Help me Obi Wans. My Macbook pro doesn't like me.

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Medfly70, Jul 24, 2011.

  1. Medfly70 macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    Hey all,

    I figured I'd try in here and see if I could get some help before going to the 'Genius Bar' and being told I should cough up some loot.

    Couple of nights ago my computer got the spinny rainbow wheel when one of my programs froze. I waited about ten minutes to see if it would sort it out itself but it seemed like that wasn't about to happen. I did a manual shut down by holding the power button down. Waited a minute and restarted. It came back up fine but now if I started any application the wheel would come up again and each action would take about 5-10 minutes to complete. Did another manual shut down. Left it along for an hour and came back. This time I started in safe mode. Things were ok for about 15 minutes then the spinny wheel came back again. Shut down, waited an hour and then restarted. Now the grey start up screen comes on. Progress bar appears, goes forward about quarter inch and then gets stuck. This goes on for about 5 minutes and then the machine just shuts itself down. This is freaking the f out of me, and I don't understand what's wrong because I've never had any problems with it. The machine is past the one year warranty, and I don't have apple care (stupid I know).

    I'd try and reinstalling the OS but I just flew east and hadn't brought my disk with me. Any advice would be helpful.


    edit: Just wanted to add that it's a 15 inch macbook pro running snow leopard. Intel chip.
  2. gngan macrumors 68000


    Jan 1, 2009
    Why do you need to manually shut down the computer when there's a beachball? Just force quit it!

    What about go to Activity Monitor and see what's loading.
  3. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    What generation Macbook pro exactly, because saying this is just as vague as saying "I own a car with a gasoline engine in it".

    Please be more precise.

    From the trouble your are describing, I'd bet my money on a failing hard drive, hope you have a backup handy.
  4. Medfly70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    Oh believe me I tried to force quit, it wouldn't let me. It was just stuck on this one stupid program and I couldn't do anything else.

    How can I see what programs are loading when I can't even get to the desktop?
  5. Medfly70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    I wish I could give you more. I don't know exactly. I bought it new in oct 2009 and it came with Snow Leopard on it. Obviously I'm a noob at this. I fear the same exact thing about the hard drive. How much do you think that will run me to fix?
  6. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    Depends on how comfortable you are with your handy skills.

    If your hard drive is indeed failing, and you have a backup of your stuff somewhere, and your OS disks, the only cost to you would be the one of a new hard drive, which can be had anywhere from 40 to 120 dollars, depending on the speed and capacity you choose.

    If you do not have a backup and will need data recovery(meaning if you have important files you cannot afford to lose), you'll need to buy software to be able to do it or have some specialists do it for you, and that is the expensive part.

    Changing a hard drive in a MBP takes mere minutes and is extremely easy to do. If you know which way a screw unscrews, you're good to go, it really is that simple.
  7. Medfly70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    Thanks Snaky. This program to help you recover stuff. What is it called and would I have to connect my lap top to another computer and extract from there?
  8. blueroom macrumors 603


    Feb 15, 2009
    Toronto, Canada
    If you have two Macs with Firewire ports you can put your Mac in target mode (T when booting) and the other Mac will see it as an external HDD. You need a Firewire cable.
  9. ABadSanta macrumors regular

    Jul 3, 2011
    I wouldn't be surprised if there's a problem with your hard drive. The genius bar might suggest that, and you can certainly save money by replacing it yourself, if you're handy when it comes to things like this (or if not, there are tutorials).
  10. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Mar 14, 2008
    I've heard good reviews about DiskWarrior, but I have no personal experience with it, perhaps someone else can chime in on that one.

    What I'd try, if the computer doesn't boot and a friend of yours has a Mac, is to stick your hard drive in an external enclosure and see if you can recover the data that way, if it's not too "dead", you ought to be able to do this without much of a problem. I would copy over the files manually to the other computer for the time being(Keep only what you cannot reinstall, like music, movies, documents, etc)

    From there, you have a choice of either taking a risk and trying to reinstall OS X on the possibly failing hard drive, or buying a new one and installing it on that. The choice is yours.

    Hopefully for you, that is the easiest and most inexpensive way to get your data back without having to buy anything else than a new hard drive.

    Hope this helped.
  11. Medfly70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    It has helped Snaky and it's made me feel not so helpless. Thanks to all of you. I'll be in the east coast for a few weeks so I guess I'll just go and buy a new copy of Snow Leopard and the enclosure and go from there. I'll try out disk warrior and extract the stuff. I'll install the new OS and go from there. If it acts up I'll get a new HD. Thanks again so much guys (and maybe gals?)
  12. Medfly70 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 24, 2011
    One last question. Can anyone point me to a good Enclosure for the HD? At Bestbuy it seems they want $60-70 for a 2.5 SATA enclosure and on Newegg they average around $20.
  13. Obi Wan Kenobi macrumors 6502

    Obi Wan Kenobi

    Mar 9, 2011
    London, UK
    My advice is to go to the Genius Bar before you start spending money on more software or hardware. The Genius Bar is free, friendly, and they provide very good customer care. They recently replaced my 2010 iMac with a 2011 iMac because of an intermittent fault, and they did it free of charge.

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