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Tuesday, October 03, 2006

My brand spankin' new MacBook Pro is unbelievably slow. It takes forever (=10-15 seconds) to do basic system tasks like move from one app to another. This doesn't seem to be a question of non-native apps since (a) I'm doing nothing calculation-intensive and (b) I'm just going from one app to another, which is a Finder function.

And here I got the damn thing because it's supposed to be sssssmokin' fast.

Is there a diagnostic I can use to find out if something's wrong with the computer? Has anyone else had this problem on the MacBook Pro?

UPDATE: I ran fsck, which helped some. I got another GB of memory, which helped a lot. Runs fine now.

18 Comments:

I've got a MacPro and the thing is smoking, the extra gig of memory helps too.

What application are you moving from?

We need more specifics regarding what apps are giving you problems, what are you specs and when was the last time you software updated the laptop and lastly when was the last time you ran Disk Utility to fix any problems.

By Blogger RKBentley, at 4:59 PM  

Alex, I'd check out the MacFixIt site as they usually are on top of the latest problems. Also, the Apple forums are generally a good place to find solutions.

By Blogger Your gracious host, at 5:09 PM  

Huh. I don't suppose only having 512 MB might be the, uh, core of the problem?

Apps themselves are not too bad. It's switching from app to appthat is so terribly slow. booting all apps takes forever.

I'm running the latest Safari, Adobe reader, iTunes, etc., so far as I can tell.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 5:35 PM  

on a MacBook Pro you have 512 meg of ram?

Yeh, I'd suggest getting another 512 or a gig stick just for shits and grins that should solve things, imho.

Also, try restarting it too, that may help..

By Blogger RKBentley, at 6:02 PM  

Use disk utlity, do a permission repair.
Reboot.
It shouldn't be that slow. More memory will help, but it sounds like there might be something wrong. Its probably HD related. Maybe run Diskwarrior if you have it.

By Blogger Hotspur, at 7:09 PM  

512? You serious?

Oh yeah. That's your problem right there. I have 1G of RAM and I think that's almost too little.

Why doesn't Apple ship with adequate RAM?

I dunno. just one of those things.

You definitely need more RAM.

By Blogger DMc, at 7:30 PM  

Yup, mine was super slow 'till I got more RAM.

By Blogger Jutratest, at 9:49 PM  

If you're running multiple apps with 512 then that's a problem. Also make sure you have plenty of disk space since it has to keep goign back to the drive to load and save as it goes since you have little RAM.
As mentioned you should do a disk utility disk verify as well as repair permissions. You can ru na hardware test with the install disks but more than likely little ram is the main issue.

By Blogger Scott Squires, at 10:12 PM  

I don't know what these other people do for a living, but I've venture to guess it's not IT.

Your problem is not memory. More will help, but 512 will not cause 10 second delays switching between applications. 128 will not cause 10 second delays.

If it is new, and was shipped, it's likely a damaged hard disk. I suggest that you RMA it.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:26 PM  

Fixed permissions. That's helping a lot. Now the computer is no faster than my old one, but no slower.

Next step, I'm guessing buy more memory.

By Blogger Alex Epstein, at 12:19 AM  

It could be spyware - it can slow a computer down tremendously, as it causes a tracking program to constantly run in the background.
Lavasoft has a FAB freebie program for PC's - called AdAware; don't know if they have a version for Macs. My dh is a computer tech and that is the first thing they try. Then a virus scan.

512 is slow, but not THAT slow.

Check what programs are set to automatically run, also. Only running the programs you are using helps. It's not helpful to have Messenger, I-Tunes, WeatherBug, and everything else running in the background if you aren't using it. Turn off the "sign me in automatically" function on your internet apps.

By Blogger Milehimama, at 9:36 AM  

I had to use a PC and a Mac every day for seven years. Former at work, latter at home. The crack about IT guys?

There are some of us out here on the hustings that learned from experience to hold IT in just as much contempt as they hold the rest of the populace.

I'm glad permissions helped a bit. I really do think that getting a bit more RAM will help -- of course it's not going to be the full cause, but why have a dual core with totally underpowered RAM?

I doubt with the Mac that it's spyware. Once you upgrade the RAM do some more tests -- if it's still slow, I think the guy who mentioned the hard drive is onto something. My last powerbook slowed down considerably toward the end of its life -- and it was accessing the hard drive way too much.

By Blogger DMc, at 9:53 AM  

I've definitely had directory structure damage slow down my computer, which is why I'd try Diskwarrior.

It's one of those things you're going to want to have, anyway. It can be a real lifesaver. I think it costs like $80 but can save your tail - it's saved my hard disk two or three times in the seven years I've been using Macs, which makes it absolutely worth it to me.

By Blogger Hotspur, at 1:19 PM  

Sorry to post twice in a row, but I forgot about this one. I've been told it no longer does anything because of a file system change, but I'm not sure I believe it.

Reboot the computer, holding down cmd-S.

You'll get a screen full of text.

Type "fsck -fy" (no quotes).
Let it do it's thing. If the last line is "The drive Macintosh Hard Disk appears to be OK," or words to that effect (I don't remember the exact dialog) type

"reboot"

If not, repeat the process.

However, if you do this three times it's still telling you it's got problems, or if it says "The drive could not be repaired" then run, do not walk, to your nearest Apple store and get Diskwarrior.

Honestly, you should get Diskwarrior anyway (no, I'm not associated with them in any way) but I'd give this a try. Let us know what happens.

By Blogger Hotspur, at 2:12 PM  

Sorry to post twice in a row, but I forgot about this one. I've been told it no longer does anything because of a file system change, but I'm not sure I believe it.

Reboot the computer, holding down cmd-S.

You'll get a screen full of text.

Type "fsck -fy" (no quotes).
Let it do it's thing. If the last line is "The drive Macintosh Hard Disk appears to be OK," or words to that effect (I don't remember the exact dialog) type

"reboot"

If not, repeat the process.

However, if you do this three times it's still telling you it's got problems, or if it says "The drive could not be repaired" then run, do not walk, to your nearest Apple store and get Diskwarrior.

Honestly, you should get Diskwarrior anyway (no, I'm not associated with them in any way) but I'd give this a try. Let us know what happens.

By Blogger Hotspur, at 2:12 PM  

It's not spyware. It's not a virus. It's not RAM (512 MB of RAM is fine for switching between applications that are not processor intensive). It could be an issue with the HD but you wanna rule out SW first because it could easily be directory corruption. You can certainly run fsck but it'd be better to boot to the install disk and run DFA. (you really don't want to be in the single user mode - which is cmd+S - because typing the wrong thing can be devastating)

For step by step instructions follow this...
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?path=DiskUtility/10.5/en/duh1018.html

Anything in red is what is referred to as directory corruption. Run it again. If it comes up again then you can run disk warrior to see if it can repair it but that is an if. It's not a guarantee. Before running Disk warrior I would back everything up first, just to be on the safe side. If Disk Warrior or any other disk utility cannot repair the directory corruption then your best option would be to back up and erase and reinstall.

If you run it again and it comes through clean (meaning no red) then run it again. It needs to come through clean twice. Then restart and see if that helps.

If it doesn't and there isn't any directory corruption then it could be caused by something that is attached to the computer. Disconnect all externals from the computer and if there has been anything added internally take that out and test with the base configuration.

Trust me when I tell you to do these things. I do this for a living.

By Blogger chell-shock, at 2:51 PM  

whoa. I just did that and everything sped way up.

Now THAT is good advice. Thanks.

By Blogger DMc, at 3:14 PM  

You're very welcome. :D

By Blogger chell-shock, at 6:31 PM  

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