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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
    Posts
    12
    Question Is my MacBook comming to its end?
    Hey guys,

    I just want to apologise if any of my issues below actually need to be elsewhere.

    I have 2 problems, and they are starting to bug me quite a bit.

    Problem 1.)

    There is some serious fragmentation on my hard disk, i attempted to get rid of it by running a iDefrag boot disk, i waited 4+ hours only for like, 30% of the drive to be de-fragmented, the rest seemed to remain, there were no errors either, the fragmentation was just still there! Any suggestions on what to do? I believe, that due to this issue, when im watching movies, or streaming anything, stuttering occurs, is that due to the HDD briefly searching for the rest of whatever data im accessing?


    Problem 2.)

    The backlight occasionally flickers on random occasions. I assume the inverter board is on its way out? By flicker i mean its like someone is changing the brightness from full, to maybe 95%? The flickers are like real small changes, like i turned the brightness down 1 notch. However its very noticeable.

    -Any help in the above problems would be appreciated.

    If it helps, my system details are as follows:

    MacBook - 2006 Model
    Intel GMA 950 GPU
    Intel Core Duo Processor @ 2GHz
    2GB RAM
    320GB Hard Disk (34GB Of space remains)
    * 2 Partitions, 1 is Windows XP (80GB), the rest is for OS X.
    OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.7
    * System software is all up to date.

  2. #2

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user1690 View Post
    Problem 1.)

    There is some serious fragmentation on my hard disk, i attempted to get rid of it by running a iDefrag boot disk, i waited 4+ hours only for like, 30% of the drive to be de-fragmented, the rest seemed to remain, there were no errors either, the fragmentation was just still there! Any suggestions on what to do? I believe, that due to this issue, when im watching movies, or streaming anything, stuttering occurs, is that due to the HDD briefly searching for the rest of whatever data im accessing?
    What version of iDefrag are you using? Version 2.x doesn't require a boot disk. It will reboot the Mac in a mode that gives it unrestricted access to the partition. I highly recommend this route. Also be sure you are using the "Full Defrag" option.

    Problem 2.)

    The backlight occasionally flickers on random occasions. I assume the inverter board is on its way out? By flicker i mean its like someone is changing the brightness from full, to maybe 95%? The flickers are like real small changes, like i turned the brightness down 1 notch. However its very noticeable.

    -Any help in the above problems would be appreciated.

    If it helps, my system details are as follows:

    MacBook - 2006 Model
    Intel GMA 950 GPU
    Intel Core Duo Processor @ 2GHz
    2GB RAM
    320GB Hard Disk (34GB Of space remains)
    * 2 Partitions, 1 is Windows XP (80GB), the rest is for OS X.
    OS: Snow Leopard 10.6.7
    * System software is all up to date.
    I'm inclined to believe it is a hardware problem, especially if it occurs in Windows as well. If it does NOT happen in Windows, then it is highly unlikely to be a hardware issue. Also, while less likely, it could be a stuck key(s) or otherwise faulty keyboard (flickering via the dedicated brightness controls on the function keys).

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    ------
    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac ╗ Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
    ------
    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
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    Exclamation
    Quote Originally Posted by lifeisabeach View Post
    What version of iDefrag are you using? Version 2.x doesn't require a boot disk. It will reboot the Mac in a mode that gives it unrestricted access to the partition. I highly recommend this route. Also be sure you are using the "Full Defrag" option.



    I'm inclined to believe it is a hardware problem, especially if it occurs in Windows as well. If it does NOT happen in Windows, then it is highly unlikely to be a hardware issue. Also, while less likely, it could be a stuck key(s) or otherwise faulty keyboard (flickering via the dedicated brightness controls on the function keys).
    This IS happening in windows too unfortunately so i guess that confirms its a hardware issue, also if it were stuck keys, then the brightness notification box would pop up when the brightness were being changed, right?

    Also, as for iDefrag version i dont know, obviously below the version you mention because i need to reboot with a boot disk to get unrestricted access to the drive, also i AM selecting full defrag.

  4. #4

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
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    26,462
    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    With only about 10% free space, you may not have enough free space on the drive for a defragger to work properly - especially if the free space on your OSX partition is significantly less than that.

    In any case, with that small an amount of free space, I'd guess the defrag is going to take significantly longer than 4 hours as it is going to need to move stuff around first, just to give it enough free contiguous space to do it's job.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  5. #5

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user1690 View Post
    This IS happening in windows too unfortunately so i guess that confirms its a hardware issue, also if it were stuck keys, then the brightness notification box would pop up when the brightness were being changed, right?
    Yes, it would. So that pretty much settles that.

    Also, as for iDefrag version i dont know, obviously below the version you mention because i need to reboot with a boot disk to get unrestricted access to the drive, also i AM selecting full defrag.
    Bob nailed itů you have far too little free space. That also is a significant factor leading to your drive being so severely fragmented.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    ------
    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac ╗ Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
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    Exclamation
    Quote Originally Posted by bobtomay View Post
    With only about 10% free space, you may not have enough free space on the drive for a defragger to work properly - especially if the free space on your OSX partition is sifnificantly less than that.
    Free space on OS X Partition is 34.9GB

    Free space on Windows partition is 47GB

    I would have thought that be enough? Just done some tidying up, deleting unnessecary downloads/etc and moving less-used stuff to a external drive, and have now got 55GB free on OS X Partition.

    Besides, i thoughts Macs did all this automatically so defragging wasn't necessary?

  7. #7

    bobtomay's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 22, 2006
    Location
    Texas, where else?
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    Specs:
    15" MBP '06 2.33 C2D 4GB 10.7; 13" MBA '14 1.8 i7 8GB 10.11; 21" iMac '13 2.9 i5 8GB 10.11; 6S
    OSX does a great job working with the files themselves. It does nothing, the best I can tell, related to free space. This primarily becomes an issue with those of us that deal with large files, moving lots of data on and off the drive and filling our system partition up to around 30% free space or less. At least 30% is where I see my drive access times slow down. I now maintain no less than 40% free space, same as I always did/do with Windows - only on system partitions - non-system partitions I maintain 15% free space.
    I cannot be held responsible for the things that come out of my mouth.
    In the Windows world, most everything folks don't understand is called a virus.

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
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    Hmm.... Ok, well, i guess i can actually move alot of stuff to an external HDD, leaving more space internally...

  9. #9

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user1690 View Post
    Free space on OS X Partition is 34.9GB

    Free space on Windows partition is 47GB

    I would have thought that be enough? Just done some tidying up, deleting unnessecary downloads/etc and moving less-used stuff to a external drive, and have now got 55GB free on OS X Partition.

    Besides, i thoughts Macs did all this automatically so defragging wasn't necessary?
    The general rule of thumb is to have no less than 15% free space. More is better. As for auto-defragging, OS X only does so for files that are 20 MB or lower in size. There's more to how OS X handles fragmentation, and there are limitations. Here's a couple good reads:

    Does Mac OS X need a disk defragmenter/optimizer? | MacFixIt - CNET Reviews
    About disk optimization with Mac OS X

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
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    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac ╗ Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
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    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

  10. #10


    Member Since
    Apr 24, 2011
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    Exclamation
    Just a quick update on my issue,

    I have about 150GB free on my OSX partition now but i am still getting alot of fragmentation that just wont go away, as well as stuttering when im streaming, or even just watching a movie.

    I thought it might be the SMART status, but Disk Utility doesnt mention any issues, nor does Windows - Disk Checkup so... any ideas on what else i can do since de-fragging clearly isnt working.

  11. #11

    Lifeisabeach's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by user1690 View Post
    Just a quick update on my issue,

    I have about 150GB free on my OSX partition now but i am still getting alot of fragmentation that just wont go away, as well as stuttering when im streaming, or even just watching a movie.

    I thought it might be the SMART status, but Disk Utility doesnt mention any issues, nor does Windows - Disk Checkup so... any ideas on what else i can do since de-fragging clearly isnt working.
    Fragmentation most certainly can cause those issues. I had the same issue myself. It's strange that you can't get a complete defrag done though (you are using the "Optimize" option, right?). What version of iDefrag do you have?

    EDIT: I meant "Full Defrag" option, not "Optimize".

    You might want to run the Apple Hardware Test to check everything out thoroughly. Maybe you have some other hardware issue that it will catch. It's also possible you are having some disk issue that can't be detected by the SMART status. I read a tip last night suggesting stress-testing a drive by using Disk Utility to erase all the free space with the 7-pass option. If a drive is in the early stages of failing, this may help alert the user. Barring that, Disk Warrior can do a more thorough analysis.

    Please verify and include the exact model/year of your Mac and OS X version number (available from "About This Mac", then "More Info" on the Apple menu).
    ------
    Links: Onyx | EasyFind | Apple Hardware Test | How to test your hard drive | The Safe Mac ╗ Adware Removal Guide | Uninstall MacKeeper
    ------
    Lifeisabeach - Mac-Forums Member of the Month June 2009, Feb 2012, and March 2013.

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