Failures in the operating system cause particular discomfort to MacBook users, since freezes almost always occur spontaneously, which often leads to damage to files or important documents. It is not so simple to fix this problem, since in many cases it has hardware roots, however, the user is far from always powerless. If you didn’t find the “Apple Support Page Unexpected Shutdown,” then welcome! Today we look at the most common causes of freezes and give some simple, but effective tips to deal with this problem.
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MacBook Hangs Due to Bad Drive
The most common cause of spontaneous freezes is a malfunction of the internal drive. Most often, hard drives fail (relevant for classic models in a thick case), however, an SSD drive may turn out to be “broken”, causing system malfunctions (for example, if you have a MacBook Pro Retina hanging after replacing the memory).
It is worth noting that ordinary hard drives are one of the most “fragile” elements of the system – that is, if you drop the laptop on a soft surface (for example, a carpet) and it remains intact, strong shaking could damage the built-in HDD, as a result of which bad sectors.
The situation is aggravated by the fact that a drive malfunction may not manifest itself immediately, but after several weeks or even months, when the computer needs to write or read data from the bad sectors.
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If the problem has no additional complications, it is possible to diagnose a disk malfunction by software. To do this, there are a number of third-party applications, as well as the “Disk Utility”, available on all Apple computers from recovery mode or in macOS itself.
The situation with solid state drives is a bit more complicated, since SSDs are much more resistant to direct physical influences, and modern models also have a higher working resource. Nevertheless, the operation of solid-state drives has its own subtleties that are not always taken into account when upgrading the system (due to lack of knowledge of the user or due to unscrupulous SC).
Out of the box, such a malfunction is rare, so if your MacBook Pro Retina or MacBook Air hangs during operation, the problem may be due to a recent repair or upgrade. This rule is also true for classic MacBook Pros with a walk-in basket or just an SSD drive instead of a regular drive.
The fact is that third-party drives can not always work correctly in conjunction with macOS or Linux, and if Apple eliminates this problem on the basic MacBook configurations, then when replacing the drive by itself, SSD optimization rests with the direct user.
In the case of macOS, it’s enough for the user to turn on the TRIM function – this will extend the life of the drive, but also speed up its work in the long run.
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File System Issues
If your MacBook hangs on startup, the problem may be a file system malfunction. This is especially true for Mac OS Extended markup systems based on OS X 10.9, since the Mavericks release build has a fatal bug, the manifestation of which leads to a crash at boot time.
If you encounter this problem after installing the update, we recommend installing a more current version of macOS (the problem has been fixed in OS X Yosemite, but for new computers it is better to choose Sierra or High Sierra) or, in the case of slower MacBook models from 2008-2012, roll back macOS to the latest build of Mountain Lion. If you need exactly the tenth version of OS X (10.9.x), you can fix the FS problem only by fully formatting the volume (it is advisable to select the ExFAT standard).
Problems with the file system can also occur after activating Fusion Drive – most often, if the SSD is installed in the adapter basket connected via the limited SATA interface (sometimes the SATA restrictions for the drive may not provide sufficient bandwidth for the Fusion Drive).
If you encounter such a problem, you should swap the hard drive and solid-state drive in places by installing the SSD in the standard HDD connector. In most cases, Fusion Drive does not require reconfiguration, but there may be exceptions.
Faulty Motherboard Components
Periodic system hangs can be caused by a malfunction of the components of the motherboard, in particular – the central processor, graphics subsystem and memory.
In most cases, a malfunction of the central processor is the result of a contact base defect. In this case, the direct processor chip remains intact, however, the loss of contacts (for example, during heating) leads to the system freezing.
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The cause of such a failure in most cases is overheating of the processor or “dump” of the chip due to strong mechanical shock.
Problems with RAM Modules
Faulty RAM modules are one of the most common hardware causes of the described defect, because even on modern MacBook models RAM chips can be “killed” by static during unskilled repairs or as a result of production defects. And if the memory can be simply replaced on the old MacBook and MacBook Pro, then on the new MacBook Pro Retina and Air, such a malfunction requires a complete replacement of the motherboard or the most difficult soldering of faulty modules. Nevertheless, even in this case, the computer can be saved.
Graphics Subsystem Issues
Unlike most other failures, the malfunction of the graphics has a number of pronounced signs that significantly simplify the diagnosis: so, in addition to the system freezing during operation, the laptop display can “crumble” into artifacts – image distortions.
Due to the nature of the system, on faulty MacBook models, critical malfunctions can be triggered by switching the system from the integrated graphics to a discrete graphics card. If your computer freezes at the time you launch complex applications and games or when watching high-resolution video, the problem may be just that.
Why Won’t My Mac Update?
Apple, when releasing a new version of the operating system, restricts updates for obsolete devices and therefore some devices will no longer support the latest versions of macOS or OS X. In this case, you should look for a list of supported devices for a specific release of macOS or OS X.