Strange computer failure

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by nickdag, May 30, 2012.

  1. nickdag macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2011
    Hi all,
    Two days ago my computer started freezing with the bouncing ball of death. It never recovered from this, and I had to do a hard restart every time.

    Most times, the restart did not work. It would try to boot but usually showed the picture of a folder with a question mark. When this occurred, if I tried to boot up to Recovery, it would go to Lion Internet Recovery and Disk Utility wouldn't even show the existence of a HD.

    However, it seemed that if I waited at least an hour (not sure about this stat) that I'd be able to boot back up and everything would be normal for a bit.

    Computer info:
    MBP13 late 2010
    8GB RAM
    Intel 320 Series 300GB SSD
    Lion 10.7.4
    30GB free space on HD

    Logs showed:
    IO Surface Buffer errors (saw some weird references to this online)
    HFS Complete lack of freeblks

    Installed smcFanControl (to increase fan speed and see temp):
    Everything would be fine for a while, then temp would spike to 140 F or more (with fan at 6000 rpm).

    The MBP is under AppleCare, but the SSD is obviously after market. I bought it in the US but am currently in Brazil where it's more difficult (but not impossible) to receive service.

    I ended up buying a new HD to test and not wait for service, but I don't really know if this is a HD problem. (I'm in the process of using Internet Recovery on the new HD and have posted a separate thread about this slow process - even though I have an excellent internet connection.)

    I'm confused with all the symptoms! Anyone have any ideas?!

  2. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
    I think this is the whole firmware 1.7 problem and downgrading it to 1.6 solves this problem. Let me verify that hang on ...
  3. pragmatous macrumors 65816

    May 23, 2012
  4. nickdag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2011
    don't think it's firmware

    Thanks for the info. Though I've got to say that this doesn't sound right to me. This firmware was released in 2009, I bought my computer in 2010, and I've used it for a year with the SSD without a problem.

    Furthermore, using a new traditional (non-SSD) HD, I'm currently running Internet Recovery, and it's taking a LONG time -- so far over 12 hours. It's been stuck at its latest status (about 90% finished) for about 6 hours.

    I wonder if the problem has struck again? If so, what sort of hardware problem with cause intermittent failures like this?

    Anybody know what happens if I shutdown during Internet Recovery and start back up later? Does it start the download from scratch, or is it able to save what it's already downloaded?


  5. nickdag thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jan 2, 2011
    Update on weird errors

    I have since attempted Internet Recovery once, and it failed after 15 hours. I received a grey screen and a message to power down when I unplugged the computer (battery had a full charge).

    Note that this is with a new and traditional (not SSD) HD.

    Before Internet Recovery, I had formatted the HD.

    So, what can cause intermittent errors?
    • It's not the HD b/c that's new.
    • It didn't cause the machine to shutdown or even give me errors.
    • My machine simply froze with the bouncing ball.
    • Internet Recovery failed (the first time). It seems to be working the second time.
    • When the SSD was installed, sometimes the system didn't even recognize it.
    • The machine overheated (but still didn't shutdown -- isn't there a safety that's supposed to shut it off?)


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