Frequent Beach Ball: Help?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by macguymike, May 30, 2011.

  1. macguymike, May 30, 2011
    Last edited: May 30, 2011

    macguymike macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #1
    Most frequently in Firefox 4*, but also with other (non-web) applications, the system will randomly hang in the middle of an action. Timing varies from something as simple as typing, to clicking a link, or switching applications. There doesn't seem to be anything consistent about it. It might happen every couple of minutes or it might go an hour between showing up.

    When it happens, it will spin for 1-3 minutes, then disappear. Or sometimes the computer will freeze up and I have to try to do something (even just clicking the trackpad button) to prompt the beach ball.

    Sometimes, after the beach ball goes away, the computer will still be hanging, though. So I have to just let it sit for a few minutes until things return to normal.

    I've tried using Activity Monitor, but usually the system freeze prevents me from seeing if anything is not responding (ie. I can't switch to it until the freeze ends). Same problem with attempting a forced quit.

    Also, if it hangs long enough, the fan will start running heavily.

    I'm running OS 10.5.8 on the MacBook in my signature.


    *In Firefox, this is sometimes (but not always) accompanied by an unresponsive script message.
     
  2. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #2
    You have the classic symptoms of a failing hard disk I'm afraid. I suggest you boot off the install DVD and verify the hard disk and see what happens. I would also make sure to have a good backup, as you may need it. If it is the disk (and your symptoms are exactly like mine were) then it will get more frequent as time goes on. In my case, formatting the disk with zeros and recovering from a Time Machine backup fixed it temporarily, but I still changed the disk to be on the safe side.
     
  3. macguymike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #3
    Oy. That's not what I want to hear. I do have a Time Machine backup drive that is updated regularly.

    Another thing I should have mentioned: when I switch over to the Boot Camp partition, it runs absolutely fine.
     
  4. steve-p macrumors 68000

    steve-p

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2008
    Location:
    Newbury, UK
    #4
    The Boot Camp partition is on a different part of the disk which may well be error-free.
     
  5. macguymike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #5
    I did as suggested, booting with the OS CD and running Verify with Disk Utility. It gave me an OK result.
     
  6. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #6
    steve is just trying to scare u man, nothing is wrong with your mac, its just clogged i guess, do a fresh OS X install and it will run like new
     
  7. Elbert C macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2008
    Location:
    AK, USA
    #7
    Your sig shows your Macbook having 1 GB RAM. Probably not enough for your use. I'd add a few more GBs before trying a fresh OS X install.
     
  8. macguymike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #8
    I've been meaning to upgrade the RAM for a long time, but have never needed it.

    Also, a fresh OS install is significantly less costly than new RAM, so I'll be giving that a try that first. :)
     
  9. macguymike thread starter macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 28, 2003
    Location:
    California
    #9
    The fresh OS install seems to have fixed the problem. Thanks, lamonsas!
     
  10. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #10
    told u buddy, that guy above was trying to talk bull to u and feed u crap to scare u saying your harddrive was dieing LOL, too bad many ppl like that are on these forums.

    cheers.
     
  11. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #11
    I was beach-balling every day. I stopped using FF 4 and it went away. I also wanted to spruce up my 'chine so I sprung for a 500 Gig SSD "hybrid" 7200 rpm drive and 4 gig of RAM. Total cost under $200. With all this new hotness in place guess who came along and showed his ugly face? The beachball. Now I run Chrome. Sorry FF but I've gotta be able to use my computer for something besides my browser with 101 tabs open.
     
  12. Benz63amg macrumors 68000

    Benz63amg

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2010
    #12
    rok u were beach balling with Firefox4 with a 100 tabs open? thats probably why.

    in my opinon , FF 4 is better than Google chrome because of the Smooth Scrolling.
     
  13. r0k macrumors 68040

    r0k

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Location:
    Detroit
    #13
    79 of those tabs were in hidden (presumably inactive) tab groups. My wife's machine was beachballing with 3 tabs open. Chrome still has a quirk or two but as of version 11, I must admit any objections I ever had to using Chrome over FF have been addressed. I use my mouse wheel or fn-downarrow to scroll and as far as I can tell there is no difference between Chrome and FF the way I scroll.
     

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