How JustAnswer Works:

  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.

Ask Daniel Your Own Question

Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4770
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
Type Your Mac Question Here...
Daniel is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

MAC is getting progressively slower.

Resolved Question:

Daniel, my wife's I MAC is getting progressively slower. the busy "wheel" comes and it locks up... what would you do
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 4 years ago.
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

This can be caused usually by permissions needing repair and other maintenance procedures. It can also be a failing hard drive, we will assume that the hard drive is not yet failing.

Repair the permissions iliac in this PDF, it works the same no matter which version of OS X you have.

Repairing Permissions If you are running Leopard 10.5.8 then it will take its sweet time doing this, please let it.

Next is a pram reset, this clears out cobwebs, so to speak.

To do a PRAM reset, you need to restart your machine and hold down these 4 keys all together at the same time.

‘Option’, ‘Command (Cloverleaf or Apple)’, ‘R’ and 'P' all together at the same time.

Keep them down until you hear 4 startup chimes, this is the sound that your computer makes when it starts up, it is like a boonngg. The screen should also cycle from white to black and then back to white along with the chimes.

The sound should also get louder.


If you have a wireless keyboard then the procedure is a little bit different.

Use the very same keys but wait until the first chime and immediately press and hold those keys. I recommend getting your fingers ready because timing is critical.

It can take many try to get it, any USB keyboard is preferable.

Substitute the Control key for the Command key, all others stay the same.

This resets all of the system buses on your computer, USB, FireWire, display, ethernet and your keyboard/mouse/trackpad.

This will correct many faults but not necessarily yours.

Then last but not least, a SafeBoot, this runs UNIX routines that get fix other things.

To do a Safe Boot, restart and before the first chime press and hold the 'Shift' key.

Wait until you see the Apple logo and the spinning gear appear, then let go.

It can take as long as 20 minutes to load, so please be patient.

When the login screen appears it will say in red on the login window 'SafeBoot'.

Now login and give it a few more minutes to finish loading.

Try doing whatever it was it was giving you the problem. If it works then probably the problem is solved, so restart normally.

If the problem persists then restart normally also, other fixes will need to be done.

There should now be a marked performance difference.

Please let me know the results.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
I like your answer however I am still unable to run the "Activity Monitor". When I open it the busy wheel pops up and the only way to stop it is a force quit.

I followed the first three steps and it did not correct the issue.

God Bless,
Expert:  Daniel replied 4 years ago.
Do you have the installation disks?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
No, everything except that appears to be working...
I really am afraid of the question about installation disks.

Expert:  Daniel replied 4 years ago.
The reason for that question is it has tools on it to repair the drive.
I do not want you to install anything.

To boot from the installation disc and the Mac is on then start at step #1.

If your Mac is off or will not boot from the hard drive then goto step #3.

1. Insert disc #1, it can be the original that came with your Mac or it can be a retail version newer than the original that came with the Mac.

2. If the disc opens then click on the Install OS X icon, if it does not automatically open then double click the disk icon on the desk top and then click Install OS X.
Your Mac will restart using the install disk.

3. If your Mac is on but will not boot up then insert the installation disk and turn it off by pressing and holding the power until it shuts down.
Now press the power to start it and hold the 'Option' key until the startup manager appears.
If your Mac is off then press the power to start it up, immediately press and hold the 'Option' key for the startup manager.
Insert the disc and click the circle with the arrow to refresh and then select the installation disc to boot from.

Once your Mac is booted from the installation disk the next step is to open Disk Utility.
Click continue at the Language screen, the next screen will be the Welcome to OS X.
At the very top of the screen will be a menubar with 'Utilities', from that drop-down menu select 'Disk Utility'.
There will be a list of hard drives and optical drives on the left of the window, if your drive is in that list then click on it once to highlight.
Now click on the First Aid tab, at the bottom of the Disk Utility window you will see a button called Repair Disk.
Select that by clicking on it. It will either return that everything is okay or that some things were wrong and they were repaired or it found something wrong and it can do nothing about it.
If everything checks out okay or if it does the repairs you then want to repair the permissions.
There will be a button close to the list of drives that says Repair Permissions. Click that to selected and give it time.
There may be a long list of permissions that repairs or there may be only a few.
There will also be some that say SUID that will not be repaired if you have 10.5 or above. Also 10.5 will take its sweet time, please let it.

Once you have completed this then you can quit Disk Utility and the installer.
Do Not Install Anything.
Simply restart your machine by selecting it from the menu bar.

Let me know how that does.
Daniel and 3 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you