Whole MacBook Pro freezing briefly, but regularly

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Cubytus, Oct 17, 2016.

  1. Cubytus macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Hello all,

    I have this MBP and just started to experience random, brief freezing issues, before coming back to working state. Of course it's out of warranty and the Samsung SSD inside is clearly no stock.

    While it is frozen, nothing responds: all apps stop updating their icon, there's no BBoD, and absolutely nothing is registered in the Console. If I switch from one space to another at the same time, the translucent overlay window stays on, then disappears.

    Usually this lasts for a few seconds, before working again, but started occurring frequently a few days ago, when I noticed the computer wouldn't light its screen, event though it was on (fixed white LED, fan at minimum speed).

    Where could this "absence" issue be coming from? Bad hard drive cable? Some other software issue?
  2. satcomer, Oct 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2017

    satcomer macrumors 603


    Feb 19, 2008
    The Finger Lakes Region
    Try these steps to see if you can fix it!

    1. Check to see if you have a Trojan use the free MalwareBytes.

    2. Run the free application EtreCheck tonscan your system tonsee if you have some old plugins, kecks and system files that aren't compatible. The program will point you to the folder to delete the then Reboot after deleting.
  3. BrianBaughn macrumors 603


    Feb 13, 2011
    Baltimore, Maryland
    One thing to check would be your available hard drive space.
  4. Fishrrman macrumors G5


    Feb 20, 2009
    You didn't tell us much about your MBpro, such as
    - what year was it made
    - what screen size, etc.

    Some MBPros have internal hard drive ribbon cables which over time "get flaky". Seems like one or more of the internal connections get "weak".
    When this happens, the computer will lose contact with the internal drive. Anything that requires communication with the hard drive may be affected.

    Replacing the ribbon cable isn't difficult (seems like you've had the MacBook opened up already, right?).
    The cable itself isn't expensive.
    An easy fix.

    Go to ifixit.com to get the cable number (they sell it as well).
    You could buy from them, or online, or from an ebay source, etc.

    There's one way to check if this IS the problem, but it requires:
    - taking the internal drive OUT OF the MacBook
    - putting the drive into an external USB enclosure
    - booting and running that way for a while.
    IF the problems you've been seeing -disappear- when you do this, it points towards the ribbon cable as being the culprit.
  5. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Tens of free GBs.

    Early 2012 model, 13"
    This was my first hypothesis. I already had to replace this cable three times since I bought the laptop, and wouldn't be surprised if the cable failed again. The HDD cable seems to be a recurrent weakness of this model.

    As I am right handed, I often move the computer from place to place holding it by its right side (same as the SSD), and I thought this may put just enough stress on the cable it fails well before its due date. your testing method would indeed be valid, but I am not completely sure the HDD would behave correctly in an external enclosure if the repeated kernel panics, crashes and triple-beep did corrupt the HDD.

    But the human mind being what it is, maybe it's just a perception bias I have, and wanted to ask, just in case.

    Anyway, I ordered the cable from eBay (two, actually), as the iFixit one is rather expensive. Still waiting for it. Shipments originating from China are taking longer than usual at the moment.
  6. Cubytus thread starter macrumors 65816

    Mar 2, 2007
    Here's an update for the few who may still be following this thread: I replaced the cable by the China-shipped one from eBay, now the problem described in the first post disappeared.

    Never received the second cable I ordered, got refunded without questions.

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