Beachballing after any action

Discussion in 'OS X El Capitan (10.11)' started by HHarm, Feb 15, 2016.

  1. HHarm macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #1
    I get really erratic beachballing in El Capitan. Every click or other action can cause beachballing from a few seconds to tens of seconds. This happens in all or most programs (for example Safari, Chrome, Office, Master Suite, Spotify). For example in Chrome it can be triggered by opening a new tab, writing a url or scrolling down a heavy web site. In Word just writing text can beachball for a few seconds.

    Some things I’ve noticed:
    • The problem arrives only awhile after installing El Capitan
    • I had the same problem with Yosemite but not in Mountain Lion (I skipped Maverics). It wasn’t this bad however
    • The problem disappeared after updating 10.11.2 to 10.11.3 but resumed some days later
    • The problem is possibly not as bad if I leave the Mac unused for 10-15 minutes after starting
    • Closing down OSX is slower than it used to be even if all the programs are closed
    My Mac Pro:
    • Mac Pro 4.1 (firmware updated to MP 5.1)
    • W3690, 24 GB RAM, GTX 980 Ti, Dell UP2715K
    • OWC Accelsior for OSX, Crucial m4 connected to the Accelsior through eSATA for Win10
    I can’t start Apple Hardware Test for some reason. I’ve tried a different GPU and monitor, connecting the memory modules one at a time and I’ve of course unplugged all the external peripherals. Nothing has made a difference. I don’t believe there is something wrong with the hardware as Windows 10 runs flawlessly with consistent performance even in modern games.

    I’ve tried finding a problematic process/program from the activity monitor but I can’t find anything useful. Seems like the monitoring freezes during the beachballing - processor time and memory usage don’t spike according to the activity monitor.

    Any idea what can be wrong? I’m so frustrated and I’d still like to keep using the old war horse….. in OSX!
     
  2. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #2
    I have a theory, and it was bolstered in my mind a bit over the weekend when I was browsing the ESPN home page. Don't beat me up, since I won't care anyway!

    I own an iPhone, an iPad Air 2, and a couple of Macs (a 2012 Mini Server and a late-2013 rMBP). Killing time, on the the Air 2 I read a couple of stories on the homepage and then the phone rang, and I forgot to do something I have learned to do often. 15-odd minutes later I opted to switch to my rMBP - I have a user account just for surfing, fired up the ESPN site and Boom! (homage to Mr. Scott) there they were - greyed out links to the 3 stories I'd tapped on my Air 2. I found the same links greyed out on my iPhone too...

    My theory is to keep my cookies, bookmarks, favorites clean and kept to a minimum - because iCloud is propagating your activity everywhere to everywhere else you go on the web, and it's not just Safari that's contributing to this nightmare. In that user account I use Opera for this site, FF for another site, Chrome for my Feedly feed, and Safari for other stuff. Feedly on my iPhone and Air 2 choke my Safari Settings with cookies from FB, Google this and that, ad trackers, et cetera, ad nauseum - and then my Mac slows down. When I clear all of my data from the offending device - and check on the other devices I use, things return to the way they ought to be IMHO. I also use web apps generated by the paid version of Fluid for sites I visit regularly but not often - like Netflix and Weather Underground, as the paid version allows for keeping cookies internal to the web app.

    For Safari, I've created a "snapshot" of cookies (I do this with my other browsers too), then quit. When I'm done with my fun I clear my history back to my snapshot. I let it ride once and found over 300 new cookies during a Feedly session about an hour long, and they were propagated to my other devices too.

    It's a bit of a PITA, but I've not seen a "beachball" in about a year, since I started being a bit more vigilant with cleaning up behind myself. This is my recommendation to you - I'd hazard a guess that iCloud and/or your web activity is bogging down your updated Mac. Even if it's your only Apple device, there's synching going on there...
     
  3. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Location:
    Yes
    #3
    It might be helpful if Apple included an "Airplane mode" switch on its desktop machines. That way you'd at least have some control over when network is going to bog everything down to the point where your old Apple II runs faster than your shiny new Macs.
     
  4. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #4
    I used an Apple II for my engineering physics coursework back in the late 80s (ouch!) so I can offer that you're "Oh, so right!" on that one. We did have fun with projectile path prediction, and the lab homework sessions at my place with lots of beer afterwards, tho'.

    I've taken to using Private Mode often but still notice gobs of website data still showing up in my queue from time to time, chalking it up to developers that skirt the intent of Apple's design. I keep in mind that Apple's got about 1B iOS devices out there and millions of Macs running/synching, so I'm keeping my battering of their sync portal to a minimum... Cheers!
     
  5. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    #5

    Thank you for your EXCELLENT analysis!

    I think you found the reason for the sort of epidemic beach balling since latest OSX/IOS versions…

    One reason more for me to act as noted in my signature…
     
  6. Partron22 macrumors 68000

    Partron22

    Joined:
    Apr 13, 2011
    Location:
    Yes
    #6
    I just stay signed out of Apple's cloud; don't get many beachballs.
     
  7. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    #7

    I never signed in apple´s Cloud nor other clouds.
    I stay with my local cloud in my office and my house.

    These are the only clouds that are I have confidence on and that are controllable and reliable. And guarantee privacy.

    No need for crappy "Continuity" features that need more time to correct them than manually synchronize machines.
     
  8. Alrescha macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    #8
    I associate the beach ball with a wait for some resource. Given the specs, you should have plenty of resources. As you have checked out everything else, the only thing left is that SSD. By your description, I have better performance on a 2009 Mac mini with a spinning hard drive.

    Does that drive support TRIM, and is is enabled?

    A.
     
  9. HHarm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #9
    I think I already tried a different SSD once but I might have to retry it (which is terribly time consuming of course). What program could I use to check that the SSD is working as intended?

    I logged out of iCloud. I think it had a positive effect although I'm not sure and things aren't alright for sure. For example opening PDF reader resulted in a beachball. The beachballing was always the worse when I updated Creative Cloud programs. It did the same thing yesterday. And after that I opened Word where the program was responsive in pulses...... the text I wrote would appear all at once and then another pause would follow. After 5 minutes the unresponsiveness disappeared.

    I also connected the MP directly to my cable modem to rule out the local network causing networking issues. It didn't seem to have an effect.
     
  10. MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    #10
    I had several times in the last month a freezing safari and beachballing - when regarding activity monitor at that moment webContent was always at about consuming 100% of CPU resources.

    Did a short research and found this:

    http://www.macupdate.com/app/mac/11582/onyx

    Onyx is free and seems to be a powerful app to repair and make a leaner system.
    After a backup of your system you can follow the guide of Onyx.
    For advanced users it has also a library of commands for the console - but people like me not familiar with it don´t need to use this.

    I ran this last night - so I cannot say yet if this will help me out of the sometimes freezing safari because it is too soon to be sure of that - but subjectively it seems for me that it helped.
    At least, it did not crash my system and it seems to run smoother now.

    Evidently it repaired a LOT of things because it took a while for each step running it the first time and a second run that I did was much shorter.

    I think it is worth to give it a try...
     
  11. crenz macrumors 6502a

    crenz

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2003
    Location:
    Shanghai, China
    #11
    There are just too many possible reasons. I just had that problem with my Mac mini, and it turned out to be the FitBit software going mad. Nothing to do with iCloud etc.

    Make it a habit to leave ActivityViewer open all the time. Once the system is frozen, check which process was consuming a lot of CPU at that time. That will be the starting point for further research.
     
  12. HHarm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #12
    I deleted the system caches with Onyx (the ones that were selected by default). Seems like it helped even though the problem isn't 100% gone. I assume I'll have to delete the caches periodically from now on.

    The automatic file system and HD verification didn't report any problems.
     
  13. MrAverigeUser, Feb 27, 2016
    Last edited: Feb 27, 2016

    MrAverigeUser macrumors 6502a

    MrAverigeUser

    Joined:
    May 20, 2015
    Location:
    europe
    #13

    So onyX helped at least a little bit.. :)

    Don't take me for a fool - but I remarked one day that Safari did freeze mostly when zooming pages like these here at MR-forum with the typical gestur of thumb+one finger.

    So I thought about the reason for that.
    Then I opened the interface- box of the trackpad and UNCHECKED the option to zoom also with a two-finger-tap which I activated a while ago. This activatiin corresonded roughly withnthe beginning of the freezing problems ( which happened not often, but did notbbefore.

    And - you might believe it or not - since then no freezing in Safari no more...

    (I use still OSX 10.8.5 = ML)

    Since unchecking of the gesture takes just some seconds and is as well reversible this might be worth a try....
     
  14. HHarm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #14
    I'd go back into 10.8 if I had the chance but mu GPU + 5K won't allow.

    I'm pretty gutted that Windows runs flawlessly on my Mac and at the same time OSX makes me troubleshoot this ****.
     
  15. Squuiid macrumors 6502a

    Squuiid

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #15
    Your issue is the Crucial m4. Change that SSD for a Samsung and your system will run perfectly.
    The m4 is known to be a buggy firmware mess. Look on Crucial's forums for more detailed info. Honestly, bin it.
     
  16. KALLT macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Sep 23, 2008
    #16
    System caches are supposed to make your Mac faster and more responsive and it can take days or weeks to fully recreate them and use their potential. In the long run, this will make matters even worse. The last time I checked, Onyx also failed to kickstart several 'self-healing' processes (including XPC caches) to bring the Mac back to speed. Avoid using it, especially on a regular basis.

    Have you installed any third-party hardware drivers? Have you done a system report with EtreCheck to see whether anything comes up? The problem is difficult to point down and it may not be unrelated to your hardware.
     
  17. Squuiid macrumors 6502a

    Squuiid

    Joined:
    Oct 31, 2006
    #17
    The issue here is hardware, specifically that Crucial m4 SSD. Mark my words.

    HHarm, borrow/buy a Samsung SSD and your problem will disappear. You will end up with a fast and reliable Mac.
     
  18. fisherking macrumors 603

    fisherking

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2010
    Location:
    ny somewhere
    #18
    i had this issue a few years ago, and, in my case, it was my drive (crucial M4). it was fine for nearly a year...replacing the drive put me back in business.
     
  19. HHarm thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2009
    #19
    Thanks for the tips.

    Seems like the cache cleanup didn't help after all. The beach balling returned and the system also turned unstable with frequent crashes. I don't think the m4 is to blame because I use it only for Windows and in many cases the m4 has been turned completely off as it is housed in an external enclosure with a power switch.

    I have started suspecting the Accelsior being the cause of the problems or the fact that I was using a PCIe based SSD. Today I reinstalled OSX to a spare SATA SSD that I had. So far it's running smoothly but time will tell.
     

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