My Mac is acting up

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ukimalefu
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My Mac is acting up

Post by ukimalefu »

Many things:

Boot time seems normal, up to the login screen, but after that it takes a few minutes, too many, to be usable.

Too many things cause a beach ball of several seconds. Opening windows, copying stuff... seems to be related to finder stuff, but I'm not 100% sure.

Sometimes, my external drive won't mount, the solution seems to be unplugging it, then connect it again, and wait. It doesn't mount right away. That's where I backup the internal drive to, and where I keep all my downloads :paranoid:

External is an SSD plugged into USB (I think this Mac has USB 3, don't know if that matters)

I run disk utility AND Onyx, AND do a backup once a week.

As usual, disk utility says the internal drive "appears to be ok", but that checks software, not hardware, right? it said the same about my old drive, until it died.

This has been going on for a while, but, I'm telling you now, mostly because I freak out about the external drive.

Maybe this Mac is just old? I mean, it is from 2014.

The internal drive has 393.37 GB available, out of 500.

The most demanding thing that uses the internal drive would be ... Chrome?

Thing is, it seems to work fine most of the time, until it chokes, and several seconds later comes back to life.

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ukimalefu
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Post by ukimalefu »

Another thing that may be unrelated:

Mouse drifting. OR, the arrow pointer. Sometimes it drifts, or jumps, or lags. I don't know. I googled and one option was "driver issues" because the mouse IS old... wait, this happens BOTH with a wired OR wireless mouse. Both are old, but that makes me think it's something else.

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DEyncourt
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Post by DEyncourt »

Grumph :(

That external SSD is the 1TB one I sent you, yes? It is possible that despite its youth it is flakey and thus causing your boot problems when you tell your Mac mini to boot up using the SSD.

It is hard to predict hard drive/SSD performance as they have "bathtub curves" for failure: some small number will fail early followed by a long mostly flat curve of a very few failing for a long time but eventually the curve will arc upwards due to age alone. That SSD I sent may be an early failure. It probably did not benefit being subjected to frequent power failures.

Let me contemplate some options.

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ukimalefu
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Post by ukimalefu »

DEyncourt wrote: Thu May 12, 2022 7:52 pm

That external SSD is the 1TB one I sent you, yes?

Yes, that's the only SSD I ever had.

When I say it won't mount sometimes, I mean as an external drive. I've only tried booting from it exactly 2 times. Both worked.

But sometimes I turn on my Mac and find out it didn't mount. It's a rare thing, but it has happened a few times.

I am more concerned with the Mac, and it's internal drive.

And the MAIN purpose of this thread is for me to understand what's going on and if I can do anything about it.

I NEVER ran disk first aid or onyx on the SSD, I'm not sure if I need to or should.

-

I've been updating the backup every monday, and everytime CCC said it was successful. So there's that.

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Post by DEyncourt »

Oh, OK.

So your problems with your SSD may be located elsewhere?

Try using another USB cable (sorry, I know: it is to laugh)?

Try plugging the USB cable to a different USB port of your Mac mini? If you are in habit of using the same USB port it could have worn out. I believe your Mac mini has 4 USB ports.

Unfortunately I had bought that SSD on the assumption that you MIGHT try installing it into your older Mac mini. I checked into MacTracker to see that your older Mac mini's hard drive interface is ATA while your newer Mac mini has a SATA HD interface, so you cannot install the SSD into your newer Mac mini even after removing its black rubber "case" which converts that interface into a USB port.

BUT now that I think about it: when I ordered that drive from iFixIt.com, I did not check to make sure that it had an ATA interface. I merely put it into that rubber case and got it running ASAP. Huh, it may be that no SSD comes in an ATA flavor. You might temporarily remove its rubber case and see that it matches the SATA drive interface in this Wikipedia article. It should look like the smaller drive sitting atop the larger 2.5-inch drive in the section about SATA drives.

Derp! Like the smaller drive atop the 2.5-inch drive:

Image

Sorry, too many fussy problems trying to post via my iPhone.

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maurvir
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Post by maurvir »

We really need to get you a MBP, Uki. I think your constant power problems are what is messing you up.

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Post by ukimalefu »

I'm afraid of removing the case and damaging it.

Another cable? I don't know if I have one that would work. It's probably a micro USB on the drive side?

I think I've tried a different port.

Today my Mac's performance has been... acceptable. every now and then, the amount of beach balls drives me mad, sometimes I give up and force-quit some apps, but it's not like the whole Mac freezes (or it's so rare I can't remember when was the last time)

-

Should I try something like this?

https://www.iphonetopics.com/tools-to-c ... ealth-mac/

Or Disk Utility?

https://www.wikihow.com/Check-Your-SSD-Health#On-Mac

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DEyncourt
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Post by DEyncourt »

maurvir wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 1:11 pm

We really need to get you a MBP, Uki

To be honest, I had NOT been working on this. I have my older MBP sitting in my MBP graveyard

Image

but I haven't done anything to it yet. I also have to think about what to add to it.

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Post by DEyncourt »

BTW: two of the MBPs and that white iBook are DEAD. The iBook could be resurrected by installing another hard drive (I would buy a new one if I were to do that), but the two dead MBPs will not boot up at all.

Before anyone asks: sorry, not interested in selling them. I will want to erase those drives which might involve tearing them open just to get to the drives.

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Post by ukimalefu »

Maybe part of my frustration is due to the fact that I've been spoiled by how insanely fast and responsive my iPhone is. :heh:

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Post by ukimalefu »

maurvir wrote: Fri May 13, 2022 1:11 pm

We really need to get you a MBP, Uki. I think your constant power problems are what is messing you up.

That has killed a few fluorescent tube lamps in the past. And today I had to replace a LED tube because only half of it was working, and it was blinking.

Lately, if it starts raining hard, I just turn off my Mac. Rain will almost always cause a blackout, so I don't wait for it to happen. But power outages can happen at random times, rain or not. And it can be nothing for 3 weeks, or 3 outages the same week. Sometimes it's brownouts, which I feel can be worse for electronics.

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Post by ukimalefu »

After testing Chrome OS and rebooting, neither the SSD or the USB flash drive mounted. I don't want to say it, but I will, 2 different drives on 2 different ports? the problem is the Mac.

It seems to be unpredictable when the problem will happen. It doesn't happen most of the time, but I won't be happy for that, it should never happen.

Unplugging and replugging, in the same ports, and they mounted.

:brow: :(

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Post by ukimalefu »

So today, I turn on my Mac, boot process seemed "normal" (ok, a bit long but still acceptable) I enter my password, hit return, and step away to go make coffee.

When I returned, the Mac was back on the login screen. I enter my password again and I'm welcomed by a black screen, a few seconds later, the first thing that appeared was a message saying something like "the mac started because of a problem", a few second later a finder window appears (unusable yet) meanwhile the rest of the screen is still black, then the menu bar appears, then the dock, then the desktop icons, then the apps that open at login. All this took quite a few MINUTES.

When I tried to search for something in the finder window, I gave up waiting for the files to appear, but the files are there, I checked.

I ran Disk Utility/First Aid on all 3 volumes of the external SSD. It said they all "appear to be ok" (I hate that expression, it's like it's not 100% sure)

I'm now going to boot from the backup on the external, just to run First Aid on the internal HD, besides repairing any problems it can, if any, it should also delete the spotlight index, and that's one recommended action when the finder has trouble showing files.

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Post by ukimalefu »

This post is using the CCC backup on the external SSD.

Wow. This IS fast. Which makes me think of the internal drive as a turtle, with broken bones and muscular dystrophy trying to walk on molasses.

-

Disk First AId says the internal drive "appears to be ok"

"Appears to be" :roll:

Going back to boot from the internal drive because I'm a masochist, and I want to update the backup

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Post by ukimalefu »

Now the SSD is stuck on a beach ball while shutting down

fiddlesticks me

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Post by ukimalefu »

I’m forcing it to shutdown by holding the power button

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Post by ukimalefu »

*sigh*

:(

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Post by ukimalefu »

Doing anything on this Mac right now scares me, but I'm a masochist daredevil, so I'm going to reset Chrome right now, not that it will change anything

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Post by ukimalefu »

CCC completed the backup task successfully

Now I'm gonna hit it with Onyx because I'm throwing everything I have at it today

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Post by ukimalefu »

Now it’s stuck on the screensaver while running onyx. I’m going to leave it alone for awhile but I’m thinking about going to find a hammer

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Post by ukimalefu »

The Mac restarted. Onyx does that when it’s done, so hopefully it did its thing.

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Post by ukimalefu »

Now I will suffer trough the spotlight indexing

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Post by ukimalefu »

Uhm, it could be wishful thinking or a placebo effect...

But resetting Chrome seems to have helped.

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