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kdoc
23rd June 2010, 03:58 PM
Hi Folks,

hoping this isn't a widely discussed issue. I did search first, but found little.

In short, My 2.5GHz Core 2 Duo 4GB RAM M'Book Pro has recently started to slow right down compared to what it used to do.

Especially start up has slowed right down and takes a goodly while to be ready. Firefox and Thunderbird now take what seems an eternity to start and just generally accessing anything.

Now I know OSX is based on one dist. or another of linux and that theoretically with the way a *nix filesystem works, it shouldn't suffer the same slowdown disk seek issues an MS box does with age, but that's exactly what it feels like.

And with 4GB RAM, this is just not what I would expect.

Can anyone offer any advice, tips, expertise please on how I might track down and determine whether/what sort of issues I am experiencing pls?

Is it possible Quicksilver could have something to do with it as that is the most recent addition that operates as a TSR app?

chrism238
23rd June 2010, 04:03 PM
Now I know OSX is based on one dist. or another of linux .....

Ummm, you don't know this very well.

A TSR?

kdoc
23rd June 2010, 04:10 PM
Why don't I know this very well? Is this an untrue statement?

TSR = Terminate & Stay Resident.

It's an old terminology for those small apps that are loaded and sit in the background doing nothing but soaking up a bit of memory until such point in time as they are required to do something. They may not be called that these days, but that is what they "effectively" still are.

tupps
23rd June 2010, 04:13 PM
MacOSX is based on the Mach kernel and FreeBSD, not really Linux but uses a lot of the same utilities etc.

I would use the activity monitor and see if something is accessing the hard drive. Sometimes spotlight or Time machine go nuts and completely use the hard drive.

Otherwise it might be the hard drive physically failing. Check the SMART status in the Disk Utility.

kdoc
23rd June 2010, 05:03 PM
MacOSX is based on the Mach kernel and FreeBSD, not really Linux but uses a lot of the same utilities etc.


Learn something new every day. Tks

Disk Utilitiy reports S.M.A.R.T. Status: Verified

Activity Monitor seems to show a LOT of RAM being used by various progrs. Have shut down a couple and will monitor. But as for disk usage, I've seen a peak of 162 IO/Sec, but wouldn't know how high or low that might be.

Time Machine is turned off. And I rarely if ever use Spotlight, so wouldn't know what it is doing.

u98925
23rd June 2010, 05:45 PM
I was having a similar issue over the past couple of weeks and yesterday i had a file that i just could not trash.

I booted from the OSX install disc and rand Disc Utility and repaired Disc along with Repairing permissions. Took a while on a 650GB drive with lots or repairs performed.

Once finished and booted normally everything feels a lot quicker and i was able to empty the trash :)

Worth a shot on your machine i suppose.

Currawong
23rd June 2010, 11:02 PM
Ok, first things first: Mac OS X is NOT based on FreeBSD. The UNIX parts are just that, UNIX parts. IIRC 10.1 and 10.2 could be installed without the terminal or UNIX parts. There are a hell of a lot of shell programs and code and quite a bit of other code that comes from FreeBSD (and OpenBSD too, such as ssh), but that does not mean that Mac OS X is based upon it.

Ok, back to your question: What processes are going out of control? You can view them as you would in Linux, via a terminal, or use Activity monitor to sort by CPU usage.

Is your hard disk very full? Have you been running programs that generate a lot of very large files, such as image or movie programs, torrent programs or virtual machines?

Did you install anything recently?

kdoc
24th June 2010, 10:46 AM
Ok, back to your question: What processes are going out of control? You can view them as you would in Linux, via a terminal, or use Activity monitor to sort by CPU usage.

Well, it would appear my running issues had to do with both VMWare and Eclipse running together. But that doesn't explain really slooooow startup times. I have sifted thru system.log to see what if anything is taking an age to initialise and nothing seems to stand out.


Is your hard disk very full? Have you been running programs that generate a lot of very large files, such as image or movie programs, torrent programs or virtual machines?

Yes. As above, I had VMWare running an XP host. Disk is 140GB free. (250GB)


Did you install anything recently?

And the only recent installs were Eclipse and Quicksilver.

So, if I accept VMWare is simply a MAJOR RAM (I see 1.2GB - that's outrageous) & CPU hog and that apparently Eclipse isn't too cheap on the RAM, then that explains the slow running.

But how can I hunt down what's causing the slow start up?

gehenna
24th June 2010, 10:51 AM
What speed is your hard drive? 4300/5400/7200rpm? Disk speed makes a HUGE difference to performance, especially while running a VM.

This would explain startup problems....the disk works overtime when the applications are loading into RAM. Once they're in RAM they can perform a lot better as they're not accessed from the disk as much.

kdoc
24th June 2010, 11:20 AM
Can't tell. Neither Disk Util nor Sys Profiler want to tell me.

They do say it's SATA 2, so I'm guessing, it's gotta be a 7200.

gehenna
24th June 2010, 11:22 AM
Can't tell. Neither Disk Util nor Sys Profiler want to tell me.

They do say it's SATA 2, so I'm guessing, it's gotta be a 7200.

Nope, one doesn't equal the other...In system profiler you should see the brand and model number of the drive. Google that info and it should tell you the speed of the drive.

kdoc
24th June 2010, 01:14 PM
DOH!

Should've thought of that myself.

5400.

I do know the one doesn't correspond to the other. My comment was off the cuff and based on the assumption that IDE drives were already 5400 (AND 7200 IIRC) when I was last checking them out, so I simply expected any "SATA 2" drive to be a 7200.

All that said, even so, the machine "used" to boot pretty damned quickly considering and has simply slowed down in the last month or so.

I.e. since I installed Quicksilver and Eclipse. Now I can't see any Eclipse starting at boot time in "system.log" and wouldn't expect it to be. And whilst I can see Quicksilver in the log, the timing between entries doesn't appear to be all that great.

gehenna
24th June 2010, 01:18 PM
Nah SATA2 just means it can transfer data at speeds of up to 3Gb/s, where as SATA was just 1.5Gb/s, and IDE was slower again. Drives can function at any RPM on any of those specs, so an IDE drive could just as easily be 4300-5400-7200, and even 10,000rpm.

lord
24th June 2010, 02:21 PM
Nah SATA2 just means it can transfer data at speeds of up to 3Gb/s, where as SATA was just 1.5Gb/s, and IDE was slower again. Drives can function at any RPM on any of those specs, so an IDE drive could just as easily be 4300-5400-7200, and even 10,000rpm.

Or 15k if you are a speed demon!

gehenna
24th June 2010, 03:25 PM
Yep, either way I'm picking that the 5400rpm drive is the cause. There may be fragmentation, which added to the mid-range speed of the drive is compounding your speed issues overall. You could try an offline defrag using something like iDefrag....

kdoc
25th June 2010, 08:14 AM
I'll give that a go and see what I get.

thanks

Currawong
27th June 2010, 04:18 PM
System Preferences -> Accounts -> (Your account) -> Login Items. Bet there are a few in there if, when you see your desktop background, it takes a while for everything to settle down.

kdoc
28th June 2010, 01:26 PM
Actually no.

Only one item in "Login Items" checked. iStatMenus is all.

Ok; Notes, Adium, Skype, QuickSilver and Kaspersky are each also set to start on login, just not in SysPrefs.

g4cube
28th June 2010, 03:21 PM
Kaspersky kills my dads pc it really makes it crawl. I would look there mate for sure.

Currawong
29th June 2010, 03:03 PM
Bingo! Quite a few AV programs slow the system to a crawl. Do you NEED an AV suite running?

kdoc
29th June 2010, 04:47 PM
Do I "NEED" an AV suite running?

Considering I sit behind a fairly locked-down firewall setup with SPAM and VIRUS mail filtering and am reasonably careful about where I go and what I open..... possibly not. That said; now there are MAC virii about, it's a risk I'd rather mitigate if at all possible. And for $50/yr, what the hell!

I believe however I have located the problem.

Having left the laptop on & unplugged with lots of those RAM hungry apps open for a couple of battery cycles, I came back to find the system shutdown, again, as you might expect. Only thing was when I restarted, suddenly the disk was FULL. I mean FULL.

Some panic calls to a few friends and eventually AppleCare, and I'm advised to get rid of "FileVault" which I have been using since the machine's inception.

Since decrypting the FileVault, things appear for now to have returned to more or less normal. I now have, imho, somewhat less security on the machine, but what to do? The Apple Tech. reckoned he never recommends FileVault to anyone (and he works for Apple, soooo......)

I will still look into the SuperDuper and iDefrag options mentioned above.

Thanks to each & every one who responded.

mjankor
29th June 2010, 04:48 PM
I would make sure you have a current backup.

The most common thing I've seen slowing down an OSX install is a dying hard drive. (even with a smart verification)

kdoc
29th June 2010, 04:51 PM
Meant to add;

I have experienced Kaspersky slowing down MS boxes as well. My old XP laptop for instance.

However, I haven't really experienced that on the MAC and my other half runs a new '7' laptop, with the latest version of Kaspersky, which doesn't seem to take too much of a hit.

So maybe they've done some optimisation.

Currawong
29th June 2010, 06:44 PM
Ditch the AV. Download Firefox and install NoScript and AdBlock. The former will prevent the one, single uncontrollable vector through which serious harm can be done (unless you visit certain types of risque sites which insist you manually install a "special" plug-in to view videos, which does nothing of the sort, or someone physically accesses your computer). That's my advice anyway.

kdoc
1st July 2010, 09:56 AM
Already have AdBlock, but didn't know about NoScript. Nice Find!

Tks again.

jdagis
4th July 2010, 09:36 AM
How do I get rid of NoScript. It's making it so I can't do internet banking. I just figured it out :)