User Guide: Optimization Solutions for MacBook Pro

Your MacBook Pro can freeze if it is overloaded, overstrained or is overused without decent restarts to refresh the processor. Still, Macs are robust machines and will respond well to any proactive maintenance that you undertake to ensure this does not happen.

If your MacBook Pro is unresponsive, and does not show signs of life even when you Force Quit applications, there is only one thing that you can do; a Power Shutdown. It is advisable to quit applications and restart, if your machine allows you to, since a power shutdown can damage your hard drive and other delicate internals.
Once your MacBook Pro is restarted, run through this shortlist of quick questions and fixes before it starts to freeze again.

ARE YOU CLOSING YOUR APPLICATIONS THE PROPER WAY?
Clicking the Red button located at the top left of the application window does NOT quit the application. The windows might be closed but the program is still running. Those little black triangles under the icons on the dock indicate what programs are running. Having a lot of programs running will soon chew up 512MB of RAM and leave your system frantically moving data on and off the HD to make room.

ARE YOU USING APPLICATIONS BUILT FOR OLDER POWERPC ARCHITECTURE?
Have you installed any software built for the older PowerPC architecture? If so, when you run it (or it runs automatically at system startup) Rosetta has to fire up, slowing your machine. You can check in Activity Monitor by adding the Kind column (View, Columns, Kind) and then checking for any PowerPC process.
Rosetta is a platform that allows pre-Intel applications to run natively on both Intel and PowerPC-based Mac computers. Having Rosetta running will of course cause applications to run slower. Remember to get the latest software copies that are made for the new Intel Based Macs.

DID YOU CLEAR YOUR CACHE REGULARLY?
Use a tool such as MacJanitor, or perhaps Cocktail to clear all your caches. It could be a font cache or server cache, if you were at some point connected to a remote server that your MacBook is trying to find. These caches do not clear out properly sometimes. It is likely that all that your MacBook Pro needs is a good servicing. Cocktail cleans, repairs and optimizes the whole system, all at one go.

HAVE YOU DONE AN ARCHIVE AND INSTALL OF THE OS?
It may be time to consider an Archive and Install of the OS. With all the temporary files and clutters that occur over time, cleaning them will take a whole lot of time, and most people would rather do a backup and a fresh Operating System installation.

HAVE YOU UPDATED THE SYSTEM PREBINDINGS?
Once you have either run a repair tool, or reinstalled your OS, you should be updating the prebindings (applicable for Mac OS 10.1 and before). To do so:
• Go to Utilities and select Terminal
• Write this command in the Terminal window “sudo update_prebinding -root /” (without the quotes)
• You will then be prompted to key in your password

DO YOU HAVE A NUMBER OF ICONS ON YOUR DESKTOP?
During startup, your MacBook Pro has to load all the icons and other items you might have on your desktop. These unnecessary elements use up a lot of Ram and that’s one reason why your MacBook Pro might slow down or freeze.

DO YOU RESTART YOUR MACBOOK PRO OFTEN?
Many people feel that since MacBook Pros are robust, they can be kept switched on for days and days. Doing this keeps the processor, the RAM and the CPU at work all the time. Even the best equipment is known to fail based on these conditions.
Know that just putting your MacBook Pro to sleep will not solve the issue, as the processor keeps working and the fan can get hot, damaging internals. Restart your MacBook at frequent intervals.
Have you repaired Permissions and Disk Structure lately?
Clear caches and run cron maintenance scripts with Cocktail (or equivalent). Uninstall unnecessary system-level apps and startup items.

CAN YOU INVEST IN MORE RAM?
Nothing solves MacBook freezes as giving it more RAM can. The biggest factor for regular slowness and MacBook Pro freeze could simply be the lack of RAM. OSX will use as much RAM as you can throw at it, and is not really happy with less than a GB, or more.

About The Author:
Robert S. Clark is an author of a great deal of Mac articles and reviews. He’s the right person to get advice from regarding
MacBook Pro freeze, slow performance, password protect folders Mac and other questions!