Sloooooooow Macbook

Edo


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This is probably a tale often told. My Macbook has become excruciatingly slow. How can I remedy this?

Here's the details:

MacBook Pro, 17 inch (purchased Mar 2010)
2.8 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
4GB 1067 MHz DDR3
NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB
OS X 10.9.4 (13E28)
500GB hard drive with 88GB free free

Thanks in advance!
 

chscag

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There are some simple things you can do first: Increase memory in your machine to at least 8GB. Start removing from the hard drive what you can place on an external drive. Your hard drive is getting full and you likely have some fragmentation which slows things down.

Another thing you can do is use a maintenance and optimization utility. The only one we recommend is the free OnyX utility. Do not download or use any other cleaners such as Clean My Mac or MacKeeper. Both are harmful.

Something else you can do... Replace the hard drive with a fast SSD. And, don't forget to make backups. ;)
 
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With all due respect and the great suggestions, I always fail to understand why everybody immediately jumps to the " solution space " without understanding the " problem space "
There must be a reason as to why that machine suddenly becomes " slow " ( whatever that means )

Is it slow in booting ?
How many apps do you have open ? ( or tabs in a browser )
If you open Activity monitor, ( with and without apps loaded ) is there any process that is using a lot of CPU.
Without accessing the internet, is there any high network usage ?
If you turn off WiFi , is your machine still " slow " when running apps ?
Any " error " messages in the log files ( console.app ) ?

It may be as simple as a run-away process that is eating all your CPU cycles.

Again, all suggestions above are very valid, but before opening my wallet, I would at least try and understand what is happening on my machine.

Just my humble 2 euro cents.

Cheers ... McBie
 
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All valid points McBie, but I usually assume that a poster has been doing the same thing over and over and then notices that it has become noticeably slower, or even sloooower... as some post. ;)

And yes, I break my first premise every time - never assume nutt'n'!!! ;) :D
 
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You need a larger hard drive, or clean out a lot of what is on it already. A hard drive requires a minimum of 20% free space to work anywhere near efficiently. You are under that 20% 'line in the sand' and things will get slower and slower the more free space is used.
 
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I wish the use of using percentage for a proper amount of free hard drive space would disappear from all web sites as it is almost meaningless these days with the various sizes of boot hard drives being used.

And it becomes crazier when different sites quote anything from 5% up to 50% or more.

And as for the OP here, I dare say that their hard drive with 88GB free is a long way from being too full. :D

Just saying… ;)
 
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Maybe it is time I packed my bags and moved on. Seems everything I offer you criticize.

Just saying....
 
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I wasn't criticizing you personally, but I was just stating that I wished that there was a better method or suggestion of what the recommended free hard drive space amount should be, and that using a percentage that so many use is just not really accurate.

Not even Apple seems to provide a proper answer.

My apologies if you took it personally. It was not meant be be so at all.
 
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Edo


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Hi McBie,

To answer your diagnostic questions:

- It takes about 3 minutes to restart.
- I don't have very many apps or browser tabs open at any one time. Speed doesn't improve much when I keep these to a minimum.
- What would be "a lot of CPU"? Nothing is consistently over 10%.
- What would be "high network usage"?
- WiFi being on or off doesn't seem to affect speed much.
- Where would I look for error messages in Console?

Thanks!

Edo
 
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Edo


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There are some simple things you can do first: Increase memory in your machine to at least 8GB. Start removing from the hard drive what you can place on an external drive. Your hard drive is getting full and you likely have some fragmentation which slows things down.

Another thing you can do is use a maintenance and optimization utility. The only one we recommend is the free OnyX utility. Do not download or use any other cleaners such as Clean My Mac or MacKeeper. Both are harmful.

Something else you can do... Replace the hard drive with a fast SSD. And, don't forget to make backups. ;)

Thanks, chscag.

So, how does one go about putting in more memory? Do you just go to an Apple store and ask for it? I found some Apple Resellers here in Bangkok and they just told me to bring in the computer and they could install it right away. Is it really that easy?!

I'll run OnyX but should I wait until after I install the memory?

I have to ask, if MacKeeper is bad news why did I see an ad for it on this site? And why is it harmful?

Thanks!

Ed
 

chscag

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The last time I was in Bangkok there were no Apple resellers, but that was back during the Viet Nam war. ;)

Yes, memory is very easy to install. However, as long as the store is willing to put it in for you and not charge any extra, let them go ahead and do it.

You can run OnyX any time you wish. Best to run it in auto mode until you get used to all the options and settings. Read thru the help file as it's very informative.

And yes, MacKeeper is bad news. Snake oil would be a better description of it. It does things to your system which can be harmful like cleaning out files that are necessary for operation. Unfortunately the Administrators and Moderators here do not own the forums and all advertising is handled outside of our control. The owners of MacKeeper and other software are paying for the ads - kind of reminds you of the cigarette ads we used to see on TV.
 
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Edo


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chscag,

Reminded me of a time I was in the cockpit of a FedEx jet flying from Bangkok to Hong Kong. As we were entering Vietnamese airspace the captain sat upright, looked out the window, looked at the map on the computer screen and announced, "Last time I was here I was dropping bombs."

Jobs must have been about 12 then. That might explain the lack of Apple stores or even resellers:-D

Many thanks!
 

dtravis7


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I will bring up another thing that sort of connects with what Chscag said in his first post.

How long has this slowness been going on? I see you are running 10.9.4 which is Mavericks. Depending on your usage, Mavericks really wants more than 4GB RAM to run fast with many things going at the same time. Upgrading the RAM might make a large difference.

Also will bring up another thing, Open Disk Utility from Applications, Utilities and click on the Main hard drive and look at the bottom. Does SMART Status say Passed? A hard drive starting to die can really lengthen boot times like yours is doing!

Let us know what you find.
 
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I will bring up another thing that sort of connects with what Chscag said in his first post.

How long has this slowness been going on? I see you are running 10.9.4 which is Mavericks. Depending on your usage, Mavericks really wants more than 4GB RAM to run fast with many things going at the same time. Upgrading the RAM might make a large difference.

Also will bring up another thing, Open Disk Utility from Applications, Utilities and click on the Main hard drive and look at the bottom. Does SMART Status say Passed? A hard drive starting to die can really lengthen boot times like yours is doing!

Let us know what you find.


And to add, click the Verify disk on the boot volume while DU is open as well. And make sure it passes.

But I notice that the Mac is still running Mavericks 10.9.4, and the 10.9.5 update adds some improvements and it may help to just download and run the 10.9.6 COMBO update.
OS X Mavericks 10.9.5 Update (Combo)

Maybe another day as I notice that its now already the small hours of tomorrow in Bangkok. ;)
 
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Edo


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Hi folks,

Slapped in 8 GB of RAM and that has improved things dramatically.

My 500GB hard drive passes the Verify test and SMART shows "verified" (whatever those things mean) but it is getting full. The service center says they can put in a 1TB drive for a couple hundred bucks.

Would there be any problem putting that in? I ask because my 2010 17" Macbook Pro was limited to 8GB of RAM. Is there a similar limitation on the hard drive?
 

dtravis7


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Any 2.5" Hard Drive will work. I usually go with Western Digital or Hitachi (HGST). 1TB will work fine.
 
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Any 2.5" Hard Drive will work. I usually go with Western Digital or Hitachi (HGST). 1TB will work fine.


+1. Another vote for using Western Digital drives for a replacement and I'd also suggest considering the 2.5" 7200 RPM models I've had great success with.

They run cool, fast and have very little impact on battery life, but unfortunately, I believe they only have a 750 GB version for the maximum size. But they also have a five year warranty - much longer than most of the other drives available.
 
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Edo


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Thanks, folks. Will go ahead with the 1TB drive.

Have to say, though, that I haven't had good luck with Western Digital drives. I've had several external, supposedly portable drives and they have all gone bust within a year. Maybe their internal drives are alright, I guess.
 

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