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What is wrong with my MacBook--HELP!!

edited December 2012 in General
My MacBook lately has been freezing often, slowed down, and I need to reboot??
please HELP!!


  • edited December 2012
    Thanks for the post. It could be a lot of things, but my primary concern is to first figure out whether or not your hard drive is going bad, and to save your data. I would immediately back up anything valuable you have stored on your computer, and if you have a Time Machine drive, connect it and do a full backup. You can then replace the drive, boot to your operating system media, indicate you'd like to restore from a Time Machine backup, and then you're back in business. If you don't have a time machine drive, depending on what MacBook you have (the older the better, in this case) you can put your machine in target mode, connect it to another Mac with a Firewire cable, and copy your data to the other machine.

    When you say the computer "freezes", do you mean it freezes completely, or can you still move the cursor? If you can move the cursor, and you see the "beachball" spinning for long periods of time, this is evidence that the hard drive may be on the fritz.

    You can also go into Disk Utility to see if the drive is showing smart alerts. Smart alerts are broadcasts that a self-aware drive gives off when it knows it's going bad, sort of like an SOS. Basically if the representation of your drive shows up in red in Disk Utility, that indicates the drive may be close to dying.

    It's also possible, but less likely, that errant software is tying up your computer, and that the hard drive is actually fine. Powering up while holding down the shift key will launch the computer in "safe mode", which is basically a stripped-down version of the operating system, which is in theory free of many of the layers of software that may be causing an issue. If the computer works fine in safe mode, that may be an indication that software is the problem, and you can remove the offending applications in this mode. Particularly of note are backup applications, virus applications, software download/replication applications, or anything that works silently in the background yet consumes resources.

    Let me know how it goes, and good luck!

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