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I have a MBP 13 inch with OSX Lion on it (late 2011 model).

Since a few months now it's been slower than when out of the box even though I didin't really start using it differently since then, except fill up the hard drive but the slowing down problem has occured with 150 gb left or 50 like now.

Anyway I was considering doing the "Repair the Hard Drive and Permissions" thing of the Recovery HD (if I got it correctly) to try to see if that would help.

1) Could this help ?

2) Also is it risky to the point where I should back up my hard drive before doing it ? Because I'm on holidays and I have no means to do a time machine or anything like that beforehand.

3) Do I need an internet connection to do this ?

Thank you for your help !

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Repairing the permissions is not going to damage anything. As for repairing the hard drive, a Verify effectively runs fsck read-only, which I'd recommend before running a (possibly unnecessary) repair. – user3463 Jul 29 '12 at 22:43

1) It won't hurt but it is unlikely to solve your problem.

2) Always have a current backup. That said, on a computer that boots and runs a file system check is exceedingly unlikely to cause problems.

3) No

Slowness is subjective and is difficult to diagnose. Best would be for you to monitor your system, e.g. using Activity Monitor (/Applications/Utilities/Activity and look for quantifiable reasons your system might be slow:

  • Is all or most memory in use ? High memory usage could lead to paging which slows down the machine.
  • Are there processes consuming a lot of cpu ? Some (rogue) processes might be tying up the cpu leaving less cpu available for interactive tasks.
  • Is there a lot of disk activity ? Lots of writes to disk (resulting from a corrupt Spotlight index for example) may cause the system to become less responsive.

Cleaning out system caches also might help. There are many apps that will do this for you but personally I use CleanMyMac.

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