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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    Australia
    Posts
    201

    Default MacBook needs a complete wipe (I think)

    Hi

    Having some problems with a MacBook we have showing the following symptoms :

    Spinning Wheel of Death (once a week easily)

    Heats up very quickly

    Wifi drops out consistently

    Think we need more RAM.

    Also want to find our if we can move all the content to a hard rive in lieu of storing it on the mac itself.

    Thanks in advance.

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Melbourne
    Posts
    6,927

    Default

    Hi,

    what model Macbook? The original "plastic" models 2006/7/8 were notorious for having had excessive thermal paste on the CPU, which would have most definately dried out by now. The fans would also be clogged full of dust. The hard disk is easily removed; just take out the battery and you can slide it out with removing a small metal bracket.

    In short, it sounds like it needs a bit of a physical overhaul first and then a new HD/fresh install of OS X second. Whether or not you feel that's worth it is your decision, but with a bit of TLC it should keep going nicely.

    JB

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2006
    Location
    Adelaide, South Australia
    Posts
    1,234

    Default

    I think Byrd's hit the nail on the head here. If it's an older MacBook of the 2006-2008 vintage, those machines are 5 to 7 years old now, and that means at the very least they could use a service.

    Almost every MacBook of that vintage I've worked on has had dried out thermal paste and dust in the fan and heatsink assembly, meaning they heat up very quickly, usually have issues shedding the heat, and as a result the CPUs thermal-throttle like crazy, basically the processor reduces its own performance in an attempt to cool itself down. Most machines I've worked on like this have seen significant improvements in performance simply from cleaning the fan and heatsink and replacing the thermal paste, and thankfully it's not incredibly costly either, $20 at the most if you DIY it, or only 1 hour of shop time if you have a decent Apple Authorised Service Provider perform it.

    With that done, and a fresh install of OS X, it could clean up rather nicely.

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Outback Queensland
    Posts
    2,061

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 310 View Post
    Hi

    Having some problems with a MacBook we have showing the following symptoms :

    Spinning Wheel of Death (once a week easily)

    Heats up very quickly

    Wifi drops out consistently

    Think we need more RAM.

    Also want to find our if we can move all the content to a hard rive in lieu of storing it on the mac itself.

    Thanks in advance.
    Ultimately, there's only two causes of computer problems; hardware, and software.

    If you have a software problem then wiping and re-installing is one potential fix.

    If you have a hardware problem, wiping isn't the answer.

    If you need more RAM then you need more RAM. Nothing else is going to substitute for adding RAM.

    The rest of the issues you've listed could be accounted for by overheating. That's a hardware problem. At the least, a good clean would be in order. Without being able to see the laptop, who knows what else might be needed.

    Yes, you can move your content to an external hard drive. But it depends on why you want to do this as to it's actual benefit to you. A better approach would be to have good backups on an external drive but keep using the internal one for your data. If you're running out of space on your internal drive then it may also be an option to upgrade that to one with more space.

    David

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