I got a new MBP lately, with OS X Lion, (2.5 GHz i7, 8GB RAM, 128 SSD), but it keeps on freezing to the point where I have to do a hard-reboot.

What happens is that the beach ball appears for no apparent reason (no difficult computations, like editing a video, or compiling something), just browsing for example, or copying from a USB drive to the local drive. If I click nothing, the bar with applications seems to be responsive, as well as the bar with the time, language, etc... at first only the top application is not responsive. As soon as I click something else, it becomes unresponsive as well, such as the bar with applications, finder, etc.

I started the Activity Monitor to show the disk activity, as well as CPU usage - none seem to be used too much when this happens (after all it is just simple browsing, not even watching a movie, and the configuration of the machine is good)

Any ideas how to debug this or how to resolve it? It keeps on happening a lot, like 2-3 times a day.

  • Have Console.app open with All Messages selected. When the problem occurs, look at the message(s) at the bottom. It should give you some indication as to what is going on - or post the messages here if not. Feb 22, 2012 at 11:22
  • I've experience similar behavior on an old MBP 3,1. Such symptoms as yours are usually the result of firmware problems. Either the SSD or the MBP regarding 3rd party hard drives. Make sure that you have the latest firmware for your SSD installed. We've discussed such a problem before here: apple.stackexchange.com/q/37695/13414
    – user111964
    Feb 23, 2012 at 12:24

2 Answers 2


This really sounds like a hardware problem. Specifically relating to your hard drive or SATA controller. I had what appears to be a similar issue occurring on my Late 2009 MacBook upon upgrading the internal hard drive. I had the bad luck of buying one that was not happy talking to my particular MacBook's SATA controller. It exhibited similar problems, and the beach-ball effect could last up to several minutes or indefinitely. I finally figured it out via looking up issues relating to my Samsung variant of hard drive. When I purchased a different brand / model of hard drive and performed a carbon copy clone of my data to it, all the problems went away.

So I would suggest checking around for issues relating to the hard drive. But in general figure out what hard drive you have in there and do some google'ing. Also if you have updated your MacBook Pros EFI firmware recently it could have brought out this issue. Its a tough problem to diagnose it can be many things, including early warning signs of a failing drive.

If your Mac is still under warranty and the drive is an Apple OEM Drive I would recommend contacting AppleCare as well to help find a fix.

  • 1
    The Mac is quite new, I got it 1 month ago. I have never had any similar issues with my previous MBP late 2007. I was also thinking about this being a hardware problem, specially something with the SSD disk. The description says: "APPLE SSD TS128C Media" I will definitely contact AppleCare, but I wanted to go to them with an exact problem, as now I have nothing, but a loose problem. I haven't updated MBP EFI firmware. I will research what this is now. I can see that there is v2.3, but I am not sure which version is mine. Thank you for your help, it is much appreciated. Anton
    – nonsens3
    Feb 23, 2012 at 14:17
  • Based on the info you provided it looks like this is the one you want for a Late 2011 MacBook Pro support.apple.com/kb/DL1450
    – MrDaniel
    Feb 23, 2012 at 16:20

It turned out to be a defective SSD.

"cat /dev/random > file" threw an error quite quickly.

  • How you diagnosed it before your excellent test might be helpful :).
    – dan
    Feb 22, 2014 at 14:42

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