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Intel 510 (120 GB) irregularly freezes (hangs) in Mac mini

Esteemed Contributor III

I replaced the stock hard disk in my Mac mini (2011, 2.3 GHz i5) with an Intel 510 (120 GB) SSD. In general, the SSD is working fine and it's very fast. HOWEVER, I am experiencing lock-ups where the current (front) application will hang (freeze) for about 10 to 20 seconds, usually with a "spinning beach-ball" mouse pointer. After the lock-up, everything works normally again. (The lock-ups started happening only after I installed the SSD.)

Usually, just the front application freezes, while other applications remain responsive, but occasionally, other apps will freeze as well.

There is no recognizable pattern to the lock-ups; sometimes I have days with no lockup-up at all; on other days, they happen up to 20 times a day, which is extremely irritating. It does not matter how many apps are open or what app is in front, or for how long the system has been running. It is completely irregular and random.

There have been suggestions to enable TRIM support, which can be done using the 3rd party Trim Enabler tool. However, this does not fix the issue. With or without TRIM enabled, the lock-ups happen. There is no difference at all.

I've asked on various other communities/forums, including StackOverflow, some MacOS specialist forums, I've also asked some friends/acquaintances who have good knowledge of this stuff, but none of them have heard of the problem or know a solution. Usually, they will recommend to enable TRIM, but that did not fix it.

I am not going to bother to ask Apple as I have heard from various places that they will simply ignore any issues related to 3rd-party SSDs. (Obviously, they want people to buy their own BTO drives, which are just ridiculously overpriced.)

I'd be happy to hear about any possible solutions. I've looked at the other threads on this forum that seem to report the same kind of issue, but no-one seems to have a solution. Intel does not appear to be too interested to look into the matter. (Interestingly, the Intel 510 range is almost completely vanished from the website... but then, for enough people, the drive seems to have no problems at all.)

Right now, I'm out of clues. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you