Super slow macbook pro

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by aduxsified, Aug 12, 2015.

  1. aduxsified, Aug 12, 2015
    Last edited: Aug 12, 2015

    aduxsified macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2015
    #1
    Hi...

    My macbook pro (approx 5 - 6 years old) is currently running on Yosemite (latest version).
    So recently, my mac has been really running very slow (to the point where I have to force shut down because everything was not responding). I've tried finding for some solutions online but it all didn't work... I intend to move everything out to my hard disk but I cannot because the transfer speed is so slow it would most probably take forever. I want to erase everything and reinstall everything again but I cannot because I have important stuffs that I have yet to transfer over to the hard disk.

    Can anyone advice me on what to do?
    Is the final option really to buy RAMS and replace the original ones?

    Thanks
     
  2. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #2
    RAM is not your issue, a dying hard drive is the most likely problem. Back up all your important files now, it takes as long as it takes, thats better than losing them.

    If you have a time machine backup (or other bootable backup) try booting from this source if that is fine then it's definitely your hard drive. You can also run SMART Utility for mac and that will tell you how your hard drive is doing (http://download.cnet.com/SMART-Utility/3000-2248_4-146625.html).

    I would reccomend you take the oppurtunity to install an SSD rather than replace with a standard and very slow spinning HDD.
     
  3. aduxsified thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2015
    #3
    Hi,

    I've checked the SMART status of my macbook pro and it's still verified... Is there any other way to check? :/

    Thanks
     
  4. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #4
    Your hard drive is likely dying.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #5
    Yes boot from an external drive...
     
  6. aduxsified thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2015
    #6
    Also just wondering,

    if I erase everything from my mac and reinstall yosemite will it be better? :/
     
  7. chabig macrumors 68040

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    Sep 6, 2002
    #7
    No. As others have said, your hard drive is probably dying.
     
  8. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #8
    Software cannot fix broken hardware.
     
  9. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

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    California
    #9
    It will likely make it worse. As others mentioned, sounds like your drive is failing. The stress of completely reinstalling the OS will very likely make the drive worse than it is now.

    It is less common, but a bad drive cable can also cause the symptoms you are seeing.
     
  10. kingc0bra macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

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    Nov 27, 2012
    #10
    How is everyone saying the hard drive is dying without knowing that for sure? Is it that common of an issue in macbooks? Does Apple not use good hard drives?

    Don't remember hard drives only lasting 5-6 years??!
     
  11. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #11
    Because of the symptoms. 5-6 years is actually a pretty long life for a laptop's hard drive. Regardless of the laptop's brand.

    Due to hardware problems, traditional hard drives tend to slow to a crawl before crapping out entirely(That is, when they don't catastrophically fail). It could be the head not moving as it should, the platters not keeping a constant speed, something misaligned, a chip whose solder points started to fail leading to caching problems, etc.

    Apple uses hard drives that are just fine. The thing is, in a laptop(any brand), they get banged around a lot from being moved. A desktop hard drive will almost always outlast a laptop hard drive because of this.

    Think about it. You've got magnetic platters moving at 5400 to 7200rpm (depending on the model) hovering dangerously close to a read head. As a mech engineer I'll just say one thing: Any moving part is a failure point. It's not a question of if, but of when.
     
  12. kingc0bra macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

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    Nov 27, 2012
    #12
    Agree on all your points, however we cant go with the assumption that since its a laptop its necessarily being moved a lot...I can tell you that for me, I bought a laptop which at first was moved occasionally in the first few months of owning it but for the last couple of years has been sitting there as a desktop replacement

    I think slowness can also be caused by software issues as I have noticed my macbook has recently started to slow down/freeze after getting the latest OSX update...obviously Apple optimizes its OS to work best with the latest and greatest tech and worries less about the older ones as long as it works for those older devices (understandable as it would cost a lot to optimize for all devices throughout the years)
     
  13. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    #13
    The majority of people buy a laptop to use it as such, I'd say it's pretty safe to assume it doesn't sit at a desk 24/7.

    I have an early 2008 MBP sitting next to me running Yosemite that begs to differ. It's just as fast as it was when I bought it. Except perhaps GUI-wise, the 8600GT in there is getting pretty long in the tooth to display all the bells and whistles.
     
  14. snaky69 macrumors 603

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  15. kingc0bra macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

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    Nov 27, 2012
    #15
    Have you ever experienced the fact that when a new iOS comes out, that once you upgrade your older iphone to the latest iOS, the iphone feels slower and has more issues all of a sudden?

    I dont think it's my own experience as I have read many threads of people who experience this same thing

    This is a similar situation but for macbooks instead
     
  16. snaky69 macrumors 603

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    Mar 14, 2008
    #16
    Yes, I have. But I kindly disagree. iOS and OS X are two very different beasts, working on very different hardware, aimed at very different uses. I personally wouldn't compare the two. But that's me.
     
  17. kingc0bra macrumors regular

    kingc0bra

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    Nov 27, 2012
    #17
    Not really comparing, I'm saying its the same concept between the two...the fact that the latest OS plays much nicer with the latest and greatest devices and slows down older devices.

    Same thing happens with Windows, the minimum requirements go up and the older devices are usually just a bit higher than those min requirements to allow for installation but once installed the OS runs slowly.

    I work in IT, I've had many coworkers share this same issue with me
     
  18. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #18
    But that is not what we have here. If OP said, "I installed Yosemite today and now my computer is slow"... then we could discuss if Yosemite is the problem. But that does not appear to be the case. It appears OP has been using Yosemite just fine and now all of a sudden he is having these issues that seem exactly like a bad drive or bad drive cable.
     
  19. aduxsified thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2015
    #19
    Sorry for the super late reply..
    Yea I have been using Yosemite for quite sometime and it was still of an acceptable speed until one day it just decided to crash on me completely... the situation is when I on my laptop, the first 3 mins after I log in is extremely fast and smooth, then afterwards everything just becomes so lag (when I press the apple logo it lags for like 3mins before showing the options...) But yet when I boot it into recovery mode it's like the usual...
     
  20. aduxsified thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Aug 12, 2015
    #20
    ^with ref to that: Yeah I bring my macbook around on like a daily basis
     
  21. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

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    #21
    Unless you installed some app or made a hardware change that started all this, I'm still going with my original comment that you have a failing drive or a bad drive cable then.
     
  22. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

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    Oct 24, 2013
    #22
    Well thats an entirely different description, have you tried repairing the disk in disk utilty?? If not give it a a go.

    If yes then it sounds like a software issue and a wipe and OS install may be in order.
     
  23. austinpike macrumors 6502

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    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    MN
    #23
    So has the laptop been functional for the last month, or have you just not been using it? Have you been able to get it backed up?

    The "transfer speed taking forever" comment specifically is why most people suggested a dying hard drive, as that is a tell-tale symptom. In that case you may have better luck copying small batches of files/folders rather than trying to back up 10,000+ files in one go. Yes it will take a lot of manual tending.

    Do you have access to another Mac of similar vintage (or a friend with one?) You can connect them via FireWire or thunderbolt and start your laptop in Target mode - it will show up on the other mac as a hard drive and you can get your files off. If the drive lags on the other machine that will tell you pretty quickly you have failing hardware. If the drive works fine that way, then it may be an OS issue and time for backup/reformat/reinstall. (It would still be well worth it to upgrade to an SSD if you are going to go through that effort anyway.)
     

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