First OS problem - fixed but interested in discussing.

Discussion in 'iMac' started by xxmarkc, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. xxmarkc macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2011
    Got up early this morning to do 2h work before having to come and do my real job - but instead spent the morning fixing my first "problem" (after 2 weeks).

    10 out of my 12G was wired, iMac grinding to a halt. All apps closed. Culprit appeared to be that Time Machine was stuck "indexing backup disk".

    Despite the iMac being really really unresponsive it never crashed. I was able to google, conclude that I needed to clear the spotlight cache and found out how to do this using mdutil from a terminal. After a reboot, spotlight fired up, and Time Machine did a successful backup in a few minutes - all seems back to normal.

    This was what I would describe as a "Windows" experience. I have no doubt that mac OS is better than any Windows environment since it is a Linux derivative. But I am not sure how better.

    I guess I have 2 questions.

    i) How rare are such experiences - I can't extrapolate from 2 weeks of experience. I am seriously thinking of pursuading my Dad to switch to Mac when his Windows 7 PC dies as I am fed up of the never ending support calls.
    This is only worth doing if dumb users really can power on and forget.

    ii) I conclude my fix was a "power user fix". Is that a fair statement. If so what on earth would a non-power user have done - make a genius appointment?
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    When you first attach a drive, Spotlight wants to index the drive to make searches more effective. This initial indexing process can take up to a few hours to complete, during which time there are high demands on system resources, temps may rise, fans may speed up, and responsiveness is diminished. After the process is complete, everything returns to normal. Maintaining the index doesn't require nearly as many resources and is done without the user noticing.
  3. xxmarkc thread starter macrumors member

    Feb 17, 2011
    Yes, I considered this and concluded that the drive had been in place for a week or so with my 300G or so of data backed up so this could not be the first spotlight was doing an index ...

    But I might be wrong.

    I was tempted to go to work and leave it but I did have some things I needed to do there and then - if it happens again I am tempted to leave for a few hours.
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    You can force it to index at a time that's convenient for you, such as just before you leave for work.

    Spotlight: How to re-index folders or volumes

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