Temperamental MacBook-Pro. OS Sierra 10.12.4. (late 2011) 2.4 GHz INTEL CORE I5,


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This MacBook-Pro runs fine for a time and then quits ! it just goes to black and will not boot. I try multiple times and then close it up and set it aside. A day or two later I try again and Presto it boots and runs (for a few hours and sometimes for a few days. Then it quits again and goes to black. I try every key combination with no results. Today I did an on-line recovery, reinstalling the OS and left the MacBook running. An hour later I came back, put in my PW. and it was up again but then it quit and went to black. No boot. It was on. my lap and in exasperation I bounced it on my knee (two bumps) I set it aside and then pushed the start button - it BOOTED which leaves me to wonder if I have a mechanical fault - maybe a solder joint that disconnects from time to time (oxidisation.?). Any suggestions about how to track down this mysterious problem would be welcome. I have two other old MacBooks and two iPhones. I don't get this problem with any of the others. I'm 87 retired and a little short on patience. Any help would be greatly appreciated . Ozzie
 
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First, what exact MacBook Pro model do you have?

Second, what exact Mac OS are you using?

Third, have you ever done any disk cleanup, maintenance, and repairs, from a software perspective?

Fourth, are you making backups to an external device?

Fifth, when you did the on-line recovery, what did that entail? And what exact steps did you follow?

By the way, I am 73, have been retired for 11 years, and I am getting more and more patient! Being impatient adds more stress, which is not a good thing at my age (and I suspect at yours also).
 
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Thank you for your response to my question. (I don't often get impatient)
The OS and the model are at the top of my message. The MacBook Pro has died once again and I am using an older 13 MacBook, which does not have a battery (yet) .
I am backed up on Time Machine. For the on line recovery I pressed Shift-Option-R after I heard the startup 'bong'. It took about an hour to download Sierra 10.12.4.
As the MacBook Pro is not running right now I can't go to the apple "about this Mac to send you a copy of the entire detail box. Hope this helps - I still think the problem is a 'dry joint' but I don't know how to locate it.
 
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Sorry I did not see the OS and model you have/are using. But, you did say anything about disk cleanup, maintenance, and repairs.

Regarding the on line recovery, I assume that did not entail first erasing and formatting your internal drive before doing the installation (or re-installation) of OS 10.12.4. That would have been the better way to go, ie:

1. Boot to the Recovery HD partition (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314).

2. Select Disk Utility there to Erase and Format your internal drive.

3. Select "reinstall macOS". That will be a slow process, but you would wind up with a clean, fresh, "virgin" version of OS 10.12.4.

4. At the end of that process, you'll be offered the opportunity to "migrate"/copy stuff from a backup (which would be the Time Machine one, in your case).

If you cannot start the process via that first step, another possibility would be to boot your problematic MacBook Pro in Target Disk Mode. How that would work would be to 1) connect both of your machines with a Firewire 800 cable (I am assuming your older MacBook has a Firewire 800 port. Your MacBook Pro has one), 2) boot your 13"MacBook, and 3) holding down the T key on your MacBook Pro while starting it up. If all that works, your MacBook Pro's internal drive will appear on the desktop of the MacBook. You can then use Disk Utility there to Erase and Format that drive. You would also need the file entitled "Install macOS Sierra" somewhere on the MacBook. (You can get it from the App Store, but given that OS 10.12.5 came out today, it would be OS 10.12.5. That should be OK). You would then launch that file on your MacBook, and proceed to install OS 10.12.5 on that internal drive on the desktop. As above, once that is complete, you'll be offered the opportunity to "migrate"/copy stuff from a backup (which would be the Time Machine one, in your case).
 
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Sorry I did not see the OS and model you have/are using. But, you did say anything about disk cleanup, maintenance, and repairs.

Regarding the on line recovery, I assume that did not entail first erasing and formatting your internal drive before doing the installation (or re-installation) of OS 10.12.4. That would have been the better way to go, ie:

1. Boot to the Recovery HD partition (https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201314).

2. Select Disk Utility there to Erase and Format your internal drive.

3. Select "reinstall macOS". That will be a slow process, but you would wind up with a clean, fresh, "virgin" version of OS 10.12.4.

4. At the end of that process, you'll be offered the opportunity to "migrate"/copy stuff from a backup (which would be the Time Machine one, in your case).

If you cannot start the process via that first step, another possibility would be to boot your problematic MacBook Pro in Target Disk Mode. How that would work would be to 1) connect both of your machines with a Firewire 800 cable (I am assuming your older MacBook has a Firewire 800 port. Your MacBook Pro has one), 2) boot your 13"MacBook, and 3) holding down the T key on your MacBook Pro while starting it up. If all that works, your MacBook Pro's internal drive will appear on the desktop of the MacBook. You can then use Disk Utility there to Erase and Format that drive. You would also need the file entitled "Install macOS Sierra" somewhere on the MacBook. (You can get it from the App Store, but given that OS 10.12.5 came out today, it would be OS 10.12.5. That should be OK). You would then launch that file on your MacBook, and proceed to install OS 10.12.5 on that internal drive on the desktop. As above, once that is complete, you'll be offered the opportunity to "migrate"/copy stuff from a backup (which would be the Time Machine one, in your case).
 
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Thanks for that I posted a reply - but most likely in the wong area - I will take your advice (So long as I can get the recalcitrant MacBook-Pro to boot. It died and has stayed dead since yesterday. I'll let you know how it goes.
 
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I have not had much luck with the MacBook Pro I wrote about earlier. Sometimes it runs just fine for a few days - then suddenly quits and goes to Black. Then it may (or may not) restart. If I put it aside for a few days - and use another older MacBook - the Pro will most likely start up. I have used "Applejack" a free download to run some tests and also "Ectracheck" (spelling ?) but nothing has changed. At this moment it will not boot at all so I cant get it into Target Disk mode. I am thinking I should maybe pull the HDD and run Disk Utility on this Macbook and plug in the HDD (on an adaptor to USB port) and wipe it clean then replace it and then recover my applications from iCloud or the HDD I use for Time Machine backups.
My worry is that if the problem is a glitch that may well be in the TM backup. So it may be better to just re-load my Applications from iCloud and see it all goes well. Any suggestions ?
 
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Your point about "issues" with some things on the Time Machine backup is well stated. I've often wondered about the stuff on backups, and how stable/safe/etc. it is. I use a different way of backing up, as SuperDuper! just makes an exact, bootable clone of my system (that is the case for both of my Macs). I certainly put a lot of effort into keeping my machines "lean, mean, and clean", but I of course cannot be perfect. All I can do is try my best. Each of those bootable clones, though, work fine on their own, that is, I can boot each of my Macs from either clone, and it works fine (as far as I can tell). I actually just boot from the machine's clone. That is, I boot my Mac Mini from its clone, and my MacBook Air from its clone.

Recently, for a couple of the newer releases of Sierra, I actually booted to the clone, used Disk Utility there to Erase and Format the internal drive (SSDs for both of my Macs), did a fresh, clean, "virgin" installation of the new version of Sierra, and then used Migration Assistant to "migrate"/copy needed "stuff" from that SuperDuper! backup. I then re-booted my machine, and everything was fine. For the other ones (like the recent OS 10.12.5 update, I just downloaded and applied the OS 10.12.5 Combo Updater.

In actuality, it would be faster for me to just recover directly from the SuperDuper! backup. In fact, it is very straight forward, and when I done that, it worked well. The only possible "glitch" is that SuperDuper! does not backup the (hidden) Recovery HD partition created by an installation of the Mac OS (there are other ways of creating it), but in reality, I 1) rarely, if ever, boot to that partition, 2) can get to Disk Utility in an "isolated" manner by booting the respective Mac from the SuperDuper! backup, 3) use TechTool Pro there to perform disk cleanup, maintenance, and repairs (does a better job than Disk Utility), and 4) can do a fresh, clean, "virgin" installation of the Mac OS I want (I always keep two copies of the applicable "Install macOS Sierra" file, and they are of course on the SuperDuper! backup).

Your issue is quite possibly more tough to pin down. It could be an "obscure" hardware error as you conjectured earlier. But as long as your internal drive checks out as OK, taking it out of your Mac, erasing and formatting it, and then doing a fresh, clean, "virgin" installation of the Mac OS you want is wise. Now, I do not use iCloud, as I have all my applications stored in a folder entitled "Useful Applications" (this is the case for both of my machines). And of course it gets backed up by SuperDuper!. How "safe" is iCloud for storing your apps? If you know it is safe enough, then maybe doing a one by one installation of each third party (I assume you have the correct version for the Mac OS you are using), though a burden, would be the best way to insure that things are good, at least from a software perspective. And of course when that is all done, you can actually boot your Mac from that "populated" hard drive inside the enclosure.

As a backup, do you have your third party apps stored someplace on your hard drive, in addition to iCloud? That would not be a bad idea.
 
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Your point about "issues" with some things on the Time Machine backup is well stated. I've often wondered about the stuff on backups, and how stable/safe/etc. it is. I use a different way of backing up, as SuperDuper! just makes an exact, bootable clone of my system (that is the case for both of my Macs). I certainly put a lot of effort into keeping my machines "lean, mean, and clean", but I of course cannot be perfect. All I can do is try my best. Each of those bootable clones, though, work fine on their own, that is, I can boot each of my Macs from either clone, and it works fine (as far as I can tell). I actually just boot from the machine's clone. That is, I boot my Mac Mini from its clone, and my MacBook Air from its clone.

Recently, for a couple of the newer releases of Sierra, I actually booted to the clone, used Disk Utility there to Erase and Format the internal drive (SSDs for both of my Macs), did a fresh, clean, "virgin" installation of the new version of Sierra, and then used Migration Assistant to "migrate"/copy needed "stuff" from that SuperDuper! backup. I then re-booted my machine, and everything was fine. For the other ones (like the recent OS 10.12.5 update, I just downloaded and applied the OS 10.12.5 Combo Updater.

In actuality, it would be faster for me to just recover directly from the SuperDuper! backup. In fact, it is very straight forward, and when I done that, it worked well. The only possible "glitch" is that SuperDuper! does not backup the (hidden) Recovery HD partition created by an installation of the Mac OS (there are other ways of creating it), but in reality, I 1) rarely, if ever, boot to that partition, 2) can get to Disk Utility in an "isolated" manner by booting the respective Mac from the SuperDuper! backup, 3) use TechTool Pro there to perform disk cleanup, maintenance, and repairs (does a better job than Disk Utility), and 4) can do a fresh, clean, "virgin" installation of the Mac OS I want (I always keep two copies of the applicable "Install macOS Sierra" file, and they are of course on the SuperDuper! backup).

Your issue is quite possibly more tough to pin down. It could be an "obscure" hardware error as you conjectured earlier. But as long as your internal drive checks out as OK, taking it out of your Mac, erasing and formatting it, and then doing a fresh, clean, "virgin" installation of the Mac OS you want is wise. Now, I do not use iCloud, as I have all my applications stored in a folder entitled "Useful Applications" (this is the case for both of my machines). And of course it gets backed up by SuperDuper!. How "safe" is iCloud for storing your apps? If you know it is safe enough, then maybe doing a one by one installation of each third party (I assume you have the correct version for the Mac OS you are using), though a burden, would be the best way to insure that things are good, at least from a software perspective. And of course when that is all done, you can actually boot your Mac from that "populated" hard drive inside the enclosure.

As a backup, do you have your third party apps stored someplace on your hard drive, in addition to iCloud? That would not be a bad idea.


Thank you for responding. - Before pulling out the HDD I tried Option-Cmd-R on boot and chose the "wipe the disk option" - That doneI re-installed everything from Time Machine,which I had on a separate HDD. It all worked out fine. Had a slight hiccup so I decided to delete a number of foreign apps and also deleted Clean My Mac-3 (interesting I used its own app-delete to delere itself and it seem to work as I no longer have it. ) The MacBook-Pro has not crashed in the past few days, which is encouraging. My thanks for your help . I'll post again if I have further problems.
 

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