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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Slow MacBook Pro question!


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bmw5st

 
Member Since: Jan 19, 2012
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Hi y'all! Sorry for the rather long post, but I would really appreciate some insight on my issues! I've exhausted all Apple resources, and I'm not sure where to go from here. Thank you so much for your help in advance!

So I've had my beloved MacBook Pro for approximately 2 years now, and everything was just fine and dandy up until about 2-3 months ago. The first problem that I noticed was that I was unable to wake my Mac from sleep mode. Whether sleep was induced by standing idle or by closing the computer, I was forced to restart the computer by holding the power button (often several times before the thing would even respond) every time it went to sleep. To combat this problem until I could get to the Apple store, I downloaded the wonderful "Caffeine" app to inhibit sleeping altogether.

Anyways, I was able to get to an Apple store about a month after the sleep problems began, and the Genius tested the computer's sleep mode by "stressing the system" (i.e., he ran a whole bunch of programs all at once). Sure enough, the computer went to sleep and didn't wake up without restarting it. He was able to deduce that there was a problem with the magnetic sleep switch, so they replaced it. However, when we stressed the system after the sleep switch was replaced, the same thing happened. Now, this is where the story gets a little fuzzy, because I had a hard time following the Genius when he explained the "real" problem. He explained the sleep process as follows: When the computer sleeps, it must remember all the programs that were running so that it can open them again when it wakes up. When it finishes "remembering," the little sleep light will breathe. The reason that my computer isn't waking up is because I'm interrupting the remembering process. He said that this is an issue for all MacBooks, and I will just have to wait for the light to breathe before waking my Mac and there isn't a darn thing I can do about it

However, I've been unable to wake it up both before AND after the light starts breathing. Also, if this is a problem with Macs of all types and ages, then why did I just start noticing this? It's hard to believe that Apple would let a problem like this persist.

The Genius also recommended that I update my programs, so I downloaded Lion. Ever since the update, my computer has been getting gradually slower. I'm a college student, and it's to the point where I can barely take notes in class because I get that stupid little "waiting" symbol all the time. I have the application MacCleanse, which has helped keep my system running smoothly in the past. I run it weekly, but I still see no improvement.

So, there you have it. My 2-year-old MacBook Pro is unable to wake up the majority of the time and it's slow as molasses. For some background info, I only use my computer for schoolwork (no gaming, video or picture production, music making, etc.). I do usually have several Internet windows open at a time (plus some Microsoft Office applications), but I've been doing that ever since I got my Mac.

Unfortunately, I'm not very computer literate, so I would greatly appreciate if someone could enlighten me on what's going on in laymen terms . Thank you for reading!
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chscag

 
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, OS X Mavericks

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You didn't tell us how much system memory your MacBook has or how full your hard drive is. Both can impact on the speed of the machine.

Here are some suggestions: Download the free maintenance and cleaning utility "OnyX". Forget about MacCleanser, it's not effective and can actually do damage to your system. Read the instructions for OnyX and set it to run in automatic mode.

Next suggestion: Try resetting the System Management Controller as that controls power settings including sleep and wake.

As I stated above, memory and hard drive space are important. A full or nearly full hard drive will slow everything down. And... don't forget to make backups.
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bmw5st

 
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Thanks for responding, chscag! Sorry I didn't provide the appropriate info- like I said, I'm not very computer savvy. Anyways, I have 199.31 GB out of 249.2 GB free on my hard drive. For the memory, it says "2 GB 1067 MHz DDR3." It also says, "Your Mac contains 2 memory slots, each of which accepts a 1067 MHz DDR3 memory module. 1 memory slot is in use, 1 is available." I'm not entirely sure what any of this means, but neither seem so full that it would bog down the processing speeds.

Also, thanks for the suggestion about MacCleanse and resetting the System Management Controller. These seems like great recommendations, and I will follow through on them immediately. Thanks again for your help!
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chscag

 
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2008
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Mac Specs: 27" iMac i5, 3.2 GHz, iPad 3, iPhone 5c, 3 iPods, OS X Mavericks

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There's something wrong with memory if what you stated here is correct. Here's why:

Every MacBook and MacBook Pro leaves the factory with the memory slots populated. No empty slots. (different story for iMac) Given that your MacBook Pro shows 2 GB of memory, I would suspect that each slot (there are only two) is populated with a 2 GB module. Your MacBook Pro came with 4 GB installed. That tells me you either have a dead slot or one of the modules is not functioning. Hence the slow speeds.

I just double checked with MacTracker and that's correct. You might want to open your MacBook Pro and physically check to see what memory is installed. You don't have to pull it, just give it a visual. Let us know and we can go from there.
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bmw5st

 
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Well, this is quite interesting. So I opened it up to visualize the memory, and I looked like all the slots were full. I didn't touch anything, but my dad poked around the memory holder thing just to make sure nothing was loose. Anyways, I put it back together, restarted it, and checked the memory again... Now, it's saying that I have 4GB and that each of my two memory slots are currently in use!

chscag, I think you just diagnosed my slow processing and had me inadvertently fix it... You, sir or ma'am, are my hero. Also, I downloaded OnyX like you suggested. I love it. Even I can tell that it's a ton better than MacCleanser (and, it's free!). I'll keep monitoring the memory space to make sure both of the memory slots remain functional. Thank you SO much for your help!
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