I'm trying to revive my old college laptop which is a white macbook from early 2009. I pasted the hardware a software specs below. The last thing that I did with it was update it to Mountain Lion, which turned out to be somewhat of a mistake because it is now painfully slow (which is why I haven't touched it in a while). I'm looking for suggestions for how to bring it back up to speed.

Here's what I have in mind:

  1. Update the RAM. 4Gb at least and 6Gb if possible
  2. General cleaning. I'm considering CleanMyMac 2, but I'm not sure if the gains I get from it will be worth the $40.
  3. Lastly, I'm considering upgrading to an SSD.

Thanks in advance,


Model Name: MacBook Model Identifier: MacBook5,2 Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo Processor Speed: 2 GHz Number of Processors: 1 Total Number of Cores: 2 L2 Cache: 3 MB Memory: 2 GB Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz Boot ROM Version: MB52.0088.B05 SMC Version (system): 1.38f5 Serial Number (system): W89064CJ4R1 Hardware UUID: F898BAE6-8231-55EE-9CE8-604194507E5A Sudden Motion Sensor: State: Enabled

Software: System Version: Mac OS X 10.7.5 (11G63b) Kernel Version: Darwin 11.4.2


3 Answers 3


If you really want to make your old mac happy I would say the best thing is the SSD. It will make it feel faster than it was out of the box and that is because it is. A RAM upgrade isn't really necessary and I would suggest investing that money over into a new battery. If the unit hasn't been used in a good long while chances are your battery will be dead or inches away from death.

A new battery (directly from Apple) will be guarantied for a year and will give you a notebook to take with you (using an SSD instead of a HDD also gives you a few extra minutes in battery life.

CleanMyMac is not recommended! Instead install a new OS on the SSD and then using an external enclosure transfer the data via Migration Assistant. But always make sure you have a backup of your files.

Honestly I am more of a fan of keeping things fresh and installing 3PP programs fresh too and manually dragging over your documents, pictures, music, etc.

  • Please explain in your answer Why is CleanMyMac not recommended?
    – Ruskes
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 11:22
  • forums.macrumors.com/archive/index.php/t-1528432.html and personal experience with 1000s of customers coming to me saying their computers stopped working after installing those programs
    – Andrew U.
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 13:22
  • I have not had any trouble with Clean My Mac 2. I used it on my regrettably small 256GB SSD to clear out ~50GB of space when I was getting close to full.
    – dwightk
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 14:00
  • Happy to hear 1 case vs 1000s of other cases where the program has helped but it won't sway me and I will never recommend it.
    – Andrew U.
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 14:02
  • FYI dwightk and Buscar, I am not the only person here who feels this way so go ask your ?s to them...
    – Andrew U.
    Commented Mar 7, 2014 at 14:03

CleanMyMac and other programs like it are often a bit too aggressive in what they "clean" and how they do it. A utility like Onyx will clean the HD of unnecessary items and do some maintenance without going to the extremes that CleanMyMac does.

I agree with Andrew, the SSD is the first consideration followed (VERY) closely by RAM. Those two things will give you the best speedup.

Install the O/S fresh on the SSD and use the Migration Assistant to install just user files. Install your apps fresh from install media (downloads, CDs, etc). That should give you the best bang for you buck as there are likely things that apps installed clogging things up.


I googled around a bit to see what your mac can handle and this is what I found:

Maximum memory supported: 6 GB total. Use matched pairs of 4 GB per memory slot. Apple officially supports only 4 GB of RAM in these models.

Hard drive type: SATA I 2.5-inch hard drive; SATA II drives are compatible.

Hard drive size supported: Up to 1 TB

So it will work with 6 gigs of ram but apple supports only 4 and for the hdd you need to find a sata II ssd but I am afraid these don't exist. You could of course go for a 7200rpm drive wich is the next best thing, as long as you don't exceed the 1tb mark.

update: and for the cleaning software, I wouldn't buy it.. I would simply back up my files and fresh install.

  • Backup current drive
  • instal osx again
  • restore home folder
  • done

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