2010 MBP hard drive needs help

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Ms.Tessie, May 10, 2018.

  1. Ms.Tessie, May 10, 2018
    Last edited: May 10, 2018

    Ms.Tessie macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2018
    My 2010 MBP with 4 GB RAM, 500 GB HD (80% full), running El Capitan, is barely limping. It's got the GPU panic issue, triggered by OS upgrades beyond 10.8.6. Thanks to folks here for explaining how address that problem! I was all set to schlep to NY and get the capacitor replaced when the original hard drive started to act slow. I used my free-with-Comcast Norton Internet Security program to clean the hard drive,which I thought would help, but it was a disaster. Symantic tech support had to remotely remove the program from my computer, which stopped the spinning beach ball, but everything worked even more slowly after that.

    I tried to backup using SuperDuper!, but it kept failing because some files couldn't be copied over. SuperDuper! gave me a terminal command to skip the undreadable files, so I've at least been able to copy the bulk of my hard disk.

    At this point, if I want a chance in hell of being productive with this machine, it seems I need to replace the capacitor, get more RAM, and replace the hard drive with an SSD. And honestly, even I can see it likely makes sense to get a new machine rather than try to keep this machine on life support (but it was a good run, right?)

    Until I decide on which new machine to get, can folks in the know provide guidance as to whether I can improve the sluggish hard disk that the SuperDuper! guy says is failing?

    * Should I run fsck in single-user mode?
    * Would Disk Warrior help?

    I don't know whether to just hold tight until a new machine arrives or take some steps now that might repair the disk and at least make for a smoother transfer of files to a new machine.
    THANKS to the community. This is my first post, and I fear I've been too wordy.
  2. sbuntin macrumors regular


    Aug 2, 2011
    Portland OR
    Disk Warrior can help repair a damaged directory, but will not repair a damaged disk. If you need to try to recover data, DataRescue may help. I'd do this *after* replacing the drive, maybe use a USB enclosure or dock to mount the old drive. In other words, don't try to recover data from your currently booted system drive.

    Based on past experience, I doubt fsck or DW will help at this point.

    If it were just memory and the drive, I might consider fixing it if I were in your shoes. That said, you're looking at $115-250 for the drive, $92 for an 8GB memory kit, (the stock 4GB is 2x2, so you'd have to replace both, or just one for a total of 6GB), and quite possibly another 30-50 for the hard drive cable (if it isn't bad now, it will be shortly after you replace the drive).

    Prices and links below. These are variable, but I really don't want to fart around on eBay at the moment.

    If you decide to replace the drive:

    The Crucial MX500 500GB SSD is on sale at $115. The 1TB is $250. Memory? $90+.


    Keep in mind that you may also need to replace the SATA cable - it often goes bad on these models at this age.

  3. Fishrrman, May 11, 2018
    Last edited: May 11, 2018

    Fishrrman macrumors P6


    Feb 20, 2009
    Even though SuperDuper does basically the same thing as does CarbonCopyCloner, I'm not sure how SD handles file corruption while doing a cloned backup.

    CCC has THE BEST method of handling file corruption (and directory) problems when cloning a drive.
    If CCC encounters "a bad file" during the clone, it will "make note" of the bad file, then "pass over it" and go to the next file, and the next, etc.
    The idea is that a bad file (or files) won't "stop the copy". At the end of the clone, you'll be able to review the files that didn't copy and go on from there.
    But you'll still have a "cloned drive" with all the GOOD files copied over.
    (at least that's my understanding of how the process works).

    I would suggest you download CCC 4.1.21 by clicking this link:
    (CCC is FREE to download and use for 30 days).

    Then try a "fresh clone" of your internal drive using CCC and see if it goes any better.

    It's time for a new hard drive if you want to keep using the MacBook.
    Put an SSD into it.
    Just about ANY SSD will do -- DON'T spend extra $$ on "faster" ones. You are limited by the bus speed in a 2010 MBP anyway (I have a 2010 MBP myself).

    It's VERY EASY to swap out the drives -- ANYONE can do it.
    Go to ifixit.com to see what's involved.
    You'll need a Phillips #00 driver and a TORX-T6 driver (find them at hardware stores or online).

    I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you get one of these as well:
    Cheap and very useful to have around.

    Use the adapter to "prep and test" the new SSD BEFORE you install it into the MBP.
    That way, if anything goes wrong, you still have a "working MacBook" to diagnose and get things right.

    Insofar as RAM goes:
    If you're still at 4gb total, I would try replacing the "topmost" DIMM (with the back cover off) only with an 8gb DIMM, for a total of 10gb installed. Cheaper and you only have to mess with 1 DIMM. Some will say that the MBP will "run slower" with 2 dis-similar DIMMs, but I doubt the difference will be anything perceptible in day-to-day usage.

    For a 2010 MBP, you might consider updating the OS to El Capitan.

    Also -- Stop using Norton for anything -- more trouble than it's worth!
  4. Ms.Tessie thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 10, 2018
    Thanks, Sbuntin! It was helpful to review the links you provided, and narrow down my options for what to do. I blame the months of GPU panics for damaging my hard disk while I tried to figure out what was going on and whether Apple would help me out.
    --- Post Merged, May 11, 2018 ---
    Thanks Fishrrman! The tips and links are appreciated. I agree that Norton isn't helpful in the end, and I am investigating CCC this afternoon, especially if the trial is free. I'm leaning toward a new machine even though it will break my budget, but I do feel empowered enough after watching various videos to change the RAM and my hard drive if needed. I just wish Apple had taken better ownership of the capacitor/Nvidia video card/GPU panic situation and looked out for their customers.

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