MBP experiencing system lockups... any ideas?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by VFXToby, Jan 10, 2011.

  1. VFXToby macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2008
    Hi, Im a bit desperate. Im on a photography commission in Bulgaria and a long way from an apple store + I need the laptop daily for the job, if I cant fix it here and now ill lose the client and an expensive wasted trip!!

    Masses of thanks to any lifesavers with good ideas!


    Mac starts up fine, get to login screen within 50-seconds, and for the first minute of so, it operates as expected. After a minute or so, the system locks up, spinning beach-ball, no response to clicking, force quit shortcut, all i can do is shutdown by holding the on/off button.
    Lockups' seem to last about 5min, with 10-20 seconds of perfectly normal operation between them.
    Lockups occur on login screen, if i don't login immediately.
    Lockups timed to start at 2min (+/-10sec) from first pressing on/off switch.
    When initiating file transfers (eg backing up docs to USB stick), transfers progress normally during the intervals when lockups occur, progress bar does not move during lockups.
    Lockups sometimes stop clock and battery status from changing (eg top menu frozen)
    During lockups there is minimal disk activity, just a short pulse of clicks every 40sec or so.
    CPU fan is (quiet) off, or running slowly during lockups.
    Checking process in Activity Monitor: free ram = 3.2gb, processor running at 5%, virtual memory usage is 140gb not sure if this is normal? the only high resource process running is kernel_task (PiD 0, root, 1.7%, 63tds, 180/123mb), 60gb free disk space (trash empty).

    My Mac:
    Mac Book Pro 15" - 2.8ghz 4gbRAM - the first 'unibody' version running Snow Leopard - Downloaded and installed all recommended software updates in mid November.

    How it happened:
    Computer was put to sleep by closing the lid, with a movie (.AVI) still playing, in QuicktimeX, upon wake the next day, I closed QT and shortly afterwards started experiencing the 'lock-ups' . The laptop has not suffered any nocks or bumps in the last week, nor have I downloaded anything or used any risky websites.

    So far i have tried:
    Starting, loading movie and quitting QT
    Checking hardware in system profiler, all reads normal / ok etc including RAM.
    Checking disks in disk utility.
    Swapping between high and low power GPU's
    Reset PR RAM
    Remove replace battery & power
    Start in safe mode - does not work (progress bar not move for 10 min)
  2. Auzburner macrumors 65816


    Apr 11, 2008
    Syracuse, NY - USA
    Sounds like either you RAM ship is fried, even though it's okay in profiler, you may have that issue... Other than that, your drive may be plain old screwed up. Possibly fragmented... Not really sure. This is puzzling.

    You could try Onxy

    But Onyx has a tiny risk of causing more problems.

    This is puzzling...

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