13 inch Macbook Pro Sudden issues, your thoughts?

DJinTX

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 15, 2010
510
29
In another thread I posted I was asking for advice for my wife's new MBP purchase (i7 vs i9, etc.), and we have that ordered, but I wanted to ask a peripheral question...

My wife's 17 inch MBP suddenly died a couple of months ago. Since then we have been sharing my 13 inch MBP circa 2016, which has 8GB ram, 256GB SSD, and the base processor, 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5. So we set up her own user on my MBP and she loaded all her creative cloud apps and brought over a bunch of files (many gigs worth). I had about half my SSD space available before we set up her user, I now show only 20GB of free SSD space.

Coincidentally (or perhaps not coincidentally), my computer has been exhibiting some new issues the last week while she has been working on it. It was fine before that I believe but her usage has increased a lot with some new clients. The issue she has been seeing manifests with the trackpad failing to register a click. She can still move the cursor around but clicking on things doesn't register, so she cant do any work, or quit her app, or shutdown correctly. This is while not connected to any external devices by the way. She has had to force shutdown several times. Also at times immediately preceding this issue it might get into that mode similar to on windows where the cursor becomes those big up/down arrows where it tracks the window as you move the cursor, and since she can't click she can't exit out of that mode. She has restarted at times and it taken 2 restarts to begin working correctly. Sometimes moving into my user helps, sometimes it doesn't. I will add that the freelance design work she is working on is for a new client who gave her a bunch of files to work with, and this is right around the time this started happening. I am hoping my computer is not having an issue itself but rather these files might have some corruption? So far she hasn't noticed any patterns to when this happens. Also, it is not constant. Yesterday as an example, it started pretty quickly after she started working in the morning, but she restarted and it was fine the rest of the day. She has been deliberately trying to have as few windows and applications open as possible while working since this started.

So that is basically it. My thoughts are, maybe 8GB of ram on this particular 2016 MBP isn't enough for current creative cloud apps and is causing some "freak-outs"? especially with her usual workflow of having many apps and windows open at the same time. Also, maybe she has some corrupt files from this client? Or, maybe Multi-user support in Mac OS Mojave isn't very stable. While she works in her user, my user will also be logged in in the background for switching purposes. When she has issues I always have her go in and completely log out of my user in case it is problematic somehow. I will add that when both users logged in and we go to switch users, the "switch" lags and is not very fluid with the desktop switching animation. Maybe it is just not very stable. Her new computer comes tomorrow, thank god, but in the mean time I wanted opinions on if it sounds like my computer is now having problems. I conveniently am just beyond AppleCare coverage.

Let me know what you think about all this.


Thanks!
~DJ
 

Howard2k

macrumors 68030
Mar 10, 2016
2,539
1,818
Very useful tool for checking battery health.

It would be worth checking. The other thing you should be doing is having Activity Monitor running and checking the memory pressure graph at the bottom. When the system seems to be choking check the colour of the graph. Green means it’s not likely to be a memory issue.
 

DJinTX

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 15, 2010
510
29
Very useful tool for checking battery health.

It would be worth checking. The other thing you should be doing is having Activity Monitor running and checking the memory pressure graph at the bottom. When the system seems to be choking check the colour of the graph. Green means it’s not likely to be a memory issue.
Good to know, I'll check it out.
 

mmark77

macrumors member
Nov 10, 2012
30
6
San Francisco
In another thread I posted I was asking for advice for my wife's new MBP purchase (i7 vs i9, etc.), and we have that ordered, but I wanted to ask a peripheral question...

My wife's 17 inch MBP suddenly died a couple of months ago. Since then we have been sharing my 13 inch MBP circa 2016, which has 8GB ram, 256GB SSD, and the base processor, 2.0GHz dual-core Intel Core i5. So we set up her own user on my MBP and she loaded all her creative cloud apps and brought over a bunch of files (many gigs worth). I had about half my SSD space available before we set up her user, I now show only 20GB of free SSD space.

Coincidentally (or perhaps not coincidentally), my computer has been exhibiting some new issues the last week while she has been working on it. It was fine before that I believe but her usage has increased a lot with some new clients. The issue she has been seeing manifests with the trackpad failing to register a click. She can still move the cursor around but clicking on things doesn't register, so she cant do any work, or quit her app, or shutdown correctly. This is while not connected to any external devices by the way. She has had to force shutdown several times. Also at times immediately preceding this issue it might get into that mode similar to on windows where the cursor becomes those big up/down arrows where it tracks the window as you move the cursor, and since she can't click she can't exit out of that mode. She has restarted at times and it taken 2 restarts to begin working correctly. Sometimes moving into my user helps, sometimes it doesn't. I will add that the freelance design work she is working on is for a new client who gave her a bunch of files to work with, and this is right around the time this started happening. I am hoping my computer is not having an issue itself but rather these files might have some corruption? So far she hasn't noticed any patterns to when this happens. Also, it is not constant. Yesterday as an example, it started pretty quickly after she started working in the morning, but she restarted and it was fine the rest of the day. She has been deliberately trying to have as few windows and applications open as possible while working since this started.

So that is basically it. My thoughts are, maybe 8GB of ram on this particular 2016 MBP isn't enough for current creative cloud apps and is causing some "freak-outs"? especially with her usual workflow of having many apps and windows open at the same time. Also, maybe she has some corrupt files from this client? Or, maybe Multi-user support in Mac OS Mojave isn't very stable. While she works in her user, my user will also be logged in in the background for switching purposes. When she has issues I always have her go in and completely log out of my user in case it is problematic somehow. I will add that when both users logged in and we go to switch users, the "switch" lags and is not very fluid with the desktop switching animation. Maybe it is just not very stable. Her new computer comes tomorrow, thank god, but in the mean time I wanted opinions on if it sounds like my computer is now having problems. I conveniently am just beyond AppleCare coverage.

Let me know what you think about all this.


Thanks!
~DJ
It might be an issue of your HD being too full. If you’re both logged in, the Mac might be swapping virtual memory between ram and the HD, and running out of space. Can you clear up an additional 40GB of storage? You’ll find out quickly if this was the issue.
 

Thirio2

macrumors newbie
Jun 27, 2019
14
6
Maryville, IL
My 2015 15"MBP did the same thing yesterday. A forced restart solved the problem for now. It has a new battery compliments of the recall, and I don't have any high power software installed. It is normally lightly loaded. I'm running10.14.6. Could it be a bug in the OS?
 

DJinTX

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Sep 15, 2010
510
29
It might be an issue of your HD being too full. If you’re both logged in, the Mac might be swapping virtual memory between ram and the HD, and running out of space. Can you clear up an additional 40GB of storage? You’ll find out quickly if this was the issue.
This sounds plausible for sure. Will have to check it out. As for freeing up space, I should be able to soon, but not just yet. Having to continue sharing my computer with my wife as her newly purchased 15 inch refurb (2019 MBP) is having some issues of its own. Extreme battery drain primarily. She took it fully charged to a work site on Monday, and by lunch time she only had like 15 percent battery left. I told her a few things to do which helped only a little, but she had to go get her power adapter that had been left at home. She has worked on a 2 year older MacBook pro for her previous job like this without adapter and lasted all day, so seems something is wrong.
 
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