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Seriously bogged down Mac - rainbow wheel of unhappiness


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#1 Mommymd

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 04:56 PM

My Mac is having issues.  I've had it to the Genius Bar.  They did a hardware test and all came back good so they said my issue must be software related.

 

I got a stern talking to about the 69 items on my desktop as well as all the miscellaneous folders that should have been appropriately filed into the main 7 that are standard on MacOS.

 

I took care of those issues.  Desktop is free of files, all others appropriately filed into the main 7.

 

However, I continue to get LAG. It has to rainbow wheel darn near everything. Forget it if I want to open safari and iTunes at the same time. It will do it eventually...usually.  Sometimes I get desperate and just shut the whole thing off and restart.

 

Sometimes iTunes will stop right in the middle of a song - just hang there...then awhile later the music will start playing again. sometimes a few seconds later, sometimes minutes.

 

I have Office for Mac and opening Word is almost a guarantee of the rainbow wheel of unhappiness.

 

Any advice/suggestions are greatly appreciated.

 

Thank You!



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#2 smax013

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 06:06 PM

I got a stern talking to about the 69 items on my desktop as well as all the miscellaneous folders that should have been appropriately filed into the main 7 that are standard on MacOS.


Other than being a little bit disorganized by some people's standards, the above should have zero impact on your Mac's performance. If having a bunch of things on the desktop works for you, then feel free to do it. FWIW, I currently have about 26 things on the desktop of this Mac with no performance issues and had more items on the desktop in the past with no performance issues.

Now, to help with your problem, it will help if you give the specs of your Mac (i.e. model, amount of RAM, size of hard drive and how full the hard drive is) and which Mac OS version you are running.

Have you tried creating another user account and then logging into that user account to see if the same types of thing happen there?

#3 Mommymd

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 06:18 PM

I have a guest account, but it doesn't have access to my iTunes library.  I will create another legit user and see what happens.  I will report back with the additional info you asked for as well as whether or not I'm having the issue with the new user account.

 

Thx.



#4 Mommymd

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Posted 27 April 2014 - 08:19 PM

OK - I created another account - still didn't have access to my iTunes library - so I attempted to open safari so I could google how to do it (in the new test account) and safari bounced around forever and never did anything.  So I opened Word, and Setup assistant lagged out and stopped. So I tried signing into iTunes with my AppleID…nothing.  Just lots of Rainbow Wheel of Unhappiness.  I couldn't even access my Force Quit menu up top.  Just RWofU.  So that answers that question!

 

Other info:

Hardware Overview:

 

  Model Name: iMac

  Model Identifier: iMac10,1

  Processor Name: Intel Core 2 Duo

  Processor Speed: 3.06 GHz

  Number of Processors: 1

  Total Number of Cores: 2

  L2 Cache: 3 MB

  Memory: 4 GB

  Bus Speed: 1.07 GHz

  Boot ROM Version: IM101.00CC.B00

  SMC Version (system): 1.53f13

 
Mac OSX 10.7.5 (havent updated to Mavericks because Im waiting for the release of .3 where they address the issue of not being able to update your calendar on iPhone without the cloud)
RAM 1067MHz
Capacity: 999.35 GB
Available: 745.38 GB
 
Does that help?
 
Thank You!


#5 smax013

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 01:44 AM

You might take a look at this article:

http://www.macworld.com/article/1151583/spinningbeachballofdeath.html

There is nothing obvious. You should have enough RAM and you have plenty of room on the hard drive…two possible hardware causes of the Spinning Beachball of Death (also know as the Marble of Doom). I supposed it could be your processor getting overwhelmed, but unless you are running a lot of applications that are processor intensive, I cannot see a 3 GHz Core 2 Duo being overwhelmed (I am running a 2.8 GHz Core 2 Duo with Lion…aka 10.7.5 with no problems like this…although I do have 8 GB of RAM).

I suppose it could be your hard drive spinning down (see the article), you might check that.

Otherwise, it must be software related. You might try the suggestions in the article on using Activity Monitor to see if which application/process might be causing problems. Since it seems to be happening with quite a few programs, it may be an issue with the OS. If so, your best bet might be to re-install the OS.

#6 stevenjklein

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Posted 28 April 2014 - 02:48 PM

Do you have a recent backup of your hard drive? If not, you should make a backup ASAP!

 

The symptoms you describe can definitely be caused by bad blocks on your hard drive.

 

They don't do a full hard drive scan at the Genius Bar because it would take too long (over two hours for a 1TB drive, which is a common size for your model of iMac).

 

A bad block can cause i/o errors that will show up in your system log (but they don't check that at the Genius Bar, either).

 

(I'm don't mean to sound negative about the Genius Bar; they do a lot of great work, but they can't do everything.)

 

Your model identifier (iMac10,1) tells me your iMac was the model introduced in October of 2009, and discontinued in July of 2010. Meaning even if you bought it on the last day it was made, it's almost 4 years old. It wouldn't be at all unusual for a hard drive that old to begin to fail.  (A Backblaze study of over 25,000 drives found one model with an annualized failure rate over 25% for drives with an average age of 3.8 years.)

 

There are Mac utilities that can scan your drive for bad blocks. TechTool Pro and Drive Genius are two such examples.  If you don't have any utilities that can scan for bad blacks, then you should either buy one, or contact a local Mac tech.

 

If you're comfortable looking over logs, then:

  1. Open the Console app (which can be found in the Utilities folder inside your Applications folder)
  2. In the left pane, click system.log
  3. Click in the search box in the upper-right corner. (Where you see the words String Matching in gray letters.)
  4. In the search box, type I/O

I/o errors look roughly like this:

Apr 28 08:32:04 Mommymd-iMac kernel[0]: disk2s1: I/O error.

Normally you shouldn't have any I/O errors. If you do, that's evidence (but not proof) of a bad block. The only way to verify a bad block is to do a full disc scan.

If you have any bad blocks (even just 1), it's time to get a new hard drive.

 

Depending on where you live, expect to pay $200 to $250 for parts & labor to get that drive replaced.

 

For your model of iMac, I charge $125 for labor; but I don't mark up hard drives. Current prices range from $55 for a 1TB drive to $110 for a 3TB drive.

(I'm not pushing my services — this is just for information purposes.)

 

Most service places near me have lower labor rates, but mark up their parts. In the end, their prices are close to mine.



#7 Steviejeep

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Posted 17 May 2014 - 10:53 PM

Have you tried checking Activity Monitor to see if anything is sucking up all your CPU or Memory?http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1342
You may have some invisible program taking up resources. At least something to look into.
The only other thing I can think of that hasn't been mentioned is an over heating problem. If a fan has failed, or a vent is clogged with dust, that could cause the processor to lock up in the way you are describing. Good luck and let us know how you make out.

Edited by Steviejeep, 17 May 2014 - 10:59 PM.





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