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juice 03-29-2010 11:43 PM

MacBook Pro Obscenely Slow
Hi all.

For the last half year or so, my MBP has been just incredibly slow. To give you an idea, it takes about 60 - 90 seconds to launch Entourage, 15 - 30 seconds to launch Firefox (very few add-ins), and even 2 - 4 seconds to register a right click. Nothing on the computer is quick; this is not isolated to specific programs.

I upgraded my RAM a while ago, so I'm running 4 GB. When things are particularly bad, I launch Activity Monitor, and I have 2.7 GB free, which is a ton.

My hard drive has about 11 gigs free, so I don't think that's a problem.

I did some homework before posting. I ran all the default Onyx scripts (and I have the most updated version of Onyx), and I did a virus scan of my files (no virus).

I even tried little tweaks like taking files off my desktop, clearing cache, etc. I'm at a loss and don't know what to try next.

Help is really appreciated. My productivity is awful low.

juice 03-29-2010 11:45 PM

Additionally, I ran my disk wizard - whatever it's called. I had to boot off of my install disk and repair my drive, which was successfully done. It did not affect speed either.

6string 03-30-2010 01:16 AM

How big is your HD?
11 GB free is more than likely the culprit!

bobtomay 03-30-2010 07:43 AM

This issue is typically one of two things:

Best case scenario - you have less than 15% free space on your system drive/partition. Yes, this means a minimum of 75GB on a 500GB partition. This adage is definitely holding true for drives up to this size. I have not attempted filling a 1TB drive or larger to experiment with those yet.

Worst case scenario - your hard drive is dying - get it backed up now.

deus_ex_machina 03-30-2010 10:05 AM

10GB is the absolute minimum free space OSX needs.

Backup your files and make room!

I also would recommend iDefrag for disk defragmentation, simply reinstall the OS, or buy a bigger hard drive if you need more space.

LelandJLK 03-30-2010 11:50 AM

Before I bought my external HD i had less than 50 gigs of memory left. My computer ran somewhat slow...but once I got the external and moved all my files to it, my computer runs like the first day i bought it.

juice 03-30-2010 06:50 PM

Thanks for the advice. I have a 120 GB HD partitioned.

The Mac side is 97 GB, 12 GB free.
The Windows side is 22 GB, 2 GB free.

Do the capacities of either side affect the other? I'll try moving some stuff to an external later tonight and report back.


bobtomay 03-30-2010 07:55 PM

No, one would not affect the other. But my guess is both of your operating systems are running pretty slow.

I'd suggest trying to get your OS X partition up to about 20GB free and Windows at least 4GB free space.

I use 15% as a measure because that is the point when you will begin to see the effects of a full drive. 20% is better and I maintain a minimum of 25% on all system partitions. This is not as important with only data partitions, but even with those I refrain from going below 10% free.

It's really time to start considering a larger drive.

If freeing up space does not help, it does probably 80% of the time, this is also one of the signs of a failing drive the other 20% of the time. And it could be a combination of both.

juice 03-30-2010 09:35 PM

Thanks again for the reply. I have a 320 GB external HD, but I worry that it would slow things down as it's going through USB2.0 (which is a slow connection, yes?)

Right now I keep all my media on that.

juice 03-30-2010 09:58 PM

Just killed 17 GB worth of World of Warcraft. What does that program want with my HD!?!

Do I need to defrag (Windows term, I know) or anything after deleting a huge chunk of stuff?

6string 03-30-2010 10:13 PM

Don't have to, but it couldn't hurt at this point.
To do this, it's as simple as making a bootable clone with CCC or SuperDuper, zeroing out your HD, and then cloning back.
Just as a sidenote, I limit myself to keeping not much more than 10-20GB of music on my HD and 2-3 movies at any time, and any excess music and movies I keep on an external HD. This leaves my internal HD at approx 75% free and has done for the last 2yrs, and my Mac has always been flying along.
So, as mentioned above, if you want to store everything on your internal, a new internal would be a great option.

TheAppleGuy 03-30-2010 10:15 PM

maybe you should try freeing up some space. big, data-intensive programs make your mac slower.

try iStat Menus, its a great way to see how much data your mac is using, plus it has the temp, dll, ull speed, cpu speed, hdd space, and how much ram is being used.

but it only works on 10.5 or higher, but that shouldn't be a problem, as i use snow leopard and it has no problems whatsoever.

heres the site:
iStat Menus, a Mac app by iSlayer

juice 04-18-2010 03:10 PM

Thanks for all the tips. I have done a whole bunch of things, including repairing permissions, running all Onyx scripts, verifying / repairing start-up disk. Eventually, I took it to my local Apple store, who determined that I have a bad logic board. They replaced it, and NO CHANGE.


Double clicking a Word doc takes 15 - 30 seconds to get a splash screen, then another minute to become operative.

Firefox takes even longer.

Would reinstalling Snow Leopard help at all?

6string 04-18-2010 08:38 PM

If they replaced the logic board, and the same is going on, take it back to Apple.

87vert 04-19-2010 01:27 PM


Originally Posted by deus_ex_machina (Post 1026677)
10GB is the absolute minimum free space OSX needs.

Really I have never seen that anywhere? It runs fine on my Dell Mini with only 7GB free. Even ran fine when I had 3GB free. (I had to get 7GB free to install the 10.6.3 update)

I think your problem would be solved with an archive and install.

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