Howdy Baltimore! Today we’re going to touch on a few common problems with Macbook Pros, whether your Macbook can be upgraded, and what to do about it (call Poindexter, silly).
My Macbook Pro is really slow and I keep seeing that spinning ball. What can I do?
We like to call that spinny ball the beachball of death. It tells you that your computer is thinking about something, pulling data from your hard drive, or both. No matter how powerful your Mac, you’re bound to see the beachball every now and again.
If you see it too often or it’s on screen for too long, there are a few things you can do. First, call Poindexter to give your Macbook Pro a tune-up. Like a car, computers benefit from periodic tune ups, cleanings, and updates. A computer tune-up is about a thousand times cheaper than buying a new Mac and can resolve all sorts of little hangups, including the spinning wheel of death. It’s the best first step for an aging Mac and can work wonders for some computers. A tune-up can free up space, eliminate common errors, and improve performance. Poindexter always recommends backing up your important data beforehand, but we can take care of that, too.
I Tuned-Up My Macbook Pro, but It’s Still Slow!
Optimizing and cleaning your Apple software can do wonders, but it might not be the only thing necessary to boost your laptop’s performance. Every new version of OSX includes new features that put heavier demands on your Macbook’s processor, RAM, and hard drive. Over time, your CPU (central processing unit, the brain) and limited memory will buckle under this weight, requiring new, reinforced parts to perform better. Thankfully, most Macbooks can have their RAM, hard drive, or both upgraded. Upgrade options vary significantly by model, with new Macbooks (retina models, especially) being more limited than older, non-retina models. If you have a late-2012 model or earlier, you’re in luck! With Poindexter’s magic upgrades, your older Macbook Pro will feel faster than ever, all without losing any personal data.
I Keep Getting an Insufficient Disk Space Error? Help!
Every Macbook Pro comes with some kind of storage device – either a hard drive or solid-state – for your personal data, but this might not be enough for eveyone’s needs. Solid state drives tend to be especially limited, but blazing fast, making it especially easy to run low on precious gigabytes. Apple recommends using their iCloud service, but this comes with a regular monthly fee if you use more than 5 GB total. Yikes!
The first step is not to panic! This error is simply your computer telling you that it’s running out of storage space, so it’s time to clean out the closest. A tune-up can help clear out temporary files and caches of unnecessary data. Next, sift through your personal data and see what can be moved to an low-cost external drive or flash media. Once you’ve moved it, make sure to delete the original from your Macbook to free up that bit of space. If you’ve cleared out everything you can and you’re still getting this error, it might be time to upgrade your Macbook’s hard drive or solid state drive.
First, determine what kind of hard drive would best suit your needs. Do you need bigger, faster, or both? For late-2012 Macbook Pro models, this would be a great time to jump to a solid state drive. They’re low cost, battery efficient, and wicked fast. Although Apple permits users to upgrade their own drives, it’s always best to have a professional properly install the drive, especially a solid state. Next, backup all of your data using Apple’s Time Machine. This will take a few hours if you’ve never done it before. The last step is a doozy: remove the bottom plate from your Macbook, being careful to avoid electro-static discharge, and replace your old drive with the new one. This isn’t for the faint of heart, so if you’re worried about missteps, call Poindexter. Hard drive upgrades only take us a day or two and can greatly improve your Macbook’s speed, space, and stability. It’s among the easiest, most effective upgrades, and can extend the lifespan of your Macbook Pro by years.