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Switcher Hangout The place for switchers to discuss their new machines, and how to work with OS X. General support can be had here for newbie stuff, like "How do I restart my new iMac?" :)

New to macs, just wondering some things


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Battleman13

 
Member Since: Nov 28, 2011
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Basically I am not now and probably will not become a Mac person
but my new girlfriend of about 4 months is a Mac girl and well she
isn't very tech savy.

I am very experience in the PC world, having been building, setting up,
troubleshooting and fixing PC's for over ten years now. Chances are if
you have a PC/Windows related problem I can fix it.

So mainly right now I've been mainly a windows guy, starting from
windows 95 all the way to the windows 8 beta and I have used
(although not liked) every M$ OS inbetween.

However she is having issues with her 13" White MacBook model number
MB062LL/A. It's a 2.16ghz Core 2 Duo with 1GB of ram and a 120GB hard
drive. It's running kinda slow especially on the internet and when she goes
to play facebook games like the sims or monopoly.

I did the proper tech maintenance to this thing already.

I disassembled the MacBook and sprayed her out completely to remove all the dust. I didn't think to remove the heat sink and apply new thermal compound or check to make sure the fan is still running as she does get a little hot. I removed the memory sticks and cleaned the connectors.

I've installed and run CCleaner on the macbook which basically gets rid of all the "crap" that will accumulate on your computer. But it really doesn't seem to have made a huge difference.

I've also noticed she only has 1GB of memory installed and from researching it seems this isn't good enough in the mac world. Windows vs Mac aside I know that memory is a big deal and you need to have enough of it, it's too cheap not to have enough so I've ordered her a 4GB (2x2GB) set of memory sticks. I've heard that this particular macbook will only recognize 3GB of it?

Even if that is true, 3GB is much better then just 1GB. 3 times better!

Her battery isn't being recognized by the computer and the "about system" thingy tells her to replace the battery now so I bought her a replacement.

The ram and the new battery should be here soon.

Here are my questions:

1) How do I go about formatting this drive and doing a fresh, clean reinstall of the Snow Leopard operating system. I am not sure if she has any disks at all for this. I know for windows this is a simple procedure but as I sort of understand it, each "install DVD" for mac has the specific drivers for that hardware "built" into the disk. It's not a generic install disk like say a windows 7 DVD would be. Do I absolutely have to have this disk? If she doesn't have it what can I do about that?

I ask question number one because in the PC world when a computer is running like crap, most often the best and quickest course of action is to backup your files and do a complete format followed by a re installation of the operating system.

2) How well does this Intel GMA 950 graphics run? I mean she is claiming to have issues playing facebook games but I'm wondering if that's a "fixable" problem. I know that my Dell XPS M1530 sort of lags when playing facebook games but can play WoW just fine at high resolutions with settings turned up.

3) She wants to get Lion installed. I am planning on getting her a SSD to improve the performance of this macbook. Is there anything I should know about? Does Lion support TRIM? I'm planning on a 120GB SSD, as if she does get a new laptop in the future she can take the SSD with her.

I'm trying to fix up her MacBook and "future proof" it for a little while and make it usable for her. Buying her a new one is out of the question as mac products are VERY expensive. I'm fine with putting $200 into the one she has (battery, ram and SSD) if it means the mac will run like a champ again. I do think it needs formatted and a fresh install of Snow Leopard for the time being though.

Any advice?


Thanks in advance!
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IvanLasston

 
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1 - the same is true with any system - the "quickest" fix is to wipe and re-install the OS. The computer comes with a grey disk which has the OS install on it - but the drivers are specific to the computer so you couldn't use an iMac grey disk on a Macbook. There is a retail version of Snow Leopard - that has all the drivers which is another way to re-install the OS. You absolutely have to have either a Retail disk or the disk that comes with the computer. You could call up Apple and ask them for the install disk for that computer - I think they charge something for it - or you could try to find an Snow Leopard Retail disk.

2 - The GMA 950 is the GMA 950. It isn't the greatest graphics card around. It is using shared memory so for more graphic intensive tasks it probably will lag.

3 - Make sure when you grab Lion you build a boot disk before installing. Has to be done before install.
Google

Trim
How To: Enable TRIM Support For All SSDs in OS X Lion | MacTrast

You are talking about a laptop from 2007 - adding RAM and getting a SSD will help some - but core 2 duos are getting long in the tooth. With a geekbench score under 3000 - most new games and software may feel sluggish.

Have you looked into a refurbished Mac?
Refurbished Mac Computers - Refurbished Laptops, Notebooks & Desktop Computers - Apple Store (U.S.)
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Battleman13

 
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I think I can get a hold of a retail DVD, shouldn't be hard at all. I would like to just format her Macbook and reinstall... see what that does.

I know the lappy is a bit dated but the Core 2 chips really aren't all that slow.. now I don't know the extent of that as far as a Mac OS goes but a core 2 chip is a pretty snappy customer in a windows 7 environment especially for the casual user (which she is).

She won't be playing things like Modern Warfare 3 or Battlefield 3 but browser based games instead if she does play games. She mainly uses the Macbook to prowl around the internet and for office.

Those refurbs are still a bit too expensive for me I'm in the fifth year of a computer science major / math minor and well college drains me for cash.

Thanks for the help!
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RavingMac

 
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Two quick things:
1) I know you ordered 4Gb of RAM, but would be worth it to check at OWC to make sure you have the right RAM for her machine. Macs can be very picky and not just any sticks will work
2) Verify that she has at least 15% free space left on her HD. Performance will begin to degrade rapidly below that

Apple Mac Memory Upgrade Options: Easy Buying Guide, Free Install Videos. Memory backed by Lifetime Advance Replacement Warranty.

I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .
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Battleman13

 
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G.SKILL 4GB (2 x 2GB) 200-Pin DDR2 SO-DIMM DDR2 667 (PC2 5300) Dual Channel Kit Laptop Memory Model F2-5300CL5D-4GBSA

That is the ram kit I ordered off of newegg. I ran into the OWC website before but I really couldn't justify spending the extra $20 or so.

The most recent feedback for those memory sticks on neweggs site claim that it worked in a late 06 Macbook and a late 07 Macbook as well as plenty of other reviews saying they worked in a Macbook. I'm hoping these do work but if they don't I do have two other uses for them!

So it didn't hurt me to try I guess! But thanks for the heads up, appreciated!


As far as having 15% free, she has 75GB of 120GB free. So that isn't causing her any slowdowns.


Thanks again though, I appreciate any help
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BrianLachoreVPI

 
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I don't know anything about CCleaner - but similar software advertised with similar capabilities isn't that well thought of around here.

A clean OS install would be my last resort - but it's certainly an option.

I would definitely download Onyx and do a permissions repair and cache flush and any other of the maintenance routines you think relevant prior to doing a clean reinstall. Doesn't hurt to do a check of the hard disk with Disk Utility.
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dtravis7

 
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Another vote for Onyx.

The Ram you got should be just fine. Only thing with OWC is if there are issues, they guarantee their ram to work with your Mac model and will make it right if there are issues.

You can purchase Snow Leopard for just $29. It will install on any Intel Mac.

I think others answered your other questions.
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