Yosemite Maimed My Older MacBook

By Kate Knibbs on at

My 15-inch MacBook Pro is the most expensive thing I own. I've used it every day, often for well over eight hours, since January 2011, except the two weeks I went to Ecuador last summer when I left it at home (and felt moderate to severe separation anxiety). I love this thing as much as a human can love a laptop. And it does not love OS X Yosemite.

Up until last Friday, after nearly four years of steady use, it was still working fast. This led me to make statements like "The MacBook Pro is the best laptop you could ever own, period," and "I would make out with this computer if it was a person."

Then I downloaded Yosemite, and my MacBook went insane, as did I.

At first, I just thought it was showing its age. It took over 90 minutes to install Yosemite, a suspiciously long time. And once it was downloaded, the computer seemed to run more slowly.

Yesterday, things got worse. Chrome kept freezing up. I restarted. Then one time, smack in the middle of writing a post, the screen looked glitchy and then turned white. I looked at my partner to make sure I was not having a neurological event. Charlie confirmed that it was my computer that had the stroke.

I tried to restart it. It appeared to be rebooting, and then the screen would turn that ghostly white, and then it would turn off and begin rebooting again. This cycle repeated itself too many times to count. Looking for answers online using my backup netbook, we discovered that Yosemite has turned plenty of other computers into lunatics.

I called Apple Support a very nice man from Louisiana walked us through several different options to fix the situation, but they all ended in my computer still not working. I cried.

We were on the phone with Apple Support for approximately two hours, more including wait times. We tried several different rebooting situations; none of them worked. After multiple unsuccessful attempts to fix it, the kindly Apple Support man said I could either make an appointment and come in to the Apple Store, or we could try one last fix and wipe my hard drive and reinstall Mountain Lion.

We wiped my hard drive (I keep most of my stuff on Google Drive and USBs, so I wasn't losing that much) and reinstalled Mountain Lion. It's like I have a new computer. Except... today it has already crashed once, doing that glitchy screen thing.

We asked the Apple Support guy if he had received phone calls like this a lot. The Support guy said, in his opinion, no one should update to Yosemite until the next update comes out. He said our phone call was one of many. Just based on talk in the forums, this definitely isn't a unique issue.

Has anyone else had a similar experience? If not with Yosemite, then with an older Apple OS update? I'm pretty rattled and also pretty sure this didn't fix my computer so much as give it a little borrowed time before it craps out altogether.