Released June 2012, Model A1278. Intel processor with Turbo Boost, Up to 512 MB DDR5 Video RAM

760 Questions View all

Laptop very slow, replaced HDD & HDD cable, what now?

Macbook Pro 13" mid 2012 (MD101 with i5/2.5/500) came in with busted HDD (was not possible to recover data).

Replaced the HDD with a Toshiba 500GB drive 2.5", installed a new system 10.8.

Couple of months later, laptop came back, working very very slow, taking lots of time to react to right-mouse click, double click on video and it hardly plays. Last time I turned it on, the wallpaper was blank and would only "reveal" the wallpaper image where the mouse pointer hovers.

Disk utility did not detect any problem with the HDD.

Tried replacing the HDD cable, and tested the laptop, it started working perfectly well.

Few days later (today), owner called and said laptop was very slow and unresponsive. What should I explore next?

- Boot from external HDD?

- What else can I try? I will have limited time to work on this one since owner will travel tomorrow and I would like to have all options on the table to try them one by one.

Thanks for any help provided!

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 1
Add a comment

3 Answers

Chosen Solution

Toshiba drives are slow. Hard drives in general are slow as !&&*, but Toshiba takes the cake with laptop drives.

When the drive cable goes bad the drive goes bad soon after usually.

Slow is really subjective though. I find any machine with a mechanical hard drive feels "broken" after using an SSD for three years.

Get them a 500 GB SSHD from seagate, the 8 GB cache of SSD storage for apps/OS and whatnot makes it feel fast to them so they won't call back and ##&&% that it is slow.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1

Comments:

Ok I'll try that once I receive the laptop, and come back to you with the result, thanks Louis!

by

Since I had replaced the SATA-HDD cable 10 days ago and since it had been in very bad shape, I figured that it probably damaged the HDD like Louis said. Disk utility in Restore Mode didn't detect anything wrong, but the laptop sometimes seemed to "skip a beat." I sent it to an Apple service center, they hooked it and the HDD would fail the extended test sometimes and it would pass some other times (they repeated the test a few times). That HDD will have to be replaced.

by

I figured.

With MX100 Crucials at $100 for 256 GB, this is a great chance to leave the HDD behind and move to an SSD! ;)

by

Add a comment
Most Helpful Answer

How much RAM does the system have? This same model has been around for 2.5 years; the stock build has only 4GB RAM, which is wildly insufficient to do anything more than start the OS. It will take 16GB, which will make the system much faster.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 2

Comments:

It has 4GB or RAM, but I prefer investing in 8GB RAM + SSD for this particular model. I found that going from 8 to 16 does not add much to an i5 like this one.

by

I agree, surfing and light work processing rarely need more RAM than 4GB. But, video and graphics do need more and as fast as you can get storage.

by

Rany, I'm going to have to disagree with your economic calculation, although my numbers may not make sense outside the US. Storage prices always go down, but RAM has a price curve: It's expensive when it's the latest generation, cheap when it's a few generations back, then gets more expensive again as it gets older. There is an optimum time to buy any generation of RAM - when it's about 1-2 years old. After that, the price rises as the supply drops. Anyone who's priced DDR2 RAM lately can confirm this. For laptops (or any system with only two slots), my rule is to max out the RAM at the moment the generation bottoms out; that way, you don't spend money on RAM you end up replacing, and you eliminate it as an issue. More RAM gives an instant boost to everything you do. To the extent that you can keep operations in active memory and off swap disk, more RAM will always beat faster disk for performance improvement. SSDs will just get cheaper, and you can always put them in later.

by

As Dan says, it depends on what you're doing with the system. But think about web surfing: It uses a lot more RAM than it used to, especially with streaming video. YouTube is the Web's third-busiest site; how much data does it pump out? All that data is loading in somebody's browser, and consuming somebody's RAM. That's where normal surfing is today.

by

Add a comment

You may want to investigate what the user is doing with his system. It's starting to sound like the HD is very full and/or highly fragmented.

I would try running Disk Utility first booting up from an external drive to see if just doing that alters things (without touching the hardware). If it did that likely points to the full/frag'ed drive issue (your drives btree was fragmented). I would give Drive Genius or some other good defrag app a try next so all of the files got cleaned up.

The other point here is the drive maybe on the small size for what this person is doing. Maybe a bigger drive is needed. I would go with a SSHD (hybrid drive).

While I love SSD's, there lack of space given the cost factor and using them in a dual drive setup as not being stable in this series limits there usefulness. We gave up doing the dual drive after having so many problems. Which is why we stick with the Seagate SSHD as our solution. Here you get the speed of the SSD and the deep storage of a traditional HD in one device replacing the HD with it.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1

Comments:

The disk is half empty. The user mostly does college homework, listens to music, etc.

Disk utility never found anything wrong except for some permissions repairs.

by

Add a comment

Add your answer

Rany will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 3

Past 7 Days: 19

Past 30 Days: 118

All Time: 3,726