Mac

Ask Mac Questions and Get Answers from Experts ASAP

Ask a Computer Expert,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Mac
This answer was rated:

My 2 year old Macbook pro has become unusably slow, despite

everything in the activity monitor...
My 2 year old Macbook pro has become unusably slow, despite everything in the activity monitor suggesting it should be fine. I have cleared all my caches and run OnyX, no improvement. I booted in safe mode and it ran at reasonable speeds, but when I restarted in normal mode it was back to being RIDICULOUSLY slow.

Help.
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Mac Question
Answered in 16 minutes by:
3/28/2013
Daniel
Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4,770
Experience: Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
Verified
Hello, my name is Dan.
I will do my best to help you, the only stupid question is the unasked one.

What did you task Onyx with?
Usually the reasons it runs so slow are: Too many items on the desktop and not in enclosed folders, bad permissions, a disk directory that is corrupted causing the Finder to work harder than it should when finding.

Those are all addressable and Onyx is a good place to start.
I have used that utility myself but have found better to use.

One thing that will help is a pram reset.
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.

graphic

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.


This explains about permissions.

Repairing Permissions

Try those and let me know.

Ask Your Own Mac Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi Dan,


 


Thanks for your response. I consolidated my desktop and did a PRAM reset--still slow. I tried to Repair Permissions but my computer is going so slow that it just freezes. Can I do Repair Permissions in safe mode and have the same effect? It is running much faster in safe mode.


 


Thanks,


Becca

Yes Becca, it will work in Safe mode, use Disk Utility the same way.
If you have the Snow Leopard install disk you can boot from that and run Disk Utility also.
You did not say which version of OS X came with or is on the MBP.


Ask Your Own Mac Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi,


 


Repaired Permissions, still very slow. (We are talking REALLY slow, like I press a key on the keyboard and it comes up 5 seconds later--it takes 10+ seconds to switch from one safari tab to another).


 


Version 10.6.8


 


Any other ideas?

I think it might be time for a new operating system. OS X 10.6.8 does what is known as Archive and install.
By the way, how much free space is on your hard drive?
This is an important indicator of what may be going on.
In a Finder window highlight the Mac HD and see how much free space you have.
graphic
Yours is probably called Mac HD.
Ask Your Own Mac Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

191.63 GB available (seems like a lot to me).


 


What should I update to? I know there have been some issues with the most recent one...

You have enough room for a new OS.
Some updates are problematic and you will need to do some to bring it unto date after the install.

Print this so that you can refer to it during the process.

Dig out the grey install disks or use a retail version of Snow Leopard 10.6..
Insert the DVD and restart your Mac, press and hold the Option key.This opens the Startup Manager, looks like this.
graphic
One of the choices will be the DVD, select it and press the right arrow.
Click continue at the Language screen, next is Welcome.
Here there will be a menu bar with Utilities, select Disk utility and you will get this.
graphic
Then repair the drive.
graphic
Do both, if it does its job then all is good, if it says it fails for some reason you have two choices. One, replace the hard drive (keep it or back it up) or, two, buy Disk Warrior ($100) to repair it but the drive will probably need replacing anyway later).

Once that is done successfully quit Disk Warrior to return to the installer and click Continue, select your hard drive and have it install a new OS X, do not erase and install or all data will be lost.

It will do its thing, once done repair permissions again and run Software update, keep running it until it runs out of updates and repair permissions one more time.
Now your Mac should run like new again.
You will have a folder on the hard drive called Previous Systems, once all is as it should be you can trash that and reclaim lots of drive space..

Read that carefully before proceeding.
This will help explain what will happen.

Complete Installation

If you have questions about this please ask. Print this or write it where you can refer to it.

Let me know.

Ask Your Own Mac Question
Customer reply replied 4 years ago

Hi Dan,


 


I followed all these steps precisely (it took several hours) and have seen no change in performance. My computer is as slow as it was before.


 


I did not see a folder called "Previous Systems," however it was clear that the reinstall did happen because programs likes itunes and iphoto only worked when I updated to 10.6.8.


 


Can you provide any insight at this point?


 


 

At this point I would have to say that the hard dive is failing causing it to run quite slow.
The reason SafeBoot runs better is the OS does not have to work quite so hard.

Your Mac is but 2 years old and I hope that you bought the extended Applecare warranty.
I always do, it is cheap insurance and it covers all but accidental damage such as a swimming lesson.

I also hope that you have backed all data up in some fashion.
A quick, simple and inexpensive way is with Carbon Copy Cloner, Carbon Copy Cloner, I have used it myself and it works well.
I say this in place of Time Machine because your drive is fading fast and this is probably the quickest way to save your data.
It will require an external hard drive.

Then I suggest a trip to the Apple store, they will either confirm my diagnoses or find something else.
Both ways, if covered, will cost you only the time it spends there.
If not covered they are quite reasonable or, if you are handy with small tools, you could replace the drive yourself.
iFixit: Do-it-yourself Apple Find your Mac there and it will give you step by step instructions and sell you a new drive.

That is my assessment of your MBP running so slow, I hope I have been helpful.

Daniel
Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4,770
Experience: Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
Verified
Daniel and 87 other Mac Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
Ask Daniel Your Own Question
Daniel
Daniel
Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4,770
4,770 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.

Daniel is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

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

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

Hi John, Thank you for your expertise and, more important, for your kindness because they make me, almost, look forward to my next computer problem. After the next problem comes, I'll be delighted to correspond again with you. I'm told that I excel at programing. But system administration has never been one of my talents. So it's great to have an expert to rely on when the computer decides to stump me. God bless, Bill

Bill M.Schenectady, New York

The Expert answered my Mac question and was patient. He answered in a thorough and timely manner, keeping the response on a level that could understand. Thank you!

FrankCanada

My Expert answered my question promptly and he resolved the issue totally. This is a great service. I am so glad I found it I will definitely use the service again if needed.

One Happy CustomerNew York

Wonderful service, prompt, efficient, and accurate. Couldn't have asked for more. I cannot thank you enough for your help.

Mary C.Freshfield, Liverpool, UK

This expert is wonderful. They truly know what they are talking about, and they actually care about you. They really helped put my nerves at ease. Thank you so much!!!!

AlexLos Angeles, CA

Thank you for all your help. It is nice to know that this service is here for people like myself, who need answers fast and are not sure who to consult.

GPHesperia, CA

I couldn't be more satisfied! This is the site I will always come to when I need a second opinion.

JustinKernersville, NC

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Mike

Mike

Mac Medic

8,555 satisfied customers

Over 20 years IT experience with Apple computers in publishing, marketing and design.

Daniel

Daniel

Mac Genius

4,770 satisfied customers

Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.

Vinod Menon

Vinod Menon

Support Specialist

2,394 satisfied customers

worked as a Tech support Associate for Apple products

John T. F.

John T. F.

Mac Druid

1,994 satisfied customers

20+ years in the computer/Mac industry

David

David

Mac Support Specialist

1,507 satisfied customers

BSc H.Dip Apple Certified Professional

Claws224

Claws224

IEEE Datacommunication Engineer

965 satisfied customers

IEEE, Microsoft

Mac Tech

Mac Tech

Apple Specialist

888 satisfied customers

7 + Years Supporting Apple Products

< Previous | Next >

Related Mac Questions
Using iPhoto. how to change 4x6 color photo @4MB to 1.9MB I
using iPhoto. how to change 4x6 color photo @4MB to 1.9MB I need to send 33 photos to a site that requires less than 2MB per photo ? can e-mail me***@******.*** I visited a Genius at local Apple store… read more
Kris R
Kris R
IT Manager
Computing
2,652 satisfied customers
The icons for iPhoto and Calculator are missing. Imac
Hi there. The icons for iPhoto and Calculator are missing … read more
Justin Johnson
Justin Johnson
Training and Development Contractor
1,125 satisfied customers
Iphoto keeps saying it quit unexpectedly and wont open to
iphoto keeps saying it quit unexpectedly and wont open to take photos off of my i[phone seven for an import.... I ned to back up these photos, I am sending my seven in for a new phone. … read more
Kris R
Kris R
IT Manager
Computing
2,652 satisfied customers
Where is iphoto on my mac? Not sure..will check...10.7.5.
about 1 year...just don't know where to find iphoto. … read more
Josh
Josh
It Support Specialist
Associate Degree
5,140 satisfied customers
I'm in iPhoto and can't get out of Full Screen. have already
I'm in iPhoto and can't get out of Full Screen. have already quit sotware and re-opened. … read more
David
David
Mac Support Specialist
Bachelor's Degree
1,507 satisfied customers
Just received our iphoto New Years cards, and they contain a
Just received our iphoto New Years cards, and they contain a major error not of our making. How do we get this fixed? … read more
Justin Johnson
Justin Johnson
Training and Development Contractor
1,125 satisfied customers
I have imovie 10.1.1. I have created a slide show in iPhoto
I have created a slide show in iPhoto and want to save it in a flash drive … read more
Justin Johnson
Justin Johnson
Training and Development Contractor
1,125 satisfied customers
10.12 on a 27" iMac does not allow iPhoto, Google Earth etc
10.12 on a 27" iMac does not allow iPhoto, Google Earth etc to open because " no window open". … read more
Justin Johnson
Justin Johnson
Training and Development Contractor
1,125 satisfied customers
Have made an iPhoto book and i can't seem to process the
Hi, Have made an iPhoto book and i can't seem to process the book when I select buy book, it gets stuck generating the pages. … read more
Justin Johnson
Justin Johnson
Training and Development Contractor
1,125 satisfied customers
Trying to get iPhoto 08 from one mac to another looking for
trying to get iPhoto 08 from one mac to another looking for iPhoto 08 library upgrade installer? … read more
Ashik
Ashik
Master\u0027s Degree
5,097 satisfied customers
How do I download photos from iPhoto to my desktop? MacOS
How do I download photos from iPhoto to my desktop? … read more
Ashik
Ashik
Master\u0027s Degree
5,097 satisfied customers
IPhoto does not show up in my applications, nor does it show
iPhoto does not show up in my applications, nor does it show up as a purchased app. … read more
Jon
Jon
Bachelors Degree
480 satisfied customers
My iPhoto pictures asked to be updated, so I did so, but now
My iPhoto pictures asked to be updated, so I did so, but now most do not show up on the version of iPhoto I have. … read more
Danny Coloma
Danny Coloma
Apple Certified Macintosh Technician, ACSP, APP
20 satisfied customers
Can't open iPhoto, it keeps telling me to close and then
can't open iPhoto, it keeps telling me to close and then reopen, over and over again … read more
Ashik
Ashik
Master\u0027s Degree
5,097 satisfied customers
I just transferred a lot of photos in iPhoto in the section
Thanks. I just transferred a lot of photos in iPhoto in the section that retains 12 months of photos, from that album to a new one where hopefully they wouldn't reach 12 months and disappear. Then I c… read more
Justin Johnson
Justin Johnson
Training and Development Contractor
1,125 satisfied customers
Need some help with iphoto. Sierra. Following directions on
following directions on how to download from iphone to mac. What I really need is an appointment with one of your tech support geniuses. … read more
John T. F.
John T. F.
Mac Druid
Two Decades Field Experience
1,994 satisfied customers
IPhoto shows 'corrupt' and cannot be opened and gives me the
iPhoto shows 'corrupt' and cannot be opened and gives me the 'close' message. None of my photo on there can be opened. Help me. … read more
Ashik
Ashik
Master\u0027s Degree
5,097 satisfied customers
Unable to write to library iPhoto library, iPhoto is on my
Tried to go into Disk utility and option command hold to repair iPhoto no luck … read more
Richard
Richard
IT Manager
IT Manager, Consultant
3,281 satisfied customers
Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Disclaimer: Information in questions, answers, and other posts on this site ("Posts") comes from individual users, not JustAnswer; JustAnswer is not responsible for Posts. Posts are for general information, are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), or to establish a professional-client relationship. The site and services are provided "as is" with no warranty or representations by JustAnswer regarding the qualifications of Experts. To see what credentials have been verified by a third-party service, please click on the "Verified" symbol in some Experts' profiles. JustAnswer is not intended or designed for EMERGENCY questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals.

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x