MacBook Pro trackpad/keyboard freezing after second hard drive
March 6, 2015 9:00 AM   Subscribe

In my mid-2012 MacBook Pro, I recently removed my optical drive and replaced it with a second hard drive (SATA HDD, not SSD), following these instructions. Everything seems to be running fine, except now my trackpad and keyboard (both built-in, not USB-connected) will occasionally freeze for about 5 seconds, seemingly at random.

I'm running the latest OS X, and have no problem copying and reading files from the second hard drive. When the trackpad/keyboard freeze, they always freeze simultaneously.

Sometimes the freezing doesn't happen for several hours, and then it will suddenly happen three times in one minute. The only vague pattern I've noticed is if I'm typing steadily, then pause for 10-15 seconds, when I start to type again it is often frozen, and I have to wait 5 seconds to continue typing. Likewise, if I'm moving the cursor steadily, then pause, it will often be frozen when I go back to it. Once, I was rapidly pressing the left arrow when it froze, and my cursor continued to move left as if I was holding down the key, as if the freezing had caused the key to get "stuck".

Things I've considered:

1. It doesn't seem to matter if I'm actively reading something from the second drive or not.
2. I turned off "put hard disks to sleep when possible" in the energy settings - no difference.
3. Disk Utility doesn't turn up any errors.

Anyone run into this before? The tricky thing is, I'm not sure how to start trying to diagnose it...
posted by Yiggs to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's not the trackpad and keyboard freezing, it's the machine freezing. Sounds like it's waiting for an HD to spin up. Did you uncheck the "Put hard disks to sleep when possible" setting for BOTH battery mode and power adaptor mode? You need to do it in both of those tabs.
posted by w0mbat at 9:23 AM on March 6, 2015

Don't want to threadsit but yes, I unchecked "Put hard disk to sleep when possible" for both battery and power adaptor modes. I'm also not sure if it's the machine freezing - music, videos and basically everything else keeps running during these freezing events, even if they're being read from the second hard drive. It's only the trackpad/keyboard that becomes unresponsive.
posted by Yiggs at 9:39 AM on March 6, 2015

My first instinct would be to double-check all the connectors touched in the process of opening up the machine and getting to the drives. You could also try connecting an external keyboard to help narrow the diagnosis.
posted by homesickness at 10:31 AM on March 6, 2015

This might actually be coincidence. There was a bug in the MacBook Pro that caused this sort of problem. Apple claims that it is fixable with an update. Another issue could be your battery swelling and pressing against the keys and trackpad. It may not have anything to do with the fact that you added another HD. Go to Apple and check for updates, and take a look at your battery too.
posted by Beethoven's Sith at 1:30 PM on March 6, 2015

I know this is a dumb question, but if you unplug the drive does it keep happening? i'd honestly suspect a dying drive here, and that OSX is just hardy enough to keep on trucking when the interrupts screw up or something. There's some kind of retry/fail loop behavior going on here, and you're just not noticing because enough of whatever is playing is cached in ram.
posted by emptythought at 4:18 PM on March 6, 2015

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