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13" MacBook Pro - Freezes/Resumes every 10 min (freezes for 10 sec)

Hi -

I have a Mid 2010 13” MacBook Pro, currently running High Sierra 10.13.6. Never had problems and never replaced any parts. Original owner. General use and video-streaming only (no gaming).

Recently downloaded a version of DropBox via an email a friend sent. I never downloaded anything and this one time was a big mistake. My system slowed to a crawl and had to hard-power it down. I immediately removed any/all files related to DropBox, ran Disk Utility.

Problem: Since the download, my laptop freezes every 10 minutes for 10-12 seconds (it's a pattern - I've tracked this). I reinstalled High Sierra (10.13.6) and still the same problem.

Question: Not sure how to go about trouble-shooting this as I’d like to keep my system running a while longer until I figure out the next MacBook Pro I purchase (maybe Air? I’m reading the reviews).

I trouble-shooting things, but don’t know where to begin for this. I know many of you have more experience, so I would appreciate advice/direction.

FYI, I’ve posted this same message on another Mac site - has lots of views but zero replies. So, either my question is unique (think not) or too much of a newbie status.

But, I gotta begin somewhere, right? Thanks in advance.

Answered! View the answer I have this problem too

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Android 维修工具包

一个新的屏幕或电池就在一个套件之内。

现在开始购物

Android 维修工具包

一个新的屏幕或电池就在一个套件之内。

现在开始购物

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Chosen Solution

Dan and Dave - thank you both for your earlier replies/comments. I ended up doing an upgrade as I suspected that my original HDD was failing. In the end I upgraded to 16gb (2x8gb) of RAM, 500gb SSD and a new battery.

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That’s great! Sorry I didn’t think to note that, it that’s exactly right, a failing hard drive that is lagging or retrying will definitely show those symptoms.

The good news is that SSDs don’t fail that way. But keep enough empty so that the wear-leveling algorithm has an easier time spreading the wear around, it will last longer.

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And thank you for following up, that really helps improve the quality of information here!

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Thanks David. Space was never an issue for me on the old HDD; I still had 190 gb avail out of the original 256gb. I think age (9yo), it being an HDD and then possibly (possibly!) downloading Dropbox files onto the HDD pushed things over the edge. Well what turned out to be a temporary grumbling session (moi) pushed me into learning how to upgrade my MBP. Loved it! My new SSD (500gb), I highly doubt I'll make a dent in that storage. Quick question (or should I create a new post?), I want to buy a new external drive to backup my MBP. I already have the SSD kit (Bus). I bot 500gb OWC Mercury Electra 6G. Do I need to buy the same SSD specs for external SSD back-up OR can I think ahead and buy some that will service my existing mid-2010 back up specs AND a future MBP purchase (yet to be determined - I'm watching the boards/market). Thanks again.

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@David Keldsen - No problem. Happy to help!

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Most Helpful Answer

Lets do this locate the Activity Monitor app in your utilities folder. Launch it and leave it on your desktop with CPU column active with the highest on top so you can see it as you continue to use your system. Did you see a given process hit the top at the point your system froze up?

Update (07/13/2019)

What happens when you just use Safari instead of FireFox for your web browsing?

What is your drive and how big is it and how much free space?

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Hi Dan - first, thanks for your reply/help. Much appreciated.

First, I cleared “CPU History” earlier today. Since your reply, I have 3 readings of CPU process hitting the top - just before freeze, at freeze, and just after freeze (btw, I cannot toggle once the system freezes - thus the 3 readings). I also took pics of the readings.

Before freeze: Firefox 12.7% CPU.

During freeze: kernel task 2.3% CPU.

After freeze: Activity Monitor 18.4% CPU.

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Try sorting by disk activity as well. The hang can be on any shared resource, not just cpu

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So, thanks for previous posts but no clarity yet. I've been monitoring Activity Monitor but there doesn't seem to be one real culprit at the moment. Here are the processes that stay near the top (% CPU) when the entire system freezes. Not in any specific order, they are:

Activity Monitor

WindowServer

hidd

sysmond

kernel_task

Safari

Safari Networking (if I have browser open)

Report Crash

Just to rule out adware/malware/virus (because of the download that crashed my system initially) - I ran Antivirus Zap. So far, no problems although have to work through protected files which takes a bit longer and does seem to tax the system (95+ %CPU - fans running).

Possibly the hardware is just failing (it is 9 yo) and the Dropbox download pushed the system too far? Time (now) for a new MBP or run this one until it dies?

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And yes, I'm monitoring disk activity as well to see if anything pops.

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Just to sum up; no obvious cpu load or stuck processes meant that it had to be below the level of kernel instrumentation, in this case a failing hard drive.

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This system has a SATA II interface so the problems with the SATA cable we often see in the newer SATA III systems would be less of an issue. Even still a bad cable could have been an issue.

The last issue is making sure you have a compatible SSD installed. Some of the newer drives are fixed SATA III (6.0 Gb/s) and won't work reliably in these older systems. So far the only vender which states it clearly on their spec sheets is Samsung. If you call or email Crucial, SanDisk or WD you'll get a very iffy answer.

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Hi Dan, thanks. Yikes, I'm wondering if that's what's causing my current intermittent heating issue after the upgrade. I have another post running now (same MBP we're talking here) entitled, "Mid-2010 13" Upgraded RAM/SSD/Battery now heating up". You suggested running TG Pro to monitor.

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Mary W will be eternally grateful.
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