Macbook CPU causing trouble

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Haarball, Nov 8, 2007.

  1. Haarball macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2006
    A few days ago while browsing in Safari, the dreaded spinning rainbow wheel popped up and it ended with me having to turn off the computer (by holding the power button, I couldn't move the mouse pointer to turn it off normally). After that the CPU has been operating at what seems to be maximum capacity. The fan sounds like it's on max as well (as if I'm running loads of heavy apps when in fact I'm running none).

    When I start it up it usually goes several times between my desktop (without icons) and a blue screen before it turns on "properly", and sometimes it doesn't even do that, it just shows the menu bar, desktop background and spinning pointer wheel and nothing else comes up. When it does work it goes dreadfully slow; videos hang for several seconds, opening folders takes time, etc. etc.

    What the hell has happened? My iStatPro tells me this about the CPU:

    User: 70-80%
    System: 20-30%
    Nice: 0
    Idle 1-2%

    There's plenty of inactive and free memory and I've got more than 7 gigs of free space.

    Is there anything I can do besides letting Apple fix this?
  2. xparaparafreakx macrumors 65816

    Jul 29, 2005
    Do a clean install and see where that takes you. If it still acts up, your only choice is to take it to apple.
  3. Eidorian macrumors Penryn


    Mar 23, 2005
    Did you check to see what processes were running using Activity Monitor?
  4. mischief macrumors 68030


    Aug 1, 2001
    Santa Cruz Ca
    Is that 7GB of free space all in one chunk or is it likely fragmented?

    Is this a first-generation Macbook?

    Has the Macbook been dropped?

    Have you added or re-inserted the RAM?

    Are you running Parallels or any other virtualization software?

    Has your Macbook been running from a clean factory install or did you migrate a lot of pre-existing data?

    If Migrated, how old was the data?

    Have you gone into your Login Items and cleaned it out?
  5. joegomolski macrumors 6502


    Apr 28, 2006
    So CA
    Macbook CPU causing trouble

    The last thing in the world I want to do is an, erase and install. I'll try this and that. Spent lots of time researching solutions. Nohing works.

    Eventually I become willing to do the erase and install.

    Be very careful to have a complete backup before proceeding. And it is advisable to reinstall, all, of your software.

    By the time I become willing to do what I know I should do, I've generally spent several times doing the other things.

    "Bravely go forth".
  6. Haarball thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2006
    The item 'loginwindow' is taking up 99% of the CPU power, Activity Monitor tells me. Quitting it doesn't help much, it just logs me out and I assume the item pops up again. I quit everything else I could and it's running slightly more smoothly, but far from acceptably.

    Not sure. How can I check this?
    It was bought September of last year.

    Yes, but several months ago, and I haven't had any problems with it until now (apart from a defect battery that was easily replaced). Some of my flatmates might have dropped it while I wasn't around, but I doubt it.

    No, I'll try that.


    Clean factory install.

    Yes. Didn't help much.
  7. Haarball thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 27, 2006
    After having taken out and re-inserted the memory sticks, the Macbook now won't start at all. There's a blue screen and strange, low, clicking sounds coming from deep within it. And after a few seconds it sort of gives up and what looks like a folder with a question mark on it appears on the screen. I've tried every combo possible with the mem sticks, using both original and third party sticks, in different positions, etc. but it's the same result each time.

    So I guess letting Apple fix it is my last option.

    Do I have to send it in with my hard drive still in it? If I do, will it almost certainly be formatted?
  8. AlexisV macrumors 68000


    Mar 12, 2007
    Manchester, UK
    Yes, it could well the the hard drive that's the problem.

    They probably will format it. You need a data recovery company to extract your files if you want to save them.

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