15" high end MBP keeps locking up.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by zincaloy, Mar 18, 2011.

  1. zincaloy, Mar 18, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2011

    zincaloy macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    I have my new 15" 2011 model for little over a week and keep noticing random lock-ups for no apparent reason. The model is the high end 15" with the standard 2,2GHz i7, 4GB RAM, 750GB Harddisk (5200RPM) and the only custom option was the glossy high resolution screen.

    Right after I got it I booted OSX and tested whether the machine worked correctly. Afterwards I reinstalled OSX because I wanted a 3 partition setup for OSX, Data and Windows 7. Something that cannot be done with bootcamp. I reinstalled to prevent any problems that might pop up.

    When setting up my machine I noticed some lockups but did not think to much of it. I was transferring about 200GB of data and installing multiple programs as well as importing my iTunes library and syncing both my iPad and iPhone. When doing all this I can understand that starting firefox and watching some youtube videos can even topple the performance of the 15" a little.

    However after installation I only run a limited amount of applications at a time, and most are background applications like growl, sparrow, dropbox and delibar. When switching between path finder, firefox and reeder for example the beachball of dead keeps popping up. Sometimes I type and there is a 2 second delay before everything just appears on my screen fast.

    After having this for a while I reckoned the installation might be botched. I have had it before on my 2008 Mabook (C2D, 4GB Ram, Intel Integrated Graphics). After wiping the disk and reinstalling the problem did occur but not as much as before. But still is apparent. I am still bothered with this delay because my 2008 with an aged C2D and Intel GMA did not any delay whatsoever.

    I reckoned it could be my RAM but memtest (run in single user mode) did not return anything. Neither did the Apple Hardware Check on both the short and long tests. I have run some TechTool Pro checks but found nothing either. Still have to run the full tests though.

    I checked the harddisk but it does not seem to have any I/O errors and otherwise it behaves correctly. I know 5200RPM is on the slow side compared with the 7200RPM and SSD's. But I somehow manage to play a total of four 720p files of 1GB each fullscreen without any problem whatsoever, but simply switching from firefox to path finder locks up my computer. I don't think this problem is harddisk speed related. I have a 7200RPM disk that always worked fine in the 2008 macbook that can be installed, but I don't feel it's the problem and reinstalling everything will take me a few hours again.

    4GB of RAM was always enough to run the exact same programs on the 2008 macbook, so it should be more than enough on the 2011 MBP.

    I did notice that my HD6750M is always running because of Sparrow, Delibar and CloudApp. These applications launch at startup and seem to use API's that Apple considers to be needing Discrete graphics. As a result my HD3000 will never be used, unless I manually change it withgfxCardStatus. But i would expect my MBP to perform better not worse with the HD6750M turned on.

    My fans run at 2000RPM under normal circumstances and the CPU is around 50~60 degrees Celsius. Using SMCcontrol I upped the RPM to 2500 and the CPU runs at about 40~50 now, but the problem still exists.

    Any other people that have this problem, or any tips on what to try next.
  2. YsoSerious macrumors 6502


    Oct 8, 2008
    Try to check activity monitor and see if finder is taking all the memory trying to index your drive. I think there was a guy in here with related issues and traced the problem to finder eating up 100% of his system resources. I think the process runs under "mds".
  3. zincaloy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    Just got time to check this. Can't find any processes over the course of an hour that use an unreasonable amount of cpu cycles. Guess i will have to look further.
  4. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    do you tether your iphone via usb to access the internet?
  5. zincaloy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011

    Techtool Pro 5 just completed testing. Nothing found.

    I disabled secure virtual memory and the build in firewall for now. Will keep an watch on performance to see his helps.
  6. henrikmk macrumors newbie

    May 12, 2004

    I read a long thread on apple.com's forum, where some users suspect the graphics card switching part is faulty and that you can force it to use either chip, so no switching occurs, using gfxcardstatus available here:


    This seems to work for some users.
  7. zincaloy, Mar 19, 2011
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2011

    zincaloy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    Already using gfxCardStatus to force the integrated at the moment. Nothing changed. Same for forcing the discrete.

    I'm gonna run the windows RAM and HDTune programs to see if that comes up with anything.

    Just finished running HDTUNE. Don't like what I see. Any macbook pro owners with a 5200RPM disks that i can compare the results to


    EDIT2: I've run the disk utility again just to see if anything changed. There was a disk corruption problem and i fixed it using the installation CD. Did notice that the apps at startup suddenly loaded instantly within 5~10 sec instead of one by one over more than a minute.
  8. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011

    I used the pro version and i did it with just "read" ticked. Want me to do it again with the free version to see if I get the same result?
  9. zincaloy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    Thanks! I went ahead and tried it with the pro version as well. Looks like my disk has some serious performance problems. Guess I'll have to call Apple and convince them my disk is faulty.

  10. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    no problem, happy to help

    it's interesting that your cpu usage is higher than mine, could you also have a cpu problem?

    did you run the program with no other processes running? i closed everything, disconnected from the internet and made sure my rig was completely idle.
  11. zincaloy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    I was wondering about that too. But 0.5% can be for a lot of reasons I suppose. I did have my antivirus running but nothing else. Will try it again with everything turned of.

    My windows installation is not a bootcamp instalation, but does have the standard drivers from the OSX install cd. Since bootcamp is only a graphical shell for partitioning, booting the windows installation I can't say there should be any difference in results.

    Will have the results here in 15 minutes or so.
  12. edifyingGerbil macrumors regular

    Feb 13, 2011
    yeah, you're right, there shouldn't be a difference really.

    do you have any means of recording your temperatures? maybe it's an issue with overheating although you did report actual disk errors. maybe the disk errors are causing the cpu to output more in order to compensate?

    i really don't know, i'm not a computer guy... I'm just using my intuition to think about possible causes.

    sorry i can't be of more help but if you're still within the 14 days just return it.

    good luck :)
  13. zincaloy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    After three tries I got about the same result you've posted. Which I find strange because the spikes were apparent in all other readings.

    CPU is fine. Generally runs between 40 and 60 degrees, going as high as 90 when doing some serious work (or playing a flash movie). (using iStat an SMCcontroller for readouts)
    Guess I will put a new harddisk in to see whether it's the current harddisk that causes the problem or some other piece of hardware.

    Thanks for your input!
  14. zincaloy thread starter macrumors newbie

    Mar 18, 2011
    Called Apple today about the problem. Also happened to be day 14 of the return window, so instead of repairing they will switch my MBP for a new one.

    It's either the hard disk that is failing, but it can also be the controller or CPU that is failing, so on the long term it's for the better.

    Anyway I'm getting a new MBP that hopefully does not have this problem.

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