Mac troubles

Just before I went away with the family around Easter my MacBook Pro started acting all weird and started hanging and crashing. This caused me untold distress leading up to the holiday and meant that I had to work while I was away and in the car on the way.

I came back from the holiday refreshed (eventually) and ready to go again, but my poor MacBook Pro was not ready to go at all. The problem started getting worse and I had read a whole bunch of forums and support stuff from Apple before I finally threw in the towel and booked an appointment with an Apple Genius in Reading.

Following this appoint we were no further forward really and the crashes kept on coming. So I booked an appointment with Solution Inc in Guildford and Alex there was very attentive and listened to my diagnostics and attempts to fix this. He tried stress testing the machine and it fail for him the following day. The following day he called Apple and they suggested a minimal install config and running the stress test. This included swapping out my SSD for a HDD. The system did not crash or hang this time during the stress tests.

This led me to think about replacing the SSD for something else, but then I remembered that I’d seen this before. Back when I first got my MacBook Pro I had hangs and stalls but not crashes. It turned out to be the firmware of the SSD from Crucial that was still at version 1.0. So back then (late 2011) I updated it to version 9 of the firmware. None of the data was lost and it worked fine from then on. Install Mac OSX 10.8.3 and it starts to fail again. What’s the current version of the firmware (April 2013) 070H. That’s at least 61 versions later in decimal or 103 versions hex later. 103 versions of firmware later and my MacBook Pro is running fine again.

I have taken the radical step to wipe it and run a clean install from now on. I had too much rubbish on it anyway, so it’s a good thing to spring clean every now and again.

I have to thank;

  • Cole at Apple Reading for listening and trying a bunch of stuff and reasuring me that I’d checked all the right stuff in the first place.
  • Liam from the business team at Apple Reading for calling me to see how things were going and making sure I knew that Apple were there for me if I needed them. He also followed up with me today to find out if it was fixed and has promised to pass on the firmware fix to Cole for me.
  • Alex at Solutions Inc who suffered lots of chasing calls from me, to keep him on his toes and looking at my MacBook Pro rather than anything else he should have been doing.
  • BackBlaze for having a backup solution that is seamless and affordable.

As for now, it’s all plain sailing again. I hope I’m not going to regret that statement in the next few days.

Moral of this story?
Check your firmware version on your SSD and keep it up to date.