Got cornered with MBP 13'', early 2011.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by maxmaut, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. maxmaut macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #1
    Ok, so in 2012 I bought MBP for my wife. It's a early 2011 13-inch model, with 2.7 dual-core i7, 8GB RAM and 500GB HDD.

    First the computer felt super-fast. If functioned perfectly in Photoshop and data processing tasks (my wife's work), and was working great with external 23'' Dell monitor too. So my wife was able to do design work in photoshop, with Illustrator opened at the same time, switching to Chrome for image references (usually 5+ tabs) and watching streaming HD movie in Safari on external monitor.

    And then something went wrong. We went on a trip and took the laptop with us, and installed Mavericks 2 days before that. When we came back and started using the laptop in normal mode we've noticed that it became significantly slower. First the videos played on external monitor became laggy, and then impossible to watch during working in Photoshop. Then they became impossible to watch with NO programs running in the background.

    So I thought it was a software thing. Reinstalled Mavericks with data restore. Didn't help. Installed mavericks on "clean" formatted machine and didn't restore. Didn't help. Then I decided to downgrade back to ML, did a clean install, didn't help.

    I understood that the problem is probably hardware. I thought that maybe the HDD was damaged during the trip (like shock damage from bus vibrations or something). I did all the possible Disk Utility verifications and repairs, it also didn't help. Then I downloaded Apple Service Diagnostics files and ran them. Computer passed all of them except the last one – verifying SMART status – it was failed. So I thought it's something with the hard drive. Downloaded a SMART utility and it gave a following results (see screenshots). Not sure what to do with that info now.

    We really don't want to sell this laptop to someone as it is obviously faulty now, but we don't know how to fix it.

    Another thing is that with a clean install of ML when I open a activity monitor I see that 4.5 gigs of ram out of 8 are used all the time. Not sure with what too.

    We live in Ukraine, there are no Apple service stores here. There's also no apple care applies to this machine, so this forums are my last hope to figure out what the thing is.

    Thanks,
    Max.
     

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  2. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2003
    #2
    Just replace the hard drive. Yours shows every sign of failing.
     
  3. maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 13, 2011
    #3
    Thank you for the reply.

    I've seen some threads here on Macrumors stating that SMART status failure can be displayed for brand-new HDD's.

    What makes you so sure that HDD is the issue?
     
  4. dmccloud macrumors 6502a

    dmccloud

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    Sep 7, 2009
    Location:
    Anchorage, AK
    #4
    The errors you're getting Even though SMART says the disk is in good health, those errors are an indicator it's failing. One thing about SMART is that those types of errors have to cross a certain threshold before being flagged as a problem. If you only had 1 or 2 of those errors, it wouldn't be a big concern, but you're seeing a sizable number above that.

    As far as the RAM is concerned, unless the Memory pressure graph in Activity Monitor is showing amber or red, there's no reason to be concerned. Even if it was showing 7.5GB of 8GB in use, if that graph's green, you don't have any issues with RAM.
     
  5. maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 13, 2011
    #5
    But could a HDD issue cause THAT drastic drop in performance?
     
  6. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    #6
    Yes.
     
  7. maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 13, 2011
    #7
    Thanks guys. Will look for an SSD probably, and see how that changes the performance.

    Would also appreciate second opinion about this issue.
     
  8. cypriot macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2011
    #8
    I had a similar issue and found that an hp printer app were stuck somewhere i could not see. I opened activity monitor, services, made a see all option and saw that little applet eating all the resources. I dont know if this is similar to your issue but who knows? Just check it to be sure.
     
  9. maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 13, 2011
    #9
    I'm afraid it's not, as I did a clean install and it's still slow.
     
  10. mac82 macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 17, 2011
    #10
    Reset SMC

    You should try resetting the SMC. I've had similar problems with a couple of older Macs after installing Mavericks and an SMC reset fixed them.

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964

    Scroll down to the heading 'Resetting the SMC on portables with a battery you should not remove on your own' and follow the instructions.

    Important note: Use the machine on battery for a bit before doing this. When you attach the power cable before resetting the SMC, the light will be orange. When you hold down the keys and hit the power button to reset the SMC, the light will temporarily change to green, and then back to orange. This is the only way of confirming that you actually have reset the SMC.
     
  11. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #11
    It'll absolutely fly with an SSD.

    http://1drv.ms/1mgZece

    The videos in this link are of my 2011 MBP after installing an SSD. It practically flies.
     
  12. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Auckland
    #12
    All sounds like HDD failure, cheapest fix is to replace the HDD with another HDD.
     
  13. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    AZ/10.0.1.1
    #13
    Replace, reinstall and restore. Chances are the HDD was damaged during the trip. Also be careful around the SATA cable in those machines. If bent the wrong way it could break something in the cable requiring a cable replacement. I've done that once.
     
  14. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
    Location:
    Elkton, Maryland
    #14
    Absolutely! A bad hard drive can do a number of things ranging from slow performance and beach balls to kernal panics, data loss, and overall corruption of data. I have a Samsung 840 EVO SSD and it flies in my Mid-2012 cMBP. Stay away from Verbatim SSDs. Samsung, Kingston, Intel, and SanDisk all make pretty good drives.
     
  15. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #15
    Same. I've had good luck with SanDisk, Samsung and Intel. Can't speak for Kingston, but I have heard good things. Crucial is also good, but usually has low R/W speeds.

    I'd recommend an 840 Series SSD from Samsung (reg, Pro, or EVO). Amazing speed and price (especially on the EVO).
     
  16. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #16
    Cannot say enough good things about the Evo in my MBP. I first bought a Verbatim SATA III 120 GB in February of 2013 and what a slow piece of junk. I bought it as a friend had good luck with Verbatim, and it was the biggest drive I could afford. I should of saved the money for the Samsung 830 Pro which was $20.00 more and dealt with the hard drive a little longer.

    Less than a year later, DriveDX reports an 84% health rating, and the speeds were downhill towards hard drive territory (~75 MB/S). I said enough is enough and ordered a 840 Evo on sale from Amazon and loaded it in. Money well spent on the quality.

    Don't cheap out on SSDs. It will bite you later and you will be spending double what it would of cost to get a good one to begin with.
     
  17. iamMacPerson macrumors 68030

    iamMacPerson

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    #17
    I'm thinking of getting an EVO for my Mac Pro! Probably a 256 or 512 as the 128GB regular 840 is too small.
     
  18. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #18
    Between my 120 GB SSD (840 EVO), 500 GB USB hard drive attached to my AirPort Extreme, and my 320 GB portable coupled with Dropbox I am good.

    Essentially my SSD is only used for my apps and files I am working on along with my basic music library in iTunes. All schoolwork gets to go on Dropbox, and video work gets archived and moved off my disk. Most of the time I have at least 80 GB free, but everyone's needs are different.
     
  19. maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #19
    Suddenly this thread turned into a SSD discussion, and I appreciate all the thoughts!

    So I have updates on the machine's performance. After the problems started it took 2 minutes even for machine to turn on. I followed an advice to reset SMC, and it worked! It turned on in 35 sec. I thought the problem was solved, but the lags didn't disappear. The machine still is slow, video playback laggy and it's impossible to have 10+ opened tabs in browser.

    Yesterday I went through local SSD propositions, and kinda got settled with 250 gb Crucial.

    But before i spend 200 bucks for it I wanna ask - are we 100% sure it's the HDD causing troubles?
     
  20. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    #20
    Try holding D at start up. You may need to connect to a network, but you can run the extended testing on the parts.
     
  21. maxmaut, Apr 8, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 8, 2014

    maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2011
    #21
    Ok, so I've bought an SSD. Went with Samsung 840 Pro, 256 GB one.

    And the machine is still slow as hell! I can't watch the video from the internet. This is ridiculous. Absolutely clean install.

    This is Geekbench Score if that is maybe helpful http://browser.primatelabs.com/geekbench3/514870

    Take a look at activity monitor screenshots. With video from internet playing, and with video off. I guess the CPU is the reason, or maybe not, I'm totally lost with this and my wallet got significantly lighter.

    Suggestions?
     

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  22. Naimfan macrumors 68040

    Naimfan

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    Jan 15, 2003
    #22
    Do you have the latest version of Flash?

    I'd try turning off Flash based on the CPU usage.
     
  23. maxmaut thread starter macrumors regular

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    Nov 13, 2011
    #23
    Yes, the latest version of flash. I cannot turn it off as I am testing with simply playing a video in browser.
     
  24. Altemose macrumors G3

    Altemose

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    Mar 26, 2013
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    #24
    Try playing in the latest version of Google Chrome.
     
  25. simonsi macrumors 601

    simonsi

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    Jan 3, 2014
    Location:
    Auckland
    #25
    Does it play video that is already downloaded OK? If so the issue is likely with your internet or WiFi connection rather than the machine, ideally that should have been isolated before swapping the HDD...
     

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