Beach ball city. Need help. (Solved)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by greg555, Apr 24, 2010.

  1. greg555 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #1
    Shortly after getting my second iMac (2.66GHz 24") my old 2.16GHz 20" white iMac started giving beach balls all the time. Almost like it is jealous at being the #2 computer.

    (Problem solved: see post #10 for solution.)

    I did install Windows XP under Bootcamp on the 20" after getting the 24" machine and then re-installed the Mac OS (10.5.8) but it seemed to be beach balling a lot even before then. I've sort of ignored the problem by using the new Mac more but now I'd like to solve the problem.

    Yesterday I repaired permissions. No difference.

    Today I checked activity monitor and nothing was using excessive CPU or RAM. I also created a new account and it is the same as the old accounts.

    Any ideas on what could be wrong or how to trouble shoot this? I'm almost tempted to buy Snow Leopard but I've seen lots of people complain it makes things slower.

    Thanks - Greg
     
  2. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Finland
    #2
    Sounds like HD problem if RAM usage is fine. 90% of beachballs happen when CPU has to wait for HD, but in your case, your HD sounds to be busted
     
  3. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    #3
    Any way to test if the HD really is the problem?

    Thanks - Greg
     
  4. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    #4
    Boot from OS X disk and repair permissions and verify/repair the disk

    If that doesn't help, reinstall OS X
     
  5. rasmusDoh macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2009
    #5
    Have the exact same problem on my MBP.

    Already everything Hellhammer wrote, also doing a clean install of OS X.

    Doesn't seem to have helped much, but would like to see if some of this works for you, so i can try to narrow in my own problem (which i think is the HD).
     
  6. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2005
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    #6
    Okay. I booted from the Leopard disc and repaired permissions, then verified the drive. It said "The volume Mac Hard Drive appears to be OK" but since Repair Disk wasn't greyed out I repaired disk as well (and it said the same thing at the end).

    Now to give it a try...

    Update: logged into a few users and things seem quite a bit better. Still a bit of beach balls but better. I'm going to use it for a few days and decide if it still seems good. If not I'll re-install.

    Thanks for everyone's help.

    Greg
     
  7. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #7
    I decide to buy and install Snow Leopard to have the latest/greatest on my white iMac and so that both of my machines have the same OS version.

    Snow Leopard has helped but there still are significant differences between my two iMacs:

    white 20" 2.16GHz Core 2 Duo vs aluminum 24" 2.66 GHz Core 2 Duo.
    Power up to login screen: 61s vs 36s
    Login to "Greg": 54s vs 4s
    Start Mail: 20 bounces vs 1 bounce
    Start Safari: 3 bounces vs 1 bounce
    Load Macrumors home page: 26s vs 19s

    I also measure a few things on the test account I had previously made on the white iMac:
    Login to "Test Account": 3s
    Start Mail: 1 bounce
    Start Safari: 1 bounce

    So something has happened to my accounts to make them slower. Does anyone know how to fix them up?

    Thanks - Greg
     
  8. Hellhammer Moderator

    Hellhammer

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    Location:
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    #8
    Could be a dying HD...
     
  9. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

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    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #9
    Possibly, but the quick behavior of the Test Account would seem to point to something else.

    I did Verify my drive using Disk Utility and it found no problems. Are there other utilities to check if the disk is failing?

    Thanks - Greg
     
  10. greg555 thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2005
    Location:
    Canada
    #10
    I did a few more things with no success:
    - reinstalled Snow Leopard without keeping the existing accounts. Didn't help.
    - I ran the Apple Hardware Test and it didn't find any problems.
    - I downloaded the trial version of Drive Genius hard drive test program. It didn't find any problems (but the performance test wasn't included in the trial version). It did show the HD SMART was okay.

    So rather than spend $100 to get the full version of the program I ordered a $55 hard drive and installed it last night. After power up I restored from Time Machine and everything is working perfectly.

    Big thanks to Hellhammer for continuing to suggest it might be the HD. I found it hard to believe that a failing HD would cause such slowdowns but never a crash. In the end I eliminated everything else and replaced the HD.

    Greg

    Photo: After new HD installed. Just have to put it back together.
     

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