El Capitan acting up...slowness, overheating

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by Kristina85, Feb 3, 2016.

  1. Kristina85, Feb 3, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 3, 2016

    Kristina85 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    #1
    Hello,
    I successfully updated my mid-2010 Macbook from Snow Leopard to El Capitan (at least so I thought). in addition to that I also inserted a new 850 evo Samsung (500GB) + 8 GB RAM.
    At first, the computer was fast..applications loaded fast etc.
    But after about two weeks, I am having issues with it....one of it is the noticable drop in speed...to a point where the whole system (cursor) seems to be stalling..also I do see a lot of spining wheels. I can still work on this but it's weird...loading of a stupid built-in Dictionary can take up to 2-3 seconds, before that it was instant. On the boot-up too,before it was fast, not takes much much longer. It almost feels as if I was still running the old 5400RPM HDD. In fact, it can get to the point...just like now, when the letters that I am typing need a split second longer to appear...again, stalling would be the best description...or a feeling as if you were rewinding a movie in slow motion.
    In Activity Monitor, the CPU usage jumps from 10% to 350%..with something like kernel_task. see printscreen below.
    It's actually really unpleasant now to work with.
    On top of everything, the uppper left-hand corner is exteremely hot...and when you place your fingers next to the microphne, the whole aluminium is on "fire"..really hot too touch. The same is true on the back of the computer - the same area. Though my fan is not spinning. And my battery says, when I click on it: service battery (see prinscreent).

    ps. it does seem that my computer gets hotter with usage..i.e. if I use Word, it stays cool. The trouble starts with browsing the web....certain websites seem to overheat the whole thing..and then I cannot do much.

    What could be the cause for this?
    What is happening to my Macbook?

    I have not experienced anything like this with my previous Snow Leopard. The computer with an SSD and 8GB RAM works much worse than that with 5400HDD and 4gb RMB (and it didn't do this when I freshly installed it). Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 4.21.50 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 4.27.44 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 4.29.16 PM.png Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 4.29.16 PM.png
    Please help, this is freaking me out!
     
  2. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #3
    In the web page JohnDS linked, I would look at what Linc Davis posted first rather than removing the IOPlatformPluginFamily.kext file. It is good list of steps to take. An improperly functioning battery can cause kernel_task to take a large amount of CPU. If you have an old battery or one of questionable origin, that's a good place to start. There was a recent post where dust (one of the possible causes in the Linc Davis article) caused similar problems to what you're having.
     
  3. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2012
    #4
    JohnDS ad Treekram, thanks for replying. I did, in fact, not go through the list byt Linc Davis.
    Could you speculate with me further on this:
    throttling:
    1. a buildup of dust on the logic board?
    When I did my update, I also cleaned my fan (took it out, cleaned it nicely) and put it back in. I used air can to clean all my parts of the computer. Hard to imagine that something got stuck there..but well I can check.

    2.high ambient temperature
    - if that's meant by high temperature in the room, around the computer etc. that can't be the case. I am in totally normal conditions.

    3. A worn-ou or faulty batter in a portable
    How do you recognize that? My mbp is about 4-5 years old And I still get about 2-3 hours of the battery. Before upgrading, I do remember having some issues with charging once in a while (sometimes it would say: not charging...than I'd figgle around with the adaptor's connector and it would be fine....also when charging the omputer would get hot...and once it was 100% it would be okay again).

    4. The mafunction of a cooling fan, a temerature sensor, a voltage snesor or some internal component...

    well the fan does kick in if I cover the vents...so it's working. Not sure abut the temperature sensor etc.

    One thing is weird though...my comp. seemed to be fine before the OS X update, though now it sure does behave like it's got some serious hardward problem. The heating up in the upper left-hand corner (and around there) is truly serious...the macbook feels pretty hot also when you touch it on the backside...again the same one area which is pretty warm.
    this is really killing me...instead of a nice upgrade (SSD+RAM)it seems that i have converted my beloved Mac into a junk.

    btw.. as I am typing this, the comp. seems to be fine. I'll keep observing what the problem might be.
     
  4. JohnDS macrumors 65816

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    Oct 25, 2015
    #5
    You can get information about your battery health by option clicking on the battery icon in the menu bar.
     
  5. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    California
    #6
    Ordinarily, I would say you have some app or third party utility that is conflicting with El Capitan, but your comment that all was well for two weeks confuses me. So you installed all this hardware and El Capitan and everything worked perfectly for two weeks, then out of the blue these problems started??

    Just for grins, reboot and hold the shift key at startup to boot to safe mode. That stops all startup and launch items from running to eliminate that as the cause. How does it run in safe mode?
     
  6. JohnDS macrumors 65816

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    Oct 25, 2015
    #7
    You might try removing the plug-in as per the previous link I sent you.
     
  7. daument macrumors newbie

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    Feb 11, 2015
    #8
    Take it to the store and have them run mri, sdiags, asd os and efi.
     
  8. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #9
    I am going to try this and will let you know. Actually I started thinking hard about this....and realized that I might have had issues with my mac running vhot even before the upgrade. I.e. even in Snow Leopard - it would get hot and would have to use the fan quite a lot - which annoyed me. But it would never stall the way it can now. On Snow Leopard I attributed that "overheating" issue to a old computer that was not able to keep up with some of the software issues (some websites and their content).
    Then I installed the new system and as far I as can tell I had no issues for a week or so. It started acting up now.
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2016 ---
    Can't. This is out of warranty and there's no store around me...:(
    --- Post Merged, Feb 3, 2016 ---
    JohnDS, but i did so. + got the message that I got (see the printscreens abobe)
     
  9. daument macrumors newbie

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    Feb 11, 2015
  10. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #11
    thanks I will try that!
    I did just try running in safe mode, no effect. the situation was equally bad. I have a feeling this has very little to do with the OS X system now but with some hardware. I tried to reset SMC, nothing has changed.
    What worries me is the extreme heat in the upper-left corner.
    should I try to check the temperature of this and what software would you recommend using to do so?
     
  11. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #12
    The folks at the Genius Bar will help you even if the computer is out of warranty. You will need to make an appointment (it may take some time). It sounds like your battery is original and if so, it's pretty old. Even if it's on AC, the battery can cause the computer problems. That it seems to have worked nicely for two weeks (correct?) after an OS upgrade or update suggests it isn't a software problem.
     
  12. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #13
    Treekram, yep..though I am not sure they have a genius bar here where I am right now.
    I am really getting unhappy..for it seems that my MPB is dying on me just at the time when I updated my HDD with a SSD and RAM - something I will have absolutely no use for if I buy a new Macbook:(
     
  13. daument macrumors newbie

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    Feb 11, 2015
    #14
    There are some third party programs that will monitor your fan.... It really seems like your fan is running at less than 2000 rpm. MRI will report the fan speed. How far are you to an Apple Store? BTW, your ssd will show fail in Mri as its expecting a spinning drive.
     
  14. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #15
    Actually I am not sure. I am currently not in the U.S. but a small European city..maybe 2-3 hours away driving. And what's worse in the next 3-4 weeks I can't leave this place where I am right now. I have to fix this somehow. I also think i might have figured out what the problem is....the battery might be a separate issue, overheating is the real deal. When I open the window and cool down the computer, it runs fast after that....at least so it appears to me. Definitely no kernel_task in the activity monitor after I cool it. The trouble is that the computer gets hot pretty fast..so I would have to cool it down too often. For some reason I hardly ever hear my fan spinning...not sure if that's where the problem is. The computer is definitely overheating on the upper-left corner...i.e. where my motherboard is...
     
  15. daument macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    #16
    As I stated before ....'it sounds like a fan issue. Either the fan is obstructed (lint/dirt) in heat sink or possibly the little tabs that hold the battery in broke off and got In your fan and its jammed, or the fan is just running to slow due to age or a sensor issue. I'd open the bottom cover and observe the fan at power up. It should be running. There is a free fan utility call smcfancontrol that's free. I don't usually recommend stuff like that but I can't run testing on your device. It may be worth a shot.
     
  16. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #17
    I saw the post you have in the Macbook Pro forum. So the fan is working. In your other post, it doesn't look like any of your sensors are totally broken because they report sensible temperature data. Maybe they're reporting too low temperature data but none of them are at 0 or some outrageous number so I don't think they're broken. The area where the black hard plastic near the screen is where the heat sink and fan assembly are so it would make sense that it would get hot when the computer is working hard. But I'm not sure that there's a major problem with the cooling system in your computer. In your original post, you mentioned that if you use Word, the computer doesn't get too hot but it does with certain websites. It looks like you're using Firefox and the Flash plug-in. Flash can be a resource hog. If you're not experiencing problems with heat with other applications, then as I said, maybe you don't have a major issue with heat. It may be that with Flash plus El Capitan (does require more computer resources than Snow Leopard, which is where I think you upgraded from), with the kernel_task issue, the computer just has work harder, gets hot, but not hot enough to trigger audible fan noise. In the other post, your fan speed was 0. Is it always 0, even when you can hear the fan? Maybe the software, for whatever reason, can't report the proper fan speed. If SMC can keep the fans at a faster speed, for now, at least, I don't think that's a problem.

    It would be good if you can run the Apple Hardware Test. You would need the original install disks if you can't get it to work by pressing the "D" key upon powering on the system (I don't think pressing "D" will work on your model). If you don't have the original disk, find out what Model Identifier you have. Press the Apple Logo in the upper left, press the "System Report" button, the first "Hardware" should be selected on the left, if not select it. On the right should be the "Hardware Overview" and the "Model Identifier" should be there. You should have the MacBookPro7,1. If you do, you can download the AHT from:

    http://download.info.apple.com/Apple_Hardware_Test/022-4653-A.dmg

    You'll need a bootable USB stick. Follow the instructions in https://github.com/upekkha/AppleHardwareTest
    under "Run AHT from bootable USB stick" except you will need to replace wherever they refer to a directory "AHT" with "AHTCOne" (that's a capital "O", not zero). If you have problems creating the USB stick let us know. The instructions mention that you can copy the directory to your disk, but with El Capitan, you can't unless you disable SIP.
     
  17. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #18
    Treekram,you're really helpful. Thanks for trying to think through this with me.
    I agree, I will have to run the hardware test..and yes, you were right on the point that I can't run in from this system (D doesn't work). Will have to create a bootable USB. And will do so in the coming days (all this is taking time that I need to do real work - I have a deadline this month to deliver stuff).

    As I am narrowing down the issues that could be wrong (seems that the battery won't be causing this) I am also learning more about the problem. It seems now that not just websites but also Office Word and other apps can cause a problem. It's more a question of time (or a question of how quickly the laptop heats up)...with flash and firefox, it gets hot quickly, and then you have all the problems with kernel_task. But even if I run other applications, after a while the areas which I described in my post before get rather hot..and my Mac starts acting up. Right now, my solution is to:
    a) place my hand behind the comp (cover partially the vents in this way) - fans kicks in and soon the temperatures of CPU and around drop a bit..which allows me to do some work.
    b) turn off my mac and let it cool down.

    I also don't think that my sensors are totally broken..e.g. right now I placed my hand behind the monitor to cover the vents and nothing has happened. The temperetures are low (CPU around 45-46). Hence no response from the fan. But once the CPU gets to 68-70, placing my hand behind the vents will automatically trigger the fans (it's audible) and cool the system a bit.
    My fan is not broken either - right now I had with Macs Fans Control set the RMP to 4000 constantly and I could clealry hear it. When I turn it down to 2000RPM, the computer gets silent, i.e. the fan is responding.

    But if my sensors work and my fan works..why the heck does it not recognize that the system is overheating and correct the issue?


    I'm going to try out one thing: have in Mcs Fans Control set the constant RMP to 3500 and see if, by keeping the fan spinning in this way, I can keep working without any issues.
    In the future I have to run the hardware test (will do in a day or two) and then once I am back home, I will also try putting back the old HDD with Snow Leopard on it and test the whole thing for heat issues etc.

    btw. Treekram, would you know the normal temperatures for CPU diode, CPU proximity, Northbridge etc. should be for my type of a Macbook? It seems to me that once those start running around 60-70, the system becomes unstable. But elsewhere I've read that such temperature should not be a problem.
     
  18. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #19
    an update:
    I've been now using Mac Control Fan app, and have set it such that based on sensor-value (CPU diode)..my fan starts kicking into higher gear at 50 degrees and I give it a maximum of 65 degrees. This keeps the system cool, prevents it from overheating...and thus far I could use the mac without any problems (the past 2,5 hours). Could this be in fact the solution? I.e simply use a third-party software to ramp-up fan activity as the system doesn't do it itself? (and by so doing, say good-bye to a quiet computer but one that will work, at least?)
     
  19. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #20
    I don't think the temperatures you had in the screenshot that you posted in the Macbook Pro forum were excessive. You can take a look at a couple of web pages:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3918067?tstart=0

    http://forums.macrumors.com/threads/what-is-considered-a-safe-temperature-for-the-macbook.1705490/

    If you search "macbook pro acceptable temperatures", you'll get a lot of hits. As long as the Northbridge temperatures are not much higher than the CPU temperatures, I think you're OK.

    At this point, I don't think your MBP is falling apart, but you have some issue. I think it could be a battery issue, which could be causing the kernel_task to use a lot of CPU. It would really help if you could get to the Genius Bar of an Apple store but I understand that may be difficult. As I mentioned earlier, I don't think there's a problem if you use your current solution of a fan control app until you can get to an Apple store. The problem of course is that because none of us can actually take a look at the problem in person, we can't have a high confidence in what we suggest. So my best suggestion is a new battery. But if you buy an Apple battery, which in the US would cost $129 for the 2010 MBP and which would usually require you to give up the computer for a few days, if that doesn't solve the problem, then your $129 may be wasted (I don't know that they would allow you to keep the old battery so you could re-sell the new battery if that doesn't solve your problem). But at the Genius Bar, I'm sure they would give better advice because they can see your computer in person. But maybe for you, the problems in getting to an Apple store would be worth something close to the cost of a battery any way. Those are things that you'd need to consider.

    Trying the old HDD with Snow Leopard is not a bad idea. You can either put it back or use an enclosure/docking station.
     
  20. daument macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    #21
    If you decide to visit the GB and purchase a battery your old one goes
    Back to apple. There is no option to keep it. As I stated several times I believe you have a cooling issue and they the fan software is helping you. I'd try to get to the GB and find a the proper solution. As stated before I usually don't recommend the fan software but as your not able to visit us at the GB it may get you by until you can.
     
  21. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #22
    Treekram and Daument, thank you both for your replies.
    I got it....I need to go to Genius Bar. If you live in the US, going to a GB is a no-brain issue. I myself lived in the Bay Area for 7 years and know how easy it was. But here where I am right now, it's complicated. The trip itself can take between 2,5-3 hours by car (or 5 hours by a train!)
    So right now I have to do without it.
    I also understood that my problem might not be completely trivial to solve.

    You both seem to be suggesting that the battery still might be an issue. I know that Macbooks could run wihout a battery, would this be worth trying out?
    And could I just order a new battery, install it and see for myself if that takes care of all these issues? If it's just a battery issue, why then going to GB, right?

    I've also read somewhere that SMC needs to be reset several times - sometimes it takes that much before it does what you want from it. What do you hold of this?

    I've read the threads about the temperatures you sent me....it's weird for they seem to suggest that 90degrees (celsia) and above are problematic, but below...especially around60-70 for CPU and its proximity should be fine. In my case, 70 degrees...that's when the computer starts acting up (I think).
    So right now I am trying to keep it at 50-55 degrees (btw. Northbridge and CPU temperatures are more or less in syncs..Northbridge Chip is now 55 and CPU diode 54). The system is running fine.Is this an overkill or would you leave it this way?
    Also, what do you think of this: I just installed a flashblock in my firefox (I am used to this browser). Also would uninstalling adobe's flash help? (there are webpages which I cannot see without it though:() thinking of uninstalling adobe's flash...would this help issues? I've also read something about HTML5 video player..though not sure how this works.

    last but not least: would you say that using a different browser might help things? It's clear to me that browsing the web causes most of the overheating of my system.
     
  22. daument macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2015
    #23
    It's not the battery

    Browser choice won't make a difference

    Smc resets are accomplished by pressing the control/option/left shift and power button all at once for one second
     
  23. Kristina85 thread starter macrumors member

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    Dec 29, 2012
    #24
    UPDATE: I THINK I MIGHT HAVE FOUND THE PROBLEM. NOW I FEEL LIKE A TOTAL IDIOT BUT IT WAS NOT SO OBVIOUS FROM THE BEHAVIOR OF THE COMPUTER. IT SEEMS THAT THE CABLE CONNECTING MY FAN TO THE LOGICBOARD IS NOT PROPERLY CONNECTED (i had to disconnect it when I cleaned the fan).
    I AM SAYING PROBABLY BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A SCREWDRIVER WITH ME NOW TO CHECK THIS BUT WILL DO SO TOMORROW MORNING WHEN I GET ONE. IN ANY CASE, JUST NOW MY FAN' S RPM WAS 0 ....THEN, BY LUCK, I REALIZED THAT IF I PRESS THE BOTTOM COVER OF THE MBP (IN THE MIDDLE OF IT) WITH MY FINGER, MY FAN IMMEDIATELY STARTS WORKING. WHEN I RELEASE THE COVER, IT STOPS AND GOES BACK TO 0 RPM!

    I.E. THE REASON WHY I COULD NOT FIGURE THIS OUT UNITL NOW: WELL SOMETIMES THE FAN WAS WORKING...AND SOMETIMES IT WAS NOT (IT PROBABLY DEPENDED ON HOW I PLACED MY MACBOOK ON THE TABLE..OR WHAT I PLACED UNDERNEATH IT). THE REASON WHY IT STARTED COOLING DOWN WHEN I COVERED THE VENTS WITH MY HAND ..WAS NOT THE VENTS BUT THE PRSSURE I WAS APPLYING TO THE BOTTOM COVER OF THE LAPTOP WHICH PROBABLY PUSHED THE SWITCH CLOSER TO THE LOGICBOARD.
    I hope this theory is right. But it sure seems to explain a lot. 1. why my macbook worked well in the first few days after the upgrade..it might be the case that the switch got lose a bit later (i actually travelled in the last 4 days..so there was movement in my bag etc.) 2. it would also explain why I could use the computer at times but not at another 3. it would leave the battery problem out of the picture--as you were suggesting .

    If this theory is right, my macbook will be back in order soon. Still the battery will be an issue I need to address.
    Right now I get about 2 hours on it,with lighter use maybe even 3-4 hours, maybe even more. I could test this. Hence I don't really have a need for a new battery. But I'd like to use the computer for a few more years...so in this case I have to replace it, right?
     
  24. treekram macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2015
    Location:
    Honolulu HI
    #25
    It could be the battery - but as I said before, it's my best guess but one that I wouldn't bet a lot of money on. However, the battery almost certainly needs replacement anyway.

    I don't think Apple will ship the battery to you.
    https://support.apple.com/kb/index?page=servicefaq&geo=Canada&product=Macnotebooks
    (The search results had Canada selected - just select your country.)

    It's doesn't hurt to do the SMC reset again - I've seen the several times thing but I don't know if that's just OCD or not.

    A different browser can make a difference in this way: different browsers will take differing levels of CPU power to process the same web page. I did a test a month or so ago and found that when viewing a YouTube video on my 2012 Mini, it took quite a bit more CPU to run in Firefox than in Safari. It also will vary depending on the graphics hardware you have. With the Intel HD4000, which is the GPU that I have, there are sometimes problems in viewing some YouTube videos on Firefox, sometimes this can be avoided if I don't use hardware acceleration. But then if I don't use hardware acceleration, it uses even more CPU power. These YouTube videos usually run problem-free in Safari with hardware acceleration. You can try and view the same video in the different browsers while seeing what kind of CPU usage and temperatures you have. If there's a big difference, then maybe it'll help if you use Safari (or whatever browser is more efficient) for those pages. I'm pretty certain Safari will turn out to be more efficient. I don't use Chrome but people say it's a resource hog.

    HTML5 is a specification for the markup language used for web pages. In web video terms for the end-user, browsers such as Safari and Firefox support it when you install it, but for something like Adobe Flash, you have to install the plug-in to view it.

    EDIT: Your latest post came as I was writing this. Hopefully you found the solution to your fan issue. But yes - if you want to continue to use the computer for a few more years, then you should replace the battery.
     

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