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Old Feb 18, 2012, 11:59 AM   #1
sportsfan1234
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Spinning Beachball of Death!!!

Hello I am a huge newb at macs and computers/mac. I got my first and only 4gb MBP not even 2 years ago and it has worked great until now. I am a basic browser and only download music and videos (onto a separate external hard drive.) i dont play games or do anything intense. I feel like slowly yet suddenly I get the spinning beach ball ALL THE TIME now. It comes up with everything I do now. ...When opening new safari windows, running new apps , etc. ANYTHING causes the beach ball to come up early and often. I looked and I only have 2/4 gb used up. Is that a lot ? Can anyone please give me advice how to fix this problem or where I can go to get help! Do I need more memory?? All help is greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 12:06 PM   #2
simsaladimbamba
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Have a look at Activity Monitor (Applications / Utilities /) and select All Processes and sort by CPU to see what the culprit may be.
Also check the "System Memory" tab to see what your "Page ins:", "Page outs:" and "Swap used:" are.

image below uses sorting by CPU as an example

Further reading:
Mac OS X: Reading system memory usage in Activity Monitor
Making The Most of Activity Monitor
What Is Activity Monitor (or How to Take Your Mac's Pulse)
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Have you used Activity Monitor to look for the RAM usage, as you report here?
Quote:
I looked and I only have 2/4 gb used up
Does that mean, you have 2 to 4 GB used up, or only 2 GB used up?
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 12:30 PM   #3
sportsfan1234
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I think everything is normal
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 12:35 PM   #4
simsaladimbamba
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Originally Posted by sportsfan1234 View Post
I think everything is normal
Your RAM usage seems okay, but what about your CPU usage as shown in my first reply?

You can use the following applications to benchmark the speed of your HDD / SSD, to see, if it is the culprit:
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 12:47 PM   #5
sportsfan1234
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I dont know how to judge these numbers or tell if theyre good/bad
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 12:48 PM   #6
simsaladimbamba
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sportsfan1234 View Post
I dont know how to judge these numbers or tell if theyre good/bad
You haven't sorted by CPU, as shown in the screenshot.
And if you do that, you should include the actual process (listed under the "Process Name") in your screenshot.
And what about the HDD benchmarking tools?

"How to maximise your MacRumors troubleshooting experience" created by mad jew in 2006
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 01:01 PM   #7
sportsfan1234
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sorry, still new at this. here is the list sorted by cpu % and actual process. i just tried to open ppt up and beachball (no surprise). what are hdd benchmarking tools?
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 01:11 PM   #8
simsaladimbamba
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Originally Posted by sportsfan1234 View Post
sorry, still new at this. here is the list sorted by cpu % and actual process. i just tried to open ppt up and beachball (no surprise).
CPU usage seems okay too, but maybe take a look at Activity Monitor while opening PowerPoint.

Quote:
what are hdd benchmarking tools?
These.
Quote:
Originally Posted by simsaladimbamba View Post
You can use the following applications to benchmark the speed of your HDD / SSD, to see, if it is the culprit:
Maybe these can help too: Performance Tips For Mac OS X
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Old Feb 18, 2012, 01:23 PM   #9
snaky69
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A dying hard drive can cause the spinning beach ball a lot.

Why do you put everything on an external? Kind of defeats the purpose of having a laptop, no?
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