View Full Version : Speeding up my Mac

17th November 2008, 02:09 PM
Hi There

I have had my Mac for about a year and a half- it's running on OSX version 10.4.11. My Processor is 2GHz intel core duo Memory 1.5 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM.

I have been using CS3 for ages on it but suddenly I'm having issues where I can not run more than 1 of the programs at a time. ID & AI keep on crashing & PS just takes forever to do anything. I have plenty of memory available (62GB) although I know that doesn't affect the speed or performance.

I know you don't need to defrag macs but I can't seem to find any information about what to do to fix these issue.

Any suggestions?


17th November 2008, 02:14 PM
You might get a performance boost if you go to Leopard (10.5).

Also throw in another 512MB to make it 2GB DDR2 SDRAM.

You might also want to wipe the entire system and start fresh, if you have the time. Or start removing background apps or running processes in the background.

17th November 2008, 03:04 PM
try the old repair permissions trick too, i find that can help on occasions

17th November 2008, 03:16 PM
thanks- i tried the permissions thing. didn't seem to work.
maybe i should upgrade to leopard- does that mean buying the new software?

17th November 2008, 03:30 PM
Tamara, I'm thinking that your hard drive most likely has some directory problems, and because of that it has trouble correctly locating & loading the bits that it needs to.

First thing to do is to dig out your Mac's original installer DVD, boot from it, and once it gets to the installer screen go to the Utility menu and launch 'Disk Utility'. In the list panel on the left you will find the model number of your hard drive, and nested underneath the name of your computer's boot volume (by default, it is called 'Macintosh HD'); click on the boot volume. In the main panel that next appears, click the 'First Aid' tab along the top, then click the 'Repair disk' button. Let it complete all tests. If the repair aborts or fails with an error that it cannot fix, you can either 1) take it to an Apple technician, 2) buy a copy of Alsoft DiskWarrior and use its boot disk to do the repairs, or 3) back up all of your data, reformat and re-install Mac OS X.

Once the disk repair is completed without errors, click the 'Repair disk permissions' button and let it complete. Don't be alarmed at the flurry of messages it will spit at you, it is just doing what it's meant to. Once finished both tests and repairs, quit Disk Utility, then when you get back to the Installer screen, restart your Mac and press & hold the mouse button (or trackpad clicker if you're using a laptop) once it has chimed to force-eject the DVD so that it boots normally.

If the machine is still running slowly or problematically, the next step is an archive-and-reinstall of Mac OS X -- this places a fresh set of all standard System files onto your Mac, and copying your old installl into a folder called 'Previous System'. All your programs, documents and installed applications will remain untouched. To do this archive-and-reinstall, you need to boot from your Mac OS X Install DVD that came with your machine (or a retail copy of Mac OS X 10.5), and once you get to the destination screen of the installer, click the 'Options' button and choose "Archive and re-install". Note that you should only attempt this is once Disk Utility's "Repair disk" has passed without errors -- no point in trying to put a new OS onto something that will just replicate the problem and possibly make things worse!

For regular maintenance, you need to ensure that OSX's own regular maintenance tasks run once every now and then. You can get MacJanitor (free) to force these tasks to run at your convenience. Another important tip is to never let the amount of free space drop below 5 GB or 5 percent of your total disk capacity, whichever is larger -- OSX needs this amount of free space to adequately manage paged memory as well as performing its own background defragmenting.

17th November 2008, 03:51 PM
maybe i should upgrade to leopard- does that mean buying the new software?

Yes. Or a new Mac. :D

17th November 2008, 11:21 PM
wow- thanks brains!
I'll go through all that & see what happens- incidentally, since doing the permissions & restarting it appears to have stopped crashing the programs but the speed is still not quite up to scratch...

I'm going to back up before i do it just for peace of mind- I'll let you know how I go.