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Intermittent, Temporary Freezing on MacBook With OCZ Vertex 3

I recently upgraded the hard drive on my MacBook Pro running Snow Leopard to a 120GB OCZ Vertex 3 SSD. As advertised, the boot up and application start times are dramatically reduced. The SSD is everything I had hoped for. Well, almost. There has been a persistent and quite annoying issue. At random intervals, the computer would be come unresponsive. I could move the mouse or type on the keyboard, but nothing woud happen. When I hovered over the menu bar, I got the spinning “beachball”. The lag would last anywhere from 5-10 seconds. Then all of a sudden all the actions I had performed in the interim would be executed in rapid succession, as if the computer had been jerked awake. This was most noticeable during a streaming video, which would pause when one of these episodes hit. The problem made the computer borderline unusable.

I’m happy to report that a firmware update for the Vertex 3 appeared to solve this problem. I had firmware version 2.15, while the most current version was 2.25. To upgrade the firmware, I followed the instructions for using the OCZ Bootable Toolbox on the OCZ forum. I had to use the PC instructions, since the Mac instructions are not applicable to my pre-2009 MacBook. For me, the steps were to install the custom ISO disk image on a USB drive, then boot the PC from the USB drive. The Vertex 3 had to be connected to an internal SATA port, as the OCZ Toolbox was not able to detect it if mounted in a USB enclosure. This required me to open up the PC, a minor inconvenience. The PC should also have an Internet connection. Overall, the process was painless and took under 5 minutes.

The MacBook has been humming along so far without a hiccup.