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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Desktops > How to speed up mac startup

How to speed up mac startup
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Aug 29, 2013, 12:24 AM
 
I am using Mac for last 3 years. Currently I have Mac mini with both Mac Lion and Mountain Lion. Usually I work wit ML and finding for last few weeks that my machine's performance is degrading day by day. Slow startup, slow login and slow applications launch. The slowness in my Mac has slow down my life.

Need a feasible and long lasting solution for it.
     
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Aug 29, 2013, 12:52 PM
 
Check your hard drive - those symptoms could be evidence of a failing hard drive.

Go to Disk Utility (in your Utilities folder) and click on your hard drive and see if it says that it's failing in the big window.
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Aug 29, 2013, 02:24 PM
 
Also tell us the percentage full of each of your partitions. Partitions above 80% full will experience reduced performance. Any partition that has gone past 90% full recently will likely remain slow afterwards, even if it's cleared back below 80%.
     
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Aug 29, 2013, 03:22 PM
 
Back up your data, NOW.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 11:36 AM
 
....make it an SSD. That will really speed things up.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:34 PM
 
Everything written above is very good advice and do your backup ASAP.

There is nothing like a good SSD (see those sold by Other World Computing; Performance Upgrades; FireWire USB SATA Storage; Memory, more at OWC) to get you a really fast boot time as well as super fast application launch times. Everything seems much faster with an SSD.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 01:55 PM
 
There is no better way to speed up any machine (Mac or PC) than by replacing your boot disk with an SSD. You can do it for less than $100. Amazon.com sells Samsung, SanDisk, Crucial and other 128GB SSD drives for less than $100. If 128 isn't enough storage (it probably isn't), you can get a USB 2.5" disk enclosure for ~$20. Go to ifixit.com and follow the instructions for swapping the disk in your mini. When you're done, put your original drive in the USB enclosure and you'll have all your storage back.
My 2009 MBP went from a 120 sec. boot time to around 30 sec. without changing anything but the disk.
     
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Aug 30, 2013, 04:45 PM
 
You don't have to buy an SSD from OWC, there are no special Mac specific SSDs, I would shop at Amazon and NewEgg first. Chances are their prices will be better than OWC's.
     
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Aug 31, 2013, 09:00 AM
 
Certainly throwing money for an ssd for 2009 mac will help - but if there is enough disk space available, and the
10.8 slowdown is annoying (I'm actually more annoyed at how safari gobbles ram and likes to freeze itself when it tries to figure out what its doing -) and you don't want to go from - 500gig to 128gig.
Run the recovery tools: disk utility first in case you are having hdd problems and then reload the OS. I just did this
for similar reasons and oddly enough reclaimed a lot of space and got back to normal operating speeds.

OS X has kind of an unadjustable amount of bloatware that really takes a toll on older (but supported) machines...
massive amounts of caching and regurgitation.
I really wish Apple would let us "debloat" some of it (I'm an old Darwin hosted Quicktime media guy -now that was an
awesome box that simply streamed what we gave it)
but I find I'm reloading every six months or so to fix stupid things like spotlight barfing - and Time Machine distraction
(you say you have a backup drive? I don't see it...uh hey TM it's right there - you won't even let me dismount it!!)
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Sep 4, 2013, 06:40 AM
 
Originally Posted by MacTexan View Post
There is no better way to speed up any machine (Mac or PC) than by replacing your boot disk with an SSD. You can do it for less than $100. Amazon.com sells Samsung, SanDisk, Crucial and other 128GB SSD drives for less than $100. If 128 isn't enough storage (it probably isn't), you can get a USB 2.5" disk enclosure for ~$20. Go to ifixit.com and follow the instructions for swapping the disk in your mini. When you're done, put your original drive in the USB enclosure and you'll have all your storage back.
My 2009 MBP went from a 120 sec. boot time to around 30 sec. without changing anything but the disk.
Thanks for reply but, its a very expensive solution. I am seeking for some optimization tips. Can cleaning the boot drive help me to minimize the issue.
     
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Sep 4, 2013, 08:19 AM
 
If your machine has suddenly started slowing down, there is something wrong with it, and no amount of "optimization" or "cleanup" is likely to make any real difference. It wouldn't if everything ran properly, either. Macs do not need "optimization" or even regular maintenance.

The two most common causes I've seen for this in about a decade of Mac support have been:

1.) a dying hard drive. BACK UP ALL YOUR DATA NOW. IMMEDIATELY. Just to be sure. You should constantly have a backup of everything important at all times, anyway.

2.) some bug in a process making it run haywire and hogging all available processing power, making everything else dog slow. A couple of times, this has been an HP printer driver getting stuck on some print job and going crazy, for weeks.
To check for this, open up the Activity Viewer (in Applications/Utilities), have it show "ALL" running processes, and sort by CPU usage %. If there is a process going crazy, it should show up at the top and use some crazy amount of CPU (greater than 100%).
     
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Sep 4, 2013, 02:57 PM
 
Originally Posted by ronaldross View Post
Thanks for reply but, its a very expensive solution. I am seeking for some optimization tips. Can cleaning the boot drive help me to minimize the issue.
Did you read the most pertinent advice given in this thread, i.e., check your HD to be sure it isn't failing? You can't optimize a failing HD.

Things don't suddenly slow down for no reason. I can almost guarantee your HD is failing and the S.M.A.R.T. status in Disk Utility will quickly tell you this if you look. Have you done that?

There is no point in people giving you further advice until you can verify whether or not your HD is failing or not. If it is, problem solved - backup and get a new HD. If it isn't, we can further troubleshoot.
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Sep 12, 2013, 12:02 AM
 
Thanks dear.
Yes I have checked the SMART status of my drive. And it signals green - no problem.
Currently I have bought a Mac cleaning and app and going to see if this works. Will let you know the effect.
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 03:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by ronaldross View Post
Thanks dear.
Yes I have checked the SMART status of my drive. And it signals green - no problem.
Currently I have bought a Mac cleaning and app and going to see if this works.
Sucker.

That shit is snake-oil, and you're encouraging them by falling for it.

Out of curiosity, which scareware/spamware did you fall for?
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 05:19 AM
 
Better pick up a Mac virus scanner while you're at it.
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 09:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by ronaldross View Post
Thanks dear.
Yes I have checked the SMART status of my drive. And it signals green - no problem.
Currently I have bought a Mac cleaning and app and going to see if this works. Will let you know the effect.


The "effect" is that your computer is going to be loaded with more crap than it already was and will very likely be slower than it already was.

If you are going to do whatever you want and not actually report back when someone suggests you check/do something, what's the point of this thread?

I guarantee NO ONE here would have recommended you buy and install a Mac "cleaning" app.
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Sep 12, 2013, 09:58 AM
 
Did you check the Activity Monitor for runaway processes?
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 03:53 PM
 
If he has installed MacKeeper/Sweeper/Spammer there's no telling what else might be on the machine, phoning home and slowing stuff down.
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 04:07 PM
 
I hope it isn't MacKeeper. A friend brought me a MacKeeper-infested Mac. After rebuild attempts that didn't hold, I eventually had to reinstall the OS. Their Mac had at least one other problem, so it might not have been MacKeeper that forced the reinstall. But it's on top of my suspect list.
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 05:13 PM
 
If I were Apple I would extend their anti-virus stuff to check for checksums or whatever it is that it does to issue warnings when people startup these "cleaning" tools to say "uh, you probably won't want to run that thing".
     
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Sep 12, 2013, 05:19 PM
 
I would die laughing if some spam bot posted some plug for MacKeeper with a link to their site right about now.
     
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Sep 13, 2013, 03:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
If I were Apple I would extend their anti-virus stuff to check for checksums or whatever it is that it does to issue warnings when people startup these "cleaning" tools to say "uh, you probably won't want to run that thing".
That's legally problematic - if sued, they'd have to show cause as in show that the tool does something bad - and fairly ineffective, as it would be easy to just release a .0.1 update that changed the checksum. Apple's solution is the opposite, to block anything not signed.
The new Mac Pro has up to 30 MB of cache inside the processor itself. That's more than the HD in my first Mac. Somehow I'm still running out of space.
     
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Sep 30, 2013, 02:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by reader50 View Post
I hope it isn't MacKeeper. A friend brought me a MacKeeper-infested Mac. After rebuild attempts that didn't hold, I eventually had to reinstall the OS. Their Mac had at least one other problem, so it might not have been MacKeeper that forced the reinstall. But it's on top of my suspect list.

No. its not the Mackeeper but another one. Fortunately it worked and regained me about 8GB of memory. Cleaned too many useless items specially the duplicates. I can see improvement in my Mac.
     
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Sep 30, 2013, 01:20 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I would die laughing if some spam bot posted some plug for MacKeeper with a link to their site right about now.
If they do, I bet they post from Gurgaon, India.
OMG!!! We did it!!!!
     
   
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