Anything I can do to save a late 08 Aluminum Macbook?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by The.316, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. The.316 macrumors 65816

    The.316

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    #1
    Late 2008 Aluminum 13" Macbook
    8gb ram
    250 SSD

    Ran El Capitan on it, and its currently running High Sierra, unsupported. Even with El Capitan, it would become extremely sluggish after a few minutes of use, revert back to normal for a bit, then back to sluggish use. It really becomes unbearable at times. I really do not know what to do, and I thought maybe someone would have any suggestions. Ive opened it, cleaned the dust out of it, but have no clue what else I can do.
     
  2. Fishrrman, Aug 18, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2019

    Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    Put a new SSD into it, if possible.
    Go to ifixit.com and see what the options are.
     
  3. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    on the land line mr. smith.
    #3
    Have you tried using Safe Mode to help rule out any possible software issues?

    Could be a failing drive. How old is the SSD? Some early SSDs had problems with degrading performance over time.

    If you can scrounge up another drive, HD or SSD, it might be worth swapping.

    If you have an external USB drive you can boot to, you could test how the machine behaves from an external before proceeding.

    Try keeping Activity Monitor open and look for clues...running processes or services that might be the culprit, eating lots for CPU or RAM, and how much swap space is getting used.
     
  4. MSastre macrumors 6502a

    MSastre

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    Aug 18, 2014
    #4
    How much free space is on your hard drive. You should always keep 15-20% free for best functioning.
     
  5. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

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    #5
    Its a Samsung 850. Ive had it for a while, but it seems to be healthy.

    Anything I need to run once I get the machine in Safe Mode?

    Most of the HD space is available.
     
  6. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    Kentucky
    #6
    What model SSD?

    The Aluminum MacBook(along with a bunch of other laptops and desktops around this same time) used the notorious MCP79 controller. Among other things, it's fussy about RAM speed(use the rated speed-no slower or faster-or you might not even get it to boot). In addition, this computer is SATA II, whereas virtually all SSDs available now are SATA III. Not all SSDs will reliably down-clock to SATA II in these computers.

    I know Samsung EVOs work fine. I forget what I have in my aluminum MacBook(I'll check afterwhile-fortunately it's easy to physically check)-I don't think it's an EVO but know that it runs at SATA II speeds.

    EDIT:

    Seeing your latest response, it looks like you have a drive that should run correctly.

    Have you enabled TRIM? If not, do so now-in Sierra open terminal and type "sudo trimforce enable" then reboot. You can then boot into single user mode and run FSCK a few times. This will force it to trim unused blocks, and should turn the drive to its original performance.
     
  7. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

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    #7
    Enabled TRIM, and ran FSCK, which showed the drive being OK. Still the same. Even as I am typing to you, some of the words show immediately on the screen, then it will slow down, and the words will show after a 2-3 second delay.

    Even though the drive is ok, should I try a regular HD, and see if that does anything? The SSD in it now, I used to have it in my iMac, before upgrading my iMac to a larger drive. In the Macbook, I have an SSD, and I used to have a regular HD where the CD drive was, but I ended up putting the CD drive back, because I didnt need the extra space on this machine. All Im using it for is web surfing, and downloading some movies and music.
     
  8. bunnspecial macrumors 604

    bunnspecial

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    #8
    When you ran FSCK, did it give a line that said "Trimming unused blocks"?

    Usually, one round of doing this isn't enough to clear up a badly clogged up drive. I've seen some that were run for years without TRIM that needed 10 or more rounds of FSCK to get any semblance of performance. Yes, it's tedious to do it now, but with TRIM now enabled you shouldn't have to worry about it going forward. From your description, this drive has been around the block a few times and it can likely be restored to close to its original performance, but I'd not be surprised if it's pretty seriously clogged up now.

    I'd suggest downloading Black Magic Speed Tester and seeing how its reporting the read/write speeds. If it's not reporting within about 10% of 250mb/s(say 225mb/s or better), you have a bottleneck in your drive.
     
  9. NoBoMac Moderator

    NoBoMac

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2014
    #9
    I had an early 2008 on El Cap and never noticed anything particularly off with it. Had a Samsung 830 in it. Intensive programs like VirtualBox would slow things down for me.

    Putting in an HDD would probably make it worse.

    Lots of tabs open in browser of choice? Might want to clear the history and cache there.

    Re: Safe Mode: that should clears caches on its own, so, nothing extra to do there.

    Might want to download and run MalwareBytes: might have picked up some coin mining software in an iffy download.
     
  10. Soondae macrumors member

    Soondae

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    #10
    It is possible that the slow downs you see is due to the processor overheating. I deal with lot's of old hardware and what happens overtime is the conductive paste on the processor core to the heatsink becomes glue and looses it's conductive properties. I suggest removing the heatsink, clean both the processor and heatsink sides. apply fresh conductive paste and reassemble. Also ensure that your cooling fans are operating properly, these are all items that break down over time.
     
  11. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

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    #11
    I got over 250 read/write on the first try with Black Magic, so it seems that its ok, right?


    I never had an issue either, up until the last few months. For example, while typing this reply, everything will be fine, but if I go to another tab, then it starts slowing down considerably. Im looking at my Activity Monitor, and can see all these Google Chrome Helper eating up my 8gb of ram. I tried Malwarebytes as well, and it seems fine. I just installed the OS the other day, and it happened a day or two after the install.


    I did that heating the gpu on my iMac, so would it be similar to that?
     
  12. The.316 thread starter macrumors 65816

    The.316

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    #12
    Example...I am watchiing the trailer for the new News shoow on Apple TV, and everything is running at a. snails pace now, as evident by the mistakes in my typling.
     
  13. hobowankenobi macrumors 6502a

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    #13
    So does anything spike in Activity monitor? CPU, RAM, energy use, etc. Could give a good clue as to what is causing the lag.

    As for Safe Mode, since the issue is lag...does it lag the same in safe mode?
    • If lag: likely NOT software.
    • If no lag: likely software and/or OS issue.
     
  14. redheeler macrumors 604

    redheeler

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2014
    #14
    The slowdown could be just due to its age unfortunately. Trying to browse the web with the resource-hungry Google Chrome while simultaneously playing 1080p video isn't a good idea on an 11-year-old Core 2 Duo and integrated graphics.

    My Late 2006 iMac can handle 1080p video, and browsing the web, but it struggles when both are happening at the same time.
     
  15. avz, Aug 23, 2019
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019

    avz macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    I believe the above posters forgot to mention the SATA cable that attach your SSD to the logic board. It definitely got to be the hardware as even Catalina Beta is super snappy on this machine. I will have to admit though that Mavericks on HDD absolutely destroys recent macOS's(running on SSD) in terms of 1080p video performance on this machine.

    P.S. Running without the battery obviously will downclock your CPU speed.
     

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14 August 18, 2019