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Thanks for the help.

As for software demands making it slow, the timecapsule backup that I used was over 3 years old, long before I had any problems. Even with that older version OS and older software the machine was so slow that it wasn't usable. That is what led me to suspect a hardware issue of some kind.

To be honest, it had gotten just a bit slower with the OS upgrades over the years but still worked well even with Mojave.

I was able to boot to the Apple Hardware Test and ran the extended test. It could not identify any hardware issues. Does it check the HD? I ask because I didn't see the HD even mentioned in the AHT console.

Is there a way to check the hard drive - and it has a hd, it did not come with a ssd.

The nearest Genius bar is 70 miles from here and I've never even been there, never had any reason to. Would they charge for a diagnostic visit on a laptop this old? If it is a hd I would probably want to replace it with a ssd, but I think I would prefer to do it myself. I don't want to drop $300 on a laptop that is 6 years old.

johngalt said my symptoms are consistent with a hd problem. If a diagnosis confirms that and I were to replace the HD and not copy anything over, would I still be able to boot into the repair console and download the Mojave OS that I was using when things went south or is the ability to boot into the repair console contained on the hd that is in the computer?

Thanks for all the insight.
wolferd
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