MBP hangs every couple minutes, can't find cause!

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by someguy, Dec 1, 2011.

  1. someguy macrumors 68020

    someguy

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Location:
    Still here.
    #1
    I've got a 13" MacBook Pro with a very new install of Snow Leopard, fully updated. Every couple of minutes, it seems to completely hang, regardless of what app I'm using, and I get the spinning colorful pinwheel for about 8-10 seconds and then the system springs back to life. Here's some more info:

    Machine Specs:
    2.53Ghz Core 2 Duo
    8GB DDR3-1066 RAM
    320GB SATA HDD
    OS 10.6.8

    When this happens, I see nothing incriminating in the system logs, no spikes in disk usage, CPU usage, network usage... I've got over 7GB of free (green) RAM.

    Currently running apps, while experiencing this issue:
    Finder
    Mail
    Chrome (only this tab)
    Adium (logged out)
    Skype
    RealVNC Address Book (no open connections)
    RealVNC Server
    Activity Monitor
    Preview
    Dropbox
    Synergy
    Jumpcut
    Geektool (basic commands refreshing very infrequently)

    I let the extended Apple Hardware Test run overnight. No problems found. Any thoughts?? This is severely impacting my workflow and sanity!
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    For performance issues, there are a few things you can check:
    • Check your Login Items under System Preferences > Accounts to see what you have automatically launching.
    • Also check /Library/LaunchAgents/ and /Users/yourusername/Library/LaunchAgents/ for items launching at startup
    • Look at what widgets you may have running.
    • Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes". Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
    • Take a look at the System Memory tab at the bottom of Activity Monitor to see if you have excessive "page outs", a sign that you may benefit from more RAM.
    • Make sure you're not running any 3rd party antivirus app, as many of those will drain resources, reducing performance. They're not needed to protect your Mac.
     
  3. someguy thread starter macrumors 68020

    someguy

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2005
    Location:
    Still here.
    #3
    Here are my notes on your helpful responses. Also, I fixed it. Scroll down for my notes on that!

    I made sure this list was completely empty. It had a few of the apps I listed in the OP, but the issue persisted after a reboot with no Login Items listed.

    I did not check this, and cannot verify if it would've helped in my particular situation.

    I haven't touched Dashboard since the fresh install of Snow Leopard, but see my notes below for more info on this.

    I did this as part of the troubleshooting process. Nothing stood out at all.

    Definitely don't need more RAM. ;)

    I would never! :D


    At this point, it seems I was able to resolve this very annoying issue using Onyx. Although I cannot speak for which step of the process was most relevant, I can list the steps I took that ultimately led to a resolution:

    1. First, I let Onyx do it's Verify Disk, Repair Permissions, etc. which it recommended on first run.

    2. Then I selected Maintenance > Rebuild tab > Checked LaunchServices and dyld's shared cache (not sure what that is, but I cleared it.. do so at your own risk... In fact, use Onyx at your own risk entirely!) and hit Execute.

    3. Under Parameters > General tab, I checked the box that reads Remove the alert message on first launching applications downloaded from the Internet. Not sure this is important, but I did it, so I'm mentioning it here.

    4. Under Parameters > Misc. > Dashboard, I unchecked Enable Dashboard and its Widgets. I've never even so much as opened Dashboard since I restored my Mac, so this probably isn't too important, but I did it, nevertheless.


    That's about it. Not sure which step was most important, but now my system isn't hanging at all. Before, I couldn't even listen to a single 4 minute song on iTunes without it skipping at least once (as in, basically paused for 10 seconds or so before continuing) and now it's working great!

    Hope this post helps someone in the future. :)
     
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #4
    I'm glad you got your issue worked out.
    I really recommend you reverse this action. That alert message is an important reminder that an app you're launching for the first time was downloaded. It's a helpful tool in protection against unwanted and unintended apps from launching. It only happens the first time you launch an app, but would serve as a good alert for possible malware. Having that alert enabled wouldn't have any effect on your issue.
     

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