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  1. #1


    Member Since
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    Snow Leopard Ruined My MacBook
    I bought my MacBook in 2007. I’m a jazz composer and I’d heard that Macs were the obvious choice for music applications, and every recording studio I'd been in had a Mac computer running Pro Tools.

    I also bought a Lambda/Lexicon interface which was bundled with a basic version of Cubase (all I needed) and the latest version of Finale, a music notation program.

    Since 2007 that’s been my music environment and it ran flawlessly. But several months ago Gmail told me that my browser wasn’t current. Pandora wouldn’t run at all, and I do love listening to bebop on Pandora. So I finagled my way to get to speak to an Apple rep, how I don’t remember, and he said new browser? No problem. Order Snow Leopard.

    It was thirty dollars so I ordered it. When it arrived I installed it. That’s when everything went wrong.

    Cubase, my recording program, wouldn’t run at all. “No record file” it said. Finale ran, but very…bloody…slow, and when I quit it I got the message “Finale quite unexpectedly.” No it didn’t.

    So I contacted Apple tech support. Now I’m not going to go into detail about every one of the tech people I spoke to because it was a **** of a lot of them. I spent two days on the phone with these people and every time I spoke to a new one I had to tell my story all over again: my trusted MacBook is behaving very poorly and my recording program won’t run, and I really need to record stuff.

    Not one of them could work out what happened to my MacBook. I was told to repair permissions, install what new software there was, one guy fixed it so he could see my screen on his screen, oh man I was run through the course. The last support guy I spoke to told me that I had two choices: erase everything on the hard drive and start all over, hoping for the best, or buy a new computer. I asked him what he’d do if it were him and he said he’d carefully back up everything on the MacBook and then he’d get the new computer. He also told me he’d see to it that I was refunded the thirty dollars I’d spent on Snow Leopard.

    I realize this is a long post.

    This was three weeks ago and so far no refund. And I’ve decided to start looking at new computers (it looks like it’ll be the MacBook Pro.) I’m at a complete loss here. How can Apple get away with such a thing? How can its tech support people be so…lacking in interest and responsibility? My little MacBook is all at sixes and sevens now, I can no longer record on it and it’s now running slow, cranky and quite shaky, I’d describe it. Certainly not like it used to. I see the spinning color wheel all the time, it's just always there.

    So that’s my story, the reason I signed on to this forum. I know that no one here can help me with this, but I felt it was important to get all this said before I carry on from here. If anyone here, anyone at all, has a knowledgeable response to this I'm craving to see it.

    Thank you all for reading this.

  2. #2

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    I hate to say it...but from reading your post...I'm thinking two things:

    1. It sounds like you didn't do your homework researching if all of the important apps. you were using (before the OS upgrade)...were compatible with OS 10.6 Snow Leopard.

    2. I certainly wouldn't all of a sudden do an OS upgrade just because I got a gmail message saying my browser wasn't current.

    I'm sorry to hear about the troubles this OS upgrade caused...but as this computers owner & operator...you have to take some responsibility for what happened.

    I'm certain the OS upgrade to Snow Leopard did nothing permanent to your MacBook's hardware...you're simply having a bunch of software issues caused by the OS upgrade.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  3. #3


    Member Since
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    Quote Originally Posted by pigoo3 View Post
    I hate to say it...but from reading your post...I'm thinking two things:

    1. It sounds like you didn't do your homework researching if all of the important apps. you were using (before the OS upgrade)...were compatible with OS 10.6 Snow Leopard.

    2. I certainly wouldn't all of a sudden do an OS upgrade just because I got a gmail message saying my browser wasn't current.

    I'm sorry to hear about the troubles this OS upgrade caused...but as this computers owner & operator...you have to take some responsibility for what happened.

    I'm certain the OS upgrade to Snow Leopard did nothing permanent to your MacBook's hardware...you're simply having a bunch of software issues caused by the OS upgrade.

    - Nick
    I'm sure you're absolutely right, and I'll accept partial responsibility, but I never knew about doing homework researching the apps I was using. How does one know about such things?

    Also, how do I resolve all my software issues if none of the Apple tech support people could? Ah, well.

  4. #4

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by I Row Boat View Post
    I'm sure you're absolutely right. I never knew about doing homework researching the apps I was using. How does one know about that? I'm not a computer savvy person. Ah, well.
    I know what you're saying..."How can all of us be computer experts on top of all of the other things we have to be good at in everyday life??"

    Unfortunately (whether we are computer experts or not)...when we do things to our computers (like an OS upgrade)...which may have some serious negative impact afterwards...we still have to live with the consequences (good or bad).

    If I understand things correctly...you have two options:

    1. Purchase possibly expensive upgrades for all of your major apps. that aren't compatible with OS 10.6 Snow Leopard.

    2. As the one tech. support person suggested:

    - wipe your hard drive
    - then reinstall the old OS you had when things ran fine (which I'm assuming was a version of OS 10.5 Leopard)
    - then reinstall all of your apps. from the original CD's/DVD's

    Of course before you wipe the hard drive...back up all of your important files.

    The suggestion/option that you were given to "purchase a new computer"...to solve all the problems...really is not necessary.

    Yes this is all a BIG unnecessary pain in the butt...but you gotta do what ya gotta do!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  5. #5

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    I may not be totally understanding the situation, but what it looks like to me is:

    1) you need to back everything up to an external HD
    2) take your original (Tiger I presume) OS Disk and format and reinstall Tiger
    3) reinstall your APPs
    4) restore your data from your HD

    EDIT: Typed too slow again!
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  6. #6

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razormac View Post

    EDIT: Typed too slow again!
    Hey...we both came to what sounds like the same conclusion (and steps to remedy things)...so that's a good thing!

    - Nick

    p.s.. Except the part about whether the OP had Tiger or Leopard as the previous OS.
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  7. #7

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    I guessed Tiger because my MBP was purchased in Oct 2007 and originally came with Tiger.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  8. #8

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Razormac View Post
    I guessed Tiger because my MBP was purchased in Oct 2007 and originally came with Tiger.
    I guessed Leopard...because 10.5 comes before 10.6 (but that's no guarantee it's a good guess)!

    But if someone was upgrading directly from 10.4 to 10.6 (rather than 10.5 to 10.6)...I could see there being even more software compatibility issues.

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  9. #9


    Member Since
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    Mid-2012 MBP (16GB, 1TB HD), Monoprice 24-inch second monitor, iPhone 5s 32GB, iPad Air 2 64GB
    Another possibility (just a possibility):

    Sometimes doing major operations like system updates, I've noticed, exacerbates little drive problems into big ones. A bad sector that was not a big deal is now a dying hard drive because the OS forced the drive to overwrite the bad sector ... that sort of thing.

    His description of the problems since then sound a lot like a dying HD to me, so I'm not sure that going back to Leopard even if he could would fix things.

    This also (no offence to the OP) doesn't sound like a user who did routine maintenance or backups, or he would have rolled back to Leopard a long time ago. I think this lends support to my theory.

    In short, I'm skeptical that it was just Snow Leopard. Yeah, the outdated software (to the OP: it's really important to keep mission-critical software up-to-date as you've discovered) may be the culprit at least for Cubase, but I'm not so sure there's no mechanical issues at the root of this.

    I'd suggest a fresh hard drive (the old one is, by the OP's own statement, at least five years old) and reinstall of OS, apps and data, I would bet things will be mostly humming after that.

  10. #10


    Member Since
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    Thank you everyone for your replies.

    I decided to do what the last tech support person I spoke to suggested. I backed up the disk, erased everything on it and re-installed the original operating system. Then I re-installed Finale. Then I pulled some important files back onto the hard drive, and all that's working just fine.

    It's the recording part that still won't work, even after I re-installed the original Cubase LE program. "No Inputs" is the message I got when I was configuring the inputs and outputs. Weird. I'm not sure what to do about that, and being able to make MP3s of my demos makes up a big part of what I use my MacBook for.

    And somehow I'm able to run Pandora again! So...almost there.

  11. #11

    pigoo3's Avatar
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    Sounds like some positive progress!

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  12. #12

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Have you done all the OS updates?

    If not, download the combo updater and install; might fix your problem.
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  13. #13


    Member Since
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    Combo updater? I have to admit that I don't know what that is.

  14. #14

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    It's a DMG (Disk Image) file that has all of the updates. You download and install and you are done.
    Which OS version are you running?
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  15. #15


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    Quote Originally Posted by razormac View Post
    it's a dmg (disk image) file that has all of the updates. You download and install and you are done.
    Which os version are you running?
    10.4.11

    I don't know which animal that is.

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