Help! Beachball every time I change apps for 5 seconds

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by dr_lha, Mar 1, 2006.

  1. dr_lha macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #1
    Today I've been having a weird problem with my PowerMac G5. Every time I click on a different app, the app doesn't become active until about 5 seconds after I click it.

    For example if I'm using Safari and someone IMs me using Adium, I click on the Adium window and start typing and the text doesn't come up for 5-10 seconds after I start typing. The same happens for Terminal.app, Mail, Safari, etc...

    I've tried the following:

    Repaired permissions
    Ran a disk check
    Removed all my extensions (mainly Growl stuff)
    Rebooted about 10 times
    Installed the latest patches (i.e. the Security update that happened today).
    Ran as a different user (same results)

    Anyone ever encountered any issue like this before? My Mac is decidedly un-snappy, and its very frustrating.

    CPU usage is low BTW, there are no rogue processes taking up the CPU time, and disk usage and memory are all normal.
     
  2. jadekitty24 macrumors 65816

    jadekitty24

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    The poor section of Connecticut
    #2
    How much ram do you have? It could be you need more.
     
  3. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Bergen, Norway
    #3
    ...and also: How much free HD space do you have...?

    Edit: Also, can you try doing this with Activity Monitor visible, and see is any processes takes up a lot of resources in those seconds it takes to change app? (Like the WindowServer process, in which case removing the /Library/Preferences/apple.com.windowserver.plist and restart might help... :))
     
  4. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #4
    As I mentioned above, disk usage and memory are normal. I have 1Gb of RAM and this issue affects me as soon as I reboot the machine - its not a memory issue.

    I have about 40Gb free on my HD.

    I'll try the windowserver.plist thing though, thanks!

    EDIT: I'll note that the Activity Monitor seems to show the app I'm switching to as taking up most of the CPU.
     
  5. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
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    Bergen, Norway
    #5
    Next suspects might be /Library/Preferences/com.apple.dockfixit.plist or any other of the plists in /Library/Preferences (probably not in ~/Library/Preferences since you said other accounts also was affected).

    Maybe you could be a good time to try the Verify Preferences function in MainMenu. :)
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    Also, do you have any theme changing apps installed? :)
     
  7. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
  8. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #8
    As I mentioned in the first post, I've rebooted about 10 times to try to fix this!
     
  9. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #9
    I had UNO, but I removed it and the issue still remains after several reboots.
     
  10. dejo Moderator

    dejo

    Staff Member

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    #10
    dr_lha, let me ask you this: Are you using an admin account or a non-admin account? If non-admin, try switching to an admin account and see if you encounter the same issue.
     
  11. 2nyRiggz macrumors 603

    2nyRiggz

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    Thank you Jah...I'm so Blessed
    #11
    have u checked your ram?? checked to see if all of your ram is coming up.


    bless
     
  12. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #12
    Yeah, tried that. The other account I logged into was the admin account. Same deal.

    This is really annoying.
     
  13. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #13
    The RAM is fine. I checked after a reboot and I was getting the problem when Activity Monitor was reporting around 400Mb of free RAM. Hmm....

    If this doesn't go away I'm going to do the thing I haven't had to do since Windows. Reinstall the OS. :(
     
  14. dsharits macrumors 68000

    dsharits

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    #14
    Try downloading Onyx and run all of the optimizers and cleaners, then restart.
     
  15. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #15
    Hmm... does any of the logs in /Library/Logs/ get updated every time this happens...?
     
  16. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #16
    Well, since other accounts are having the same problems, try a PRAM reset and maybe a quick fsck. It's a stab in the dark, but it's worth a try IMO. :)
     
  17. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #17
    Thanks for everyone's help in this thread. I have a few things to try now. I hadn't had a chance over the evening because the G5 is my work computer. Fingers crossed I can fix this weird bug.
     
  18. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #18
    Just to close this out. I tried everything everyone suggested and nothing worked. I tried a few more things, didn't work.

    Finally, I did an archive and install, and now everything is working fine. Hmm....
     
  19. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #19
    Glad it worked... in the end... even if noone could give you a better solution than A&I... :)

    I feared you might have bad RAM/HD there for a while...

    I think that UNO(?) might be the culprit... those theme changing hacks are rarely any good for your system... ;)
     
  20. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

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    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #20
    You said that you switched to the admin account to test that?

    Is that an admin account that you set up after the recent security scares? And used the sudo chown command in terminal to switch the ownerships?

    If so, then there's 3 of us been 'got' by some weird part of creating the account. Me (restored from a backup), mkrishnan (did an A&I) and you.

    Glad it's working again - it's frustrating!
     
  21. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Oct 8, 2003
    #21
    Yeah, its not going back on. Not risking it, as much as I loved the look of all those unified versions of Mac apps.
     
  22. dr_lha thread starter macrumors 68000

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    Oct 8, 2003
    #22
    Actually no, I set the computer up with an Admin account when I first got it, but my main user gets its user/password from a LDAP server and home directory from NFS.

    I guess the LDAP/NFS combo may have been the problem, but the computer had be operating flawlessly under this setup for about a year. I really can't figure out what changed to make this happen.

    PERHAPS IT WAS A VIRUS!!!!1111one
     
  23. funkychunkz macrumors 6502a

    funkychunkz

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    #23
    I'd try cleaning the cache, user, then system, followed by a double reboot.
     
  24. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

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    #24
    Great that it's all working for you. :cool:



    I have UNO running on about five completely different systems and it's fine. I don't think UNO is all that bad to be honest. I'm with you though, in that theme changers are generally pretty hazardous. :(
     
  25. Mitthrawnuruodo Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #25
    Maybe it was innocent here... but I'm still sceptical to those hacks... they may run great for a while, but then (coincidentely often when you upgrade the system ;)) they crash and take the system down with them, and in 9 out of 10 cases when those hacs are running they are (at least in part) causing the porblems... trying to remove the <bleep>, at this point, often just makes everything worse... :(

    ClearDock, which is very graceful, ThinkerTool, which basically just accesses hidden preferences, and changing the odd icon manually is as far as I go when it comes to customizing my OS... ;)
     

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