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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac Notebooks > Intermittent freezing on 13" MBPro

Intermittent freezing on 13" MBPro
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crazeinc
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Oct 28, 2009, 09:43 AM
 
The 13" MBPro I purchased just a couple of months ago has developed this really ridiculous habit of locking up for .5-1 second doing things like browsing the web, listening to iTunes, or watching a video.

For instance: I have a 1.5 minute mov file that will freeze 4 times during the movie with zero other applications running. I have 80% cpu idle and 2G of ram available while the video is running, so there's absolutely no reason this should be happening.

I've tried uninstalling newer applications and installed the 1.0 Performance Update, but nothing seems to make a difference.

I'm getting really frustrated with this, my 3-year old Macbook didn't pull this crap.
     
ibook_steve
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Oct 28, 2009, 12:48 PM
 
Something is interfering with your performance. Have you checked Activity Monitor to see if anything is using excessive CPU usage even if it was something you didn't launch (some background process or something else)?

Also try disabling wireless networking and disconnecting all external peripherals. See if this fixes it. Then you can try to figure out what is causing the performance drop.

Steve
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crazeinc  (op)
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Oct 28, 2009, 03:12 PM
 
I actually just did a full 10.5.8 reinstall and it's still doing it, consider me truly disappointed, I've been using Macs for the better part of a decade.

for further clarification, there's nothing hooked up to this laptop.
( Last edited by crazeinc; Oct 28, 2009 at 03:18 PM. )
     
ibook_steve
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Oct 28, 2009, 10:41 PM
 
Did you try turning off wireless?

Steve
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dowNNshift
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Oct 30, 2009, 06:06 PM
 
Sounds like energy saver is running rampant.
The new notebooks have numerous power saver features, review the settings in System Preferences. Make the hard drive stay powered on, any better?

Reset your PRAM, any change?

It's good your likely still under your Apple Limited Warranty... worst case the logic board or hard drive would need replacing.
     
Daracle
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Nov 1, 2009, 05:11 PM
 
I had this issue with my machine as well and all went away when I installed the Performance Update that was put out a couple of weeks ago.

It is a relief to have my issue cleared up.

They do have an article for 10.5 but this is the one I installed.

Performance Update
Who reads this???
     
kylef
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Nov 1, 2009, 05:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by dowNNshift View Post
Sounds like energy saver is running rampant.
The new notebooks have numerous power saver features, review the settings in System Preferences. Make the hard drive stay powered on, any better?
Thanks for this - I was about to post a thread myself. I'd ran the hardware test; un-installed programs; stopped processes; checked in activity monitor and nothing was stopping my MacBook from running quite slowly. Having unchecked that option, everything is as fast as it was beforehand.
     
crazeinc  (op)
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Nov 3, 2009, 02:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by dowNNshift View Post
Sounds like energy saver is running rampant.
The new notebooks have numerous power saver features, review the settings in System Preferences. Make the hard drive stay powered on, any better?
Wow, thank you so much, this appears to have been the cause. Apple must have made this far too aggressive to get that 7-hour battery life figure.
     
crazeinc  (op)
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Nov 3, 2009, 02:44 PM
 
I wonder if this doesn't come up more often because only 13" mbpro owners with 5400rpm drives notice the delay.
     
dowNNshift
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Nov 3, 2009, 11:12 PM
 
You're welcome!
( Last edited by dowNNshift; Nov 3, 2009 at 11:23 PM. )
     
NeverTriedApple
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Nov 5, 2009, 02:43 PM
 
For what its worth. Mine is July '09 13" MBP. Must admit I replaced hard disk with SSD immediately after purchase but had 'Put the hard drive to sleep when possible' option ticked at all times, even after upgrading to SL. No delays. Must be slow waking hard drive.
     
crazeinc  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 07:38 AM
 
I'm bumping this back up. Disabling the hard drive energy saver setting seemed to only work for a while. If anything, it's only gotten worse. I've done everything: cleared the caches, ran the disk utility, uninstalled everything, reinstalled leopard, disabled the wireless, you name it.

To put this into perspective how annoying this problem is, in order to write this post, I've had to wait almost a dozen times for the computer to catch up. I guess I'm just sad more than anything, I expect better from Apple than this.

I'm tempted to say the hell with it and install a SSD, but that's assuming this a disk related issue and I'm not gambling $500 on that assumption.
     
Cold Warrior
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Jan 2, 2010, 12:03 PM
 
Like you I'm thinking hard drive, possibly one that is failing. When they fail they will often stutter, causing the entire OS to pause while the mechanics of the drive catch up.

One way to test this is to install a fresh copy of OS X to an external HDD or external partition (or USB flash drive), then boot from that external (your Mac can boot from either Firewire or USB externals). If your problems go away, then I'd clone your system to the external. If symptoms return then it's likely something in your MBP's OS X install that is not present on a fresh OS X DVD install.
     
Eriamjh
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Jan 2, 2010, 12:14 PM
 
Open disk utility and check the SMART status. What does it say?

I'm a bird. I am the 1% (of pets).
     
seanc
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Jan 2, 2010, 01:47 PM
 
Download SMART Utility - this will give you an in depth view of the SMART values. Failing drives will often still be verified by SMART because some of the thresholds are quite low.
For instance, I have two dying hard drives - both with the same problem, they're re-allocating sectors like crazy.

One is an old Maxtor, looks like a rebadged Quantum, 80GB drive - this has 500 bad sectors and has failed SMART.
The other is a Seagate 500GB drive which is a couple of years old and has 530 bad sectors, this has not failed SMART.
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 2, 2010, 02:03 PM
 
I don't see how this issue couldn't be the HDD, really. Since it's under warranty still, back it up and just have Apple replace it. It's doesn't seem very unusual for the 13" MBP's HDD to fail early, sadly. My best friend's failed after only 2 months which is unacceptable (especially for something labeled "Pro").
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 2, 2010, 02:42 PM
 
It's not something Apple has any control over at all, "Pro" or not.
     
seanc
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Jan 2, 2010, 02:47 PM
 
Hard drives will inevitably fail, through a problem during manufacturing, installation or use. I think Google's whitepaper said that if they get past the first 6 months, they're usually OK.

Some drives have issues which can be seen in batches or models, such as the IBM Deathstars, Seagate 80GB drives found in the original white MacBook design or Samsung Spinpoint F1.
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 2, 2010, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
It's not something Apple has any control over at all, "Pro" or not.
How so? Can't Apple control what brand and thus quality of hard drives they install?
     
seanc
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Jan 2, 2010, 03:01 PM
 
I don't know how Apple would determine the longevity of a hard drive unless they tested them for a long amount of time before installing them into their machines - at which point we'd all be stuck with previous generation hard drives.

I used to swear by Seagate, until I bought a box of 25 and every one of that model manufactured on a particular site had a firmware issue, meaning that you'd reboot one day and have no data. Nothing could forsee that one coming... Seagate weren't about to admit it.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 2, 2010, 03:35 PM
 
Originally Posted by imitchellg5 View Post
How so? Can't Apple control what brand and thus quality of hard drives they install?
They could if there were a measurable difference in quality of hard drives (other than speed).

The most reliable hard drive manufacturer gets a batch of bad adhesive and presto! - an entire series of drives loses its read/write head in mid-access, skimming it across the platters and irrevocably damaging the disk.

Whose fault? Blame Apple? Toshiba?

As far as I'm concerned, ALL hard drives are inherently prone to failure. It's completely irrelevant what you get, as every manufacturer has had their record marred by the odd catastrophic series.

Also, people use their machines for music and have them sitting in clubs next to turntables, with a bass bin blaring directly at the machine. Gee whiz - who'da thunk that vibration kills hard drives? Shame on Apple for failing after six weeks! or something.
     
imitchellg5
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Jan 2, 2010, 03:44 PM
 
Well for such a fairly old technology, you'd think manufacturers would have the process down pat, but apparently not.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Jan 2, 2010, 04:15 PM
 
Much higher speeds, much higher density, one tenth the price.

You do the math.
     
crazeinc  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 05:47 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
Download SMART Utility - this will give you an in depth view of the SMART values. Failing drives will often still be verified by SMART because some of the thresholds are quite low.
For instance, I have two dying hard drives - both with the same problem, they're re-allocating sectors like crazy.

One is an old Maxtor, looks like a rebadged Quantum, 80GB drive - this has 500 bad sectors and has failed SMART.
The other is a Seagate 500GB drive which is a couple of years old and has 530 bad sectors, this has not failed SMART.
Awesome suggestion, turns out you were right. Disk Utility says there's nothing wrong, SMART Utility says something completely different.

I'm taking my MB to the apple store tomorrow and getting the drive replaced.

Thanks!

     
seanc
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Jan 2, 2010, 05:57 PM
 
Hmm so they're using Toshibas again - not seen any new ones of those around for a while.

Enjoy once it's fixed, let us know how it goes with Apple
     
crazeinc  (op)
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Jan 2, 2010, 06:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
Hmm so they're using Toshibas again - not seen any new ones of those around for a while.

Enjoy once it's fixed, let us know how it goes with Apple
I can't imagine I'm gonna have too much trouble convincing them something's wrong. All I have to do is play a song on iTunes and let them hear it pause every 10 seconds
     
crazeinc  (op)
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Jan 6, 2010, 06:38 PM
 
Quick update: received my laptop back from Apple today. They replaced the Toshiba hard drive with a Hitachi and everything is running beautifully now.

When I did a google search of the existing Toshiba model, I came across a few others complaining about the same issues and I'm wondering if this is something Apple knows about but isn't making a full recall. I don't know how often they use different model hard drives, but it seems suspicious.
     
   
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