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738 posts

Ultimate Geek
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Topic # 151613 30-Aug-2014 14:31
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Hi All,
Sorry if this is not the correct forum.

I have been given a Macbook pro from a customer, it has a knackered battery and damaged lid, no big deal.

The Macbook is an early 2011, 8GB DDR3 RAM and i5 2.3GHz processor ( sorry I dont know if dual core or quad core )

As the customer had all sorts of Adobe software ( Photoshop and the like ) I thought that this was slowing it down.

I upgraded the OS to Mavericks 10.9.4 and this made no change ( no real surprise there )

I removed the hard drive and installed a new ( old stock ) 320GB Hdd and installed a fresh copy of Mavericks.

The mackbook is still sluggish, it will take several seconds to open up screens and change screens. All that is on the laptop is the OS, my emails via macmail and adobe reader.

I dont know a lot about Mac, this is why I lept at the chance of being given one, but it is really frustrating.

If this was a PC a fresh install of W7 or W8.1 it would be flying.

I don't want to change the battery or put in a SSD unless I know that the mac is usable.

Is there any advice that anyone can give me, please be gentle as I know very little about mac's.

Thanks
John








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  Reply # 1118584 30-Aug-2014 14:34
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After installing etc have you allowed time for Spotlight to index the files etc. I have found it slows a Mac until that is done and can take a day or two to complete.




Mike
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  Reply # 1118587 30-Aug-2014 14:36
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Is it still sluggish after it's been running for a while? Recent versions of OS X are a bit slow right after boot on an HDD-based system, until the RAM gets filled up.

 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1118589 30-Aug-2014 14:38
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Also try a PRAM reset 

 


1. Turn the Mac off
2 Turn back on and immediately hold down "P" , "R" , "OPTION" and "COMMAND keys
3. Continue to hold down the keys until you get teh second start up chime then release.




Mike
Retired IT Manager. 
The views stated in my posts are my personal views and not that of any other organisation.

 

 Mac user, Windows curser, Chrome OS desired.

 

The great divide is the lies from both sides.

 

 




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1118592 30-Aug-2014 14:42
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Thanks for the fast responses

I have not had the laptop running for a couple of days continually, only for an hour or two here and there, getting frustrated so put it away.

I will leave it running for the rest of the weekend so it can do its thing. ( every second time I move the laptop it dies as the battery is stuffed and hard shuts down the Mac )

At this point I have no data on there so it should not take too long to index everything.

John




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  Reply # 1118605 30-Aug-2014 15:26
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Try replacing the battery.
Macbooks draw extra power from the battery for some tasks even when plugged in. And I think the cpu speed is automatically reduced with no/bad battery.

I had a similar problem around a year ago.. a new battery completely resolved the issue

Mr Snotty
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  Reply # 1118619 30-Aug-2014 15:57
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I've got one of these:



It runs quick, shoved in a SSD and upgraded the RAM and it is a whole new beast. Try installing OSX 10.10 and see how you go. I have got all the Adobe products installed on mine, it lags every now and then with complex animations however that is expected with a mac this age.






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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1118629 30-Aug-2014 16:32
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Well I tried the PRAM reset and stuffed the system completely ( I forgot to hold down the option key )
Booted into disk wizard
Mouse somehow locked up
Pulled the power and rebooted
Would not let me sign in with my password
Rebooted - Apple logo then a bar along the bottom then goes blank
I can boot into disc recovery and it shows the disk and says it is fine.
I try to wipe the disc and it says unable to dismount.
If I go to choose startup disk it shows nothing.
I tried to reinstall from the USB drive but it does not show the internal HDD

Next step?

I am not fussed if I loose the lot, It is a good learning curve.
I dont want to reinstall via the internet as it is about 5.5GB and a days downloading on my slow ADSL

regards
John




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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1118639 30-Aug-2014 16:59
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Does it boot in safe mode?

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  Reply # 1118661 30-Aug-2014 18:02
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Boot from your USB drive and then open the Utilities menu and choose Disk Utility. Can you see the hard drive in there?

In any case, it doesn't look good. I wonder whether the hardware failure is affecting more than the battery.

SATTV: I have not had the laptop running for a couple of days continually, only for an hour or two here and there, getting frustrated so put it away.

The initial indexing on a fresh install should only take 5-10 minutes. Are you using Sleep or Shut Down?

michaelmurfy: Try installing OSX 10.10 and see how you go.

Conversely, I don't suggest that at this time; I have the same model as SATTV and 10.10 is still a bit buggy with that machine.



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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1118681 30-Aug-2014 18:43
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I didnt know that Mac's had a safe mode, I did not try that.

I normally shut the laptop down when complete

Boot from your USB drive and then open the Utilities menu and choose Disk Utility. Can you see the hard drive in there?
I have not tried this, I have just tried to reinstall Mavericks from USB and it says that the HDD is locked.

At least it can be seen now, last time I tried it could not be seen.

Now, hopefully I can unlock the drive from the disk utility on the USB drive.

Cheers
John




I know enough to be dangerous




738 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1118683 30-Aug-2014 18:49
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Progress.

I have been able to access the disc from the USB disk utils, it now start the install from Mavricks but it stops the install saying it may be tampered with.

I copied it from the install file.

If I reboot the laptop I think it will only let me install Lion, I will them have to upgrade to Mavericks.

What a pain.

About 10GB of data a 2 days to do it.

John




I know enough to be dangerous


gzt

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  Reply # 1118739 30-Aug-2014 20:18
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Starting with lion and observing performance might be a good start, before any next step.

gzt

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  Reply # 1118744 30-Aug-2014 20:24
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Just observe cpu use/speed and reported ram / speed, if that looks normal do some basic webstuff like playing hd video etc and observe again. Really need to look at the basics here. Wild guess something is clocking slow or running miles subpar. The trick will be identifying exactly what. If it was PC i'd say maybe bizarre basic driver issue, while so unlikely to be anything like that on a mac it's just another reason to fall back to lion and start from there before the next step.

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  Reply # 1118774 30-Aug-2014 21:57
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I replaced the HDD cable in my mid 2009 MBP and that helped it a bit. I'm told the HDD cables fail and cause slow downs and intermittent lockups.
Changed to an SSD and now its a rocket compared to how it was.





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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 1118778 30-Aug-2014 22:08
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andrewNZ: I replaced the HDD cable in my mid 2009 MBP and that helped it a bit. I'm told the HDD cables fail and cause slow downs and intermittent lockups.
Changed to an SSD and now its a rocket compared to how it was.



SATA cable problems are not uncommon and can often be more of a problem when the owner upgrades to an SSD. If the Macbook runs better when booting from USB than with an internal drive, replacing the SATA cable is probably the next thing to try.





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