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Very Slow File Copy or Moving.

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
Id like to ask for assistance with a very entrenched problem. Recently, my Macbook began slowing down.
This shows up in a few very obvious places- eg, emptying trash, copying or moving files from one disk to an external disk [using drag and drop], finder searches, moving files to and from a thumb drive, burning CD/DVD's, and of course, playing movies and pause/starting them, regardless of which program Im using to watch them. The copying files problem is the worse, because I can only average apx 1gig per hour, and Im currently trying to do alot of file moves. Less demanding functions like email seem uneffected. [I wonder if anyone has an idea for alternate methods of copying files that may be quicker, at least till I get the real problem fixed?] During the worst of times almost nothing gets done [or very little], as when the colored beachball spins and spins for awhile, sometimes theres just nothing happening. This is always "announced" by the sound of the hard drive powering up, spinning fast, the fan joining in, and on and on the spinning disk, beachball, and fan, goes. If it continues OR if I click the mouse elswhere, as to attend to email while I wait for the beachball to stop spinning, the whole thing may freeze up, including the mouse. Ive seen it both stay for hours and eventually release, or stay frozen overnight, which I assume is a permanant "freeze". Early on in the history of this problem [this problem is a few months old] a shutdown while holding the power button down and then restarting would make some improvements, but the problem would begin again later that day if I began running say, a movie, and attempting to copy/move files from one place to another.
The computer is a White MacBook running 10.5.8. Ive tried the repairs, defrags, and rebuilds in Drive Genius 2.2 [booting from that disc], Ive ran Disk Warrior, Onyx, of course early on i used Disk Utilities verifications and repairs. I also booted in safe mode to allow for any re-adjustments that may provide. Everything always turned up basically OK according to the diagnostics, but there was no improvement. Ive finally given up and did a re-install from the 2 original install discs that came with the new computer. I did an archive and install. This has stopped that process where you hear the drive power up and the fan kick on, it spins fast and continues for a long time, everything gets stuck, then perhaps frozen, and then only can shut down using a hold down of the power button. So no more fan sounds and no more beach ball, but all speeds seem to be about the same.

Does anyone have any ideas for diagnostics and repairs? Go easy on me, Im learning all of ths as i go, not from any previous study and practice. I didnt see the obvious answer in the FAQ, and might not recognize it if i did see it. I have no other Macs but have copied the HD to external disks using carbon copy clones.

Thanks for any help!
post #2 of 5
OK, first things first: you did good with backups. Gear is replaceable. Data aren't. If those copies are good, you're fine. Btw, any special reason you didn't use Time Machine?

Anyway, on to your prob. Not that I'm in any way a formal expert, mind you! I'm just a heavy user. Have been for 25 years.
My kneejerk reaction to what you describe is that you need to isolate your prob so that you may deduce what it is exactly before you can think of a way to tackle it. My hunch is it's either a problem with an "I/O port", through which data passes between your CPU and your HD, CD/DVD drive, or any other drive/volume, or one of the cores in the Core2 Duo CPU seems dead...

TBH: either one would be bad news. A 'blown up motherboard', in tech parlance. Requiring replacement. And the motherboard is just about the priciest major part of your Mac... Which means it is even more important to find out what exactly the prob is. You need appropriate diagnostics.

Problem is I don't think I have a good diagnostic tool to check either one of those possibilities. Hopefully someone reading this has a suggestion.
At this point I would get an opinion from the 'guru' at my local Apple reseller. But then, he's only 1 mile from here. Your local reseller could be hundreds of miles. I don't know.

A good idea in any case is to Repair Permissions in Disk Utility. Might take a while. See if that changes anything.
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by knonuttin View Post

Id like to ask for assistance with a very entrenched problem. Recently, my Macbook began slowing down....I have no other Macs but have copied the HD to external disks using carbon copy clones.

Thanks for any help!


Well you did good. Since you were able to Archive and Install, means that you had room on your hard drive. Usually a big cause for a slow machine is a near full boot drive.

It's looking like you got a hardware problem, since reinstalling the OS didn't help.


You can try one more thing before taking it in to the shop.

Backup any files or clone the whole boot drive first to the external drive.

Download and run Xbench three times and average the results of all the major readings. Write it down.

Then hold c and boot from the original OS disk that came with your machine and Disk Utility Erase W/Zero option your boot drive. This will permanently delete all data and map off any bad sectors on the drive, a possible reason for a slow computer.

It will take some time, let it work and then reinstall OS X (no upgrades) and then run Xbench three times again and average those results.

Compare the first average results with the second and see if there is any major improvement.

If things are better then you got hope. Next use the OS X upgrade disks (if you have) to bump it up, also update then run the Xbench three times again.

Makes notes and see where your problem begins before adding third party. Test again.

It could be your original OS X disks are corrupted, or your upgrade disks, or your hard drive or some other hardware problem. Or something you have installed later.

It could be your RAM is too low, this will slow your machine down too.

You also might want to try another set of OS X install disks, see if Apple will allow you to trade your old ones for new ones.

If you got Filevault enabled, (which I'm sure you don't since you can clone the boot drive and hold option and boot from it), this will slow the machine down too.


After all this, and you still have issues, it's most likely a hardware problem. Hopefully a failed drive or a battery that you can replace this yourself through the battery bay.

I hope your under warranty if it's anything else.

As always, a laptop needs to be still when in use. Rough handling while the drive is operating will result it bad sectors and/or damage to the drive.

Also make sure you have enough power to the computer, just because you plug it in doesn't mean there is enough wattage in the power lines.

Use a different outlet in another room with little use, or another location. Don't plug it in with 10 zillion other devices. You might be overloading the line.

Hope this helps.
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post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rokcet Scientist View Post

OK, first things first: you did good with backups. Gear is replaceable. Data aren't. If those copies are good, you're fine. Btw, any special reason you didn't use Time Machine?

Anyway, on to your prob. Not that I'm in any way a formal expert, mind you! I'm just a heavy user. Have been for 25 years.
My kneejerk reaction to what you describe is that you need to isolate your prob so that you may deduce what it is exactly before you can think of a way to tackle it. My hunch is it's either a problem with an "I/O port", through which data passes between your CPU and your HD, CD/DVD drive, or any other drive/volume, or one of the cores in the Core2 Duo CPU seems dead...

TBH: either one would be bad news. A 'blown up motherboard', in tech parlance. Requiring replacement. And the motherboard is just about the priciest major part of your Mac... Which means it is even more important to find out what exactly the prob is. You need appropriate diagnostics.

Problem is I don't think I have a good diagnostic tool to check either one of those possibilities. Hopefully someone reading this has a suggestion.
At this point I would get an opinion from the 'guru' at my local Apple reseller. But then, he's only 1 mile from here. Your local reseller could be hundreds of miles. I don't know.

A good idea in any case is to Repair Permissions in Disk Utility. Might take a while. See if that changes anything.

Thanks for that info--
post #5 of 5
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTripper View Post

Well you did good. Since you were able to Archive and Install, means that you had room on your hard drive. Usually a big cause for a slow machine is a near full boot drive.

It's looking like you got a hardware problem, since reinstalling the OS didn't help.


You can try one more thing before taking it in to the shop.

Backup any files or clone the whole boot drive first to the external drive.

Download and run Xbench three times and average the results of all the major readings. Write it down.

Then hold c and boot from the original OS disk that came with your machine and Disk Utility Erase W/Zero option your boot drive. This will permanently delete all data and map off any bad sectors on the drive, a possible reason for a slow computer.

It will take some time, let it work and then reinstall OS X (no upgrades) and then run Xbench three times again and average those results.

Compare the first average results with the second and see if there is any major improvement.

If things are better then you got hope. Next use the OS X upgrade disks (if you have) to bump it up, also update then run the Xbench three times again.

Makes notes and see where your problem begins before adding third party. Test again.

It could be your original OS X disks are corrupted, or your upgrade disks, or your hard drive or some other hardware problem. Or something you have installed later.

It could be your RAM is too low, this will slow your machine down too.

You also might want to try another set of OS X install disks, see if Apple will allow you to trade your old ones for new ones.

If you got Filevault enabled, (which I'm sure you don't since you can clone the boot drive and hold option and boot from it), this will slow the machine down too.


After all this, and you still have issues, it's most likely a hardware problem. Hopefully a failed drive or a battery that you can replace this yourself through the battery bay.

I hope your under warranty if it's anything else.

As always, a laptop needs to be still when in use. Rough handling while the drive is operating will result it bad sectors and/or damage to the drive.

Also make sure you have enough power to the computer, just because you plug it in doesn't mean there is enough wattage in the power lines.

Use a different outlet in another room with little use, or another location. Don't plug it in with 10 zillion other devices. You might be overloading the line.

Hope this helps.

Thanks for the time you put into the answer. Ill look into the Xbench option.
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