MAC OS X Spinning wheel

Discussion in 'macOS' started by iguess25, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. iguess25 macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2007
    When im working on my mbp. My cursor freezes and a colorful wheel start spinning.. What's wrong?
  2. squeeks macrumors 68040


    Jun 19, 2007
  3. whooleytoo macrumors 604


    Aug 2, 2002
    Cork, Ireland.
    It's a feature. Vista doesn't have this. That's why we love OSX.

    Only messin' with ya! :) The spinning cursor is an indication that the application you're using is unresponsive - this could either mean the application is doing some time-consuming task and isn't multi-threaded to allow user input at the same time; or that the application has crashed.

    The cursor only appears when the cursor is over menus or windows belonging to the offending application; generally you should be able to use the other applications normally.

    It might just last a few seconds, or if it lasts longer you may need to force-quit the application. If you find that it happens often and lasts a long time - particularly if it happens to a few applications at a time, or to the Finder - then you may have more serious problems with your system.
  4. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    For me it's a enhanced feature of the 10.5.2 update.
  5. iguess25 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2007

    Yes it happens alot. Lately, alot too.. I have to power off manually pushing the power off button. So what would you do? How do you force quit?
  6. dowser macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2008
    One process is eating up your CPU. On next restart, open the Activity monitor (in Utilities), choose the running apps view option with the highest % up and place it in a corner where you can keep an eye on it. If the Activity Monitor is not freezing as well you’ll have the finger at the trigger to hit the culprit as there is a force-quit option, to the worse you will now wich app or sub-process is bugging you. It’ll happen even faster as the Activity Monitor is a great CPU squatter as well! ;)
  7. Matek macrumors 6502a

    Jun 6, 2007
    How long has it been since the last reinstall? If you can't find an obvious reason for the spinning ball, it might be just a clogged system...
  8. tuxtpenguin macrumors regular

    May 19, 2007
  9. dowser macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2008
    I bet you have tried fixing the permissions in Disk Utility allready...
    About the Activity Monitor, don’t force-quit any process that you can’t rely to a running app, some belong to the system software. Clicking the info button after selecting a process will tell you which other process has launched it.
    If you’re unlucky enough to find out the bad process is not a third party app extension or daemon that you could uninstall, you can try dl’ing the last combo update for your system and (re-)apply the updates, it does optimize the system before reboot (and probably after as it takes some time to get back to the login window). Combo updates 10.3.9 & 10.4.11, and a few other in the meantime, did fix some system trouble for me on many machines.
  10. iguess25 thread starter macrumors regular

    Apr 20, 2007
    Should I download all updates? I didn't.. I thought they would mess up my OSX.
  11. joefinan macrumors 6502a

    Sep 14, 2007
    Kingston-Upon-Thames, UK
    Yes, download them all. That's what updates are for - to update the OS.
  12. iCeFuSiOn macrumors 6502a

    Jul 18, 2007
    Definitely update your OS - make sure you've got all of the latest updates, they really do help prevent crashes, lock-ups, etc.

    The only time I see the spinning pinwheel cursor is when I'm performing a heavy time-consuming task in Pixelmator on a large (10,000 x 6,000 resolution) image that takes it about 10 seconds to complete. Other than that, I haven't seen it.
  13. n0de macrumors 6502

    Feb 3, 2005
    I have had an issue with this alot lately, especially since I started using my timemachine drive for other storage.

    I used to only connect it when I wanted to make a backup, I have since moved my iTunes library to it as well so it is connected all the time. If I am doing anything that is processor intensive when timemachine decides to take a snapshot I end up having to force shutdown the machine.

    So the solution is to either set timemachine to only operate manually, or to leave your timemachine HD unconnected except when you want to make a backup.
  14. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I'm rebuilding my MBP from scratch, and manually copying stuff back into a new user account of the same name. I'm not migrating anything in the ~/LIbrary folder until I need it, so I'm redoing a lot of prefs or copying them back one at a time. It's more work, but I should only need to do it this one time for the life of Leopard.

    So far it's much more stable -- I'm not getting the constant spinning beachball. I did pass on the graphics upgrade. It has problems with external monitors and waking from sleep. I used a 23" ACD at home and a Sammy 245B at work, so I'll wait until Apple fixes the graphics update.
  15. kaks macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    i have the same problem. Happened 4 times up to now. Have to use the power button to switch it off.
    Any chance its happening while using BetterZip or DefaultFolder X?
    Thats when it happened for me 3 out of 4. Cant really remember the other one to be honest :).

    Anyway after the update, video playback is choppy, programs crash, i.e. safari and in general things run slow. Havent changed anything. Update -> crap.
  16. Bigtree macrumors 6502


    Aug 7, 2007
  17. kaks macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    hmm... tried that. Oh and after the post i tried running disk utility. Had to restart again and then again, as it happened twice while trying disk utility nothing else.
  18. dowser macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2008
    Sounds to me like fixing OS 9 by checking out every extension, way back in time! To go faster, the trick is to put half of them in one go (list them in alphabetical order first), if everything runs fine, its in the other half, so you can put half of the remaining lot back in your library as well, and so on...
    If the system jerks with the first half, take out half of them in a backup folder, etc... i guess you see the point...
  19. GSMiller macrumors 68000


    Dec 2, 2006
    Mac OS X isn't like Windows, updates released for it actually fix problems.
  20. riscy macrumors 6502a


    Jan 4, 2008
    I moved to MacOS for stability, but one of the things I had to do in the first week was find the alternative for Ctr-Alt-Del, unfortunately. Hopefully as Leopard develops this will become less of an issue.
  21. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    I'm aware of the binary process of elimination. I can do a mathematical proof of its efficiency (at least I could when I took my graduate algorithmics class). :p

    But I'm not planning to add everything back I had before, after my clean reinstall. I'm adding nothing back. When I find I'm missing something I can't do without then I reinstall it clean (like for apps) or from backup (for a prefs file that's too more work to redo than I want). If I never miss it it stays out. For example, I have not reinstalled Growl & I have yet to feel any need for it. QUicksilver was reinstalled right away. I'm thinking about Saft -- I don't really need it, but it has some conveniences.

    Finder is still not stable, and actually less stable than with 10.5.0 and 10.5.1. I get a lot of spinning beach balls.
  22. RaceTripper macrumors 68030

    May 29, 2007
    Well, after a couple weeks of running a new system, and not adding back system additions like Growl, Privoxy, etc. I'm going to say that Leopard 10.5.2 sucks. Stability is unacceptable. Hell, half the time I boot, Finder doesn't even draw it's menubar and I have to force Relaunch it (or reboot again).

    At this point Leopard for me is Apple's Vista & I now have to consider going back to Tiger, which was really pretty stable.
  23. kaks macrumors member

    Feb 26, 2008
    Im with you to be honest. Everything was working fine for me before the update.

    They managed to fix some problems the Mac Pros had with the graphics cards and essentially ruined some others that had no problems.

    Finder is completely unstable. Crashes, i.e. like Explorer when it relaunches. Im getting problems with video playback.

    Its just bad. Im calling the support team. Hope they fix it.
  24. dowser macrumors newbie

    Feb 21, 2008
    Strangely enough, troubles in movie playback (w/Quicktime as default player app, wer solved using the freeware Chroma. No big trouble otherwise. I got a stable 10.5.2 on MiniMac 2GHz, crossed fingers.

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