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Old 09-30-2011, 02:46 PM   #1
BFace805
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Macbook Pro won't boot from install DVD

I have a 13" mid 2010 Macbook Pro that is ungodly slow. It freezes up when running just about anything. I've ensure that very little is running and it still freezes up just running the internet. I upgraded my RAM to 8GB (Kingston 4x2). The computer worked but is still having the same lock up/processing issues. I decided to replace my hard drive so I bought a new Seagate Momentus XT.

I installed it and tried to boot off the install CD by pressing the Option key and I was only given a folder with a question mark. It doesn't give me the option to book from the replacement install disk that I got from Apple Care.

I decided to put the old HD back in and it booted fine from the HD. When trying to reformat the HD by booting from the install DVD, it doesn't give me the option. It only wants to let me boot from the HD.

The DVD drive works normally when the computer is on. It recognizes the DVD and any other CD/DVD I put in. It just won't allow me to boot from it because it doesn't seem to find it.

I need advice please! I'm a photographer and have some photo sessions to edit for clients. I need this working ASAP. The current state of the factory HD wont allow me to edit photos at any reasonable speed.
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Old 09-30-2011, 03:44 PM   #2
trevor
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFace805
I have a 13" mid 2010 Macbook Pro that is ungodly slow. It freezes up when running just about anything.

Please quantify "just about anything". For example, does "anything" include only apps that connect to the network, but not things that are local to your computer? Does running TextEdit by itself have the computer freezing?

Also, please give us a lot of detail about what you mean by "freezes up". Do you see the spinning wait cursor? Does it go away eventually, or stay permanently on your screen? Is your computer completely locked, meaning that there is no movement or change to the screen at all, just a fixed image?

Finally, what do you see in Activity Monitor (set the popup at the top of the screen to "All Processes", and click the "%CPU" column once or twice until the biggest process hogs are on the top) show when you get these freezes? What process is hogging all the CPU cycles?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFace805
I've ensure that very little is running and it still freezes up just running the internet.

How have you ensured that exactly?

When you say it is "just running the internet", what application is running at the time? Safari? Firefox? Chrome? Mail?

Do you have any plugins or add-ons for Safari (or Firefox or Chrome or Mail or whatever the actual application is that is running when this occurs)?

What about other system hacks that you are running, including third party menubar items, InputManagers, haxies, or anything else that you've installed on your computer that runs all the time and changes it's behavior?

What version of OS X are you using?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFace805
I upgraded my RAM to 8GB (Kingston 4x2).

Have you run memtest OS X on your new memory to make sure that it's not the cause of the problems?

Quote:
Originally Posted by BFace805
I installed it and tried to boot off the install CD by pressing the Option key and I was only given a folder with a question mark.

What happens when you hold down the "C" key during boot instead?

What Install disc are you using exactly? What color is the disc? What is everything that it says on the face of the disc?

Trevor
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Old 10-01-2011, 11:40 AM   #3
BFace805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
Please quantify "just about anything". For example, does "anything" include only apps that connect to the network, but not things that are local to your computer? Does running TextEdit by itself have the computer freezing?

I have never tried TextEdit alone however, I haven't found a program that it doesn't freeze up on. However, I typically only use my internet which is Google Chrome or Safari (I use both), Photoshop CS5, Adobe Lightroom, and Open Office.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
Also, please give us a lot of detail about what you mean by "freezes up". Do you see the spinning wait cursor? Does it go away eventually, or stay permanently on your screen? Is your computer completely locked, meaning that there is no movement or change to the screen at all, just a fixed image?

When it "freezes" it's the spinning wait cursor but I can move the cursor itself. It usually goes away but I've had it show for over 5 minutes and I just walk away. I'm pretty sure it's cleared up everytime after an unknown amount of time. Additionally, I get a lot of "Not Responding" notices for the internet and Photoshop.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
, what do you see in Activity Monitor (set the popup at the top of the screen to "All Processes", and click the "%CPU" column once or twice until the biggest process hogs are on the top) show when you get these freezes? What process is hogging all the CPU cycles?

Right now the internet browsers are running pretty well. I opened a coupple other programs and the CPU% bounces around but once the programs are open and I'm not doing anything in any of them, the % used is between 10 and 15%. If I try to edit a photo in Lightroom or Photoshop then those programs will either give me the "Not Responding" message or they will take upwards of "103.3%". I don't know how that can happen. At one point it said the Activity Monitor itself took 45%.


Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
When you say it is "just running the internet", what application is running at the time? Safari? Firefox? Chrome? Mail?

I usually have mail running but it's not always running. Honestly, I don't know exactly which other programs would be running but typically no more than just mail.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
Do you have any plugins or add-ons for Safari (or Firefox or Chrome or Mail or whatever the actual application is that is running when this occurs)?

I don't.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
about other system hacks that you are running, including third party menubar items, InputManagers, haxies, or anything else that you've installed on your computer that runs all the time and changes it's behavior?

The only thing I can think of is SMC FAn Control but that has been running for the last year. I've only started to experience this in the last month or two. It started with running really slowly when using Lightroom and progressed to a slow start up and "the spinning cursor".

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
version of OS X are you using?

10.6.8




Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
Have you run memtest OS X on your new memory to make sure that it's not the cause of the problems?

I haven't. I'm actually not that experienced with computers but I'm pretty smart so figured I'd try to work on it myself. However, I was having the problems with the computer when it was completely factory settings. I had the 2x2GB RAM before and the issues were exactly the same. Should I still run it?





Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
What happens when you hold down the "C" key during boot instead?

The same thing happens. Nothing happens. It boots from the HD and ignores my request to boot from CD.

Quote:
Originally Posted by trevor
What Install disc are you using exactly? What color is the disc? What is everything that it says on the face of the disc?

It's the replacement disk that APPLE CARE sent me. It says "13-inch Macbook Pro Mac OS X Install DVD Replacement DVD Not for resale SRF2Z691-6727-A"

I also have the Mac OS Snow Leopard CPU Drop -in DVD that came with the laptop. When I try to boot from that using Option or C it does the same as before. When I tried both DVDs with the new Seagate Hard drive both just gave me the folder with the question mark on it.

Trevor, thanks a ton for your in depth questions to help me diagnose the problem. I really appreciate it.
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Old 10-01-2011, 04:13 PM   #4
hayne
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Look in Activity Monitor at the System Memory tab at the bottom.
What does it say for your total amount of RAM (underneath the pie chart) ?
What does it say for the amount of "pageouts"?
Restart your Mac, then look at the pageouts number. Does it increase a lot when the slowdown occurs?
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Old 10-01-2011, 07:23 PM   #5
BFace805
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hayne
What does it say for your total amount of RAM (underneath the pie chart) ?

7.75 GB

Quote:
Originally Posted by hayne
What does it say for the amount of "pageouts"?

Page Outs = 0 bytes

Quote:
Originally Posted by hayne
Restart your Mac, then look at the pageouts number. Does it increase a lot when the slowdown occurs?

It doesnt change at all. It stays at 0.
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Old 10-01-2011, 08:12 PM   #6
hayne
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Anyway, yes - it would be a good idea (as always when adding RAM) to run memtest - the long test (at least a few hours).
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:16 PM   #7
BFace805
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Could the RAM be the cause of the computer not booting from the CD drive?
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:27 PM   #8
benwiggy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BFace805
I decided to replace my hard drive so I bought a new Seagate Momentus XT.
I installed it and tried to boot off the install CD by pressing the Option key and I was only given a folder with a question mark. It doesn't give me the option to book from the replacement install disk that I got from Apple Care.

Did you replace your internal drive?
Is it possible that when you installed the new hard drive, something was not put back correctly, which affected the optical's drive's ability to boot? (I'm merely guessing at a logical consequence here.)

Can you select the DVD in the System Pref > Startup pane?

Alternatively, there may be a way to boot to the drive using Open Firmware or some Terminal commands.
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Old 10-02-2011, 12:41 PM   #9
DeltaMac
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No, faulty RAM would not likely contribute to a 'no boot' situation - it won't boot from that DVD because: (pick one or more of these choices)
the DVD is faulty (scratched, smudged, etc, or just not capable of booting your model because it's the wrong disk, or the 'boot-ability' is missing, or damaged) -
OR, your DVD drive is not reading the disk properly because it's damaged, or just dirty -
OR, you're not using the correct steps to boot to any CD/DVD.

Reset your PRAM, and shutdown your Mac, with the installer DVD in the drive.
After shutdown - press and release the power button, and immediately hold your Option key.
You should get a light grey screen, (give it 30 seconds or so for this to appear) with icons for any bootable partition, which would be your hard drive, and (in this case) your installer DVD - and NOT a flashing grey folder/? (or not a flashing world globe, should you see that, eh?)
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:26 PM   #10
BFace805
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I can select the DVD properly. The DVD is readable and so is any other DVD/CD I put in there.

I currently have the factory hard drive installed and do get the bootable partition screen but only the HD shows. The flashing grey folder only appeared when I tried to install the Seagate HD and boot from the DVD that way.

I reset the PRAM again and followed your instructions. It's no different than how I was doing it before but I wanted to make sure that I wasn't screwing something up. Still, only the HD bootable partition shows.

I can only assume the DVD is the correct one as it says, 13" Macbook Pro Install DVD right on it and was sent to me from Apple Care. I have a copy of Snow Leopard as well, and can't boot from that either.
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:28 PM   #11
BFace805
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benwiggy, I suppose it's possible I moved something inadvertently but the drive will play and read all disks...just won't boot.
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