Mac OS X getting sluggish?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by hyddan, Jun 28, 2009.

  1. hyddan macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #1
    Ok so here comes an incredible annoying problem.

    Every now and then during normal operation the system starts chugging and slow down. Everything including the mouse locks up every 5 seconds five or six times before going back to normal for a bit. Almost as if the system was choking. I have no idea what it is and I cannot pinpoint the problem at all. It seems to occur more often when the system is somewhat stressed (about 70%+ CPU usage) and using some kind of flash player from safari (like youtube.com or similar) but sometimes it just starts randomly when I'm not doing anything at all (0% system usage just listening to music). This seems to happen as soon as I've used the computer for a while, or had it on but not always. Sometimes it just starts to get sluggish as soon as I turn on the computer. Usually once or twice every hour. Sometimes I can get away with a whole day before it happens.

    This wouldn't be a huge problem but if it wasn't for my external audio device. The sound goes away and I have to reset the whole thing. When I reset I also have to reset the midi drivers. Switching to internal audio still works so it doesn't seem to be an audio problem. I'm having email correspondence with the manufacturer (MOTU) about this but so far it's been fruitless, so it might be some other obscure problem.

    Randomly it also reset my ethernet (LAN) and It reports me NOT being connected because it reset my ip number. Then I have to switch on Airport for a while until my router decide to give me a new IP number. This luckily only happens every day or two.

    It feels just like a windows machine does when under heavy virus/malware attacks! It having its own life. And I'm getting pissed.

    This is what I've tried so far: Updated OS X, removing all external devices, repairing permissions (it found a few "permission differ:" actually), updating all applications and audio drivers, ran ClamXav antivirus software and ran it on everything, turned on the built in Firewall.

    Any ideas?

    /Update
    After staring at the CPU Monitor for about forty minutes working the system hard it seems that it always get sluggish after the system processes spikes. Ot drones on for a while then suddenly there's one a sudden burst of spikes of red colour in the CPU Meter then it goes sluggish. Still can't pinpoint what process is making this **** but it could be a system one.

    System: Macbook Pro 2.33 Ghz, 2 GB Ram, MOTU Ultralite Audio, FW800 External hard drive. Mac OS X 10.5.7
     
  2. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #2
    i dont know if the problem lies with the OS here, i think it either lies with the fact that:

    1. your HD is getting to full
    2. your HD is failing
    3. your RAM is being fully used
    4. there are permissions wrong somewhere

    so i would try check all the disc permissions and see how that goes, also do the other stuff like reset PRAM and all that. maybe get 4gb or RAM?

    if it comes down to it, do an archive and install to reinstall the OS - there COULD be a bad file in there somewhere.
     
  3. larkost macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 13, 2007
    #3
    Try checking your font's. And have you checked the system logs to see if you have reoccurring problems there? In many cases you will find good signs in the system logs.
     
  4. Heb1228 macrumors 68020

    Heb1228

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia Beach, VA
    #4
    Open Activity Monitor and sort by processor usage to find out what is causing the slowdown. This should help narrow down the problem.
     
  5. Compile 'em all macrumors 601

    Compile 'em all

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2005
    #5
    Why on earth would a permissions problem make OS X sluggish? :rolleyes:

    Just because disk util is the only tool that can "fix" something doesn't make it a
    fix everything swiss knife.
     
  6. 5DollaFootlong macrumors 6502

    5DollaFootlong

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2009
    #6
    believe it or not, the same thing happened to me. i was wondering if i was just imagining things. then it occurred to me. i ran disk permissions, and 3 hours later, my computer was cruising like clockwork. if that doesn't work, perhaps try doing a clean install.
     
  7. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
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    Singapore
    #7
    it was a suggestion, not a fix.

    and as a matter of fact, if you read the post above it will back up my suggestion. (ignore the fact that the OP tried running permissions and it didnt fix it, thats besides the point)
     
  8. ceezy3000 macrumors 6502

    ceezy3000

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2009
    Location:
    The Valley!!
    #8
    Try safe booting so it can empty boot caches etc. Hold Shift after u turn on your macbook
    If you have Onyx try running Daily Scripts, Weekly Scripts , and Monthly Scripts
    Repair disk permissions as stated before and ClamXav is a waste so i wouldnt even bother.
     
  9. Amdahl macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    #9
    Since it apparently can, my guess is that the way some library or code is written causes it to stall(and then timeout) rather than error immediately when it is unable to write/read a file.
     
  10. hyddan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #10
    Tried holding shift and restarting, so far so good, but haven't tried stressing the system yet. Now I suddenly got another problem (could be connected): I can't seem to repair permissions anymore!

    It goes through with the repair and reports being completed. I repair again the same errors pop up and apparently repair didn't do anything. Been doing this about 8 or 10 times in a row and there's no difference. Its about 15-20 errors mostly having to do with System/Library/Quicktime.refpane or other quicktime references.

    Got 45 Gigs left on all hard drives so they're not getting full. The same RAM setup has been working for years so unless 10.5.7 is hogging the system it -should- be enough. I'm using the same apps as before.
     
  11. groovdudeyo macrumors regular

    groovdudeyo

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    Aug 16, 2008
    #11
    Is it just me or does having anything flash based slow everything on the comp down a ton?
     
  12. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
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    Singapore
    #12
    hyddan: you should SERIOUSLY consider backing up your computer. either via time machine or whatever. do it asap just to be sure.

    what does the "SMART" status of your drive say??
     
  13. hyddan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #13
    Yeah, as I was staring at the activity monitor yesterday, giving up hopes, to look for spikes I was simultaneously starting to back stuff up using time machine. I was just hoping I could get away until snow leopard hit the stores It's always a little daunting before you get started.

    The S.M.A.R.T. status say: "Verified".
     
  14. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
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    Singapore
    #14
    yup its a bit annoying , i sure hope that everything is ok and that your HD isnt going to die, but its good to check.

    hopefully its just a few application problems and nothing to serious, does a "install and archive" still seems like an option?? it could reapir the errors that you are having with QT.
     
  15. hyddan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #15
    Ok now I'm crying blood over here. Backed up everything and put the Leopard dvd in the drive. Worked perfectly and rebooted. Nothing happened. Restarted again and booted normally. Now my cd drive refuses to load my Leopard install dvd. Spits it right out.

    I've had this happen with other dvds, working once then it's no use, but only blank dvd-r's, not retail cds! and for gods sake not the leopard install dvd! Excuse my french but FREAKIN' HELL. God I hate Apple right now!

    My flatmate has a mac on the other side of the room but his dvd drive is also *****ed and wont read anything.

    What can I do? my machine went out of warranty a year ago.
     
  16. kmaute macrumors 6502

    kmaute

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #16
  17. hyddan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #17
    I hate them, a little, for even choosing to partner with MATSHITA and then releasing the firmware that finally fried the drive.

    P.S. Digged around a few forums and found some kind of solution. It requires a downloaded copy of Leopard image file, but it shouldn't be illegal since I'm holding a retail copy of the same image here in my hand, albeit not usable!
     
  18. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 2007
    Location:
    Singapore
    #18
    it will be illegal, but if your fine with that then meh..

    the problem is trying to boot from an image, its NOT easy..

    try CD/DVD cleaner in the drive or something, my drive it dead too :( (the cleaner didnt work for me but :().

    at least your work is backed up i guess....
     
  19. hyddan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #19
    Umm... ok I managed to reinstalled a fresh (erase and install) leopard using a friends computer in firewire mode. all good and restored my backups (80 gigs of crap) and installed the most important applications.

    Guess what? errors came screaming back like a hurricane full of dogshit from the sky. I'm now repairing permissions again and yes, the same errors are back and on the same system files. The only thing that is installed on the system is Logic pro, Perian, Fan control and little snitch. Thats it. Perian does have things to do with quicktime but as I've said before. It wasn't a problem a few month ago.

    The first thing I did on the new system was to update to 10.5.7. I'm getting suspicious, could that be the culprit? I guess if no one has any other ideas I'll have to do this all over again but this time I'll try to find some 10.5.6 or earlier patch and see what happens. I have all week. My work is with Logic so until I get this fixed I'm out of "business" :(


    P.S. as a side note my MOTU driver dies as usual but if I go in midi audio preferences and switch back to internal audio for a while then switch back the sound comes back. It didn't do that before.
     
  20. DoFoT9 macrumors P6

    DoFoT9

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    Jun 11, 2007
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    #20
    rolling back to 10.5.6 would be a really good idea, it will single out that suspicion anyway.. give it a go!
     
  21. hyddan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #21
    (Sigh).. It's indeed the updates that are screwing with my computer. I've only selected a few updates then ran repair permissions.

    I'm on 10.5.5 right now and the only errors I got was from updating iTunes. These are the ones:

    Permissions differ on "Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/CodeResources", should be -rw-rw-r-- , they are lrwxr-xr-x .
    Permissions differ on "Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Frameworks/InternetUtilities.bundle/Contents/CodeResources", should be -rw-rw-r-- , they are lrwxr-xr-x .
    Permissions differ on "Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/Resources/iTunesHelper.app/Contents/CodeResources", should be -rw-rw-r-- , they are lrwxr-xr-x .
    Group differs on "private/etc/cups", should be 0, group is 26.
    Permissions differ on "private/var/spool/cups/cache/rss", should be drwxr-xr-x , they are drwxrwxr-x .


    They say I should ignore the bottom two. The other I can find no info about.


    I imagine if I update Airport, Quicktime and frontrow those errors will come back as well. Now for the question: is there a way to repair these manually? It should be possible with the terminal but how do I figure out how to change the permissions?


    / Edit
    Found this page http://support.apple.com/kb/TS1448
    Some errors are included there. It say I can safely ignore them. hmm well my computer works so far, with the errors I'm ********d... What should I do?
     
  22. hyddan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #22
    Still not working.

    I confirmed its not the MOTU Ultralite soundcard. It still output sound normally when I run it as a mixer. It's something with the FireWire that bugging out. I even tried pulling the FireWire cord out then the sound was out and OS X 10.5.5 recognize the unit as active (and ask me to switch to internal audio device).

    Installed 10.5.5, quicktime 7.4.1 (old), itunes 8.2. Sound died as soon as computer hit a high performance peak, actually scrolling in a window cut the audio. The errors appear much less for some reason which is good but I know they're still there (observation: the CPU isn't working as hard as before).

    The only thing new I have on the machine is in fact iTunes. The rest is old updates.
     
  23. hyddan thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    #23
    The problem still persist but I can now narrow it down a bit. I have most problems when viewing any flash based web pages. Especially in combination with having iTunes running in the background (doesn't matter if I play music or not).

    Good thing I can now work with music for the most part. I just have to choose between either iTunes or Safari while Logic is open. All three = horrendous crashing and sound dropouts once or twice every ten seconds.


    OS X 10.5.5, safari 3.1.2 w/ some old dusty flash plugin, itunes 8.2, Quicktime 7.4.1, no permission errors.

    P.S. Read somewhere I can reset my FireWire bus drive, how can I do that? it might help.
     
  24. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #24


    Smart status is no guarantee! My HD was failing and my smart status said verified.
     
  25. Michaelgtrusa macrumors 604

    Michaelgtrusa

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    #25
    I've have Permissions differ on several issues that has never been resolved and I had a new HD installed.
     

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