Any way to end an infinite beachball short of power off??

VoodooDaddy

macrumors 65816
Original poster
May 14, 2003
1,414
0
Just curious if there is a different solution other than power off/on should a similar situation arise in the future.

I have my mini set to sleep after 45min of inactivity. Last night it went to sleep, and later on, before going to bed, I went over to turn off my external hdd. Wasn't really thinking about the eject thing, I just flipped the on/off switch, which in turn brought the mini out of sleep.

I was promtped with the "disc wasn't ejected properly" box, and the beachball was spinning. The drive still showed on the desktop but I couldn't eject at that point. I tried to restart from the apple menu but it wouldn't.

I thought I could stop it from the activity monitor, via stop process or whatver its called, but couldn't access the hdd. I could use spotlight, but when I clicked on the utilities folder it wouldn't open. All the while the beachball was going.

Finally I just held the power button down, turned off, back on, and everything was fine.

So any work around for future reference?
 

gekko513

macrumors 603
Oct 16, 2003
6,302
1
Generally, the Force Quit dialog that you can get by pressing cmd+option+esc (or select from the blue Apple menu) is the way to force programs that are frozen to quit. In this case, it would've been Finder that needed a force restart, but I'm not sure if it would've worked in this particular situation.
 

Makosuke

macrumors 603
Aug 15, 2001
6,166
350
The Cool Part of CA, USA
Losing connection to external devices is the one huge weak point in OSX in my personal experience. Almost by definition, no OS can handle this "well", since it's effectively a failure, but probably because of the ability to physically eject CDs and floppies in Windows without the OS having any control over it, Windows just handles this better.

Basically, as far as I've ever been able to figure out, if the OS is "waiting on" a storage volume that isn't responding, it plugs up the kernel and literally NOTHING can happen until access to that volume is reestablished or you force power down. Force quit, kill, none of those will take effect.

Generally, though, if you get to the point where it tells you you've ejected it wrong, you're ok. Not sure why it would've stalled at that point in your case (maybe it realized the disk was dead, but some app had already tried to access it, hence the stall), but you might have tried turning the external back on to see if that helped. At least in my case if I wake up a mounted server that has gone to sleep, the OS will immediately recover from the stall

In my case, I have been plagued by this with network volumes. 10.4 will, occasionally, realize that a network server has become unavailable (after several minutes of waiting), but even it isn't reliable doing this and you're screwed if any app was trying to access the server after it disappeared.
 

njmac

macrumors 68000
Jan 6, 2004
1,756
2
gekko513 said:
Generally, the Force Quit dialog that you can get by pressing cmd+option+esc (or select from the blue Apple menu) is the way to force programs that are frozen to quit. In this case, it would've been Finder that needed a force restart, but I'm not sure if it would've worked in this particular situation.
That doesn't always work though, so as far as I can tell, you have to force restart.

This question has been asked a few times in the last few days and no one has come up with a different solution or why you should or shouldn't do that.

When my computer locks up, I hold down the power button until it turns off, then I restart. I have yet to hear of a better way. :(