Is my disk failing (MBP late 2011)?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by DormantRod, Nov 6, 2012.

  1. DormantRod macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #1
    I have an early 2011 13-inch MacBook Pro (8GB Ram, 500GB SATA HD).

    I have noticed that performance is not as good as I expect (and hasn't been for a while), with frequent pauses and the little circular wheel going round.

    I just tested the HD speed with Blackmagic Disk Speed Test and got what I think are disappointing results:

    48.2 MB/s write
    52.6 MB/s read

    Does this mean my disk has problems? Are there other tests I can do?
     
  2. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #2
    Those speeds are pretty normal for a traditional hard drive.

    You can also run Xbench. To get the most accurate results, close all running apps (for both Xbench and BlackMagic).

    In Xbench if you just want to run a test of the hard drive, only check the disk box and uncheck the rest.

    http://xbench.com/

    After you see the speed of the hard drive, open Disc Utility and click on the hard drive and run both Verify and Verify Permissions. If anything appears wrong, click on Repair and Repair Permissions. To run Repair on a boot drive you have to boot into the recovery console by restarting and holding down Command and R. Then choose Disc Utility and run Repair from there.

    You can also go to the Utilities folder and open Activity Monitor and see how much inactive memory you have. If you have very little free RAM you'll get a slower Mac and beachballs as you are describing. You can click on the CPU tab and see what apps/processes are using the most RAM.

    That Macbook can be upgraded to 16gb of RAM.
     
  3. DormantRod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply. I couldn't tell if these were typical results or not - every search I did returned lots of pages about SSD tests - so you're a real help.

    xbench results are as follows:

    Code:
    Disk Test	37.95	
    	Sequential	86.03	
    		Uncached Write	98.72	60.61 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Write	81.93	46.36 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	69.80	20.43 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	101.69	51.11 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    	Random	24.35	
    		Uncached Write	8.26	0.87 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Write	68.69	21.99 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	54.39	0.39 MB/sec [4K blocks]
    		Uncached Read	97.30	18.05 MB/sec [256K blocks]
    
    Guess I'll have to check elsewhere for my overall performance problems.
     
  4. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #4

    Your read and write speeds in Xbench are 60 MB and 51 MB/sec, in line with your BlackMagic results. That's pretty normal for a traditional hard drive.

    You should still verify your hard drive and permissions in Disk Utility. Even if a Mac is working fine there can be errors that need to be corrected, so that's something that users should run regularly.
     
  5. DormantRod thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2012
    #5
    The Disk Utility reported and repaired some "minor problems due to orphaned blocks". This has not affected the disk read/write performance.

    One of my "indicators" of performance problems was that it always took about 5 seconds for the "System Preferences" window to appear. Now it appears immediately! Maybe the disk repairs did make a difference.

    I will observe performance for a few days.

    Thanks for the advice.
     
  6. cocacolakid macrumors 65816

    cocacolakid

    Joined:
    Dec 18, 2010
    Location:
    Chicago
    #6
    I'm glad to hear it helped. Set yourself a reminder to run the Disk Utility Verify and Verify Permissions about once a month. Sometimes those get out of whack and it will start causing problems. OS X is so much easier to fix problems in though than Windows.
     

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