When a tool works, I like to keep it as long as possible. About 8 years ago, I bought a 15″ MacBook Pro, and it has served me well all this time. Apple replaced the logic board a few years ago (under warranty!) because of graphics issues. Since purchasing, it’s had it’s memory upgraded, the hard drive replaced for an SSD and the optical drive swapped out with a hard drive. I replaced the SSD again for a larger 512GB model (Crucial CT512MX100SSD1) when they became cheaper. So far so good.
Recently, a friend gave me a defective MBP, which turned out to be the exact same model (A1286). Great for spares, I thought. Lo and behold, there was a whopping 960GB SSD (A Crucial ct960m500ssd1) inside. “Why not swap that into mine?”
I wish I hadn’t. While the swap was relatively easy, and the computer worked okay, it got a little sluggish over time. I upgraded macOS and it got even slower. Until I got to a point where I couldn’t even send an e-mail without getting the hated macOS “Spinning Pinwheel Of Death” (SPOD). Once every 30 seconds. Sometimes Spotify would even stop playing music, even when I didn’t even touch the machine.
I’ve had this OS install since I bought it. All the development kits, homebrew, libusb-type hacks etc; maybe something is acting up. Let’s try a clean install. Nope, still getting beachballs right after booting a VM. Different SATA cable – nope. Other memory. Oh well.
Must be all the OS upgrades, I thought. Also, I’ve been asking quite a lot from such an old machine, running a lot of programs simultaneously – even some VM’s too. “But it always worked flawlessly!”. I was seriously considering buying a new laptop, even looking at Windows machines because of the price difference. A MacBook Pro with similar storage and memory would’ve cost ±€4000, though.
Then it hit me. The problems started – gradually – about a year ago. About the same time I upgraded to the M500 SSD. Swapped back the MX100, clean install; bingo! VMWare Fusion, running Windows 10 and Windows XP simultaneously, different browsers with 4K video, some file transfers running in the background; no problem.
Since I couldn’t find anything online about this apparent incompatibility, I thought I’d share it here. What makes it even more problematic is that the drive seems to work fine; the OS installs, it boots, etc. You’ll only notice the hangs and freezes after a while. That’s what makes this so insidious.
I don’t know the root cause of the problem, and at this point I don’t care. 512GB ought to be enough for anybody 😉
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Hi! I experienced something similar. But I’ve found that the drive was failing. Just check yours with the DriveDX app, it will give you all the information and health status of your HDs and SSDs.