Mac OS forum


Help with sluggish Mac

by jennywren1420 / July 5, 2012 5:19 AM PDT


Well, my Macbook 13" running OS 10.5 is stiff and sluggish. Just out of curiosity, I downloaded Sophos Antivirus Home Edition and ran a scan of the whole hard drive. The scan turned up nine problems, all pertaining to Windows only (who knows how I got them). I tried following the instructions for manual cleanup, because there is apparently no other way to get rid of the files. I was unable to drag the files to the Custom Scan window, so that was that.

My question is: What else might be dragging my computer's performance down? The trackpad doesn't respond well; the keyboard is still (and I've adjusted all those settings); sometimes, I can't drag windows around; and that is just the tip of the iceberg. I've no clue why this is happening.

I've run Disk Utility, and permissions have been repaired. The hard disk "appears to be ok." I've replaced the directory with a new one in Disk Warrior. I don't keep a lot of windows open. I've unplugged the Mac for a while, then plugged it in again. I've shut the computer down in this very hot weather. (The sluggishness actually predates the change in the heat.

Any ideas?

Well, the nice part of this afternoon is that I happened on a program all about old-style blues music. The blues make me happy. Go figure!


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All Answers

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This "could" be a case of a failing hard drive.
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 5, 2012 6:33 AM PDT
In reply to: Help with sluggish Mac

Although Disk Utility reports that the Disk "appears to be OK" it does not do a real in depth check on the drive.

If this is the actual cause, then the replacing the drive would solve the problem.

You could try creating a new admin account, logging into it and seeing if the problem is still evident, before you consider replacing the drive


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I'd concur
by Jimmy Greystone / July 5, 2012 1:18 PM PDT

A MacBook old enough to be running 10.5 would be about due for a HDD to need replacement by now.

Disk utility is really more of a filesystem level checking program, it doesn't really have any diagnostic functions for the drive as a whole except for checking the SMART status of a drive. In the about 3 years I worked as a hardware tech, I probably still have enough fingers and toes to count the times I replaced a drive because of a SMART failure reported by Disk Utility. I long ago lost count of how many HDDs I replaced.

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You had me at Antivirus.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 5, 2012 8:12 AM PDT
In reply to: Help with sluggish Mac

What virus is there for the Mac? So what would this software do for us?

Strange idea. Antivirus for the non-existent virus.

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(NT) I just skipped over that part!
by mrmacfixit Forum moderator / July 5, 2012 8:13 AM PDT
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(NT) I tripped over that parts!
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 5, 2012 8:17 AM PDT
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Ram and HD space
by ringham183 / July 8, 2012 3:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Help with sluggish Mac

I'd check the ram (more is always better...), but you also need to see how much of your HD is still available. If your drive is 160gb (likely) and has a formatted capacity of about 148, you may have filled a majority of it, leaving you with sluggish performance. DaisyDisk is a good program for checking what sucks up your HD space, but I'm not sure if it runs on 10.5. Also do a search on how to force the daily, weekly and monthly maintenance routines in Terminal. Easy to do and can't hurt...

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