Desperate need of help, computer slow & locking up

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by dantheram, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. dantheram macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #1
    My mid 2009 MacBook pro has suddenly developed a crippling problem.

    When I use safari 5.1.7 after 5 or so minutes everything locks up. I get the spinning beach ball and cannot click on anything until I force close safari. Literally the whole machine dies. This always happens after what seems like the same time period - everything is fine then my laptop becomes unusable.

    Can someone help because it's driving me insane.

    I've tried the cache and resetting safari and deleting the plist but it won't work.
     
  2. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    #2
    Your hard drive may have a bad sector or sectors which could be slowing you down and locking it up. You should get it checked out and ensure you have a good backup of everything.
     
  3. dantheram thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #3
    It's perfectly fine for 5 minutes then it starts acting up. And it only affects safari. How do I fix the hard drive? And how do I know it's that causing it?
     
  4. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    #4
    I actually use a PC DOS-based program called Spinrite as a maintenance utility and data recovery utility on all my HDD's. You have to have an IBM-PC in order to use it though. You take the HDD out of the Mac and connect it to the IBM-PC and run the program. Below is my old MBP HDD in a Dell PC with Spinrite working on it.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    You could also install SMART Reporter for Mac. While S.M.A.R.T. technology isn't very reliable, it does have the potential to show problems with HDD's.
     
  5. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    #5
    The most important advice you have been given is to back it up.

    First, now, before you do anything else. Unless you can afford to lose all your data.

    Your symptoms sound like a failing HDD to me too. There are some intermediate things you can check, but again, it isn't recommend until you have a complete backup.

    In most cases when a HDD is failing and the data becomes corrupted, the minor corruption is the tip of the iceberg. It can be corrected using software tools, but more often than not, the drive has a physical fault and needs replaced.
     
  6. dantheram thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 12, 2013
  7. SandboxGeneral Moderator emeritus

    SandboxGeneral

    Joined:
    Sep 8, 2010
    Location:
    Detroit
    #7
    It could be that where Safari is storing certain cache's or file information is on a bad sector.
     
  8. ezramoore macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2006
    Location:
    Washington State
    #8
    There are many answers to the question. A reload (or potentially a disk repair like SandBox General suggested) could further isolate the problem, once you're all backed up.
     
  9. madsci954 macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    Location:
    Ohio
    #9
    If you have an Apple Store near by, make an appointment and take it to them.
     
  10. dantheram thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #10
    I have checked the status of the hard drive and it says it's Ok. This is though the disk utility function of the mbp.

    Are they any other potential ways to ID the problem source?
     
  11. dantheram thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #11
    All,

    i have logged in as a guest on my MBP and the problem is not there.

    can someone help given this new info?

    assume it's a problem with my account only?

    Dan
     
  12. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #12
    Disk utility will check for bad file attributes, a failing HDD will often give little warning.

    Have you backed it up yet?
     
  13. dantheram thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #13
    Is there any clues in the fact its not present on the guest account?

    surely safari would have the same problem regardless of account if it were the HDD?

    Dan

    PS it's backed up
     
  14. dantheram thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2013
    #14
    If i have to replace the HDD i have encountered another problem.

    with the firmware 1.7 there seems to be an issue around the SATA cable. basically it means that some HDD capable of 3gb/s will cause the laptop to constantly stall.

    other users have had to install firmware 1.6 to get round the issue.

    from research i have found this drive - Hitachi Travelstar IDK 500GB 7200rpm 2.5 inch Hard Drive (Internal)

    thi drive seems to work at 3gb/s and does not encounter the issue with the firmware.

    can anyone verify this?
     
  15. -aggie- macrumors P6

    -aggie-

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2009
    Location:
    Where bunnies are welcome.
    #15
    Try repairing disk permissions in Disk Utility
     
  16. Ploki macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2008
    #16
    TechTools Pro has a Surface-Scan feature.

    It also has a nice directory structure verification and volume rebuild.

    I just used it on an HDD that disk utility failed to even verify.
     

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