af773atmsp
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:37 am

Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:04 pm

I've had my Mac OSX for only about three years but its already starting to slow down. Safari and Firefox are slow and sometimes the website won't load, on YouTube it takes five minutes to load a 30 second video, Google Earth doesn't respond sometimes so I have to force quit, and the Time Machine isn't working. I deleted a lot of files and I'm starting to move albums off the computer and onto CDs, but the computer is still being slow. Is my computer just already old, or is it something else? I'm not a computer expert, so don't be surprised if I don't understand something.
It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
 
na
Posts: 9165
Joined: Sun Dec 12, 1999 3:52 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:36 pm

The things you describe are all internet-related, so it mustnt be the Computer thats the problem. I have two Macs, and the older one, an Imac which is 6 years old, is still being used 6 days a week without ever having had a problem. That it feels a bit slower than 5 years ago is mostly due to the fact that there are 10 times more files on it and more software.
 
Flighty
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RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:52 pm

Open the Activity Monitor and keep an eye on it. You will see what is taking up your RAM memory. If you have under 100MB available, your computer will bog down. It's that simple. After surfing the internet for a while, web browsers will fill up your memory. Close the browser and start again. That is probably it...

Otherwise, you can buy more ram. I suggest this site that lists prices from a lot of vendors. www.ramseeker.com
 
PITingres
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RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 4:57 pm

I'd agree that this sounds more like an Internet connection problem than anything else, but to make sure, you can run the Activity Monitor found in Applications / Utilities. Ideally you would have done this on a normally running machine to see what "normal" looks like, but it's probably too late for that.   You can guess at most of it and google for anything that looks suspicious, or is eating up a lot of CPU time.

If you are connected to the Net with a separate router/firewall box, that could be a suspect. I had to replace a router that got weird after 3-4 years and started dropping connections, hanging, and generally misbehaving. Most modern router / firewall boxes have some sort of maintenance or logging page that will show you an error or problem log.
Fly, you fools! Fly!
 
af773atmsp
Topic Author
Posts: 2037
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:37 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:12 pm

Quoting Flighty (Reply 2):

I checked the Activity Monitor and its just below 100 MB. How do I close the browser and what happens when I close the browser?
It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
 
Ken777
Posts: 9050
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 2004 5:39 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 5:27 pm

Closing the browser is pretty simple, while you are in Safari simply use Command + Q

Before you do, however, it might be wise to click on the Safari menu on the top bar and then Empty Cache.

I'll assume that Firefox works the same.

Other recommendations

1. only use one of the two apps at the same time.

2. with the apps closed go to Disk Utilities (under Applications -> Utilities). Select the Macintosh HD disk and then Select the Repair Disk Permissions option. This cleans up broken links, etc.

3. Then restart the Mac. OS X does a bit of housecleaning when it starts up.
 
af773atmsp
Topic Author
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Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:37 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:17 pm

Websites are loading much quicker. I checked the Activity Monitor and it went from under 100 MB to over 900 MB! The time it takes to load a YouTube video hasn't improved though, maybe its just a problem with YouTube?
It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:23 pm

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Time Machine isn't working

When did you last repair permissions?
International Homo of Mystery
 
Fly2HMO
Posts: 7207
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 12:14 pm

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:28 pm

What is this? I thought macs NEVER had problems and NEVER broke and lasted FOREVER  
 
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n229nw
Posts: 2026
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RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:30 pm

Guess you should have gotten a PC!

Signed,
Klaus's doppelganger
All Glory to the Hypnotoad!
 
af773atmsp
Topic Author
Posts: 2037
Joined: Mon Aug 28, 2006 1:37 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:47 pm

Quoting AeroWesty (Reply 7):

Well..... never. I checked the Time Machine and it says Next Backup: When Disk is Connected. Not sure what that means because there isn't any disk.
It ain't no normal MD80 its a Super 80!
 
AeroWesty
Posts: 19551
Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 7:37 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 7:55 pm

First, Time Machine won't run until you designate a backup media to send data to, so I wouldn't call Time Machine never having run a problem (just for clarification to get that symptom out of the way).

To repair permissions: Open «Disk Utility» in the Utilities folder, select your HD in the list that appears in the left, and «Repair Disk Permissions» from the First Aid menu on screen. Actually, I'd do the verify first, if you've never run it.

General rule of thumb is to verify permissions after any substantial software install, like upgrading the OS thru Software Update.
International Homo of Mystery
 
ajd1992
Posts: 2390
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RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:37 pm

Also, worst comes to worst, (and don't tell me this isn't the case, I had a mac at one stage too, and it isn't perfect...) you could just back all your stuff on to CD or external hard disc, and completely wipe/reinstall with the discs that came with the laptop.

Sometimes it's just a general build up of e-crap that slows you down. I format and reinstall windows every 3 months or so just because I like a computer to be as fast as it can be (who doesn't?)/
 
MD-90
Posts: 7835
Joined: Mon Jan 17, 2000 12:45 pm

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 9:57 pm

Quoting ajd1992 (Reply 12):
Sometimes it's just a general build up of e-crap that slows you down. I format and reinstall windows every 3 months or so just because I like a computer to be as fast as it can be (who doesn't?)/

Every three months?! I do it about every 2-3 years.
 
ajd1992
Posts: 2390
Joined: Mon Jul 24, 2006 7:11 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 10:00 pm

Quoting MD-90 (Reply 13):
Every three months?! I do it about every 2-3 years.

What can I say, I'm very anal about it  

I don't have a very powerful laptop (1.8GHz, Dual Core Dell Inspiron, 4GB RAM) so any crap slows it down quite a bit. Even going from Windows 7 Home Premium to Ultimate slowed it down a fair bit.

Either way, if you haven't done it yet, I'd recommend it after 3 years. You'll be surprised how much quicker it is.
 
Klaus
Posts: 20602
Joined: Wed Jul 11, 2001 7:41 am

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sat Feb 26, 2011 11:58 pm

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
I've had my Mac OSX for only about three years but its already starting to slow down. Safari and Firefox are slow and sometimes the website won't load, on YouTube it takes five minutes to load a 30 second video, Google Earth doesn't respond sometimes so I have to force quit,

All that does indeed strongly suggest that you simply got internet connection problems.

Go here:
http://speedtest.net/

Run the speed test multiple times to see whether your connection speed is stable or if it varies a lot.

What does it say?

You can click on "Copy Direct Link" and paste the links into your response.

Mine currently says:

http://www.speedtest.net/result/1175670990.png
Embedded as <img src="http://www.speedtest.net/result/1175670990.png">:


What's your's?

And have you plugged an Ethernet networking cable into it or are you using a wireless network? In the latter case the frequencies around your house might just be congested or there might be other interference. The speed test above should give you a hint.


The amount of free RAM is actually not very relevant most of the time, since Mac OS X uses available RAM to cache files from the harddisk, so it will always fill up over time but with normal use there is not much of a slowdown because of that as long as you have a decent amount of RAM installed relative to your regular usage.

If you're worrying about that, call up Activity Monitor, select the System Memory tab at the bottom and check out the Page outs item. If it doesn't change (much) during normal use, too little RAM is not your problem. (Page ins is not a problem either – just don't worry about it.)

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
and the Time Machine isn't working.

Open System Preferences > Time Machine.

What does it say there?
Is it ON?
Is a backup drive selected?
Does it say when the last backup was and when the next one is scheduled?

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
I deleted a lot of files and I'm starting to move albums off the computer and onto CDs, but the computer is still being slow.

Fortunately that is not really related.  

As your disk is filling up, you'l find that it gets somewhat slower particularly when writing new files or accessing files that have been added later.

That is normal for a mechanical harddisk since it starts at the fastest tracks on the outer rim and fills up towards the slower inner tracks. A solid state disk (SSD) will generally stay equally fast (there are some qualifications to that, but these depend on the manufacturer and model, among other things).

When you have enabled Spotlight, it will also index new or changed files in the background. That can sometimes lead to frantic activity in the background, particularly after being enabled initially. Harddisk response may appear slower than normal in that case as well. But normally you won't even notice it indexing the few changes going on during normal use.

Your slowdowns don't seem to be related to the harddisk as it appears, so this is just contextual information.

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
Is my computer just already old, or is it something else?

No, fortunately it's something else, apparently.  
 

Quoting af773atmsp (Thread starter):
I'm not a computer expert, so don't be surprised if I don't understand something.

Nobody should need to be an expert for using computers nowadays, but sometimes it still helps.
 
CaliAtenza
Posts: 1626
Joined: Mon Dec 25, 2006 1:43 pm

RE: Problems With My Mac

Sun Feb 27, 2011 3:20 am

My 2007 MacBook pro's Nvidia video card finally failed yesterday  . I hope getting a repair out here in India won't be too much of a hastle. Damn you Nvidia lol

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