Help: Finder in Panther hogging the CPU

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by sacear, Apr 30, 2005.

  1. sacear macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    Hello all.

    I have searched the forums and did not find this posted before.
    Here is my problem... starting yesterday my system (G4 550Mhz and OS X 10.3.8) started running very slowly. I had several programs open while I was surfing the 'net with Safari. I figured some web page was the culprit, so quit and relaunched Safari. But that did not halt the problem. Everything was slower than normal, screen redraws, switching from one program to another, etc. Taking a look at Activity Monitor showed the CPU graph slammed to the top at 100% and mostly (two-thirds) red (System usage), I had never seen anything like that before. The process causing all this is Finder. If I quit Finder, then all goes back to normal and the CPU graph shows very low bars (about one-third of the total graph space), predominantly green colored, very small amount of red, and the occasional blue (representing "Nice," whatever that is?). Once Finder launches again, it runs the CPU up to 100% constantly with no breaks, dips, or slow-downs. I have tested this with Finder and Activity Monitor as the only running programs.

    I have tried Restart, Shut Down, Repair Permissions, PRAM reset, and PMU reset. None of those have helped. The Finder suddenly wants all the CPU and wants it all the time.

    Has anyone seen or heard of this before? Any remedies?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. 5300cs macrumors 68000


    Nov 24, 2002
    I run a small, free app called MenuMeters which can show CPU, network, disk and memory usage in the menu bar. I had the same problem in Panther were the Finder was generating 70% or higher CPU usage for no apparent reason. I usually just force quit the Finder and had it restart again to fix the problem.

    Are you having this problem constantly?
  3. dukeblue91 macrumors 65816


    Oct 7, 2004
    Raleigh, NC
    I had the same problem on my Mac Mini, first I kept restarting the finder which would work for a few hours.
    After drilling down a bit I fond that the window server was causing the problem, so I called Apple and was told to reinstall Panther which worked.
    Hope this helps.
  4. sacear thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    Yes, constantly, while Finder is running as a launched app. While Finder is running, Activity Monitor reports that the Finder process itself has three threads and is using 89% to 104% (mostly in the mid-nineties) of the CPU constantly. When I quit Finder from within Activity Monitor, everything seemingly goes back to normal CPU usage. When Finder re-launches, then the CPU is maxed-out again.

    I installed Cee Pee You, as a second reference, and it reports 100% constantly, no fluctuation, with User Load being less than 25%.

    I feared that might be the solution in this case. Re-launching the Finder does not work in this case. Once Finder restarts the strange bad behavior returns immediately.
  5. 4409723 Suspended


    Jun 22, 2001
  6. sacear thread starter macrumors 6502


    Jan 12, 2005
    Thanks Wes!

    Wes, you rock! Thank you very much! That was it!

    I just logged back in to MR to post that when Finder re-launches it alters my View Options preferences settings. Specifically, "Show Item Info" and "Show Icon Preview" were switching on and off without my doing.

    I saw your post, then put all my desktop items in a folder, re-launched Finder, and Finder came back using zero CPU. I wonder why those threads did not show when I did my searches for this problem? I used many of the same key words.

    In my case the offending files or icons were several JPGs I had copied onto my desktop from my digital camera. This is somewhat of a problem because those are photos I am currently using for a project. Even though I have those files in a separate folder now, as soon as I open that folder, then Finder uses 100% CPU.

    ... I just found a solution: switch that folder to list view. :D

    I am glad that you helped me discover the problem and that a re-install of the OS is not necessary. Whew! :)

    So, does anyone know what "% Nice" in Activity Monitor means? :confused:
  7. 4409723 Suspended


    Jun 22, 2001

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