Isolating Extensions on Mac

I have a system that has become real slow.  I want to turn on an extension at a time to see what is causing the slow response.  Is there a way to do that?

We keep getting the slow beach ball and nothing really showing in activity monitor.

The console has a message about ical but when it is closed it still doesn't make any difference.

Thanks,

Randal
sharingsunshineAsked:
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Sigurdur ArmannssonConnect With a Mentor Designer Commented:
76 fonts is nothing to worry about. All the fonts in this folder are activated. That's the main fonts folder as a default.

These errors are minor. Let's rule them out. And the Input managers.

I have not looked at Cocktail myself for a long time. Onyx which strung recommended is the tool I usually use as a maintainence tool. It has the ability to clean out the Spotlight Index among other things. How about running it? http://www.titanium.free.fr/

Just start it, let it go through the starting procedure and then select the Automation (a hammer and green go button). Make sure that all checkboxes are checked (Rebuild Spotlight Index is in the Maintainence section).

Soon after restart you may feel a slight slowness because Spotlight takes up power to rebuild. You can see the magnifying glass in the upper right corner with a blinking dot which shows that Spotlight is doing its job. YOu might want to do this procedure just before you can leave the computer for a while.

After this you have done all the major maintainence a use can do on his own. I hope this will help.

If this is not helping much, could you tell us what kind of software you are mainly using?
What version of Mac OsX are you using?
How old is the mac?
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strungConnect With a Mentor Commented:
There are a few other things you might check first:

1. Make sure there is sufficient space left on your hard drive for scratch files.
2. Use Disk Utility to Verify Disk to make sure you do not have disk directory corruption.
3. While Disk Utility is open, check the S.M.A.R.T. status of the drive to make sure it is shown as "verified".
4. While Disk Utility is open, run Repair Permissions.
5. Use a utility like Onyx ( http://www.titanium.free.fr/ ) to clear caches and run maintenance scripts.
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Sigurdur ArmannssonDesigner Commented:
I also recommend all strung has to say there. Most of this should be done monthly.

If strungs advise is not making the machine much better you could very painlessly try to make a new user account and try to do some of the things you normally do using it. If the new account is faster then something in your current account is slowing it down.

Many fonts open? Corrupt plist files? Are there some programs that are slower than others?

Do you have enough memory for the applications you normally use? You can check that in the /Applications/Utilities/Activity Monitor

Turning off extensions as you call it is done by holding down the shift key while you start up your mac. This will turn off many of the services but it's not a bad idea to compare how the mac behaves. Maybe you have added some bad Input managers lately?
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sharingsunshineAuthor Commented:
Hi Strung,

I have 70 GB free

Verified the disk - the top icon is that the correct disk to verify?

Smart is verified on the top disk icon

Repaired permission on the top disk icon

We use cocktail regularly.  I did notice the cache file is 1.5 GB.  Today is the day to run cocktail so that might be why it is high.

Thanks,

Randal
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sharingsunshineAuthor Commented:
Hi Siguram,

I don't know how to determine if there are may fonts open or if I have corrpt plist files?  

The VM size is 42 GB isn't that too big?  There is a kernel task running that has 59 threads and the user is root the size is 102 MB and the VM size is 1.2 GB.

What are bad input managers?

Thanks,

Randal
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Sigurdur ArmannssonDesigner Commented:
You can see the number of active fonts in the /Library/Fonts folder. Are you using a font manager like FontAgent, FontExplorer? If you are then you might have much more fonts active. You would see that inside the font managers. Turning off all fonts that you are allowed may show a great difference in speed and might lead to the culpit.

One thing you can also do is to take a look at the /Applications/Utilities/Console. It can very often give idea of what may be slowing down the computer. Look for error messages, trottle spawn and other patterns. (it's there where I have sometimes found input managers that are giving errors. Input managers might be something that has been installed by spell checking programs etc. See /Library/ Input Managers.

Does Cocktail clean out the Spotlight indexes? I don't remember. But Onyx can do that and also an appliacation called Spotless, which you can run in trial to clean the indexes. Corrupt Spotlight index can really slow down a mac. I clean it and rebuild the index at least every two months.

One more thing: Do you have external discs connected to your computer? Try to restart without them.
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sharingsunshineAuthor Commented:
not using a font manager there are 76 fonts in the folder.

how do I determine what fonts can be turned off and how do you turn them off.

looking for the word error:

4/5/11 8:33:48 AM Mail[110] Error registering sync schema: Can't connect to the sync server: NSPortTimeoutException: connection timeout: did not receive reply ((null))
4/5/11 8:33:48 AM Mail[110] Error registering sync schema: Can't connect to the sync server: NSPortTimeoutException: connection timeout: did not receive reply ((null))
4/5/11 8:34:07 AM Mail[110] notes sync error:Error Domain=ISyncErrorDomain Code=300 "Operation could not be completed. (ISyncErrorDomain error 300.)"
4/5/11 8:46:43 PM org.ntp.ntpd[28] Error : nodename nor servname provided, or not known

I don't know what trottle spawn is?

in the user library no input manager folder, in the main library a folder called input methods and there isn't anything in it.

don't  know where the spotlight index is to check please tell me the location and what to look for.

no external disks connected to system and this is a 2 GB core 2 duo 2.16 Ghz. MacBook Pro

thanks for your help.
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sharingsunshineAuthor Commented:
On onyx are you saying to go through every tab and tick the checkboxes?  Or, just take the default ticks and add in spotlight as a tick.
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Sigurdur ArmannssonDesigner Commented:
tick all if they are not already checked. Does good.
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sharingsunshineAuthor Commented:
Right now I can't get to the system in question so I ran Onyx on the snow leopard MBP.  I ticked everything under automation and restarted now the fans are blowing full speed and don't know how to stop it.  Do you have any ideas?
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strungCommented:
Try doing a cold boot while holding down the command-option-p-r key combination until you hear the startup chime a third time. This reset the PRAM and may solve your problem.
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Sigurdur ArmannssonDesigner Commented:
Shut down the computer and take the electricity cable out of the wall AND the computer. Then plug the cable in again.

This is a little known trick and no real explanation why this is so.
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sharingsunshineAuthor Commented:
powering it off did the trick, thanks.  I won't be able to tackle the other system till this evening.  
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mattosaur4Commented:
Hold down Shift will you start the Mac to boot into "Safe Boot" mode it will not load any 3rd party kernel extensions.  See if your system is still slow in this mode.
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sharingsunshineAuthor Commented:
Very convinced to use Onyx from now on.  Thanks for your help.
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