MBP Freezing with no pinwheel

richard13

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
556
14
Sautee Nacoochee, GA
I've noticed recently (certainly since upgrading to El Capitan) that occasionally I will be working with my MBP and switching between apps (clicking on the window) and nothing happens. So I click again, thinking it didn't register. Nothing again. I try to alt-Tab and still nothing. Can't pull up the Force Quit window via keystroke. There's no pinwheel to show a process is locked up.

Following this. Sometimes the system comes back but sometimes it doesn't. Yesterday my MBP actually rebooted on it's own after one of these freezes.

Has anyone else seen this? Have a suggestion?
 

AFEPPL

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
2,646
1,564
England
Yep also getting the same on two of the three i have.
I have no suggestions or reasons as to why, its all very random.
 

Sabretooth78

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2012
66
41
Western NY
I've had this happen a handful of times. I've reinstalled a few times (largely due to other reasons of my own causing, just because I can) but it doesn't seem to have happened more than once in each.
 

richard13

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
556
14
Sautee Nacoochee, GA
I've had this happen a handful of times. I've reinstalled a few times (largely due to other reasons of my own causing, just because I can) but it doesn't seem to have happened more than once in each.
Did you do a clean install? If yes, did you have any crashes afterward? I'm wondering if maybe this is happening as part of the upgrade (Yosemite -> El Capitan) and need to cleanly install the OS.
 

AFEPPL

macrumors 68030
Sep 30, 2014
2,646
1,564
England
This is like going back to Win95, "re-install" is the standard mac answer/fix these days.
The quality of the OS suck and blows at the same time
 
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Sabretooth78

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2012
66
41
Western NY
Did you do a clean install? If yes, did you have any crashes afterward? I'm wondering if maybe this is happening as part of the upgrade (Yosemite -> El Capitan) and need to cleanly install the OS.
Yes, "clean" in this sense:
  1. Format both of my internal drives with Disk Utility from the Mavericks boot disk. I use the Mavericks boot because I hate the lobotomized El Cap DU and Yosemite's always gave me issues with turning the SSD into a "logical volume group".
  2. Do SMC and PRAM resets.
  3. Boot it from an external drive with El Cap installed and then initiate the installation onto my internal SSD from there. For whatever reason, I can't install straight from the bootable installer (get that stupid endless LanguageChooser error on both of my machines).
I haven't had a crash or any kernel panics that I can recall. A few hard reboots and lengthy shutdowns but nothing that's bothering me too much (OS X seems to be quite inconsistent with reboot times in my experience). I can't remember what I did with the no pinwheel freeze. It was odd; the keyboard and trackpad wouldn't respond yet the clock was still ticking so I hesitate to call it a "true" freeze. My current (and hopefully final) reinstallation has been behaving well, so far.

I'm no expert - I'm technically inclined and tend to fly by the seat of my pants - but I might suggest that you try a clean install. If you have the available space, make a separate partition on your internal drive and install it there. Then if you don't like the way it runs it's as simple as erasing/removing that partition.

This is like going back to Win95, "re-install" is the standard mac answer/fix these days.
The quality of the OS suck and blows at the same time
Maybe that's the working title for OS X 10.12 - Shop Vac - "The world's most versatile OS"

I'm an ex Windows user (~1996-2008; prior to which I was familiar with Systems 6 & 7) and somewhat OCD, so take those two together and clean installs are what I prefer. I've never done an "upgrade" of OS X - I might have the first time I ever upgraded, Leopard to Snow Leopard) but if I did I probably reinstalled clean not too long after.

But I agree; I've been noticing over the past few years how Apple is becoming what Microsoft always has been. I'm sure Steve Jobs is rolling over with their capitulation to that way of doing things.
 
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Weaselboy

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 23, 2005
29,144
8,813
California
I've noticed recently (certainly since upgrading to El Capitan) that occasionally I will be working with my MBP and switching between apps (clicking on the window) and nothing happens. So I click again, thinking it didn't register. Nothing again. I try to alt-Tab and still nothing. Can't pull up the Force Quit window via keystroke. There's no pinwheel to show a process is locked up.

Following this. Sometimes the system comes back but sometimes it doesn't. Yesterday my MBP actually rebooted on it's own after one of these freezes.

Has anyone else seen this? Have a suggestion?
Try this as a test. Reboot while holding the shift key. That boots to safe mode and stops all startup and hidden launch items from running. Then see if the problem goes away. If it does, that tells us it is some startup or launch item causing a conflict.

If it does not go away in safe mode.... that tells us it is not a conflict with any software and it more likely a hardware problem. The syptoms you describe actually sound like a failing drive.
 
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richard13

macrumors 6502a
Original poster
Aug 1, 2008
556
14
Sautee Nacoochee, GA
Thanks for the response Weaselboy. After the freeze occurred again today I decided to try the Safe Mode option you suggested. I've never used Safe Mode before but I will say this, my system is slow as molasses, video is choppy at best (actually had horizontal lines when booting) and no sound. Oh yea, also, my battery is now running way hotter than normal. So yea, I probably won't stay here for very long. We'll see.

Yes, I would normally suspect a hardware problem but the storage device in my MBP is actually an SSD so I'm not sure that's it. I did run First Aid in Disk Utility and everything came back ok.

If I'm unable to figure this out soon I'm likely going to try a clean install of El Capitan. During the upgrade I had some odd things happen (didn't complete gracefully).
 

pat500000

Suspended
Jun 3, 2015
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This is like going back to Win95, "re-install" is the standard mac answer/fix these days.
The quality of the OS suck and blows at the same time
Well, if you feel that way, couldn't you use alternative os?
 

Floris

macrumors 68020
Sep 7, 2007
2,381
1,451
Netherlands
Code:
imac:~ floris$ sudo su -
imac:~ root# syslog
syslog   syslogd
imac:~ root# syslog -w

Nov  3 07:39:43 imac com.apple.usbmuxd[36492] <Notice>: _SendAttachNotification Device 70:48:0f:77:xx:xx@fe80::7248:fff:fe77:xxxx._apple-mobdev2._tcp.local. has already appeared on interface 4. Suppressing duplicate attach notification.

etc
syslog -w
has become my friend with El Capitan.
 

Sabretooth78

macrumors member
Nov 13, 2012
66
41
Western NY
Okay...therefore...we have no choice but to accept what apple gives us, right?
Well, depending upon your inclination, it seems as though Microsoft has closed the gap considerably (or maybe instead Apple closed the gap, depending on how you look at it), but as for me I still wouldn't touch MSFT with a barge pole. That pretty much leaves us with Linux (also UNIX-based) or a slew of other 3rd parties.

Or we could also just go out and get different hobbies; that's always an alternative that is rarely mentioned. :)
 
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pat500000

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Well, depending upon your inclination, it seems as though Microsoft has closed the gap considerably (or maybe instead Apple closed the gap, depending on how you look at it), but as for me I still wouldn't touch MSFT with a barge pole. That pretty much leaves us with Linux (also UNIX-based) or a slew of other 3rd parties.

Or we could also just go out and get different hobbies; that's always an alternative that is rarely mentioned. :)
:) I guess if MS and Apple are pretty much closed gap...linux might be the way?