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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Why is my powerbook so slow and unresponsive?

Why is my powerbook so slow and unresponsive?
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vtgts500kw
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Jun 15, 2005, 06:28 AM
 
i have only jsut recently (read: 2 weeks) reformatted my harddrive, started from scratch. so howcome i get the "beachball" everytime my computer needs to do a relativly minor task (ie: opening safari) and takes ages to complete relativly non-intensive photoshop/freehand tasks?

it also wont respond when i select the sleep,shutdown and restart options in the apple menu.

this is completly pissing me off, i didnt pay 4000bucks for this to happen, especially so soon after i have reformated the computer.

ohh and the computer is a 1.5ghz 15inch combo with 1.5gb ram.
     
FeralCat
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Jun 15, 2005, 07:17 AM
 
Originally Posted by vtgts500kw
i have only jsut recently (read: 2 weeks) reformatted my harddrive, started from scratch. so howcome i get the "beachball" everytime my computer needs to do a relativly minor task (ie: opening safari) and takes ages to complete relativly non-intensive photoshop/freehand tasks?

it also wont respond when i select the sleep,shutdown and restart options in the apple menu.

this is completly pissing me off, i didnt pay 4000bucks for this to happen, especially so soon after i have reformated the computer.

ohh and the computer is a 1.5ghz 15inch combo with 1.5gb ram.
What other applications do you have running at the time? One thing to try to help narrow down the problem would be to open Activity Monitor and see what might be chewing up your CPU. That application is in the Applications folder, Utilities subfolder (or you could launch it through spotlight by typing command-space, "activity").

I just bought a 12" 1.5 GHz PowerBook, and even with only 512 MB of RAM, it's never beachballed me when launching apps, and I can do sizable compiles (e.g. WebCore) in very little time.

Good luck!
     
vtgts500kw  (op)
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Jun 15, 2005, 08:16 AM
 
thanks for the help.
nothing seemed to be taking up alot more ram than i would have thought. nothing i didnt recognize.

the only programs that are open when im using intensive software would be the software im using. i never use , well try to never use 2 big programs at same time, ie photoshop and freehand. photoshop is a ram hungry bugger.

the laptop isnt running tiger. i dont find it all tha exciting. rather wait to get the new one when its released next year or year after.
     
crazeazn
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Jun 15, 2005, 10:08 AM
 
your ram stick might be going bad.

with that much ram it shouldnt matter if u have a bunch of things open
12" AI book REV B, mac mini core duo 1.66
     
urrl78
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Jun 15, 2005, 01:32 PM
 
How are you hooked up to the internet? Network settings may have something to do with it. Did you make any adjustments for networking before this happened?
     
Fusion
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Jun 15, 2005, 03:13 PM
 
If you are running Panther, chances are you are experiencing the Finder bug. Open up Activity Monitor again and instead of looking at RAM, take a look at PCU usage. If the usage meter shows that a large amount of your CPU is being used, then check to see what it is in the table. It will probably show that the Finder is hogging it.

There is a bug in Panther that randomly appears where the Finder takes up all available CPU, it makes your computer massivly slow. I have a 1.5 15" SD with 1.25gb RFAM and got it a couple time. Usually a restart will fix it, and after a day or so of restarting, it will completley vanish for at least 6 months or so.

If that's not the problem, maybe post screenshots of activity monitor when you are trying to open things.
     
vtgts500kw  (op)
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Jun 16, 2005, 10:25 PM
 
no i havnt changed any network settings or anything. im hooked up using an external adsl modem, so ethernet adapter.

this is really pissing me off now. when i try open up itunes it unexpectatly quits, same thing happens occasionaly with safari. it happens alot with Freehand MX especially when i go to print something, the computer shits itself.

heres a screenshot of activity monitor. it doesnt appear as though thats the problem? im running at very low cpu usage(well in the screenshot it is higher tyhan it was, was only showing about 2-3bars as light blue.

. do i have a hardware issue?

     
ibook_steve
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Jun 16, 2005, 11:14 PM
 
Try setting up a test account and login using the test account. Try the same things and see if you have the same problem. If the problem persists, a clean install of the OS may be in order. If the problem goes away, there's something messed up in your account. Try trashing preference files for the Finder and the applications in question and see what happens.

Steve
     
vtgts500kw  (op)
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Jun 17, 2005, 12:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by ibook_steve
Try setting up a test account and login using the test account. Try the same things and see if you have the same problem. If the problem persists, a clean install of the OS may be in order. If the problem goes away, there's something messed up in your account. Try trashing preference files for the Finder and the applications in question and see what happens.

Steve
just logged in under a different account and the same thing happens. i have only just recently done a clean install and the problem has only recently started occuring. could it have been a result of my clean install? i dont really want to go through that process again.

edit: just realised what was making itunes quit. it was my ipod. whenever that was plugged in, itunes would unexpectadly quit. anyone know why that would be? i have restarted my ipod by holding down the menu+select button but it still happens to itunes.
( Last edited by vtgts500kw; Jun 17, 2005 at 12:56 AM. )
     
skelotar
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Jun 17, 2005, 01:35 AM
 
U need to hold down the middle select button with the menu button for about 6 seconds and that should restart your ipod..

Do you have that itunes things installed that lest you rip songs off the ipod super duper easy? I forget the name but thats the thing thats causing the problem more than likely..

I had to uninstall it and I've been using ElIpodo.. its GREAT!!!
::: r00t ::: - 15" PBook / 1.25 GB/ 1.33Ghz
     
Kellis
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Jun 17, 2005, 11:32 PM
 
Hey, how'd you do that? Paste your activity monitor? Have you emptied your cache, cookies, etc.? How about repairing permissions? My PB was sluggish, so I ran permissions it improved.
12'' PB G4 1Ghz 768 MB Mac OSX Combo Airport
     
vtgts500kw  (op)
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Jun 18, 2005, 12:34 AM
 
took a screenshot using grab and then posted it here?

i think im just going to do another clean install once uni finishes next week.
     
benwhanlee
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Jun 18, 2005, 07:14 AM
 
Originally Posted by vtgts500kw
took a screenshot using grab and then posted it here?

i think im just going to do another clean install once uni finishes next week.
some things that you may want to try (sorry if you've already done these):

-repair permissions using disk utility.

-boot from your software cd and run disk utlity's disk repair. if it finds any problems, keep running it until it doesn't find any.

-did you install any ram yourself? if so, you may want to check system profiler and just make sure the ram sticks are being recognized correctly.

-boot into safe mode (hold down the shift key after the startup chime)

-last thing i could think of is that i did a clean install with my new 1.67 machine but had some problems. what happens is that i used the migration assistant to copy over all of my files, users, network settings, apps, etc...turns out there was something on my old machine that my new machine didn't like. if you used migration assistant, the next time you do a clean install do not use migration assitant to carry over your old files. instead start from scratch on your new machine. it's more time intensive but it worked for me...

good luck and let us know.
15" Al PB 1.67, 15" Ti PB 667, Power Mac 400
     
bighead
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Jun 18, 2005, 12:37 PM
 
LimeWire is probably the cause of your problems. The directory damage it (usually) causes is enough to make Dual G5s grind to a halt. I would suggest running Diskwarrior, backing up all of your data, ZEROING the hard disk, reinstalling everything sans LimeWire.

I get this problem at least 2, usually between 5 and 10 times per day. LimeWire is absolute CRAP and it causes way too many problems in my experience.
the bighead

- MacBook Pro 15" matte non-unibody 2.6 GHz, 4GB RAM, 120/SSD & 750GB/7200
- PM G4 Dual 1.25 GHz, 2 GB RAM, 1x320 boot, 1x2TB TM Backup - 2x1TB & 2x3TB Archive/Backup
     
OperaMan
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Jun 19, 2005, 03:23 AM
 
acquisitionnnnnnn
It's a very good alternative to limewire
     
niji
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Jun 19, 2005, 10:03 AM
 
have you done a system profile lately?
check to see if yr lower ram module is showing or not.
huge issue brewing: logic boards on powerbooks are failing at a high rate. easiest way to tell if yrs has failed already or not is to do a sys profile on it and see if the lower mem ram is showing. failed logic boards report no mem module in lower slot.
     
AgBlue
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Jun 27, 2005, 10:10 AM
 
I recently reformatted and installed tiger. I've got 1.25gb of ram and it seems like I'm getting the beach ball more than ever. Turns out the hd is failing. Things still work right, but it's taking alot longer than usual. Now after like 2 to 3 weeks of that, I see the smart status of the hd in disk utility and it says it's failing. I had expected this cuz techtool said I had bad sectors developing. This is the same thing that happened to this guy "http://forums.macnn.com/showthread.php?t=259986". I hope it's not your problem, but I suggest trying a full disk surface scan. Lemme know what turns up.
     
vtgts500kw  (op)
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Jun 28, 2005, 10:18 AM
 
thanks for the reply. what is a full disk surface scan?

the smart status says verified like it always has
     
PigTrickster
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Jul 2, 2005, 08:13 PM
 
any results on this?

My wife's 17" powerbook just started having the same symptoms.

Slow startup, unresponsive, takes 10-100x longer to do anything including boot.
I have checked RAM and it recognizes the 1.25 GB that's been in it for 4 months
now. It's noticable that the HD is working much harder than it should so I am
concerned about that. I am currently checking and then verifying permissions.
Next I will do a scan, but am unfamiliar with the OSX toolsets for a journaled
unix fs, so where do I find this utility?

thanks,
-pig
     
vtgts500kw  (op)
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Jul 4, 2005, 09:26 AM
 
thanks for the replys guys.

my ram is fucntional and my permissions were repaired.

ive tried everything mentioned and its no better, start-up takes FOREVER and i dont load any apps on startup (airport) isnt on either. but the thing that really pisses me off the most is that when i go to shut it down or restart by using the apple menu, it doesnt do anything. that used to happen on my windows machine and i was hopefull i wouldnt have to deal with that again.....

im going to try a clean install (again) tommorrow to see if that fixes the problems.
     
Randman
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Jul 4, 2005, 09:51 AM
 
Font cache.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
vtgts500kw  (op)
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Jul 5, 2005, 09:43 AM
 
what do you mean by that? i have only got about 1000fonts in my computer so it shouldnt be that surely?

can you please elaborate.
thanks
     
Randman
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Jul 5, 2005, 10:13 AM
 
com.apple.ATS/ can be a bit buggy. Try the free app, Font Cache Expunger.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
vtgts500kw  (op)
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Jul 6, 2005, 01:01 AM
 
that sounds like the fix to the exact problem (1 of them) that im having. but i cant download font expunger from anywhere.

anyone have it that they would be willing to send me via a p2p client? messenger, aim etc?
     
Randman
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Jul 6, 2005, 02:49 AM
 
email me. I can put it on my iDisk.

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
PigTrickster
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Jul 10, 2005, 01:24 AM
 
IO ATA Controller is the HD Controller.
It is located on the Logic board.
I took the machine to Apple as my wife has AppleCare on it.
But I did this AFTER a full backup.

I feared that it was the HD that was broken.
As it turns out Apple replaced the Logic board.

It was a straightforward operation and there was no loss of data.
Consider this closed.
     
   
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