Beachballing [Driving Me Insane]

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by simontarr, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. simontarr macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #1
    For some reason, my early '06 iMac has decided to start beachballing all the time when I've never had a problem before. At first, it seemed to happen just with internet-related apps (Safari, Mail etc) but now it's started spreading..I will get the beachballing while using Ableton (Infrequently) and really often while using the finder. It doesn't cause me to restart, but it will make the computer unusable for 10-15 seconds- when this is happening several times an hour when you're working, it drives you mad!

    I've got plenty of RAM (1.5GB) and have noticed that it only started happening after the 10.4.10 update. Is anyone else having these problems? I've checked my page in/outs and have got 48,610/2,741. I've got plenty of HD space left and when the beachballing happens, the CPU isn't affected (ie. no programs are causing 100% CPU load)

    I'm really struggling to think of what the problem is. I'm hoping it's not hardware-related. I can't really afford to wait a few weeks for Apple to fix it. Thanks for your help.
     
  2. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #2
    Get disk utility to verify the disk and report back the results.

    Do you have any network drives attached?
     
  3. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #3
    Thanks for the quick reply. I haven't got any network drives attached no.

    I forgot to mention on my original post that I had done all the permission-related stuff, and there wasn't a problem. Anyway here's a transcript of the disk verification I've just carried out:

    Verifying volume “Macintosh HD”
    Checking HFS Plus volume.
    Checking Extents Overflow file.
    Checking Catalog file.
    Checking multi-linked files.
    Checking Catalog hierarchy.
    %)
    Checking Extended Attributes file.
    Checking volume bitmap.
    Checking volume information.
    The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK.
    Mounting Disk

    1 HFS volume checked
    Volume passed verification
     
  4. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #4
    Maybe you were insane before the balls gotcha. I was.


    Have you got plenty of free space on your boot drive? What apps are you running? What peripherals are plugged in? Is it third party RAM? :)
     
  5. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #5
    Insane people don't realise they're insane ;)

    Free space on Macintosh HD: 70GB
    The apps that I have running continually are Mail, Safari/Firefox, iTunes, Ableton Live 6, TextEdit...and that's about it. Nothing too taxing.

    As for RAM, the extra gig stick I put in was 3rd Party Crucial stuff. I assumed it was likely to be a RAM problem because of the beachballing...do you think a module is on its way out?

    EDIT - - The peripherals I have attached are a Seagate 250GB External USB drive and a 60GB iPod photo (what a beast!) I've disconnected them to see if they were the problem, but the 'ballin carries on its merry way.
     
  6. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #6
    Well, try running it for a while without the third party stick and see how things go, but remember that you'll have less RAM so things'll obviously be a bit slower anyway.
     
  7. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #7
    You could run the hardware test to see if the ram is reported as faulty.

    Then give crucial a call.
     
  8. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #8
    I've run the hardware test (extensive) and no errors were found. Are there any 3rd party RAM integrity tests that I could perform?

    I'm going to try a fresh install of Tiger. I've been "experimenting" recently with Path Finder and Shape Shifter, I think maybe one of those apps has ruined something. Neither Shape Shifter or Application Enhancer will open from System Preferences anymore.

    I've also used XSlimmer, but didn't allow it to touch any of the black listed apps.
     
  9. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus

    xUKHCx

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2006
    Location:
    The Kop
    #9
    Does shapeshifter appear in activity monitor?

    Have you tried uninstalling shapeshifter, it comes with an unistaller built into its installer.
     
  10. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #10
    I haven't no- I'll give that a try.

    I'm also gonna take out the Crucial RAM and see how it runs for a bit. I haven't had any beachballing in the last 30mins or so, thank god. Maybe it knows we're taking about it?
     
  11. mad jew Moderator emeritus

    mad jew

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2004
    Location:
    Adelaide, Australia
    #11
    Yeah, software based RAM testers are notoriously bad at not finding anything wrong with RAM. Uninstall Shapeshifter and if it's still acting strange, take the stick out. :)
     
  12. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #12
    Shape Shifter doesn't appear in Activity Monitor, no. Should it?

    I'm currently running the default Aqua theme, using Shape Shifter to restore it back to normal. I've managed to get Shape Shifter to open in System Preferences now, but Application Enhancer is completely unresponsive.
     
  13. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #13
    hhhmm
    you say you have 2 external USB drives plugged in.
    im just wondering if it could be that once the drives are spun down.. and you want to access them, forwhatever reason, the computer has to wait for it to spin back up, thus your beachball.

    i know that both finder and 'path finder' (which i use) freeze once my external drives spin down (i have this setting turned on in energy saver), but it is only those apps that freeze. not the whole computer, are you sure its the whole computer, or just the finder???
     
  14. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #14
    Well, the whole computer sorta freezes for 10-15 seconds. I will be able to switch applications, use dashboard etc, but the programs themselves are unresponsive. It's not just Finder that it happens with either. Safari and Firefox are probably the biggest culprits.

    I'm pretty sure it's not a HD wind-down. Ive removed all external drives and still get the beachballing. But I do know what you mean about waiting for the HDs to spin up- that's really annoying too.
     
  15. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #15
    ok dang, im outa ideas then.. unless its your internal drive spinning down?? nah..

    sorry i couldnt be of more helps
     
  16. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #16
    Nah that's fine- I'm glad of your input :)

    I think I'm going to do a fresh install..a bit of hassle I know, but I haven't got anything else better to do with my time :eek:

    Thank you all for your help- I'll keep you updated and let you know if it's been solved.
     
  17. simontarr thread starter macrumors 6502

    simontarr

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2006
    Location:
    England
    #17
    - - UPDATE - -

    After reinstalling OSX, the beachballing has gone. Great Success!

    Thanks for all your help guys.
     
  18. vandlism macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2007
    #18
    Did you reinstall Shape Shifter? When it's running, I think it is going to show up in your Activity Monitor as "ape" for Application Enhancer. My Logitech software installed Application Enhancer and it has caused nothing but stability issues.
     
  19. ieani macrumors 6502a

    ieani

    Joined:
    Jan 3, 2006
    Location:
    the states for now
    #19
    I had the same problem, and am pretty sure it had something to do with Safari BETA. I ran memtest through the most extensive test without any problems with my third party stick. I also had 800MB free RAM, and 50% free CPU. I ruled everything out. Then finally went back to firefox and have been problem free.

    My problem only occurred after waking from sleep. A restart would fix it. So my guess is Safari was doing something while it was sleep or upon wakeup.
     

Share This Page