Late 2008 MBP going completely haywire

Whackintosh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2009
434
14
Montreal, Quebec
I have no idea what's going on but I'm hoping someone could give me some advice here before I give up and take my machine in for repairs.

About two weeks ago,I started getting beach balls all the time, as in once every few minutes whenever I was doing anything. Even sending an email often froze my machine with a spinning beach ball for a minute or so at a time. This is without having tons of windows open and applications running. My machine has 4gigs of ram and all of a sudden it seemed like I had nearly no memory at all. Opening Activity Monitor, I saw that the CPU jumped ceiling-high during these freezes.

Shortly after, the white light on the front-right of the machine that pulses to indicate when sleep mode is active simply stopped working and has not lit up since.

I tried doing a time machine backup the other day but within a few minutes, I got an indication that the backup failed (my external drive is in perfect condition, and I used it to backup my iMac later that same day).

On top of it all, my trackpad stopped registering hard clicks nine times out of ten. I've got my machine set for click-to-tap so this is mostly only a problem when I'm starting up and need to select my profile. I actually posted about the trackpad issue the other day.This also makes it impossible to highlight text for copy & paste. If I click the pad repeatedly, within ten seconds or so, it will register the click, so I would normally think this indicated a hardware issue, but seeing this happen alongside all this other bizarre behaviour makes me think it's possibly software.

Has anyone got any ideas as to what this all could be? I'm on Lion and the OS is up to date. Seriously hoping it's not a hardware problem as I've only been using the machine lightly as my portable rig, with my iMac being the machine that sees most of the work here.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
Performance Tips For Mac OS X

Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Also, click on the System Memory tab at the bottom. Then take a screen shot, scroll down to see the rest of the list, take another screen shot and post them.
 

Whackintosh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2009
434
14
Montreal, Quebec
@Macman: I'm a bit hesitant to try repairing permissions, unless there's an automation option. Very worried about making the problem worse or even bricking the machine outright if I do something wrong.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
K, here are the screenshots. Does anything seem glaringly unusual I wish I were more literate with this stuff. :(
First, I recommend you uninstall Virus Barrier. You don't need it.

The most effective method for complete app removal is manual deletion:

You don't need any 3rd party antivirus app to keep your Mac malware-free. Macs are not immune to malware, but no true viruses exist in the wild that can run on Mac OS X, and there never have been any since it was released over 10 years ago. You cannot infect your Mac simply by visiting a website, unzipping a file, opening an email attachment or joining a network. The only malware in the wild that can affect Mac OS X is a handful of trojans, which cannot infect your Mac unless you actively install them, and they can be easily avoided with some basic education, common sense and care in what software you install. Also, Mac OS X Snow Leopard and Lion have anti-malware protection built in, further reducing the need for 3rd party antivirus apps.

For Flash-related issues:
Your RAM appears to be sufficient, as you have no page outs.

I don't see anything else that stands out as impacting performance. Be sure to check out the performance tips I posted earlier.
 

Macman45

macrumors G5
Jul 29, 2011
13,196
133
Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
Can you boot into safe mode at all? You can check your permissions without actually repairing them...Best option I think, short of a non-destructive re-install of Lion...which won't of course correct hardware problems anyway.,
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
@Macman: I'm a bit hesitant to try repairing permissions, unless there's an automation option. Very worried about making the problem worse or even bricking the machine outright if I do something wrong.
Repairing permissions won't make anything worse, but it may or may not help. Some people repair, or recommend repairing permissions for situations where it isn't appropriate. Repairing permissions only addresses very specific issues. It is not a "cure all" or a general performance enhancer, and doesn't need to be done on a regular basis. It also doesn't address permissions problems with your files or 3rd party apps.

Five Mac maintenance myths
Disk Utility repairs the permissions for files installed by the Mac OS X Installer, Software Update, or an Apple software installer. It doesn’t repair permissions for your documents, your home folder, and third-party applications.

You can verify or repair permissions only on a disk with Mac OS X installed.
Does Disk Utility check permissions on all files?

Files that aren't installed as part of an Apple-originated installer package are not listed in a receipt and therefore are not checked. For example, if you install an application using a non-Apple installer application, or by copying it from a disk image, network volume, or other disk instead of installing it via Installer, a receipt file isn't created. This is expected. Some applications are designed to be installed in one of those ways.

Also, certain files whose permissions can be changed during normal usage without affecting their function are intentionally not checked.
There are times when repairing permissions is appropriate. To do so, here are the instructions:
If repairing permissions results in error messages, some of these messages can be ignored and should be no cause for concern.
 

Whackintosh

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Mar 8, 2009
434
14
Montreal, Quebec
Thanks, guys. So, I ran disk utility and found what appeared to be a billion permission errors (things that should have been set to 0 were set to 80 etc). I ran the repair option and it repaired them all. I even did a second scan for permission errors and it confirmed that everything was fine.

Restarted the machine and the trackpad is still not registering clicks. :(

Not sure about the other problems, but I presume this means it's officially a hardware problem. :(

It had better not be the logic board...