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Speed up iMac Snow Leopard

Posted on 2009-12-25
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Last Modified: 2013-11-24
I have a 9 mo old iMac with 4GB ram, Snow Leopard. It seems REALLY slow now especially with VMWare and Parallels. Other than Activity Monitor is there any good way to find out what is slowing it down exactly? Any optimization tricks or good utilities out there that will help me out? Please don't just post links. Let me know why, etc...
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Question by:RobertNZana
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by:nappy_d
ID: 26123546
How much ram do you have allocated to VMWare and Parallels?

How large is your partition for VMWare or do you have a 40GB file that is used for WIndows?
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by:RobertNZana
ID: 26123553
I tried everywhere from 512mb to 3gb; also 1 to 2 processors. Still slow.

40gb+ if I recall.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26123578
and how large is your internal drive and how much free disk space do you have?
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Author Comment

by:RobertNZana
ID: 26123579
1TB, 500GB free
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26123587
What is your Windows OS doing and do you need to have it running all the time?

The XP OS(I assume) should not need more than 1GB or RAM.

Can you open up your Activity monitor and sort the processes by size and post a screen grab?  The same for disk activity and System memory.
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by:RobertNZana
ID: 26123593
It's not running all the time. I'm doing web development using asp.net/visual studio 2008. It runs very slowly.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26123603
So what OS are your running and service pack level?

Do you have Antivirus installed and running?

What happens if you start the Windows OS up in safe mode?  Does it run slowly as well?
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Author Comment

by:RobertNZana
ID: 26123611
XP SP3 (same thing happens with SP2 as well)

Avast AV

I can try Safe mode...
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26123614
OH!  Also, you may want to stop spotlight from trying to scan your Windows disk and partition.  The same goes for Time Machine.
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by:RobertNZana
ID: 26123626
Time Machine is disabled. What do you mean about spotlight?
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Accepted Solution

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nappy_d earned 668 total points
ID: 26123634
This is located in your System Preferences>spotlight.  It is a background application that catalogs all files on your computer for faster searching.  It is probably trying to catalog your Windows image file.

Go into the spotlight preferences, click on privacy and add the directory that contains windows.

Now try using Windows and see if it improves in performance.
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Assisted Solution

by:splait
splait earned 668 total points
ID: 26124117
Under Windows XP, you might also consider going into msconfig and unchecking any processes you don't need.  Click the Start button, select RUN, type "msconfig" without the quotes, and press enter.  Select the Startup tab and disable anything you don't need.  If you aren't sure what you need, post the list here and we'll help.
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26124707
Robert,

Any further updates?
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Assisted Solution

by:dalesit
dalesit earned 664 total points
ID: 26145783
I find that the system can slow down a lot if it has been running for a while before starting Parallels/VMWare. This is because it tries to allocate a large chunk of memory for Windows, and if programs have been running for a while, the memory can be fragmented, which can slow things down.

Do you have the same performance issues if you start Parallels/VMWare straight after booting?
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Expert Comment

by:nappy_d
ID: 26163941
So what really was the fix? one or all
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Author Comment

by:RobertNZana
ID: 26163946
It still seems to be running slow. Not sure if it's Visual Studio or the OS at this point. All the comments were good tweaks/ideas, but it really didn't address my issue completely. But thanks anyways.
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