App launching takes forever...??


Hi, I just purchased my first osx capable mac... it's a Sawtooth G4/450. I realize this machine is not fast, but running OS 10.3.5, it takes 140 bounces to launch Firefox! Most apps (mail) takes anywhere from 20 to 80 bounces. System prefs takes about 10 bounces...

This machine looks to have had a clean install before I received it. When i booted the machine for the first time, I had a black spinning wheel on grey screen for approximately 20 minutes.

Could it be that the filesystem is fragmented or corrupt from shock during shipping and the os needs to be reinstalled?

Once the apps are loaded everything runs nice and quick...I can switch between them, pull down menus, and while it's not snappy like XP, I consider it acceptable. DVDs play smoothly while I browse the web, and the browsers are rendering pages quickly. The app loading times however are completely unacceptable. I actually have to leave my desk and come back before apps finish loading.

I expected slow... but i didn't expect it to be THIS slow.

I considered buying a Sonnet 1.?ghz upgrade but my gut feeling is that this will not help the app loading problem. Maybe a high rpm drive?

I guess my real question is if this is normal behavior for a G4/450 running OSX?

Excluding the '...?!??!??', and the 'and while it's not snappy like XP' [without mentioning the manufacturer, model number, and processor(s) speed(s) of the XP based computer]; but, referring explicitly to - 'I guess my real question is if this is normal behavior for a G4/450 running OSX?', no; no it is not.
That's insane, it certainly shouldn't be like that...don't have any adivice but just saying that you're right in thinking something is wrong.
I remember reading somewhere that OSX does not like the SCSI zip drive PCI adapter. Could this be the problem?

I have a Sawtooth that was(now upgraded to 1.4GHz) 400MHz and it's not that slow. Yes the upgrade card does help speed up the app launching a bit.

I'd wipe the drive since you don't have much on it yet and just do a clean install to make sure nothing's screwed up.
Yeah, you need to provide detailed specs about the Mac in question. From what you've described, it could be a number of things slowing down your computer. Of course, consider that this computer is running at 450Mhz on a 100 MHz bus with PC-100 memory (most likely), on top of that having a slower ATA bus and hard drive (which might also be an issue). And how much space do you have available on that drive? Let us know all those details and we might be able to deduce the problem better.
Sorry for the lack of details, I'm at work and was in a hurry:

G4 Sawtooth/450mhz
1GB SDRAM (PC100 i believe)
27GB Ata drive (approx) 90% free space. Assuming it's original.
Internal (100MB?) zip drive
Stock DVD-R drive
OSX 10.3.5 Panther

I bought this machine via ebay. It came with a clean install, and no additional apps installed.

The first time I booted it spent 30 minutes scanning the drive (black spinning wheel) before booting.. then it spent 10 minutes or so doing some sort of indexing in the background which made the machine extremely slow.

When it finished, the machine runs ok except for launching applications. Almost all applications launch slowly (more than 10 seconds) and some, such as firefox, take a very long time (142 icon bounces >1 minute?)...

I expected some sluggishness, but not the extreme delays while launching apps.

My first thought was that I should run fsck, but isn't that what was happening the first time I booted?

BTW: What is a reasonable boot time on a 450mhz G4?

I'm coming from the dark side so i have no idea what to expect as far as performance of an older machine. Regardless, I'm hooked already.

Since you bought it used, you should reformat the drive and start from scratch with a fresh drive. You don't know what problems the machine or drive has had, if any.
Whooohoo! thanks guys. I installed a 120GB 7200 RPM drive, and then installed osx. Everything is running nice and fast. All applications launch within two bounces (instead of 60-150).

I haven't done an update yet... honestly I'm afraid. Is there anything in the update which could slow me down again?

Any updates you do, do one at a time, repairing Permissions both before and after.
Run Disk Utility booted from the OS disc to Repair Disk before and after doing any updates.

This is what I do and I never have any problems.
bobw said:
Where have you ever seen a 3600 rpm drive in a G4?

Don't you get it??? It's supposed to be sarcasm! ::ha::

The same type of sarcasm that spawned the "LCDs are your friend" from the same user when someone was asking for help in another thread about the eMac and dimmed screens. Personally, I didn't find it funny either (neither this one or on the eMac thread).

Whatever, I guess...

Anyways, I'm glad that a reinstall fixed everything. I was going to suggest that but everyone else beat me to it, which is good. :D
For what it's worth, I have a guess as to why it was slow... I'm new to maxosx so if I'm wrong then it's no surprise, but here are some things I noticed:

1) When installing, machine felt really sluggish...
2) After installing base system...response really snappy...

I read somewhere that some internal zip drive controllers cause problems with osx... so I was thinking that maybe if the drivers are not loaded correctly for whatever reason, the machine might be getting confused between the zip drive and hard drive controller interrupts and causing drive access to be very very slow....

So my theory is that maybe the original owner had osx on this drive from a different mac (without an internal zip drive), and then dropped it into this machine which had one... and osx was confused.

The only reason I say this is because response during install (before zip drive drivers have been installed) was incredibly slow..but then again maybe it was just because disk access was via cd-rom drive.

Or then again, maybe it's because i installed the OS9 drivers when i reinstalled? I have no idea.

For whatever reason it's fast now... able to play dvds, browse the web, watch web video content and run my php web forum, mysql, etc, all at the same time and it's smooth as silk... no chopping or hanging.

I have to say I'm impressed with what my G4/450 can do. I prefer it over my 3.2gz XP box, and my 3ghz linux box. Firefox loads in one bounce which is faster than any of my other computers. joy.