decline and fall of a MacBook 10.6.8

Discussion in 'Apple' started by pure water, May 12, 2013.

  1. pure water

    pure water Guest

    For the last few months, I decided to start using the MacBook 10.6.8
    regularly in house instead of saving it for on the road wifi. It has
    recently behaved like PC used to - gradually got slower and buggier
    until things began to fail. Recently the previously near perfect
    printing history began to have bad days and it appears that I'll have
    to do what I used to do with Windows 95 and earlier versions - format
    the hard drive and reinstall. Decided to download and run Cocktail to
    clean up and try to get the speed back but didn't have that effect.
    Time to clean the hard drive and start over. Good time to locate a
    used PC laptop with Windows 7 for a backup or more.
    pure water, May 12, 2013
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  2. I can't say if your problem is software or hardware. I've had a 10.6.8
    system on my MacPro for 4 years. I believe it was a "clean install" and
    I moved or installed files from my 10.5 PPC system as needed. I found
    that if the VM files grow to > 2GB, performance dragged on the PPC
    system and 4GB on the 10.6 system. A reboot fixes that.

    Before you start from scratch, do a performance analysis and find out
    what resource constraint is slowing down your system. Computers are
    constrained by CPU, I/O, and Memory usage. You have a bottleneck
    somewhere. Identify what it is before you throw everything out and
    start over. If you have a buggy/marginal logic board, reloading the OS
    won't fix it and you'll have spent a week working on this problem.

    If your car misfired and had smoke coming out of the tailpipe, would you
    pull the engine and replace it or try to pinpoint the source of problem?
    Michael Vilain, May 12, 2013
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  3. None of the above makes any sense.
    Jamie Kahn Genet, May 12, 2013
  4. I'm guessing it's a troll, but that is good advice.
    Jamie Kahn Genet, May 12, 2013
  5. P.W.-

    Your symptoms sound like read/write errors due to your HD going bad. If
    so, reformatting might temporarily clean it up, but will not fix it.

    I suggest your first action should be to ensure you have a backup of
    your hard drive. You could use Disk Utility to Restore the internal
    drive to an external drive. (Carbon Copy Cloner works too.) If
    successful, boot from the external drive to see if the problem has gone

    Slowdowns due to things like file fragmentation may have been a problem
    with older Windows systems. OS X has built-in system maintenance that
    should prevent that from being a problem, especially if you leave it on
    all the time.

    Fred McKenzie, May 12, 2013
  6. Check out the disk's integrity with Disk Utility. Also check that
    computer says as much RAM is installed as it should. Look for old
    QuickTime codecs or MacPorts libraries lying around and breaking things.

    If all is good, defragment the hard drive. Pay no attention to
    everybody saying it OS X doesn't need it.

    MacOS X has two disk optimization schemes. One is a "hotfiles" area of
    small commonly used files. Another is automatic defragmentation of
    small files. The hotfiles area is very useful but it might not optimize
    enough of the disk for you. Automatic defragmentation of small files is
    rarely of use, and can actually cause severe fragmentation of free
    space. A disk defragmentation utility re-organizes files so that the
    most recently accessed files are physically close to each other on the
    platters, as if the whole disk had "hotfiles" optimization. You'll get
    back the performance that has been slowly falling away over a period of
    years. There's always risk in using defragmentation tools so back
    everything up first. There's also no need for most users to defragment
    more often than every year or two.
    Kevin McMurtrie, May 12, 2013
  7. pure water

    Lewis Guest

    Unless you install something that constantly monitors your disk, this is
    simply not true. If you DO install something that constantly monitors
    your disk its overhead will almost certainly offset any gains.

    This is not the 90s, you do not need to defrag a disk except for very
    limited and specific tasks, (like, streaming raw 4K video from a camera
    or something like that. Maybe. If your disk is slow).
    Yeah, *that's* not true at all. You have to have pretty old hardware
    before you would be able to notice any change at all, and putting in a
    better drive would far outstrip any imagined gains from defragging.
    There's no need for most users to ever defragment. Drives are huge and
    hold millions of megabytes. If your drive is so full that defragging
    would maybe possibly temporarily help, then you need more storage.
    Lewis, May 12, 2013
  8. pure water

    George Kerby Guest

    It SINGS the Troll Song. Don't even whistle along...
    George Kerby, May 12, 2013
  9. pure water

    pure water Guest

    Thanks, Fred.

    Thinking that running Cocktail and regular permission repair are not
    really necessary - Mac OS X takes care of itself. There's even an old
    file defrag program from SpeedTools that probably isn't necessary. Old
    PCs needed a lot of care and best not to confuse the two operating

    You can call me P.W. but I'm not whooped or whipped :^)
    pure water, May 12, 2013
  10. pure water

    pure water Guest

    Thanks, Kevin. Have an old SpeedTools OEM disk defrag program (v2.8.1,
    I think) for Tiger. Wonder if that will properly defrag a GUID
    partitioned drive? Mac file storage probably is the same or similar
    from 10.4.11 to 10.6.8. The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK is
    the msg I get from Disk Utility. Memory tests okay. Looking for other
    signs in Activity Monitor and probably will pull out the system disk
    and run Apple hardware test. I remember the old days when PCs were
    all I could afford to work with and you could expect strange behavior
    like files disappearing or being corrupted when memory or hard drive
    was failing.
    pure water, May 12, 2013
  11. pure water

    pure water Guest

    Only to someone with a closed or empty mind.
    I like to have a PC as a backup in case my Mac computer fails.
    I'm not wealthy enough to own as many Macs as I want.
    Only techs will understand tech talk and only PC techs or those
    familiar with PC systems will understand how they behave(d.) Have read
    stories about Cocktail messing up Mac system files so I've decided not
    to use it any more. I've also installed TotalFinder recently and the
    problems began after that - anybody know of that app causing system
    problems? After all it is a hack, although a good one if it doesn't
    wreck the system. If Apple had coded Finder so that it had all the
    features it needs (like MS finally did with Win7) an add-on would not
    be needed. Wish you could drag and drop hundreds of files with Finder
    from one folder to another and it would ask if you wanted to skip,
    write over or rename duplicate files like Windows 7 does.
    pure water, May 12, 2013
  12. In all truth, given a choice between a backup PC and an Ubuntu laptop,
    I'd go with Ubuntu. Yes, it limits what I can do with it. That's OK.
    Michael Vilain, May 12, 2013
  13. Or to someone who has never had OS X behave like Win95, let alone just
    randomly slowdown, given the vast differences between the systems.
    Ah lookie, it wasn't so random after all. I assume you've simply tried
    uninstalling this hack?
    Jamie Kahn Genet, May 12, 2013
  14. I've never needed disk defragmentation in OS X, nor suffered such
    slowdowns despite many years of operation for installs of 10.3, 10.5 and
    Jamie Kahn Genet, May 12, 2013
  15. There are other kinds of fragmentation. When Apple got rid of Resource
    Forks, they switched to an lame trick called packages and bundles.
    These are simply directories that some parts of the OS X GUI present as
    files. has 7711 files and folders in its bundle. Safari has
    5620, iCall 3899, and has 9707 files and folders in it. The library may have 20000 to 100000 files in it. Sparsebundle
    disk images, by default, contain one file for every 8MB of storage.
    That's 2560 files for 20GB. Hotfiles only slightly addresses the problem
    of having so many files. Every single software update spreads groups of
    related files farther and farther apart. You can have zero fragmented
    files but still have extremely slow disk performance due to clusters of
    files being physically scattered on a spinning disk. Defragmentation
    utilities try to move associated files close together.
    Kevin McMurtrie, May 14, 2013
  16. pure water

    Lewis Guest

    Lewis, May 14, 2013
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