clicking on Safari tab. select speed display of Safari pages, then select "Fast." If you have a version of 10.4, also run the "Reset" command under "Maintainence." Note: some coommands require a restart. Also, you can clean cahches and other stuff with Onyx.

    This is an excellent utility, and it's free.

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