View Full Version : MBP 13 inch random/regular crashes

3rd August 2009, 02:16 PM
Hey guys,

So, I've got a thing happening here, and I'm wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar. The story so far :

- one month old MBP 13 inch base model
- new 7200 320gb Seagate HD
- clean install on new HD, docs moved, apps installed, no migration assistant used

Fine for I guess a month. Then last week, first freeze - but an odd one, that I've not experience in Leopard on a variety (4) of machines in the last couple of years.

First, the active app freezes. All system processes (menubar with menumeters) function OK, alt tab still allowed, other apps work. Then spinning wheel a few minutes later, then complete lockup, have to button off.

It's happened with Safari, Mail and Things (a to do app) as the active application.

After the first occurrence last week, on reboot I had circle with a line through it. Another reboot and I was back. Haven't seen that since (thankfully).

Probably happened 5/6 times since, including twice this morning.

Is the hard drive faulty? I can't really diagnose it, as when I boot back in, I don't get a "Leopard unexpectedly shut down" message.

Any ideas?

I haven't installed the EFI update from a couple of weeks back that was screwing with 3rd party drives.

I'm a bit stuck on how to diagnose what is at fault with this one.

I've repaired permissions etc.

I've got 4gb RAM here I'm about to chuck in - or should I diagnose further first? If I'm opening the 10-12 screws, and I need to change the HD, I'd rather do it at the same time obviously.

Any advice appreciated!


3rd August 2009, 02:29 PM
install the EFI update.

3rd August 2009, 02:30 PM
Your random freezes have all the hallmarks of some not-quite-in-spec RAM.

I would grab MemTest OSX (http://www.memtestosx.org/) if I were you and let it have a good ol' chug overnight and see what it has to say for itself.

3rd August 2009, 02:38 PM
he hasn't changed out the apple-provided RAM yet? (only the hdd)

3rd August 2009, 02:41 PM
@ Cybix - so that EFI issue has been resolved? I can't find that thread around here.

Here's a link FYI.

Apple - Support - Discussions - Firmware update and SATA II hard drive ... (http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2054387&start=120&tstart=0)

@ Brains - I have the original 2gb Apple RAM installed - and can't do PayPal from where I am at the minute - should I just take the plunge and install my brand new 4gb RAM?

3rd August 2009, 03:11 PM
Try throwing in the ram and see if it still happens. It does sound a little ram related so you could have a faulty batch with the laptop.

3rd August 2009, 03:23 PM
Cybix: nothing to say Apple can't ship the occasional iffy stick -- it's known to happen :)

3rd August 2009, 03:25 PM
I'm with Brains.
Try Memtest or Rember which is a GUI front end for the same CLI software.

These perform a more exhaustive suite of tests than done by the diagnostics with your system restore disk, accessed by starting up with the disk in the DVD drive and the D key held down.

Might be worth running the diagnostics too, or if you have Techtool Pro run its suite of hardware tests.

3rd August 2009, 05:04 PM
Thanks for the tips guys. I'll start with the hardware test tonight while I'm at rehearsal.

@Jim Woz - I thought it was C to boot off the optical drive?

3rd August 2009, 05:05 PM
JimWoz - can I run Rember in the background while I'm working?

3rd August 2009, 10:47 PM
No, it will want to test all the RAM, so will want to take over the machine. MemTest OSX is better, as it can do the testing without any OS getting in the way.

4th August 2009, 01:09 PM
To run a Apple Hardware Test on any recent Mac, simply reboot and hold down D (for diagnostics) - you don't need the startup CD in the drive as it's now preinstalled on the hard drive.

Make sure you run the extended test, and if you hit L on the keyboard (undocumented), it will loop until it finds an error or you cancel it. Great if you want it to run overnight.

Apple Hardware Test will test all the RAM without any OS getting in the way. The only more thorough test is the Apple Service Diagnostics, which isn't given out to normal users.

4th August 2009, 05:38 PM
Hey all,

Thanks for the advice. Ran hardware test/RAM test over night (the Apple one) - no fault (found at least).

Have just popped in the 4gb of RAM, so will see how we go.

4th August 2009, 05:52 PM
MacBook Pro owners report hard drive lag (http://www.tuaw.com/2009/08/03/macbook-pro-owners-report-hard-drive-lag/)