Previous 1 2 Next 22 Replies Latest reply: Sep 17, 2010 5:53 PM by Murat Lahur
Terence Curtis Level 1 (25 points)
I am a long time Mac user and I am stumped. Seems like lately the Mac is always pausing for several seconds and displaying the spinning ball. Its very frustrating and makes it impossible to get any work done. I've tried emptying all the caches, repairing permissions, fixing the directory tree, etc. I have 4GB of RAM and about 55GB of free disk space. No repair I do seems to fix the constant pausing. Doesn't matter what app I am in. Occurs most when switching apps and when typing. Activity monitor shows huge spikes in disk activity. CPU usage is low, nothing seems to be hogging CPU or RAM.

I am starting to wonder if the harddrive is dying.

Any ideas? I'd hate to buy a new machine when this machine should run fine (It was fine about 6 mos ago) Should I drop back to 10.4.11?


MacBook Pro Intel Core Duo 2.33ghz, Mac OS X (10.6.4), iPhone, Mac mini Core Duo, Mac mini G4, G3 iBook, Cube
  • KXsig Level 2 (305 points)
    Hi T,

    This disk activity makes me think RAM may be damaged. Can you test each RAM in each slot so we can be sure about it?

    Good luck.
  • Murat Lahur Level 3 (690 points)
    it's more likely to be the hard disk .And the disk activity spikes goes along with it .I think you are suffering from bad sectors or a failing hard disk .You can use this program to get detailed information on your disk :

    please keep in mind if you are at the very beginning of it with a very few bad sectors your smart reading can still be all good .. one way to be sure it to make a surface scan ..

    I advise you backup your valuable data now !
  • Sweetfeld28 Level 1 (0 points)

    I have been having the same issue. However, in my case it is with trying to install a new HD in my MBP. I had bought a new OEM WD Blue 750GB 2.5" drive to replace my factory 250GB drive. I bought the original drive from Newegg. When I first tried to install the drive, everything seemed ok, but after installing a clean install of OS X, and using Time Machine things seemed to take forever.

    When trying to install OS X, it took almost 4 hours! This is when i put my ear up to the laptop [above the drive location] nd heard the drive spin up, click, then spin down. I called Newegg, and got an RMA. This pasted week, I got the Second drive. This drive, yesterday after installing it the night before, started doing the same thing.

    Does anyone know if its just bad drives from WD, since these were recently released? Or does this have something to do with OS X? I called AppleCare yesterday, and the Tech i talked to seemed to agree with my thoughts, that it is the drives which are at fault. He had me run Disk Utility from the Software discs, and run the Verify Disc test to check for errors. It did bring back some errors, I then ran the Repair Disc; which said that it did repair the disc. However, these issues still persist.
  • Murat Lahur Level 3 (690 points)
    I heard another user report the same thing about the same drive .. Altho it sounds unlikely I think it has something to do with the drive's power consumption.The symptoms are as if the drive is not getting enough current and shutting down..if this is the case you will need to get another drive
  • Andres Blasco Level 1 (0 points)
    I bought a MacBook Pro at the beginning of the year and all of a sudden I have started having the same problem. However, it seems it is bad sometimes and then it gets a bit better ...but then again, back to spinning ball and pauses forever, which means that I have to use the force quit option for the entire computer every single time.

    Can it be that the ram and the harddisk are damaged? I think it is terrible if this is the case. Had a Sony Vaio for 5 years and never had a single problem with it.

    Btw, bought the laptop in NY and am now living in Europe. Will the warranty cover this?

  • Murat Lahur Level 3 (690 points)
    warranty is global..

    Try inserting your osx dvd and starting the computer holding down the D key on the keyboard
    this will invoke diagnostic mode and your machine will run a thorough self check
    this might yield some answers
  • Sweetfeld28 Level 1 (0 points)
    I think you might be right as now that i think about it, the drive did pause a lot like it was trying to stay spinning but would spin down like it was trying to save power at the same time? The it would start the Pin-wheel effect, pausing every ten seconds or so.

    I will call AppleCare and WD again and see if I can't find an answer.
  • Andres Blasco Level 1 (0 points)
    Sounds quite like what I am experiencing... Grateful if you would post here the feedback you receive from AppleCare.
  • Sweetfeld28 Level 1 (0 points)
    Ok, I tried calling Apple and WD.

    AppleCare says that they don't support anything bigger than the biggest drive that Apple includes in their laptops from the factory. So, the tech i talked to said that I should try to partition the drive to 500GB and a 250GB [my drive is 750GB WD Scorpio Blue Advanced Format]. He thinks that maybe thats why it hesitates.

    But, honestly that doesn't make sense to me. To me it is either a power issue, or a HD issue. The drive is the same size and height as the factory drive, and the only thing that has changed is the Capacity. Power doesn't seem like it should be an issue since this is supposed to be a low power HD.

    Western Digital says that the drive is ok, or should be since all of the drives I have gotten, so far 2, have done the same thing. [i am now getting a third from WD, shipping today]

    All in all, I think i will have to just down grade my drive to a smaller size/brand. Hopefully then, I will not have the same issue.
  • Murat Lahur Level 3 (690 points)
    I can almost bet money on it that partion size won't help..still you can give it a go won't hurt
  • S.U. Level 6 (8,360 points)
    Have you tried running SMART Utility?

    You can download the demo and run it several times for free. It seems to be more critical than Disk Utility, and may detect a failing hard drive sooner.

    If the drive checks out OK, you might want to try reinstalling the OS to see if software corruption might be a contributing factor.

    Good luck!
  • Andres Blasco Level 1 (0 points)
    Further developments from my side: The thing went to worse and when I tried to re-start the laptop, it would not move further than the white screen at the beginning with the apple and the spinning "star". Managed to reach the desktop and work for a couple of minutes. Then re-initiated the computer again and that was it: It won't go any further than the initial white screen I referred to above.

    Run the "press start whilst holding the D key" show and the diagnosis told me there is nothing wrong with the hardware... any of you experienced this before? I bought my 13' MacBook Pro in March. I have accepted all updates I have been presented with. Man, it is too soon for this to happen!!

    P.S: Should I post this in a different thread?
  • Murat Lahur Level 3 (690 points)
    Altho rather unlikely for a laptop this young you might be looking at hard disk failure..You might want to take it to apple ..
  • mohaas05 Level 1 (120 points)
    First things first, open Disk Utility and repair permissions and your disk.

    I had this issue when I migrated to my new MacBook Pro, and it seemed to help.
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