MacBook Pro 2012 low idle percent and super slow- bad hard drive cable?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by rebeccaa, May 3, 2018.

  1. rebeccaa macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    #1
    I have a mid 2012 MacBook Pro 13" non retina that remains on El Capitan. Two years to a year and a half ago, I installed a new battery, 16GB ram, and a 480GB SSD all from OWC. Since about March it has given me various issues. First the fans would run constantly and the idle % in Activity Monitor would go down to less than 1% when trying to Skype and Google or Photoshop and Google. Sometimes it would even go down to 0% idle and then freeze and restart. The whole computer would move very slowly before the freeze. I wouldn't get any messages when it restarted.

    This had lessened up a bit but then the additional issue came up that the idle percent would be just where it should be but everything would move extremely slowly. As in waiting minutes to even open Finder. This affected both going online and things like moving documents or selecting okay in a menu. I did a hardware test and it only gave me back a code related to the battery. I replaced the battery about a year and a half before any of this started.

    I put back in the original battery and did nothing else. The performance was the same. I did some research and I think (I may be wrong) that it is possibly the hard drive cable. I heard that was common on this model. I made an Apple appointment for this afternoon and to prepare I put back in the original 4GB ram and the original HDD (that is also set up with El Capitan). Now it works the same as it did way back before I replaced anything. It beachballs a little when doing some things but it is just how I remembered it performing with the HDD. The incredibly slow speeds are gone.

    I don't know if this supports or discredits the idea that it is the hard drive cable. I'm wondering if by putting back in the HDD I might have touched the cable just right so that it is now working?

    Any ideas about the cause of this and the possible cost to fix at Apple (or if I should do it myself)?
     
  2. Fishrrman macrumors P6

    Fishrrman

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #2
    This could be a problem with the internal SATA ribbon drive cable -- it has been a troublesome component in the 2012 non-retina MBPros.

    When the cable gets faulty, it can lead you to believe that all sorts of other things are wrong -- software, the drive -- but... it's "just the cable".

    Do you have a brick-n-mortar Apple Store anywhere nearby?
    If so, I suggest you take it to them FIRST.

    Apple used to have a FREE replacement program for these cables.
    I don't know if it's still in effect, but it wouldn't hurt to ask, and they should check out everything else on it, anyway.

    Even if you have to PAY to have a replacement cable installed, you'll get an Apple part (there have been reports of faulty 3rd-party replacements, as well).

    If you want to try the replacement yourself, you can get the part number from ifixit.com. Then either order it from them, or elsewhere online.
     
  3. rebeccaa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    #3
    Yes I have an appointment this afternoon at a store near me. Is having Apple replace it (if I do have to pay) super expensive?
     
  4. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #4
    I have successfully used third party cables from Amazon for 13" and 15" MBPs. Not sure how much apple charges but you can bet it won't be cheap and they may have to keep it for a couple of days.
     
  5. rebeccaa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    #5
    It doesn't matter how long they have it, I'm using my 2017 MacBook Pro from work in the meantime. I guess I'll see what they say and if it is reasonable I'll have them do it. I'm just glad that at least there is hope that it can be resolved.
     
  6. Audit13 macrumors 68040

    Audit13

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2017
    Location:
    Toronto, Ontario, Canada
    #6
    Please report back on Apple's findings. I'm curious as to what they say and the price they quote.

    Thanks.
     
  7. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #7
    FWIW, you can buy the cable for less than $20 and replace in a few minutes.
     
  8. rebeccaa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    #8
    Upon further consideration I think I'm going to cancel and do it myself as suggested. If I can swap out all the parts I have so far then I should be able to handle this.
     
  9. jerryk macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2011
    Location:
    SF Bay Area
    #9
    That would be my choice. I believe iFixit has the instructions.
     
  10. rebeccaa thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2014
    #10
    I replaced the cable myself and it runs again at a normal speed. Still gets choppy and slow when Skyping with multiple Safari tabs but the constant extreme slowness I was experiencing in every single task is resolved. I may do a fresh install of Sierra but it is back to how it was.
     

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