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Intel macbook keeps slowing and freezing

273 Views 10 Replies Latest reply: Dec 25, 2012 7:51 PM by Trane Francks RSS
chrisblythenz Calculating status...
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Dec 23, 2012 5:42 PM

I have the 2006 Intel Macbook which Ive upgraded with an SSD drive and Mountain Lion. Periodically the system freezes up, say on launching an application, opening a web page etc, and takes a couple of minutes to come right. Ive done a complete reinstall of Mountain Lion which seemed to sort things for a little while. My intuition is that the Macbook is struggling with the SSD, like the 'old' innards are finding the drive too fast or something!

Any suggestions anyone?

Chris

iMac 2.4Ghz Duo & MacBook 2Ghz, Mac OS X (10.5.7), Final Cut Express v3.5, Digital Performer 5.3
  • Trane Francks Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
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    Dec 23, 2012 6:40 PM (in response to chrisblythenz)

    chrisblythenz wrote:

     

    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.

  • Trane Francks Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
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    Dec 23, 2012 7:58 PM (in response to chrisblythenz)

    Hi.

     

    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.

  • Trane Francks Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
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    Dec 23, 2012 8:00 PM (in response to chrisblythenz)

    Oh! One thing: If your 2006 MacBook is the "early" model, it only supports a maximum of 2GB of RAM. The Core Duo models have a different chipset than the Core 2 Duo models that came later.

     

    Cheers,

     

    trane

  • Trane Francks Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
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    Dec 25, 2012 4:34 PM (in response to chrisblythenz)

    Hi.

     

    Have you done all the usual things?

     

    1. Repair Disk Permissions (Disk Utility)
    2. Verify Disk (Disk Utility)
    3. Safe Boot (Hold Shift key at startup tone)
    4. Reset SMC (Disconnect AC, remove battery, hold power switch 5 sec., install battery, reconnect AC)
    5. 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.

  • Trane Francks Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 25, 2012 7:30 PM (in response to chrisblythenz)

    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.

  • Trane Francks Level 2 Level 2 (205 points)
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    Dec 25, 2012 7:51 PM (in response to chrisblythenz)

    Yeah, I'm thinking that a hardware failure might be a possibility.

     

    Two things:

     

    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:

     

    http://www.corecode.at/smartreporter/

     

    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.

     

    Good luck!

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