MacBook disaster

Discussion in 'MacBook' started by ccrazie, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. ccrazie macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2011
    Ok, so this is probably not your typical MacBook fix request, rather, this is something that will make you scratch your head and call me a bloody fool probably.

    Here's what I have:

    Mac OS X, v. 10.5.8
    2 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
    1 GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM

    Essentially, everything that can go wrong with my laptop is going wrong. I was a PC guy my whole life, and only recently became a Mac user. You see, I actually found this Macbook at my college. Much to the dismay of all my friends, I turned it into the campus police. They took and recorded its serial number and all that and waited for someone to come asking for it or whatever it is they do. After 5 months, and discovering they actually were just going to junk it, I asked if I could have it, and to my joy, they gave it to me. This worked perfectly as my Toshiba laptop had just flamed out, and I'm not the kind of guy that can even afford to get a $400 laptop. And that's how I became a Mac guy. Now, to some people, they'll think I simply stole it and made up this fanciful story. Well, there's no way I can prove it, so why the heck bother. I just felt this was necessary, because I can already see the questions piling up if I just went on to the following problems. Which are:

    Since it was found, all I have is the laptop and the charger.

    From the outset, I discovered the DVD player wasn't working. Nearly half the times I closed my laptop into sleep mode, it would wake up every 10 seconds or so and act like it was spinning a disc and then go off, then repeat until whenever I opened it up. It still does that actually, just not quite as much. Because I'm an idiot I suppose, I thought a CD was stuck in this thing, so I spent a long time trying to get it out manually. Every other trick in the book wasn't working, mostly because I later realized there wasn't a CD in it obviously. But when I stuck knives or paperclips or whatever into it, it honest-to-goodness felt like there was one in there, and with this stupid flap thing on it, I can't actually see into it to see if there was.

    As a result, I'm quite sure I destroyed the DVD player. Oh, and I forgot, I couldn't even put a CD in it anyways, so that made me believe there was one it it.

    The past few months, the battery has been going out I guess. Sometimes my computer will last for 3 hours or more on charge, while other times, it lasts for 20 minutes. It's not too big a deal to me because I usually only have my laptop in one place anyways, so it's always plugged in.

    Time Machine doesn't work, so I can never back up anything. It says that it can't locate the Airport utility or something like that. It needs to be configured. I've researched all of these problems at great length, and surprise, very little solutions out there, or any that work for me.

    The last few months, all of my browsers started working at a snail's pace. Safari, Chrome, Firefox, Camino, Firefox, Chrome. Eventually, each one would freeze every 5 seconds or so for like 10 seconds. Very aggravating, as I clear caches and all that kind of stuff, but to no avail, they would only work again if I reinstalled them. That gets old quick.

    After getting tired of that, I just did massive amounts of cleaning on the laptop. I downloaded MacKeeper and did a ton of cleaning and removing of applications and whatnot. Thought I had the laptop running well, I stopped having the browser problems for the most part it seems.

    And to the grand conclusion, if you're still reading, is the last day, the computer has virtually melted down, figuratively, although maybe literally? Everything is running at a snail's pace practically. For some reason, I can open Chrome and work on the internet decently, although if I have to open a scroll box, it takes about 5 minutes to open it. I downloaded OnyX and tried running some of it, but it tells me that my "Volume needs to be repaired"

    Then it tells me to use the install disc for the Mac, which I'd be OK using, but as before, I don't have that. And even if I did, my DVD player doesn't work.

    I tried opening Skype and it took about 30 minutes to open it, and even then, it would lockup every 2 seconds and sit there forever. Since my browser mostly worked, and things such as iPhoto and Word open up easily, I thought maybe it was just Skype. But after reinstalling it, and witnessing other programs take forever to load, I figured it must be something more.

    Mackeeper's trial run is over, so I can't use it. Am I naive, or can I just redownload that and try it? Some of OnyX's scans took way too long for what it was, so if that's the case, I imagine a Mackeeper scan would take years.

    So what on this green Earth should I do? I've had this thing for about 6 months now, and all I do is store pictures, use the internet, and Skype. That's literally all I do, and that's all I need it to do. I have almost 30GB available, so it's not as though the space is maxed out.

    I'm fair with PCs, and still a complete zero with Macs, so I don't know if I'm missing something obvious to do or what. I'm very hesitant to bring it in to a store, because I'm convinced they'll think it's stolen and take it from me. Call me selfish, but this thing is mine in my head.

    For my Toshiba, I had to eventually put Ubuntu on it from a flashdrive. Can I do the same with the Macbook? I looked it up, but after waiting for my computer having a spit of loading problems, I thought it'd be best to just straight up explain my situation myself. Also, my biggest flashdrive is only 2GB that I can find, and I really, really don't want to get a big one. But if to save this dying laptop, I have to invest a bit in one, I'll begrudgingly do it.

    This is long, probably nearly ranting, and might make you facepalm all night long, and I'm sorry for that, but please, what the heck should I do?
  2. atlanticza macrumors 6502a


    Jul 18, 2008
    Cape Town
    "... what the heck should I do?"

    Er... you need professional help: take it to an Apple store.
  3. tug macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    loughborough. u.k.
    sounds like some rich college kid dumped it rather than lost it.
    although it looks somewhat odd that you would find a mac together with its charger! :rolleyes:

    however why don't you take it in an apple store like atlaticza says, can't do any harm.......... or could it? :eek:
  4. ccrazie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2011
    well it was in a small laptop case.

    like I said, call me selfish, but I just don't want to take it there and they tell me something like, "This isn't your laptop, we're taking it now"

    Also, what kind of handling charge is there, if I take it just to get looked at, do I have to pay any sort of fee just so they can tell me what the problem is without fixing it?
  5. tug macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    loughborough. u.k.
    no they don't charge you for checking for problems, they only charge if they actually do work on it.
    the genius's in my experience are all pretty decent.

    if they notice that the model is registered to some other guy, you have the law to back you up don't you?
  6. ccrazie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2011
    that's what I would think, but I have the suspicion that my school's campus safety simply held onto it waiting for someone to come in, rather than try and search for its owner
  7. tug macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2010
    loughborough. u.k.
    hi again,
    personally i wouldn't think they would go into ownership, I'm guessing the mac is about 5 or 6 years old, unless the previous owner has registered it as stolen, which then again you would have thought he/she would have gone to the campus security before doing anything else.
    if it were me, i would take it in for them to have a look at.
  8. AQUADock macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2011
    If you don't want to take it to an apple store, what you could do is buy a external DVD drive and reinstall OS X.
  9. ccrazie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2011
    Well I figure I will end up doing that then, thanks!

    What about the install disc? I don't have one, so is that something I can simply have ordered for a few bucks?
  10. thekev macrumors 604


    Aug 5, 2010
    No school security is going to go searching for an owner. They keep it in a lost and found or whatever waiting for someone to pick it up or call to inquire.

    You could just order the Lion download for $30. A Snow Leopard disk retailed for that too. I don't know that they're still selling them. Macs do require some basic maintenance. With more information your problems could be diagnosed. I am guessing software, or a clogged up hard drive. Mackeeper is worthless. The Apple geniuses are hit and miss. Some of them are good. Some of them suck. I do most of my own troubleshooting before I ever go in there.
  11. AQUADock macrumors 65816


    Mar 20, 2011
    Yep you can find it here or since you have a C2D processor you can format and upgrade to Lion here via a USB stick without the need for a DVD drive.
  12. ccrazie thread starter macrumors newbie

    Dec 6, 2011
    Well folks, I ended up tinkering around with my Macbook too much, and did some serious code damage to it or something. It got into this perpetual restart thingy, that after looking up online, didn't look too good at all. However, that's when I acknowledged that I'm just not cut out to be a Mac guy fixer like I was with PCs. Sooo, I took it into the local Apple store and the genius there was able to fix it up fantastically! He even upgraded it to Snow Leopard without any charge and told me all the hardware checked out ok (the dvd is still messed up though, as is the battery, but small beans compared to this now).

    So I feel like I have a new computer all over again even though it's from 2006, but I can't complain! There's plenty of people better off than me, but probably a lot more worse, so hey, gotta live with what ya got!

    Thanks so much for the help guys, take care.
  13. myrtlebee macrumors 68020


    Jul 9, 2011
    Baltimore-Washington Metro Area
    ... your username is certainly fitting. Please take some deep breaths and condense your thoughts in the future. You seemed alarmingly frantic in this thread.
  14. marc11 macrumors 68000

    Mar 30, 2011
    NY USA
    Here is a tip. When you suspect there is something of value in a place you cannot reach do not use knives to try and get it. If you do not know how it is okay to ask for help. The right tool for the job you know....
  15. minifridge1138, Dec 9, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011

    minifridge1138 macrumors 6502a

    Jun 26, 2010
    I'm glad you seem to have everything sorted out.

    I've worked on Mac, Windows, and Linux. I think Mac is the easiest by far. It has the tools, security, and structure of Linux AND a simple to use / learn GUI.

    Here is a tip that will help with security (from others and yourself): do not use an account with admin rights. Create a non-admin user for your normal work, and create a separate admin account that you only use when needed.

    It's a basic *nix rule: never run as root.

    This means that malicious code (which there isn't a lot for the Mac to begin with) can't run amok if it is running as you AND it means you'll have a harder time modifying files you shouldn't touch.

    Second tip: when in doubt, ask here. There are lots and lots of users on this forum that will be happy to help you. It's always faster wait for an answer to your small questions than it is to try yourself and end up with big questions. After some time of asking small questions, you'll learn more and have to ask fewer questions; but at this point it sounds like you're still a beginner. No shame in that what-so-ever. Everyone starts at the beginning.

    Good luck and welcome to :apple:

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