I have a MacBook 2008 that used to run OS X beautifully. But then it stopped working correctly, it wouldn't always boot. When it does it is always super slow, or you get the rainbow wheel of death for hours. I have put elementary OS on it before and it ran very well! But his time it seems to run just like OSX does. So is this a software issue or a hardware issue. If hardware how do I fix it?

  • Can you post screenshots of what happens when you boot into elementary in your mac.The information you provided is too little. Aug 28, 2015 at 7:34
  • Specs support.apple.com/kb/sp5?locale=en_US I would guess that any slowness regarding non faulty hardware would be connected to your drive. 5400rpm drives are not really top notch in todays market. But it should not really be a problem either or explain the random not booting etc. And it should not really be worn out, but you might have been unlucky with yours. Both a SSD and new ram would be rather cheap. And also easy to change according to ifixit.com. Might be worth a try if nothing else comes of this thread.
    – Kultom
    Aug 28, 2015 at 8:16

4 Answers 4


On a 2008 MacBook Pro I would suspect a failing hard drive, or at least multiple bad blocks. The 2008 should have come with a bootable DVD. You can boot from that and run Disk Utility to check the hard drive.

An SSD is a very worthwhile upgrade, as well as additional memory. I would consider these upgrades, even if the drive tests OK.

  • I believe the 2008 MBP DVD also contained the hardware test, so you can run that also off the DVD. Aug 28, 2015 at 23:23

I would suggest testing your RAM and hard drive for errors. I'm not sure if this will work since you have already loaded elementary, but you could try to run the apple hardware test described in this article http://www.macissues.com/2014/03/21/how-to-run-and-interpret-apples-hardware-tests-on-your-mac/:

To invoke the hardware tests, insert the restore DVD that came with your system. If your system is new enough that it did not come with a DVD drive, then skip this step. Now perform the following actions:

  1. Reboot your Mac
  2. Hold the “D” key down immediately when you hear the boot chimes
  • I can not seem to get this to work. Is there another way to test the hard drive and ram?
    – Cody
    Aug 28, 2015 at 17:00
  • If you are able to install a package into your elementary installation, you can try memtest86+ for RAM testing (sudo apt-get install memtest86+). Reboot your system, hold shift during boot to get to the grub menu, and select the memtest menu entry. For the hard drive, you can try running sudo badblocks -v /dev/sda you may need to substitute /dev/sda for your actual disk device. Aug 28, 2015 at 17:48
  • Ok so I did the sudo bad blocks and basically my whole harddrive except 4gb is bad! So if I get a new harddrive that would fix it? What harddrive should I get? It has to be reasonable price:/
    – Cody
    Aug 28, 2015 at 17:50
  • Depends on the amount of storage space you need. Personally, I would go with an SSD because the performance benefits. However, if you need a ton of storage space an SSD can get pricey. I just bought one of these a few months ago and it has been working great. Aug 28, 2015 at 18:02

Well, if the same thing happens on both elementary OS and OS X then I'm more than sure that this is a hardware bug. The chances that you're going to encounter the same error on two different software platforms are very small.


So I got a new hard drive and now it runs perfectly.

  • 1
    Are you the same user who asked the original question?
    – RolandiXor
    Sep 2, 2015 at 16:19

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