Author Topic: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.  (Read 1323 times)

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jpcher

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Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« on: September 24, 2013, 06:44:20 PM »
I've done some googling and troubleshooting on my own, but seem to be missing the boat. I'm hoping the computer wizzes out there might be able to help me.

My MacBook runs v.10.6.8, 2.4 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo processor. It's 4 years old. I always shut it down after each use.

About a month ago it started taking forever (40+ minutes) to completely boot up . . . not the start-up screen (that's what I'm mostly finding solutions for on-line) . . . it gets to my desk-top quick enough, but none of my icons show up (including the Macintosh HD icon) nor is anything showing on the top menu bar except for the apple. There is no spinning ball.

After about 15 minutes or so, I am able to get to my dock and open programs. I can save files to my desk top, but the new icon does not appear until all the rest of the icons show up. I can surf the net (Chrome is on my dock) with no problems.

After about 2 weeks of this going on, my solution was? LOL! Never shut down!

When I don't shut down, everything still works like a dream.


Any thoughts?



jedikaiti

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #1 on: September 24, 2013, 06:46:00 PM »
Any new software installed/updated recently?
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

jpcher

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #2 on: September 24, 2013, 06:50:54 PM »
Any new software installed/updated recently?

Nothing new installed for a couple of years, but I did do the automatic recommended updates after the problem started as part of my troubleshooting.

I also ran the Disk Utility and everything came out fine.

Amara

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #3 on: September 24, 2013, 07:08:50 PM »
Do you have everything backed up either (or ideally, both) to an external hard drive or an online back-up service? It won't help you with your problem, but it could save you a great deal of agony because it seems like it might be in danger of dying.

EMuir

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #4 on: September 24, 2013, 07:16:54 PM »
Did you use the disk utility to repair permissions? After making sure you have a backup, do that.  Several times, until it finds no more to fix.

jpcher

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #5 on: September 24, 2013, 07:33:24 PM »
Last time I backed up to my external hard drive was about 3 months ago. Nothing of much importance has changed since then (DD#1 used it before she went back to school, and I can't find it ::)) . . . Thanks for the reminder.


Did you use the disk utility to repair permissions? After making sure you have a backup, do that.  Several times, until it finds no more to fix.

Yes, there were a bunch of things that came up, but they all came up as "repaired" . . . good thought to run it again until nothing comes up. I'll try that.

BarensMom

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #6 on: September 24, 2013, 07:37:33 PM »
Take it to the Apple Store and let the geniuses take a look at it.  If it wasn't a MacBook, I'd say you have a virus/malware on it.  I used to have that problem with Windows desktops, and it always turned out that someone had been downloading "stuff" from the Internet.

LazyDaisy

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #7 on: September 24, 2013, 07:47:35 PM »
I second letting the geniuses take a look. Back in my day  >:D you used to be able to trash the finder preferences, hit restart and solve everything.

If you have a startup CD with the disk utilities, try starting from the CD rather than the hard drive and running the utilities. Sometimes not everything can be repaired while it's running from the hard drive.
"A common mistake that people make when trying to design something completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete fools." Douglas Adams

BigBadBetty

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #8 on: September 24, 2013, 07:49:55 PM »
Have you tried resetting the PRAM?

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

PastryGoddess

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #9 on: September 24, 2013, 09:42:48 PM »
How full is your hard drive?  How much memory do you have?  One thing that helped my load time was to upgrade my memory to the max amount.  I also try really hard to unload stuff I'm not using onto my external hard drive attached to my router.  If I need it I can go and get it, but I don't need to keep it on my hard drive. 

On that note, may I recommend getting a dedicated external hard drive and attaching it to your wireless router.  Apple computer are setup to do backups without you needing to do much other than set it up and leave it alone.  I have a 3TB external drive plus a 2TB Apple Time Machine router that are used for backups only. My machine is automatically backed up every single day, week, and month.  It used to be hourly, but that got stupid, so I turned it off.

RoseRose

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #10 on: September 25, 2013, 12:28:38 AM »
My husband the person with an ACMT (basically a certified Mac technician, even if he doesn't actually repair Macs) recommends doing an Archive and Install (basically back up your things and reinstall the OS).  If that doesn't work, he suggest doing an erase and install.



Virg

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #11 on: September 25, 2013, 09:52:26 AM »
I agree with RoseRose in this.  The symptoms you describe don't sound like a hardware problem, they sound like something's bungled in the OS.  I'll also second maxing out the memory on the machine, because that's a relatively cheap way to revitalize on older machine for a while, and check your hard drive to make sure it's not stuffed full, but problems like what you describe usually aren't worth the time and energy to try to dig out individually, and you'll actually spend less time dumping the OS and reinstalling it than trying to figure out exactly what's wrong.

Virg

PastryGoddess

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #12 on: September 25, 2013, 02:22:30 PM »
For maxing out your memory, I would recommend a site like cdw.com or newegg.com.  They will ask specific questions about your computer and will tell you exactly what memory you need. 

I had to install new memory twice.  The first time, I got it from best buy and although the package and the staff said it was the correct memory, it wasn't.  My computer would crash every 10 min or so.  So I went to cdw and they have a memory finder for pretty much every single computer out there.  I ordered from them, installed it and my computer has been fine ever since. 

jedikaiti

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #13 on: September 25, 2013, 05:54:19 PM »
For maxing out your memory, I would recommend a site like cdw.com or newegg.com.  They will ask specific questions about your computer and will tell you exactly what memory you need. 

I had to install new memory twice.  The first time, I got it from best buy and although the package and the staff said it was the correct memory, it wasn't.  My computer would crash every 10 min or so.  So I went to cdw and they have a memory finder for pretty much every single computer out there.  I ordered from them, installed it and my computer has been fine ever since.

I don't know about Macs, but for PCs I like Crucial.com for memory - they have a system scanner that you can use that will ID exactly what kind of memory you have in which slots, what the max you can have is, and give you a list of available memory for your system. Or you can just answer some questions and they'll point you to the right memory, too.
What part of v_e = \sqrt{\frac{2GM}{r}} don't you understand? It's only rocket science!

"The problem with re-examining your brilliant ideas is that more often than not, you discover they are the intellectual equivalent of saying, 'Hold my beer and watch this!'" - Cindy Couture

jpcher

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Re: Is my MacBook on it's last leg? . . . AKA an unusual problem.
« Reply #14 on: September 25, 2013, 06:19:43 PM »
Have you tried resetting the PRAM?

http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1379

That was actually one of the first things I tried, but thanks for the thought. ;)

I ran the repair permissions utility a few more times, there's still stuff coming up. Not as much as when I first ran it -- is it suppose to be completely empty?

Then I backed up (found my external HD ;D) and reset my PRAM again. I restarted the computer several times and it now takes less than 10 minutes . . . so, Progress! ;D



RoseRose -- thank you very much for asking your husband. For some reason I get a bit itchy about reinstalling the OS. I'm not sure why, it's just a thing I have ::). So I was waiting to do that as a last resort.

and, um, well, uh . . . I can't find my start-up disk. :-[  :-[ :'(

How do I go about getting a new one?

Would upgrading to a new OS work just as well?



Thank you all for your wonderful advice! ;D



P.S. I have plenty of memory available. But thanks for the info! ;D