mac freezing when hard drive revs

Discussion in 'macOS' started by powerhouse7, May 19, 2010.

  1. powerhouse7 macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #1
    Hi,
    Lately my system, running Mac OS X 10.6.3, keeps freezing up for a few seconds, then continues as normal. When it freezes, I get the spinning beach ball and everything becomes unresponsive - although I can still use the mouse. If I try to click around nothing happens untill the freeze stops then everything I did happens at once.
    The freezing (which happens on a bi-hourly basis it would - I'm not quite sure though) seems to happen when my hard drive starts spinning to write - maybe for Time Machine.
    While the freezing isn't particually angering, its beginning to get a little annoying. Has anybody else experienecd this or know how to fix it?
    Thankyou for any input.
     
  2. Serif macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #2
    I don't want to worry you unnecessarily, but at this point I'd be making sure that I had a backup of all my important files from that disk.

    Those symptoms sound uncomfortably similar to ones I was experiencing before I suffered a failure of a disk in an iMac. Here's an old link to something that this reminds me of:

    http://www.mac-forums.com/forums/ap...rror-general-hard-disk-slow-downs-issues.html

    In particular I'd take a look at your kernel log files and check for any messages about disk problems occurring during the time when the beach ball was spinning. You can also use the Disk Utility to verify and if necessary to repair the filesystem on the disk, but if it is a hardware problem then that's at best going to delay the problem and I'd strongly advise having a backup before stressing a potentially failing disk by doing this.

    You might also want to check the SMART status of the drive from the System Profiler (About This Mac -> More Info) and run any 3rd party hardware diagnostics you have access to.
     
  3. wrldwzrd89 macrumors G5

    wrldwzrd89

    Joined:
    Jun 6, 2003
    Location:
    Solon, OH
    #3
    If it's the external drive, and it occurs most often in open/save dialogs or when Time Machine starts, I have this same issue. All my drive diagnostics on the offending external check out okay.
     
  4. mstrze macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    #4
    You have more than one external attached, correct? If you do not normally access these drives and allow them to spin down, Finder will get 'held-up' waiting for it to spin-up. This most likely will happen (as you have noticed) anytime you are writing a file...Finder needs to know the status of all drives it has access to.

    Now I rarely have a wait like you describe. Certainly doesn't affect me like it does you and I have 2 externals attached, but I do not think I have them spinning down. When I had 3 it did become a little of an annoyance (3-4 second wait), but I have since powered down the third as it was only used for video backup and nothing else so when I am not doing this process, it remains off.

    I'd suggest either not choosing to spin down/sleep your externals or turn off any that you don't need on a regular basis to speed up disc access.
     
  5. powerhouse7 thread starter macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Location:
    Canberra, Australia
    #5
    hmmm. I've only got one external drive attached and have done so for a few years now. So why it's playing up now seems to sound like a hardware failure.
    I have expecting my external to die for some time now as a few months ago it I turned it off and when I turned it back NO computer could recognise it - I have to use DiskWarrior to return it back to a usable state and then reformat it.
    Another possilble piece of info that might help is that it always seems to happen when Safari is on, and when I'm using tabs (which is all the time). This may be a coincidence, but IDK.
    Thanks for your input!
     
  6. Serif macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #6
    As a way of confirming the problem is with an external disk (still a nuisance, but much better than it being a problem with the internal one), how about disconnecting that unit for a couple of hours and seeing if the problem goes away?
     

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