Why is my MacBook Pro running slower than it used to?

I have a 2011 Macbook Pro and it's performance has been fluctuating in the past few months.

One reason could be that the battery has worn out due to overcharging and when disconnected from a power source, the laptop switches off immediately (has happened quite a few times) - the next time i switch it on, the date and time are reset to 01/01/2001 5:00 AM.

I would like to know if dust collecting in a laptop can cause it to slow down.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Okay, so I've run the first aid thing on my disk utility, and it says 2 things:

1. The volume Recovery HD appears to be ok

2. The partition map appears to be ok

Does this mean that my MBD and essential files are not fragmented as you said? If they are not, then why the slowdown?

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No, all that means is you don't have a messed-up MBD and cross linked files from not powering down correctly. You'll need to get a 3rd party app to defragment your HD. I like Drive Genus but there are others which are just as good.

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You are slowly killing your HD. That sudden shutdown can mung up the MBD (master boot directory) so that you disk is unusable. So the slowdown is because the MBD and essential files on your machine are fragmented. Only stopping the crashes, reinstalling the OS on a reformatted (non-fragmented) HD can put the life back in your laptop.

The battery should power the CMOS (in the Mac world that's called the EFI) many Mac Laptops do not have separate CMOS (backup) battery - some do. The EFI/CMOS stores certain information bout your machine among them the date and time. That default is an easteregg to the programmer who wrote part of the OS. It also lets a user know he's killed all the juice to the machine.

Every time you crash the OS you risk corrupting essential data files you can get away with it once or twice (a few times acutally - like running a stop sign, not everyone is killed the first time the run an intersection, but the odds are not in your favor). But if you continue in this fashion your machine will go from slow to frozen... in non-startup mode.

Apple states that running late model laptops without a battery slows them down.

You need to replace your battery ASAP and SWITCH OFF THE COMPUTER before unplugging it.

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Yes while you're in there blowing out the dust is a good idea... I hope you are keeping a current backup of essential files.

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Yes, I have everything backed up on an external HD and I'm in the process of ordering a new battery. Thank you very much. :)

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You may want to do some house cleaning! get rid of old no longer needed files so you can free up some space on your HD. Then de-fragment your HD.

You may want to open your system and with some can'ed air and a paint brush carefully clean out the dusk build up. Now that Winter is here the air is dryer which means you need to follow proper ESD precautions (ESD mat & wrist strap properly grounded) as you could damage your system if your not careful.

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