Mid 2009 Model A1278 / 2.26 or 2.53 GHz Core 2 Duo processor EMC 2326

865 Questions View all

Computer Running Extremely Slow & Trackpad Issues


So I have a couple questions. I'm completely new to repairing computers and doing anything myself. First of all, my Macbook Pro has had issues for about 3 years now. It runs really slow and takes forever to load applications, and when it does those applications often stutter and have issues staying open. I've monitored my Ram usage and it often goes down to <10 mb Free Ram. I don't have tons of extraneous applications running. In fact, I recently reformatted my hard drive to see if that would work. Even with nothing but base applications running, the computer is still having these issues.

I run both Windows 7 and Mac Mountain Lion OSX. Both operating systems have the same issue. Originally my Windows partition only had 100 gb, but now it has 300 gb (with my Mac OSX having the converse amount of 500 gb total). Originally my Windows partition only had 20gb free, so I thought that could be an issue, but it's still running the same with roughly 300 gb of free space on it.

On the Mac side, though it hasn't occurred for years, there was about a year period of time where it was constantly having kernel panics, so I don't know if that's relevant or not. The Mac has 4gb of Ram at the moment.

Does anyone have any idea what is going on? Would it be worth it to try to install 8gb ram with maybe a 1 Tb Hybrid harddrive, or would that be useless? I'm looking to make it a Windows only computer as I have another Mac because of this previous one's issues, but I can't afford to drop around $200 for these upgrades if they won't do anything.

Finally, the trackpad is having issues. It had it before and the Apple store fixed it when it was under warranty. Essentially the trackpad is kind of lifting outside of the computer and it is pretty hard to click (you have to press really hard). They told me it was just a screw that needed to be adjusted, but I can't find any guide specifically for this (just for replacing the trackpad altogether).

I should also mention that this same computer used to run Windows 7 in VMWare and play games like Age of Empires 3 with barely any issues (it could get a bit laggy, but overall was a pretty %#*@ smooth experience). It can barely load the VMWare software nowadays.

Answer this question I have this problem too

Is this a good question?

Score 0
Add a comment

Free shipping on all orders over $100 or containing a Pro Tech Toolkit!

Browse Our Store

2 Answers

Most Helpful Answer

The trackpad issue could definitely be caused by a bloated battery. Old and heavily used or defective Li-Po batteries in A1278 MacBooks commonly have this issue. Remove the battery and see if it fixes the trackpad issue.

As for the slow operation, that could be caused by a sensor malfunction, causing the computer to throttle itself as a safety mechanism (since it cannot monitor temperature values). Do the fans spin very loudly? If you open activity monitor, is there a process called "kernel_task" taking up ~100% or more of the CPU?

Was this answer helpful?

Score 3


No, there's no fan issues. They only start to get loud if I'm playing a game like Civ 5. I don't recall any instance of kernel_task taking up 100% of the CPU. Generally the CPU is fine with usage (according to activity monitor), it's the Ram that always seems suspicious. Firefox in particular seems to consume an ungodly amount of resources (though issues are present even with no Firefox on computer) and Chrome, if left open, used to cause the computer to crash.


Hmm. I would suggest getting your hands on 2GB or more RAM (1066MHz for your model), and replacing that with the RAM that you currently have installed to test to see if it makes a difference.


In that case, it'd just be easiest to upgrade the RAM to 8gb anyways I guess. I don't have spare RAM laying around.


Okay, good luck!!


> Do the fans spin very loudly? If you open activity monitor, is there a process called "kernel_task" taking up ~100% or more of the CPU?

Hi, Mine does. I have the exact symptoms you described. The mac wasn't running too slow, and didn't have these symptoms. But I upgraded the ram and sad and replaced the battery. Since then then fan's been running high all the time with kernel_task throttling the cpu. BTW the laptop isn't hot at all. Also apple hardware test showed TB3T error which the internet says is battery temperature sensor error.



Show 1 more comment

Add a comment

I will suggest replacing your trackpad this can cause to slow it down due to hardware failure.

Was this answer helpful?

Score 1


Upgrading Ram or SSD wont help trust me I fixed Macbooks with the same issue your having.


So is the computer just dying then? Like a bad motherboard or something? And also, are you saying that the trackpad could be behind the issues I've been experiencing with slowness?


The motherboard is not dying just a defective trackpad.


Sorry, don't want to sound like I'm beating a dead horse. But to be clear, the trackpad can cause issues with a computer running slow? I know next to nothing about hardware, just seems so odd that that could slow it down. Thanks for your help by the way, I appreciate it.


Yes the hardware that is failing or is becoming defect will cause it to be slow and then not work properly.


Show 2 more comments

Add a comment

Add your answer

Joshua Matthews will be eternally grateful.
View Statistics:

Past 24 Hours: 1

Past 7 Days: 6

Past 30 Days: 21

All Time: 684