*** FOUND and SOLVED: Flash Player/Mac slowdown*** DO NOT return your iMacs!!!

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 808///M3, Nov 4, 2009.

  1. 808///M3 macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2009
    Fellow Apple enthusiasts,
    I seem to be the first one to report this. I've found the cause of the infamous Mac "slowdown." I haven't seen this information posted anywhere yet, and hope to introduce a PROVEN solution to alleviate some frustrations with many Mac users out there. Don't return your iMac! Your hardware is fine. It is an Apple software issue that should be easily remedied with an update.

    I'm posting this here in the iMac section first, because many seem to believe that only the iMac is affected. This is false. It will probably affect any Snow Leopard machine.

    THE PROBLEM: Resource leakage, system slowdown, and slow/choppy Flash video playback while pegging CPU utilization for Flash Player, as observed in the Activity Monitor.

    THE CAUSE: MAGIC MOUSE drivers. Yes, the Wireless Mouse update is the cause. With the update installed, the problem will occur as long as the mouse is paired with the Mac.

    It will occur REGARDLESS if:

    - The Magic Mouse is in standby mode
    - The mouse is switched off via power switch underneath
    - The mouse is disconnected under the Bluetooth drop down menu at top of screen

    The reason I'm reporting the Wireless Mouse Update as the culprit is:

    I have a 13" unibody MacBook Pro (Early 2009) and purchased a Magic Mouse online. Received it yesterday - Monday, November 2nd, and updated the Wireless Mouse driver files via Software Update under the Apple menu.

    After the update, I noticed the same Flash Player problems mentioned online, and indeed, System Monitor showed about 104% utilization. Flash videos appeared to be running with 1/2 to 1/3 frame rates.

    *** THE SOLUTION: Remove your Magic Mouse using the Bluetooth Utility.

    - Click on the Bluetooth icon at top of screen, and choose "Open Bluetooth Preferences." Or, use equivalent steps via System Prefs.
    - Highlight the Magic Mouse, and then click on the "-" minus at the bottom of the window.
    - Your Magic Mouse will no longer function with your Mac, obviously. Use a different mouse to avoid the problems you've experienced.
    - The Flash video problem will no longer occur, and suspect the resource leakage may cease as well.

    A restart may or may not be necessary, but upon restarting my MBP, Flash video playback returned to normal, with about 40% utilization while streaming a single Flash video.

    The steps above are simply what I used to rectify the problem. I don't know if other bluetooth mice will cause this problem. I have not tested any other wired or wireless mice either.

    I'm just an average user who experienced and recognized the Flash video playback issue on my system. Upon seeing the problem occur, I simply reversed the last change I made to my computer, and found that this solved the problem. Both the problem and the fix are repeatable. The information here has been reported to Apple.

    DON'T RETURN YOUR COMPUTERS! I'm confident that once Apple is aware, a software fix will be made. Again, this will probably occur on any machine running Snow Leopard, and may be even more widespread. I will continue conversation with Apple on this subject.

    Good luck to us all in resolving this issue as quickly and easily as possible.
  2. zedsdead macrumors 68040

    Jun 20, 2007
    I have had no such issues on two different iMac's (one 2007, one 2008). Magic Mouse did not cause any issues.
  3. ermir4444 macrumors regular


    Oct 25, 2009
    Toronto On
    That is not necessarily the case for everyone.
    I have been using the magic mouse with my MBP 13" for almost a week now and did not encounter a single problem. I installed the mouse update too. The videos on youtube run smooth as before even in hd and the system performs the same
  4. JimAtLaw macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    Yeah, this being a fault in the new mouse and/or driver as a general matter seems counter-indicated by all the people with the new iMacs not having the problem.
  5. gr8tfly macrumors 603


    Oct 29, 2006
    ~119W 34N
    I just tried the experiment on my 2.66GHz 17" ubMBP and the Magic Mouse. Now for the bad news: video plays fine.

    For a video source, I went to ABC (the new "V" series clips). I'm getting upwards of about 70% CPU usage from the Flash Player process (Activity Monitor). The video is perfectly smooth - no stuttering, and certainly not the 1/2 - 1/3 normal frame rates you mention. The system in general is fine - no slowdowns noticed at all.

    One thing I thought of is the new iMacs could (and probably do) have a newer build of 10.6.1 than the public version. Also, I assume they shipped with the Magic Mouse driver already installed - this could be part of the unique iMac build, too (for reference the public build is 10B504). That could explain why the problem shows up on the new machines, and not others with only the driver update installed.

    I do agree whatever the problem is, it's software, not hardware (unless there's actual BT communication issues). It sounds like you're getting some good data to help track down the bug. I'm sure it'll help - make sure to send Feedback with all your data to Apple (if you haven't already...).
  6. 808///M3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2009
    Many, but not all, new iMacs show the problem as well. For those who've had the problem occur, this is something to try, as it has worked for my machine.
  7. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    TUAW was reporting that it could be AirPort too - they noticed if you turn AirPort off and on again, all appears to be well for a while..

    Whatever the case, I'm sure Apple is well aware of it, and it appears to be software based, so we should have a fix soon hopefully. Probably OS X 10.6.2 will fix it seeing as that was the requirements for the Magic Mouse.
  8. 808///M3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2009
    Not all of the new iMacs exhibit the symptoms, either. But for those who have the problem on their machine, it's something to try as it has resolved the problem on mine.

    My MBP would take some time to show symptoms; refreshing certain functions (airport, etc.) seemed to help temporarily, but this fix cleared up the problem for good.
  9. -Ryan- macrumors 68000

    Jan 28, 2009
    The problem isn't with iMacs. It's with any Mac running under Snow Leopard. It's either a problem with Flash or a problem with SL. Flash performance just became horrible after the upgrade.
  10. JimAtLaw macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    Given that a bunch of people have reported the problem when not using Flash in any way, it seems unlikely to be Flash. But we probably don't need another thread to dive into this.
  11. southerndoc macrumors 65816


    May 15, 2006
    I've noticed that when I hold my mouth open, Flash playback is fine. :rolleyes:

    Seriously, I've seen posts stating it was permissions, AirPort, Magic Mouse, etc. It doesn't seem like one cause has been identified consistently.
  12. m3kilpat macrumors regular

    Jul 6, 2009
    I have a MBP with SL and have slow flash playback. Flash games are practically unplayable. I don't have the magic mouse update.
  13. bobob macrumors 68030


    Jan 11, 2008
    But I already mailed out the invitations to my Mac Panic Party! :(
  14. richprice79 macrumors member

    Mar 7, 2009
    St Augustine
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone : Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 3_1_2 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/528.18 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/4.0 Mobile/7D11 Safari/528.16)

    You mention after you rebooted it worked but most on here claim a reboot will temp fix the problem but then it returns
  15. jmonfire macrumors member

    Oct 28, 2009
    magic mouse

    are you saying that I should not use the mouse i paid 100 dollars on??
  16. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    No, use the mouse. Just don't use your Mac.. ;)

    Seriously, it doesn't seem to be clear yet what combination of issues causes the slowdown; or even if it's one issue or several. But, given the exposure these issues are receiving, Apple will fix them. Don't chuck that mouse out yet.
  17. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    About to test it.

    I have a new 27" that has the HD flash play back issue. Instead of posting crap, I am going to do what the op suggests and report back. I bought my iMac a few days ago in Virginia. No association with the op, so this should be a decent random test.
  18. ob81 macrumors 65816


    Jun 11, 2007
    Virginia Beach
    WELL I'LL Be...

    It works. I fired up Hulu like normal, popped it full screen and I got the stuttering that I always get. The CPU usage was high as well.

    I plugged the USB dongle in for my MX Revolution and disconnected the mouse via bluetooth preferences and my issue has cleared up. I am playing the video as we speak with no hiccups.

    Thanks op. Only thing that sucks is that I actually like the magic mouse (not better than the MX, but I was going to use it until I got tired of it)

    For those who have genius opinions, TRY IT FIRST!

  19. kolax macrumors G3

    Mar 20, 2007
    What happens when you re-add the Magic Mouse..? Does the issue reappear?
  20. JimAtLaw macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    Yeah, we've got people saying "It's the Airport, just turn off your wireless and it goes away" and "It's the mouse, just turn off your mouse and it goes away" and swearing it's just Flash and who knows how many other things.

    I don't think any of this is conclusive, esp. given that the thing that works for one person doesn't work for another, and many people are using the mouse (and using wireless, and using Flash and ...) doing the exact same things without problems. OP, did you try the shutting down the wireless fix proposed by others? Did you see whether you could reproduce the problem other than with Flash?

    In any event, if some folks have defective mice or bluetooth cards or network cards or GPUs, I'm sure they'll be replaced, and if it's a bug in the mouse or network or GPU or other software that manifests in different ways for different people (can be worked around by futzing with the network for one guy, the mouse for another, etc.), I'm sure they'll find and fix it.
  21. 808///M3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2009
    Glad it helped. We'll get a software update to fix the problem, and we can resume using the MM again.

    Yes, it does. I can replicate both the problem and the fix by doing this.

    This is why I made such a thread, because the fix I've found COMPLETELY rids my sytem of the problems people are experiencing. It's repeatable and permanent. Again, yes, for MY SYSTEM.

    For my particular machine and usage, it takes no more than a day and a half to see a system slowdown (for example, app windows open slowly, general sluggishness and, of course, the Flash player thing).

    I've left my mouse unpaired (and useless) for several days and intentionally increased usage and intensity of my usual apps. No problems. At all.

    I can then pair up my mouse and predict when my system will slow down.

    I understand your point. I've tried the airport workaround, and it seemed to make a difference, as well as restarting. But, symptoms always returned. Many things seem to temporarily help the problem, but within a few hours to one day, problems return. It's like Windows all over again.

    Simple troubleshooting indicated that the problems began just after I changed something on my computer - this being the wireless mouse update. I've had absolutely no problems with my beloved MBP up until then.Before my eyes, I saw issues appear on my machine, the same problems I've been reading about the past few weeks, predominantly regarding the new iMacs.

    Now, what my thread is about, is that I have found a simple procedure to permanently and consistently RID my system of the problems mentioned.

    I have also caused them to re-appear by adding and pairing my Magic Mouse with my MBP again. Needless to say, my Magic Mouse is a Magic paperweight for the time being.

    I'll post more info in another post below.
  22. JimAtLaw macrumors 6502

    Sep 26, 2006
    Bay Area, CA
    Well, I'm sure folks appreciate your efforts, whatever the case, and hopefully Apple will be able to use this to help diagnose the source of the problem.
  23. 808///M3 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 10, 2009
    Guys and Gals,

    I didn't start this thread to say I've fixed everyone's problems. I realize that I may have come off that way, and I apologize.

    What I DID start this thread to say, is that I have found a simple, repeatable, and PERMANENT solution to the slowdown/resource leakage/etc problem that people are reporting on their systems. A solution for MY MACHINE.

    I understand that peoples' systems, software and hardware differ. I also understand that there are differing amounts of time for their systems to slow down and begin to affect their computing experience as a whole.

    One thing that is consistent is that different things can temporaritly fix the problems, but the symptoms return.

    I'm an electronics technician. When troubleshooting any problem, it's second-nature for me to look at the most recent change that was made before the problem began.

    I have been reading about the predominantly unibody iMac problems for some time now. So, when my MBP started showing these same symptoms, it was clear to me what caused it; the wireless mouse update I installed on my system the day before. I haven't updated or installed anything else in the past few weeks. So, I began my search for a fix with a big clue.

    Nothing short of unpairing my new Magic Mouse from my laptop seemed to help. I should actually go one step further and Time Machine backward. But unpairing seems to have stopped the return of any problems. I experimented, and pairing the mouse once again causes problems.

    I've left my mouse unpaired, and intentionally increased the "intensity" of usage on my machine to see if any signs of the problem return. It's now been 3 times the longest known amount of time known for the symptoms to return on my machine. No problems. At all.

    Some people report that it takes an hour, some report a day, for their machines to slow down after restarting. My machine took about a day (business day), or anywhere from 4 to 12 hours to slow down. It's now been 48 hours of increased amounts of usage. No changes to airport, settings, and no restarts.

    When you can recreate the problem, and know how to remove the problem consistently, then you're able to point to the culprit. My culprit was the updated wireless mouse drivers. But because of the pairing and unpairing, I think it's the way the mouse itself interacts with the drivers. Could it be a hardware problem with the mouse? Quite possibly.

    The mouse drivers and mouse inputs are always active, and are deeply integrated with the OS. The problems users are seeing are not just Flash player related, and I apologize if I also suggested that. It's the entire system being affected. Waht I've experienced is that everything slows down, becomes less "snappy," and appears bogged down. Flash video slowdown is simply is a good indicator and a consistent symptom, along with watching the activity monitor.

    Those of you who are lucky enough to NOT have these widespread problems, then try to understand the frustration you'd feel if you DID have them. I'm
    trying to help those who were unlucky, as I was.

    The iMacs came pre-loaded with the M Mouse, and so for a time were generally the only ones using the mouse and software update. So obviously they were the ones to complain first. However, the that fact that any SL system CAN BE susceptible, shows that it is a problem between the Magic Mouse, its update drivers, and Snow Leopard.

    I'm also reading about other problems arising from the install of the mouse driver update. I'm hoping it is simply software brought to market too quickly, without sufficient testing.

    Sorry for such a long post. Thanks for reading.

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