Mid-2009 MacBook Bogging Down... help!

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by ttchick, Jan 8, 2015.

  1. ttchick macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    #1
    Hello,

    (FYI- I know very little about computers. Some pieces of information people assume are well-known facts may go over my head... )

    I have a mid-2009 MacBook Pro laptop. It is really bogging down (spinning wheel) to the point of being unusable... and I can't afford to buy a new computer. (Besides- I treasure my dvd/cd player which the new ones don't have.)

    I have 2 questions:
    1) How can I get my computer to respond better and stop spinning its wheel as often?
    2) Am I able to upgrade any components to increase the machine's capabilities to closer match contemporary specifications?

    Yes, it has been wiped/reformatted at a place in Cagayen de Oro, Mindanao, Philippines which helped some but not entirely. I work in many countries lacking good electricity, therefore the machine has turned off due to battery drain countless times. Can components get old and overused- slowdown but not die?

    Processor: 2.26 GHz Intyel Core 2
    Memory: 4 GB 1067 MHz DDR3
    OS: 10.8 (I tried Mavericks but it bogged down the system too much)
    Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce 9400M 256 MB
    Serial #: WQ923ULY66D

    Any help is much appreciated. Thank you!
     
  2. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #2
    It's more like your hard drive is dying.

    Buy an SSD and all your problems will disappear.
     
  3. ttchick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    #3
    Should I buy exactly the same 500gb or should I upgrade to 750 or 1 tb? Would that help the machine go faster with big programs?

    Can I also upgrade the processor or RAM?

    Would these upgrades help? How?

    Thanks.
     
  4. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #4
    CPU is soldered and not upgradeable.

    You can upgrade to 8GB of RAM, but I doubt it'll help much.

    The slowest thing in the computer is the hard drive.

    Keep in mind that 750GB SSDs are very expensive. A 1TB SSD is almost the price of a new MacBook.

    Get a small SSD if your budget can't fit, and a 512GB if you can afford it. Since it's an older MacBook, you don't need the fastest SSDs. I recommend a Samsung 840 Evo for your case.
     
  5. ttchick thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    #5
    Thank you very much! With a bit of looking I foundation Seagate 500gb. Fingers crossed! Cheers.
     
  6. yjchua95 macrumors 604

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    Location:
    GVA, KUL, MEL (current), ZQN
    #6
    That's not an SSD. Your problems will still be there (i.e. Lag).

    An SSD boots up in just 11 seconds, and apps open instantly. Regular hard drives don't.
     
  7. Bending Pixels macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2010
    #7
    You can upgrade your RAM to a max 8GB. That will help a bit. Other World Computing is one place that provides compatible RAM.

    As others noted, your HD may be dying, so replacing it would be the first priority. A 7200rpm drive would be a bit cheaper than a SSD, but a SSD will definitely help speed things up. OWC also has both standard replacement hard drives and SSD's.
     
  8. BoneDaddy Suspended

    BoneDaddy

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2015
    Location:
    Texas
    #8
    Don't mean to be a jerk, but this was funny post for the day.

    Without having to disclose a lot of personal information, it'd help to know what you are doing on your computer. We don't exactly NEED to know, but if you can't figure out what's best for you, we are left to help you decide.

    Assuming you use it as an average user, 4gb of RAM will do and 256 GB SDD would be fine. Now you have to factor in if you use portable hard drives. If not, you should get at least the same size drive you are replacing (512). If you do, even 128GB SSD would be ok. If you're rich, go for the TB.

    Your Mac is limited at SATA II, so you don't need a SATA III unless you plan on moving that SSD to the next upgrade. That's for you to decide.

    If you don't use your disc drive as often, you can put two drives in. One in the main bay, and a backup in the optical drive bay. That way you don't need to carry around a backup drive. BUT if you use your disc drive enough to warrant carrying a portable optical drive around, you may as well just carry an external drive.

    Whatever you decide, make sure to have redundancy. If you lose the Mac or get it stolen, you want to have a copy somewhere safe. Another cool thing about having a backup drive on board, is you can dismount it when you don't need it, and use disk utility to mount it. So mechanical parts get eliminated and you can use your Mac while bungee jumping.
     
  9. Fishrrman macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    #9
    ttchick wrote above:
    [[ I have a mid-2009 MacBook Pro laptop. It is really bogging down (spinning wheel) to the point of being unusable... and I can't afford to buy a new computer. ]]

    Quick, easy, simple answer:
    Put an SSD into it.
    It will be like using an entirely new machine.

    Drive replacement in a MacBook Pro is "screwdriver easy", so long as you have THE RIGHT TOOLS (shouting intentional). A 15-minute job, the hardest part is unscrewing the screws that hold the back on, and then replacing them.

    240-256gb SSD's are at a good price point right now -- you should be able to find them at $100 or less if you shop carefully.
    I would recommend a Crucial SSD -- good price, excellent performance.

    I believe you'll also need a Phillips #00 screwdriver and a TORX T-6 driver.
    You can find these at hardware stores, Lowe's, Home Depot, Sears, etc.

    A set of easy-to-follow instructions is at ifixit.com.

    I would also STRONGLY SUGGEST that you "prep and test" the drive BEFORE you do the drive swap.
    To do this, you'll need one of these:
    - external USB3 2.5" drive enclosure
    - USB3/SATA docking station
    - USB3/SATA dongle.
    Any of the above will run $25 or less.
     

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