January 20, 2012

MacOS Lion: Slow Disk?

In September I bought a brand new iMac with 8GB RAM and a regular harddisk. Even though it should've been a work horse, it wasn't. The CPU itself was never really loaded, but everything that required disk access seemed to be ULTRA SLOW. When the disk was under heavy load, the swiping between desktops would just hang halfway a slide and so on.

I guess I don't have to mention that, given the price of one of those Macs, this was extremely frustrating.

It even annoyed me up to the point that I actually called Apple to ask how much it would cost me to add an SSD. Unfortunately the price tag (about 800 euro's) was a bit too steep for my wallet. Apparently the back cover of the iMac has different configurations as well and if you buy a Mac with a regular disk alone, it has no bracket to mount the SSD. So its not SSD + hours but also the price of a new back cover. So people: Think before you buy! An SSD is a really good investment and it will cost you half that price when you add it right at the start.

Anyway, back to the point: I recently found this little post on one of the mac boards about that issue. Since I had Quicksilver installed, I thought like: Eureka! Nothing else had worked before. The minute I disabled it it became apparent that that was indeed the root cause of the extremely slow disk! The Mac now behaves as I would expect it.

So people if you run Lion: Don't use Quicksilver! 

1 comment:

  1. I'm having slow disk problems on both Lion and Snow Leopard. In a Mac Pro running Lion I get around 70MB/s out of the main system disk, but the internal 750GB sata scratch disk is now only running at 25MB/s. It was much faster under 10.5!
    Also I have two old PATA drives, both Western Digital from the same range. The 200GB one was formatted on a 10.4 or 10.5 Mac and runs at 30+MB/s. The 320GB one (on paper it's faster than the 200GB model) works at 12MB/s!! I've reformatted the 320GB on 10.4, as FAT32 or Macintosh and it's always just as slow. I'm refusing to reformat the 200GB one in case it slows down! The 320GB one is slow on a 10.4 machine too.
    Anyone got a solution? I don't have startup items running. Mail me your solution at paddy@watershed.co.uk if you've got anything. Thanks.

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