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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Jul 21, 2013
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    Exclamation MacBook Pro (13-inch Mid-2010) running slow!
    My 13-inch mid-2010 model Macbook Pro is running slow. When I first start it up, it is generally normal but once I begin to do web browsing and start watching any video, it begins to lock-up and get very hot.

    Here are the specifics stats:

    -54gb left of 500gb hard drive
    - Running OSX 10.6.8
    - 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    - 4 GB Memory

    I have tried multiple things to fix this. I thought, and still think, this could be related to flash. I've tried using all different browsers (Google Chrome, Safari, and now I'm using Firefox) but I have the same problem on all three. This problem also occurs when using skype with video for more than 5 minutes. It never use to be this way until about 6 months ago and ever since then it has been a pain to watch YouTube videos, or any videos online for that matter. Once the computer begins to lag, there is usually no point of return. The computer is slow and laggy after this point and needs to be restarted before it returns to its useful state.

    I have looked at activity monitor and here are some of the readings I'm getting while watching videos:

    - Anywhere from .02 to 10% for %idle
    - 1 GB free of memory
    - Roughly 600mb wired memory

    I've tried uninstalling and reinstalling Flash, I've used programs like OnyX to clean the cache and such but this problem still happens.

    I'm still working on broadening my knoweledge of computers, but this problem is getting to the point where I may just surrender and take it into the Genius bar.

    Does anyone have any ideas for what I could do to fix this problem once and for all? Any suggestions are appreciated!

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rochester13 View Post
    I have looked at activity monitor...
    Take a look at your "page outs" and "swap file" sizes.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Jul 21, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Take a look at your "page outs" and "swap file" sizes.

    - Nick
    Both the "page outs" and the "swap used" (couldn't find "swap file") are at 0 bytes.

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by rochester13 View Post
    Both the "page outs" and the "swap used" (couldn't find "swap file") are at 0 bytes.
    "Swap Used" is what I meant. Zero for both is good.

    Next thing I would suggest is installing and running the free program Onyx:

    Titanium's Software • Index page

    Just click on the 'Automated" Button..and let the program do its thing. Program is completely safe...no worries (as long as you just do the automated stuff).

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    2011 13" MBP 2.3ghz, 8gig ram, OS 10.8.5
    Quote Originally Posted by rochester13 View Post
    I have looked at activity monitor and here are some of the readings I'm getting while watching videos:

    - Anywhere from .02 to 10% for %idle
    I was looking at this again...and .02 to 10% idle is not very good. This basically means 90% to 99.98% is utilized...which will definitely slow the computer down.

    Check "All Process's" in Activity Monitor to see where all the cpu resources are going.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  6. #6


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    I was looking at this again...and .02 to 10% idle is not very good. This basically means 90% to 99.98% is utilized...which will definitely slow the computer down.

    Check "All Process's" in Activity Monitor to see where all the cpu resources are going.

    - Nick
    I looked at the top few are Firefox, kernal_task and firefox plug in process shock wave (usually the 3rd highest CPU usage behind the other two). I took another look at the idling speed and sometimes it gets to the point where it goes to 0.0 and the computer locks up for a second and then it begins to move again, although still in a laggy state.

  7. #7

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rochester13 View Post
    I looked at the top few are Firefox, kernal_task and firefox plug in process shock wave (usually the 3rd highest CPU usage behind the other two). I took another look at the idling speed and sometimes it gets to the point where it goes to 0.0 and the computer locks up for a second and then it begins to move again, although still in a laggy state.
    Here's something else to try:

    - Quit all your programs.
    - Reboot the computer.
    - Upon rebooting do not open any applications.
    - Open Activity Monitor
    - See what your % Idle is.

    Your "% Idle" should be really really high with a fresh reboot & no apps open (other than Activity Monitor).

    For example (on my computer)...I currently have "Mail", "Safari", a small app, and Activity Monitor open...and my % Idle hovers betwen 97-99%.

    If your % Idle is seriously lower than this...then you have programs running that are "auto-loading"...and you need to look into that.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Jul 21, 2013
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    5
    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Here's something else to try:

    - Quit all your programs.
    - Reboot the computer.
    - Upon rebooting do not open any applications.
    - Open Activity Monitor
    - See what your % Idle is.

    Your "% Idle" should be really really high with a fresh reboot & no apps open (other than Activity Monitor).

    For example (on my computer)...I currently have "Mail", "Safari", a small app, and Activity Monitor open...and my % Idle hovers betwen 97-99%.

    If your % Idle is seriously lower than this...then you have programs running that are "auto-loading"...and you need to look into that.

    - Nick
    I did this and without opening any applications, it was hovering around 95%, although it dipped between 90% and 95% at times. When opening the activity monitor, at first it peaked at 12% but then jumped back to 90-95% once activity monitor was up and going.

  9. #9

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rochester13 View Post
    I did this and without opening any applications, it was hovering around 95%, although it dipped between 90% and 95% at times. When opening the activity monitor, at first it peaked at 12% but then jumped back to 90-95% once activity monitor was up and going.
    Are all these values "% Idle"?...just wanted to be sure.

    You probably remember...in post #1 you mentioned that your computers % Idle was "anywhere from .02 to 10%". So going from .02 to 10%...to 90-95%...that's a very big difference.

    I'm not exactly sure what applications you had running when % Idle was .02 to 10%...but it's very possible that you had too many apps open at once...or too many high demand apps. open at the same time..."eating up" a lot of cpu resources (which will certainly slow down the computer).

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Jul 21, 2013
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    Are all these values "% Idle"?...just wanted to be sure.

    You probably remember...in post #1 you mentioned that your computers % Idle was "anywhere from .02 to 10%". So going from .02 to 10%...to 90-95%...that's a very big difference.

    I'm not exactly sure what applications you had running when % Idle was .02 to 10%...but it's very possible that you had too many apps open at once...or too many high demand apps. open at the same time..."eating up" a lot of cpu resources (which will certainly slow down the computer).

    - Nick
    Yes, that is correct. After about 5-10 minutes of watching video or doing some web browsing with most websites that have some flash elements, it gets to the point where the idle % ranges between .02% and 10%. But, when I first started it up today and before I opened any applications, it was running at the 90-95% idle speed. It is a huge difference and this is why I'm stumped as to what is causing this. Skype has also caused this to happen in the past too.

    Whenever it begins to get that slow, the laptop gets very hot and the fans are running. When I've been on Skype and/or have done heavy stuff on my laptop in the past (before the last 6 months), it would get hot and the fans would be running, but it wouldn't lag like it does now. When it gets to that point of .02%-10%, the audio cuts in and out and the cursor responsiveness ducks in and out.

    When this happens, I usually don't have that much open. When it happens while I watch YouTube videos, I often have a couple other tabs open at the same time, and perhaps Mail. A few other programs that are usually running in the background include: WeatherBug and Dropbox.

    I do have this software called Virus Barrier that I am trying to get rid of (made by Intego) however I moved the application shortcut in the Applications folder to the trash bin to uninstall it... but the remnants of the software remain and there are a few related processes still running that say virus barreir/intego so I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it.

    Like I said, I've tried to reinstall flash, and have tried different browsers to no avail. At this point, if its not the virus software that I downloaded (bad decision by the way), then perhaps it could be a hardware issue?

    Thanks for your continuing help by the way.

  11. #11

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rochester13 View Post
    After about 5-10 minutes of watching video or doing some web browsing with most websites that have some flash elements, it gets to the point where the idle % ranges between .02% and 10%.

    Whenever it begins to get that slow, the laptop gets very hot and the fans are running.

    I do have this software called Virus Barrier that I am trying to get rid of (made by Intego) however I moved the application shortcut in the Applications folder to the trash bin to uninstall it... but the remnants of the software remain and there are a few related processes still running that say virus barreir/intego so I'm wondering if that has anything to do with it.
    The laptop getting hot & the fans getting loud is not necessarily uncommon when watching internet videos. But your % Idle getting as low as .02% to 10% is pretty low. As an example...I started watching a YouTube video while typing this response...and my % Idle never went below 85%.

    All I can say is...when the computer starts getting really slow & % Idle gets really low...check "All Process's" in Activity Monitor...and see if something is running (and using a lot of cpu resources) that you don't recognize.

    Definitely try to get rid of any sort of programs running in the background (like anti-virus programs).

    Good luck,

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

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