Help debug a total meltdown...

Discussion in 'macOS' started by petestein1, Jan 29, 2010.

  1. petestein1 macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2008
    Hoping someone here has some insight.

    Macbook Air, Rev A.

    Worked like a charm for 1.5 years.

    Upgraded to a Rev c SSD and gave the Rev A to the wife.

    She installed NOTHING.

    Within a few weeks it started running VERY slow. I'm talking 2 minutes of beach ball per click.

    I use Disk Utility to check the drive. No problems of any kind.

    Rebooting would take -- and I'm not exaggerating -- over an hour. First it would sit with a grey screen for 5 minutes. Then with an apple logo for 10 more. Then with the little spinning circle for 30. Then the desktop background would show up and sit for 20 minutes, etc.

    Was gonna upgrade to Snow Leopard so what the heck, backed it all up and installed Snow Leopard. To my surprise, it instaled Snow Leopard on top of the old OS -- it kept all the files around so no need to restore from backup.

    Speed problem SOLVED!

    Then a few weeks later the same problems.

    This time I check the drive AND run the hardware test. No problems.

    I ERASED the entire drive.

    I installed Snow Leopard.

    All is good for a few weeks.

    Then the problem came back a 3rd time.

    I go to reinstall a 3rd time and Snow Leopard doesn't even acknowledge that there's a hard drive in the machine! And when I look in system profiler it says there's no drive of any sort. Yet it will reboot and run... just VERRRRRYYYY slowly.

    I'm ready to replace the drive with a Runcore SSD or some such other device but I want to be sure the problem is the drive and not some other aspect of the hardware (motherboard, RAM, etc.)

    Anyone ever seen this? Anyone have any ideas as to how to investigate, solve, conquer, save myself from madness??

    Thanks in advance and have a great weekend.

  2. zrbecker macrumors member

    Jun 28, 2009
    RAM seems like a reasonable culprit because of the fact that it seems to fix itself (RAM getting wiped maybe) then over time getting slow again. The Hard drive may also be the problem. Do you not have apple care for it? You should be able to bring it in and say "fix this."
  3. petestein1 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2008
    No Applecare. Never having had a sick computer in 15+ years it didn't seem worth it. Besides, I could replace the drive for less than the cost of Applecare.

    If it WERE the RAM how could I test it? Would the hardware test show something?
  4. petestein1 thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 8, 2008
    A quick update... on a whim I booted off CD again and this time it recognized the hard drive.

    Currently in the process of:

    -- erasing
    -- installing Leopard (so I get iPhoto)
    -- Installing Snow Leopard
    -- Restoring files from backup
    -- Adding Firefox

    Who knows how long it will last before happening again.

    I'm still baffled by this problem. Any ideas anyone? What makes a Mac go from fine to so slow it takes an hour to boot? And then is fine again after you reformat the drive?

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