An Earnest Plea...Your Mac Experience?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by freesonwang, May 21, 2009.

  1. freesonwang macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2009
    Hey guys. Thanks for clicking.

    Lemme list out the major point of this post : I wanted to love my Macbook Pro (2007), but it never loved me back and never has. While the overall experience of Mac OSX is beautifully streamlined and clean-cut, for me, I have had major crashes throughout using my Macbook Pro for the last 2 years. Amazingly, while the experience on my Windows box was mediocre with - not major crashes - but just overall sluggishness and slowness, my Windows machine never crashed or got infected by viruses. The point of this post is to ask, who has had not only bad experiences, but amazingly horrible experiences with their Macs? I actually thought about it for a while, and I don't know anyone who hasn't had a major problem that necessitated going to the Apple Store (big problems like hard drive failure). Macs shouldn't be like this right? But, I don't believe that I am the only one, and we seem to be drowned under the entire slogan of "It just works".

    Problems I have Experienced:
    -When it was brand new, it had 1 hour of battery life.
    -"Never waking up again" after sleeping even with a hard shutdown
    -Random beachball hangs that require hard shutdown
    -Random kernel panics that require hard shutdown
    -Windows, in Bootcamp, hangs that require hard shutdown

    And today,

    -Can't get past log-in screen

    ...Continuing reading if you want to hear an interesting story...:)

    I bought my Macbook Pro in 2007 as part of the school deal because I am a college student. It was my first Mac, and first laptop. On a full charge, I would have 1 hour of battery life. But, because it was my first laptop I never knew this was not normal until my warranty expired.

    I went through an amazing headache (but ultimately worthwhile, I...guess) of a learning curve that lasted about 5 months. By the end of this learning experience, I felt like I was sorta a power user. I was touting the Mac OSX experience as superior to the Windows experience (and I still believe it is...if it worked all the time) and my friends would jokingly call me an Apple fanboy. I found this site, AppleInsider, and followed Apple news daily - all this from someone who was originally not a "tech geek". Knowing this, I hope you don't dismiss me as a Windows fanboy bashing Apple.

    Then, came the day my Mac decided not to wake up after shutting the lid. Literally a few days after the warranty expired too. Despite a hard shut down, my Mac's display was completely blank and black. Sending it to get it fixed at the Apple store was $1500 - "motherboard issue" - which hurts because that was right when the new 2008 Macbooks came out. (Sidenote: My insurance company promised me they would pay me back the money, so that's why I opted to get it fixed, but they ultimately denied my claim, so sucks to be me).

    After this, I upgraded to Leopard doing a clean install. The thing is, while as a general whole, the experience is great, spinning beachballs maybe once ever week always required me to do a hard shutdown. It was this overall feeling of unreliability that I really didn't like. I actually learned about a "hard shutdown" only when I got a Mac; I never needed to do a hard shutdown on a Windows computer.

    Then from spinning beachballs came random kernel panics. And while spinning beachballs would be from a really intensive flash website on Firefox or opening up Photo Booth (at this point, I'm almost "afraid" to use my Mac, especially Photo Booth), random kernel panics would happen at completely non-intensive intervals - ie, iTunes and some word processing. And would again necessitate a hard shutdown and make me lose data.

    Bootcamp, which booted into XP was also a bad experience. Again, the theme of "the general thing was okay, but it would just majorly crash at random occasional times" is still here. My Windows side would randomly hang at some random, non-intensive, time - the sound would just start looping. And, it would never shutdown all the way either and would hang at that last screen. All necessitating a hard shutdown. These are probably driver issues, and someone may make the claim that the Windows partition has nothing to do with the Mac partition, but taken as an emotional experience, this computer has really given me headaches.

    And then came yesterday's crash. I went into Bootcamp to work on some stuff for a while (I use Mac OSX most of the time BTW, and my Windows partition is only 8 GB). It, of course, hung at the last shutdown screen, and I hard shutdown-ed. After booting back up into Mac OSX, I realized I could not get beyond the aqua blue screen that flashes for a second before going into the log-in menu. I tried everything I knew - safe booting, repairing the disk and repairing the disk permissions using the original install disk, and resetting the P-RAM. I am now getting ready to archive and install again because my Time Machine backup is maybe a few days old and I have some files on there I need to save. This is the second "major", "you-will-tell-me-to-go-to-the-Apple-Store" event I have had, along with the random hangs and crashes. And, I am not a person afraid to start with a blank slate and do a clean install. I have clean installed maybe every 3 months, in some weird hope that "this time" my computer will work.

    If you reached here, thanks for reading...

    I am now considering a Windows laptop (maybe its just the post-crash anger speaking) despite really falling in love with the (if it worked) Mac OSX experience that is much more streamlined, polished, and clean. This post was essentially to vent out my frustration, but I really wanted to ask if anyone out there has also had not just a "weird-crash-maybe-every-6-months" kinda deal, but a horrible experience.
  2. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    That's not the typical experience.

    How much RAM do you have? Not enough ram -> spinning beachballs.

    Kernal panic are usually bad hardware. Perhaps RAM?

    Don't you read the specs on your computer when you get it, such as battery life? You didn't because PC laptop last an hour on battery? It's due to laziness / ignorance that you didn't get the problems fixed under warranty.

    So get RAM, it's cheap. Perhaps new harddrive.
    If problems still happen then it's the MOBO.
  3. fishcove Guest

    I know this isn't what you asked for, but my Mac experience could not be more different than yours.

    After being away from the Mac world for a number of years, I bought my first OS X machine, a 1 GHz G4 eMac, in 2003. I and my whole family used that machine on a daily basis for 5 years, and I can count on one hand the number of times it had to be restarted due to software issues.

    Last year I bought a 24" iMac, and absolutely love it. We use it a lot. My kids run games on XP in Boot Camp, and it has never had a problem in either OS.

    We also run an old Mac Mini as a very basic media server. It is a bit slow, but gets the job done.

    I have no idea what a kernel panic even looks like in OS X. Typically the only software issues we see are the occasional crash in Flash which takes down Safari.

    I am a software developer, working all day on a Dell laptop. I have learned to use XP within its limits, and normally have no problem with it. But at home, it's the iMac all the way.

    Maybe you just got a lemon. It happens. Obviously something is not right with your machine. Not much consolation, I know, but I would still have a hard time encouraging you to go back to Windows.

    One piece of advice: if you do buy a Windows laptop, don't cheap out. You really do get what you pay for.
  4. freesonwang thread starter macrumors member

    Apr 19, 2009
    It is sorta comforting to also hear good Mac experiences - because I really don't wanna leave Mac. I guess once you go Mac, you can't go back :). Even with clean installs, my computer never seems up to par - this might be me being slow but - that means its a hardware thing right?
  5. NoNameBrand macrumors 6502

    Nov 17, 2005
    Halifax, Canada
    I had a bad iMac, in '99, '00, and after a lot of running around and part fixing and OS re-installs, with no end of troubles, a strongly worded letter to Apple Canada got me a replacement iMac in 2001, that works flawlessly to this day. I've since owned a PowerMac G5, MacBook and Mac Pro. Which have all worked perfectly. Almost.

    The G5 sometimes wouldn't reliably wake from sleep (10.3.x), so I turned that off very quickly back in 2004. My partner inherited this machine last month, with a fresh 10.5.x install, and the energy conserving person she is, left system sleep on. It still doesn't reliably wake from sleep. Awesome. It'll do the jet-engine trick at that point too if it's not power cycled.

    The MacBook used to sometimes wake up with the keyboard disabled (WTF), but an Apple update fixed that, and it used to have trouble connecting to my Wi-Fi after waking up. Flipping it's Airport settings on/off would eventually let it connect. This too was fixed by a software update.

    Mac Pro has been problem free thus far.

    I've had more than a few 'WTF' moments with Mac OS X, but mostly it's positive. In comparison, using Windows is a constant stream of 'WTF were they thinking?'.
  6. durija macrumors 6502

    Jan 16, 2008
    I would really consider checking out your memory. Buy some, or better yet, find someone who will let you swap with yours. Also, make sure it is seated properly. Bad RAM could be your whole problem.

    Oh, and I think there is a way to test memory onboard. Maybe someone else can point you to it. I don't know what it is.

    By the way, I have had very good experiences with Macs both at work and at home, especially since it went Unix underneath with OS X. I'm pretty sure you have a hardware or RAM issue. Could happen to anyone. Unfortunately, it happened to you.
  7. Insulin Junkie macrumors 65816

    Insulin Junkie

    May 5, 2008
    Mainland Europe
    Good decision. With macs it's usually single machines causing problems, as opposed to flaws in the software, so if you exchange your flawed machine for a good one, chances are you'll be happy with it for a very long time. The first mac I owned in years had a graphics problem, exchanged it and have bought 2 macs since - all working flawlessly.
  8. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I've not had any performance issues on my C2D Macbook Pro + Leopard.
  9. Bullshark macrumors member

    Apr 25, 2009
    Just to add to your comfort, my transition to Mac couldn't be better. I'm a Network Admin for a large company in NY and have been using PC's for 15 years. I still have a couple, cause I need em. But they def don't beat my Mac at much of anything. Nothing but solid, reliable software/hardware on the Mac. No crashes or strangeness to report.
  10. dsnort macrumors 68000


    Jan 28, 2006
    In persona non grata
    I've owned a lot of Macs over the past few years, ever only had trouble with one. My Revision A Black MacBook came down with Random Shutdown Disorder after about 6 months, an hour at the Apple store fixed it. 6 months later, the HD in the same machine died, Apple replaced at no charge. Lost some data, my fault for not backing up properly. Still loved that machine til the day I sold it.

    All my other Macs have been flawless, to date.
  11. WhiteShadow macrumors regular

    Jul 9, 2006
    Washington D.C.
    Unless I am mistaken, Mac OS is built specifically for the hardware it runs on. Most people call it proprietary, but it is one reason why the OS runs so well. Just read the hackintosh posts you will learn quickly why the lock the OS down.

    Unfortunately, this means that the machine is very picky when it comes to hardware, so any sort of defect in the hardware or RAM installed will generate problems.

    This is exactly what the Genius Bar is for. My first iMac bought in 2004 went through two logic boards, which were both replaced under Apple Care and all of my data was recovered.

    I had an HP laptop that had a bad motherboard in 2003 bought through bestbuy. When the returned the laptop they wiped all of my data. Even a simple "sorry about that" would have been nice. But I learned the hard way and have not been back to a best buy or windows since.
  12. Corrosive vinyl macrumors 6502

    Corrosive vinyl

    Sep 22, 2006
    totally, my first ibook G4 had a logic board replacement, and then was just fine. My issues with OS X have to deal with bad software upgrades. Almost immediately after installing bad software it freaks. Just be careful on what you install. Also, if I forget to plug in the airport card or something after messing with it, it will hang on start up forever. make sure your hardware is good and stays constant.

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