OS X 10.4 falling to pieces.

Discussion in 'macOS' started by seaineb64, Jan 3, 2007.

  1. seaineb64 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #1
    Hi guys, I read around on this forum a lt, but I doubt my problem has come before, it feels like something's different about this problem, I actually fix Macs myself, and having a problem on my main system that I can't solve baffles me, anywho, I lost PowerMac G4, what was my main mac at the time, was working fine. I moved the HD (on firewire disk) onto this other mac, an eMac, and it ran okay, then it started to get buggy, so I repaired permissions, checked the disk, everything's okay. So the machine's still kindda slow and buggy, so I archive'd and installed, this is when it gets really wierd. I've used this eMac a lot, as sadly I didn't have that PowerMac for too long, it was given to me, and it seems to have had some hardware short. before the PowerMac I used this machine. anyway, I'm getting the beachball WAY TOO OFTEN for comfort, and the other day, I had my Mac freeze up solid for the first time, and I've had this mac for about three years. Wouldn't move an inch. I cold booted the machine, and this is when I went t archive and install, because prior to the freeze it had been starting up very slowly, and beachballing just switching apps. Afterward, I restarted, and updated immediately to 10.4.8 and on restart I got to the Darwin boot screen for about thirty seconds, and the machine restared itself, loaded OS X as normal. IT was still starting very slowly, mostly at the Darwin bootup screen (the grey screen with the spinning gear and the apple logo above) Okay, here is the weirdest of it. I am no longer able to minimize Finder windows. the minimize button is greyed, it occasionally appears, but clicking it does nothing. Occasionally the menu items are doubled when the machine is under high strain. occasionaly when I go to minimize something, the window will fly to the background minimize, appear in the foreground and minimize again. The dashboard is so slow it's hard to use, My FrontRow hack which has never caused problems on this machine, I've done that with other machines for people, no prob radiated from that, I checked the files I patched, they were fine. it was still having all these problems after I took FrontRow and got rid of the modifications on the files that were patched. Also occasionally I can have a window sort of stuck to the front, I can click another window and that other window will be functional, but it will be stuck in the foreground. Firefox beachballs alarmingly often.

    Now for the scary part.

    According to the activity monitor, I am using almost all of my 512 MB/RAM, and my swap is an average of 4.52 GB. I am only running about six apps right now, most idling except iTunes, and Firefox, which I am writing in right now. very low load, my swap is 3.96 GB. Right now the Kernel process for Darwin is taking over 700 MB of virtual memory. I think this is responsible for the slowdown. If anyone wants me to post pictures of the Activity monitor window, just say, but here is my "top" readout:

    Processes: 53 total, 2 running, 51 sleeping... 188 threads 09:01:01
    Load Avg: 1.98, 1.11, 0.83 CPU usage: 19.6% user, 17.0% sys, 63.4% idle
    SharedLibs: num = 177, resident = 44.2M code, 4.78M data, 8.52M LinkEdit
    MemRegions: num = 7297, resident = 157M + 7.97M private, 109M shared
    PhysMem: 67.1M wired, 212M active, 225M inactive, 505M used, 6.30M free
    VM: 3.97G + 127M 94305(0) pageins, 50051(0) pageouts


    I am highly confused at why suddenly OS X is handling VM so badly, AND WY IT NEEDS 3 GB OF MEMORY! I can't afford anymore memory, as you all know how expensive it is right now... Any idea why my OS is falling apart?
     
  2. clevin macrumors G3

    clevin

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2006
    #2
    if it was ok before, then try some system maintain software like OnyX. or re-install your system.
    but to be honest, i think your RAM is too small.
     
  3. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #3
    I've noticed my OSX getting very laggy lately too. And i have 2GB of ram in my MacBook. What once was a lightning quick system has slowed down so much it feels like a year old installation of windows!
     
  4. seaineb64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2007
    #4
    But it has never had a VM EVER EVER higher than a gig. I've ran OnyX, I've zapped the RAM, I've reset everything on the harddwre from Open Firmware to the PSU. :p The computer has never acted like this in all the three years I've ran this with 512 MB/RAM.
     
  5. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #5
    I don't think it's got anything to do with RAM. My brand-new Intel iMac with 2GB RAM has the same issue with minimize buttons in Safari and other apps. After a while they just don't do anything. 512MB of memory may not be great, but your apps should run without glitches.
     
  6. seaineb64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #6
    Quite simply, it was fine, but all the sudden the **** hit the fan. I don't know what's up with this machine, and if I have to erase and install I really am going to be pissed, it takes forever to import all my settings, my thousands of songs in my iTunes library, my apps, that's what I DON'T want to do at any cost. Don't pull a Gateway on me.
     
  7. mainstreetmark macrumors 68020

    mainstreetmark

    Joined:
    May 7, 2003
    Location:
    Saint Augustine, FL
    #7
    Don't panic.

    Macs often use tons of virtual ram. Mine's usually 15-20 gigs with adium, itunes, firefox, mail, textmate and a few others.

    The real trick is that whatever amount of vram the activity monitor claims, you better have that much, and a bit more, available on your harddrive, since "virtual ram" is really "physical harddrive space acting as ram". Figure out what your average vram size is (sounds like 4), add about 25% for some fluff space, and keep that much free on the HD.

    Short of that, get more RAM. Short of that, accept the fact that the eMac is no where near the machine the PowerMac is. The PowerMac has faster drives and ram.
     
  8. seaineb64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2007
    #8
    I only had the PowerMac for a few days, before this was my machine. It was running 1,000x better than it is now, even before the PowerMac, I hardly ever saw the god forsaken beachball that I see all the time.:(
     
  9. seaineb64 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2007
    #9
    All I'm getting at, is that the machine has become inefficient, overnight. I'm stuck sitting here like, woah! what happened? I've had this amount of RAM, I've never seen more than 1-2 GB of VRAM, I have plenty of space.
     
  10. igucl macrumors 6502a

    igucl

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2003
    #10
    Could it possibly be that the hard drive is starting to die?

    What is its s.m.a.r.t. status?

    I don't buy the idea presented by other posters that your eMac just isn't up to the task. You said that it was working fine before. If it was fine before, it should be fine now. Since it's not, something has obviously gone wrong. I do not even have the extent of slowness that you are describing on my very old iMac G3. Drive speed shouldn't have anything to do with it since you had the same drive in the PowerMac. However, are you certain that the PowerMac drive is fully compatible with the eMac?
     
  11. seaineb64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2007
    #11
    wait, I just made no sense, The drive in question is on FIrewire. Bare in mind it's a faster drive than the internal, and it's ran fast while on it before. The internal disk is new. Does my Firewire harddrive have SMART on it?
     
  12. Porco macrumors 68020

    Porco

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2005
    #12
    I'd be making sure I had a full backup as a priority (maybe using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner).

    And then boot from your install disc, and use Disk Utility to verify the disk (don't install, obviously!).
     
  13. seaineb64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2007
    #13
    I've verified it whilst in OS X and it checked out. Let me run that again...

    Volume OK.
     
  14. skunk macrumors G4

    skunk

    Joined:
    Jun 29, 2002
    Location:
    Republic of Ukistan
    #14
    You can just check About This Mac>More Info>Serial ATA
     
  15. seaineb64 thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Jan 3, 2007
    #15
    LaCie d2 Extreme LUN 0 SBP-LUN:
    Capacity: 232.89 GB
    Removable Media: Yes
    BSD Name: disk1
    OS9 Drivers: Yes
    S.M.A.R.T. status: Not Supported


    I guess that answer's you're questions

    edit: same for internal: S.M.A.R.T. status: Not Supported
     
  16. junkster macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2006
    #16
    Completely incorrect. "Virtual RAM" is the address space of an application, which includes memory that has never been touched and therefore never needs to be paged out (because it doesn't truly exist yet). This is easy to demonstrate by writing a program that allocates a gigabyte array. Your memory footprint is completely virtual until you start filling that array with data. If you only use the first 100K of entries, then your footprint becomes 100K, and 100K could potentially be paged out to disk after that point. The other 900K does not physically exist anywhere and is never paged out.
     
  17. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #17
    Yep, same thing here. I get more beachballs on my MBP than I ever have on my iBook G4 with 800Mhz and 684MB RAM... or on my Powerbook G4

    This really seems to be an Intel problem... :(
     
  18. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #18
    My G4 Mini is acting up to, although it was acting up before i got my Macbook, so i'm not sure if this is just related to intel. I'd blame it on the updates to OSX.
     
  19. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #19
    Hm, I don't know, maybe it's not Intel but something is wrong lately. 1GB 2GHz shouldn't get beachballs that often, nor yours with 2GB... almost feels like Windows.
     
  20. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #20
    Sickening thing is that i have an old 3GHz P4 with 1GB of RAM running XP that is faster than the Macbook now. Before it used trounce the P4, even the mini used trounce the P4.

    I'm still on the market for a new computer and with vista out in less than a month i'm still seriously thinking about not going mac for my desktop.
     
  21. Diatribe macrumors 601

    Diatribe

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    Jan 8, 2004
    Location:
    Back in the motherland
    #21
    I guess I'll just wait for Leopard to make my decision. I still have hopes that it'll run a lot faster with less beachballing.
     
  22. darthmole12 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    #22
    As a poster up there noted, the "VM size" is NOT actually the amount of hard drive swap space currently being used. You'll notice in the activity monitor that almost every single process will have a minimum of 300MB (at least in my case) in the "virtual memory" column. However, almost all of this 300MB is actually being shared across all the processes, because they aren't writing data to it. So even though you may have 10 processes with a reported 300MB+ virtual memory, it's not using 3GB of hard drive space, but more likely something like 350MB.

    That being said, I have a black MacBook with 512MB of ram that I got in September (so it's a core duo, not core 2 duo). I sometimes after a long uptime (I basically never restart my computer), I run into the beachballing problem. 95% of the time, you know what fixes it? Killing Safari and restarting it.

    Now don't get me wrong, I like Safari from a usability standpoint (though I've heard many use Camino, which I actually haven't tried yet). I don't like the way Firefox runs on OS X, so I go with Safari. But it has big time memory problems. Next time you run into the beachballing problems, go into the activity monitor and sort the processes by "Real," and I guarantee you Safari will be up there with 150MB+.

    To be fair though, it seems to be a very common problem with web browsers in general. I've noticed the same thing with Internet Explorer and Firefox on Windows machines. Just when I'm sitting at work and browsing pages throughout the day, I'll have the memory usage skyrocket. Eventually to reduce system slowdown, you have to close and reopen the browser.
     
  23. TheSpaz macrumors 604

    TheSpaz

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2005
    #23
    I've seen this slowdown before too and the way I solved it was to make sure I always had MORE than 10GB of drive space available. As soon as I went below 10GB, my computer crawled along very slowly.

    Also, you shouldn't have to erase your drive to re-install OS X. You can tell OS X to Archive and Install and keep all your settings while just re-installing they system pieces (that nobody ever touches right ;)). I'd check to see how much drive space you have remaining and if you want, you can try a re-install and make sure you set it to Archive and Install and check the option to preserve user and network settings and your drive will look like it was never even touched. Good luck mate!
     
  24. TBi macrumors 68030

    TBi

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    Ireland
  25. jjmaximum macrumors member

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    Apr 8, 2004
    Location:
    Gainesville, FL
    #25
    Same here

    I have a PB G4 1.5Ghz with 1.5Gb RAM and about 3-4 months ago started having lots of problems with lag/beachballs. I would consider myself a real basic user (Safari, Office, etc.), so I have no clue what is causing it.

    It started happening right about the time I did an upgrade on Office (from the Microsoft AutoUpdater). If I restart, everything is fine for a few days and then I have to restart again.

    Not trying to bash Microsoft, but it may be Office that is causing the problem...did you do the update as well?
     

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