Reinstalling Snow Leopard

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by steiney, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. steiney macrumors 6502

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #1
    Hello all,

    I have a 2006 Macbook Pro running Snow Leopard. I have ordered the brand new Macbook Pro (top of the line) that was just released on Tuesday because my current one has gotten to the point where it is freezing up all the time and it is miserable.

    Yesterday I was reading about folks that have done several OS upgrades over a long period of time re-installing their current OS and that is significantly increased the smoothness and speed of their OS.

    My question is: if I go through the hassle of re-installing Snow Leopard on the 2006 Macbook Pro, will it really remedy the problem of the computer repeatedly freezing up or is it really just a product of the fact that I'm running a bunch of resource intensive 2013 apps on a 2006 computer? I would hate to buy a new Macbook Pro sooner than I absolutely need to, but I also don't want to go through the hassle of re-installing Snow Leopard, restoring from Time Machine and the reinstalling a bunch of apps only to find out that it really didn't make much of a difference.

    Well, any help, insights or advice are greatly appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,

    steiney
     
  2. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2009
    #2
    What 2013 resource intensive apps are you using?
    The machine could be freezing due to a variety of hardware issues, or due to corruption of important files used by the OS. There is no way to tell with the information you've given. It is possible that it's the OS's fault of course.

    Run a hardware diagnostic first.

    Also, have you upgraded the RAM? Have you replaced the HDD?

    Reporting the content of system.log from the Console (look in Utility Applications) that is generated when the computer crashes would also help, along with any information related to eventual kernel panics.
     
  3. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 6, 2009
    #3
    Thanks for the help! I have maxed out the RAM at 4GB (only 3GB able to be allocated) and swapped out the HDD for an SSD that can run a max of 3Gbit/s.

    The apps I'm talking about are VMWare Fusion, Firefox (hogs at least 400MB RAM), Thunderbird, and then several other less intensive apps I use and keep open daily for business purposes, plus lots of background services, etc.

    I will do the hardware diagnostic. Is that located on the Snow Leopard install/upgrade DVD?

    I'm happy to post up the system.log file, however is that safe? I just don't want to expose any info to the public that wouldn't be in my best interest.

    How do I post info about kernel panics? Is that info included in the system.log file?

    Thanks again for your help and input!

    EDIT: Just a little extra tidbit of info - the system can hang/freeze also when not that much is running, so I'm really thinking it's an OS problem, but it sounds like you know a good bit more than me about the whole thing.
     
  4. LostSoul80 macrumors 68020

    LostSoul80

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    #4
    Yes, you'll find the Hardware Test in the Snow Leopard DVD. You'll have to boot from the DVD itself in order to run the test.
    Have you checked that both the RAM modules work correctly? That is, does System Profiler recognizes the 3 GB total?

    system.log contains some events that get logged, no personal information is contained there. It's just a text file, too.
    I'd suggest to report only the relevant bits, that is to say, what got logged at around the time the OS crashed. This may or may not lead to identify a software problem, if there are any.

    No, kernel panic logs are stored in /Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports. This will only be useful if you have experienced kernel panics (http://support.apple.com/kb/TS3742).

    If the hardware is ok, then it would totally make sense to reinstall SL itself.
     
  5. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #5
    Well, for the life of me, I can not find the Apple Hardware Test. I tried putting the Snow Leopard disk in and restarting with "C", "D", changing the start up disk to the install disk. That just gave me some utilities options. I use the disk utility on the install disk to repair permissions and repair the disk, neither of which helped. And Apple has instructions for using the AHT with every version of their OS except mine (10.6.8).

    I checked out the RAM via the System Profiler and it says both modules are fine. It recognizes the full 4GB but my understanding is that only 3GB of that can be addresses by the system, and I have verified that only 3GB is seen in the Activity Monitor.

    I've uploaded the system.log file. I had to upload it as a pdf (still searchable text, though) because the forum wouldn't let me upload a .log file and as a .txt file it was over the size limit. So, .pdf was the only option. It's super long, and it's not that the system ever crashes, it just hangs up all the time and takes about 20-40 seconds to un-hang, which is maddening when you're in a good work flow or you're on the phone with someone and trying to pull up various info and the system hangs and you have to say "Oh, hold on. My computer just froze up." and sit there for 40 seconds waiting.

    I read a bit about kernel panics and I don't think it's that. The computer doesn't shut itself down or restart itself. It just hangs and I get the beach ball and the whole system is unresponsive until it recovers.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    Jan 25, 2009
    #6
    According to this Apple Doc Using Apple Hardware Test:

    Using Apple Hardware Test on computers with OS X 10.5.5 to 10.6.7

    AHT is located on the Applications Install Disc 2 and should be included with your computer or the MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive on a MacBook Air (Late 2010). To start AHT on these computers make sure the Applications Install Disc 2 is inserted into the built-in optical drive, external Apple Superdrive, or for the MacBook Air (Late 2010) be sure the MacBook Air Software Reinstall Drive is inserted into a USB port. Please then follow steps 1-6 outlined in the "Using Apple Hardware Test on computers with OS X 10.7 or later" section of this article.​
     
  7. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #7
    Thanks Dewguy but I'm on 10.6.8 so I don't believe that applies to me. And the computer came with some version of 10.4 so I don't believe what you pasted applies to that version either. But thanks for the help.
     
  8. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    Jan 25, 2009
    #8
    I misunderstood which version of OS X discs you looking at, if it's 10.4 then this section of that same doc would apply:

    Using Apple Hardware Test on computers with OS X 10.5.4 or earlier

    AHT is located on the Mac OS X Install Disc 1 and should be included with your computer. To start AHT on these computers make sure the Mac OS X Install Disc 1 is inserted into the built-in optical drive or external Apple Superdrive. Please then follow steps 1-6 outlined in the "Using Apple Hardware test on computers with OS X 10.7 or later" section of this article.​

    Good Luck!
     
  9. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #9
    Thanks for helping me with that! I found it and ran the test twice. Both times it came up clean, which is a testament to the quality components used by Apple considering the computer is seven years old. Anyway, as LostSoul said earlier, I guess the only thing left to try is reinstalling Snow Leopard. I am really not looking forward to doing that because of the intense hassle involved and the fact that it still might not solve the problem.

    Even if I back up with Time Machine, reinstall a clean copy of the OS and restore, I can only restore the files and system settings and have to reinstall all the apps individually if I understand correctly. That will take forever!
     
  10. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    #10
    I don't know if this will help at all, but you could try creating a new user account and see if it experiences the same problems, if not then it would be narrowed down to something installed in your current user account.

    As far as doing a reinstall, I believe that if you do a clean install that you'll have the option to import your existing data, etc. and I believe that this includes your software if you choose to do so.
     
  11. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #11
    Thanks DewGuy. Interesting idea with the user account suggestion. My thinking with the reinstall is that the current OS started out as 10.4 and has had many updates since then, plus has seven years worth of detritus built up, so am hoping that something in all of that is causing the system hangs, and not just the fact that the computer is old.

    If I restore all my apps and associate data for the apps, would that defeat the purpose of the clean OS install?
     
  12. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    #12
    If the problem is with your current user account and not the OS or the hardware then restoring everything back after a clean install will probably leave you in the same situation.
     
  13. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #13
    So if I use the computer for a while with a different user account, I'll have access to all the same apps, just without any of my settings, etc.? And the same for all the menu bar type stuff I've got installed?

    And so if I do that and find that everything runs fine under a different user account, then the problem is one or more settings or plug in type things I have installed under my regular user account?

    I don't know if it matters, but I've watched the activity monitor before while the system was hanging and nothing unusual seems to happen. The system hangs can even happen when I've got only one or two apps open, i.e. nothing that should be taxing the system much.
     
  14. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    #14
    I don't want you to think that I'm some kind of authority on all this, even though I've been using Macs for decades I've never had reason to do a clean install or to have multiple user accounts on any of my systems, but, I've read a great deal on the forums and try to help to the best of my abilities.

    With that said, I believe that all your installed software, etc. will be available to a new user account when it's created, the exception to this would be software that has been installed for only a specific user. That software would be installed in the user's Applications folder instead of the general Applications folder. As you stated if you create a new user account and don't experience the problems then it's likely that it's being caused by something specific to your old account.
     
  15. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #15
    Yeah, I hear you. Either way, I appreciate your input. I guess I'll start with the new user account option and see what happens there. Thanks!
     
  16. DewGuy1999 macrumors 68040

    DewGuy1999

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    #16
    I'll be looking forward to hear how that turns out.
     
  17. steiney thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #17
    I'll certainly report back. I won't be able to test it out until tomorrow evening/night because I'm about to head out for the night and tomorrow I'll need to be logged into my regular user account with all my settings/tweaks and apps set up the way I need them for work. I can't imagine trying to run my business with just a stock operating system!

    I'll let you know how it goes.

    My game plan is that if it turns out to be an installed app/setting/tweak or if the OS reinstall does the trick, I'm going to return the Macbook Pro that is on it's way within the 14 day return period and get my money back from that. I only bought the new Macbook Pro because I am tired of the system hangs and figured the computer was just worn out from being seven years old and needed to be retired. But if I can solve the system hang problem, I would certainly prefer to keep on truckin' with the current computer and get another couple years out of it! I personally get an intense thrill out of seeing how long I can make things last so getting nine years out of a computer would be simply amazing to me. Considering I've spent $3000 (counting the upgrades I've done over the years), if I get seven years out of it, that's $428.57/year for a computer but if I get nine years out of it, that's only $333.34/year which is a savings of $95.23/year. Not too shabby.
     

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