System: Macbook Pro Duo 2.4Ghz, 4GB, Snow Leopard

I first encountered this problem when running eclipse. When I first run it after every reboot or waking up, it painfully takes > 7 min to load. The same actually happens the second time or even third time I load it anew on the same session. Next times, however, loads rather fast.

When already loaded, eclipse seems to go just fine, but when running (very simple) Java programs, the JVM virtual machine typically loads also slowly.

Suspecting the problem was with Java, I tested running simply java without any parameter whatsoever (that is, it prints the help) after a reboot, and it takes also minutes. Following runs go well.

As for other Java programs, the game Minecraft loads relatively fast but then the game goes quite slow.

So I could think that the problem is with Java but, however, I'm experimenting a similar problem when uncompressing zipped files, using both the Archiver program that comes with Snow Leopard and with TheUnarchiver (they are not Java!). The first time I want to uncompress a file, even if small, it takes ages, then second times for the same file or other files which may be much larger runs very fast.

And these first painful loads happen every time I reboot or I wake up the laptop!

Do you see any reason for these problems? Things I've already checked:

  • Give enough cache size to Java (through Java Preferences I give it 1GB in hard disk)
  • Deactivate backups
  • Checked off secure virtual memory
  • Parallel working load is negligible. I have 2GB free at all times.

Thanks a lot.

2 Answers 2


I found the problem. The antivirus Sophos was running constantly (InterCheck process) including for zipped files (that is, jar files too). Being off, everything works fine.

  • 1
    This works for me as well. In my case, I'm downloading a Java Web Start application used for remote IPMI administration of a SuperMicro server. The name of the app changes every time, and thus a new download and scan is needed every time. I disabled Sophos' scan of archived files, but left the Sophos "on-access" scan on. Now the application starts in about 5 seconds, rather then 2-3 minutes. Jan 3, 2012 at 19:12
  • WOW, life saving! thank you so much. weird enough this only started after upgrading to Mavericks...
    – keisar
    Mar 28, 2014 at 1:06
  • Great, helped me too! Feb 10, 2016 at 11:14

Have you tried unzipping the files after a very long delay, even without rebooting (very long like days or weeks)? You'll probably have the same delays. This is normal. Check your disk usage in Activity Monitor while you launch Eclipse, as I suspect the time taken is Eclipse, java, and all associated libraries being read off the disk. The only way to speed that up the first time is to get an SSD.

  • It takes way too long to be a problem of hard disk vs SSD. Besides most other applications run just normally. Jul 9, 2011 at 10:28
  • 1
    @jmcejuela And your answer makes sense. Java jar files are zip files, and I don't run any AV on my system, so I wouldn't think of that.
    – Cajunluke
    Jul 9, 2011 at 16:32
  • Having an SSD makes no difference I am running one of the fastest on the market in my i7 MBP and I am having the same issue. I am running Visual Paradigm and it takes a very long time to load initially. Never used to be a problem.
    – user18479
    Feb 9, 2012 at 12:55

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