I have the 2006 Intel Macbook which Ive upgraded with an SSD drive and Mountain Lion.
The first thing that jumps out is that Mountain Lion is not going to install on a circa 2006 MacBook because of its 32-bit EFI. At best, a Late-2006 MacBook will be running Lion. A "early" 2006 MacBook (Core Duo model) peaks at Snow Leopard.
The second thing that comes to mind is that you're probably having an issue with not enough RAM and that the freezing is caused by the system paging out to virtual memory. After such a freeze, open Activity Monitor and check to see how much swap is used (on the System Memory tab). If you've got a bunch of apps open, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see you several GB deep into swapping. That's not going to be a comfy fit.
Lion itself requires 2GB RAM minimum. A Late-2006 MacBook can unofficially support 4GB installed (with 3GB of that 4 being usable). That'll help a lot.
As for the SSD, your SATA system can only support 1.5GB/s and 3.0GB/s drives. I've an Intel Series 320 600GB SSD in my Mid-2007 MacBook and it rips along beautifully. If you've put in one of the new 6GB/s SATA drives, you may find it to be an awkward fit due to most of the newer drives not being able to fall back to 1.5GB/s mode.
The advice about the memory still stands with Snow Leopard. I've got 4GB in my Mid-2007 MacBook and it makes using heavy apps, such as Parallels Desktop, a lot easier to manage. Even with 3GB usable, I'm always in the swap file under Snow Leopard. With mail and browser windows, Parallels, RubyMine, iTunes and a few other happs running, it's not at all uncommon for me to be 2GB or more into swapping.
Have you done all the usual things?
- Repair Disk Permissions (Disk Utility)
- Verify Disk (Disk Utility)
- Safe Boot (Hold Shift key at startup tone)
- Reset SMC (Disconnect AC, remove battery, hold power switch 5 sec., install battery, reconnect AC)
- Reset NVRAM (Turn on power, hold Cmd-Opt-P-R till the startup tone comes twice, then release)
One or all of these things may be required to get your MacBook back in the pink.
Basically, a Safe Boot forces OS X to clean up its caches. Sometimes, these caches can become damaged/corrupted and that can slow things down as the system tries to figure out what the heck the problem might be. A Safe Boot dumps all the caches and forces the OS to recreate them with fresh files. The Safe Boot must not be interrupted. Once it has completed and you're at the Login screen, you can just click the Back button and then Restart. That first restart may be a little slow, but everything after that should be much quicker.
hi.so I've done all that and have have noticed that the network tab of Activity Monitor is showing lots of peaks, mostly input. I disabled the wi-fi and used ethernet only to see if there was an issue there. I was browsing iTunes store and then had the 'you must shut down your mac' error screen come up.
I'm wondering if there's a hardware fault somewhere
Yeah, I'm thinking that a hardware failure might be a possibility.
1. SMARTReporter is a good tool for getting information about your hard disk's health. Even SSDs fail, and I've got SMARTReporter monitoring my system. You can purchase it at the App Store or download a free trial here:
2. You'll probably want to boot to your original install disc's Diagnostics program (press D at the startup tone). Start with the quick diags first. If it finds a problem, you'll have a better idea of how to proceed.