MBP Mid-2009 Interrupt storm

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by fpmalard, Jul 28, 2011.

  1. fpmalard macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011

    I have a MBP Mid-2009 (5,3) with 8Gb RAM and 2 Seagate Momentus XT 500 Gb running FW SD25. The 2nd drive I put at my DVD's bay using the OWC Data Doubler adapter.

    My system seems to be normal but specifically with Virtual Machine software (Parallels Desktop 6) there is some interrupt storm happening. I use several other software and they seem to work just fine.

    More intriguing, if I boot my MBP holding CMD+OPT+P+R the problem doesn't happen and Parallels runs just fine. If I do a shutdown and start without CMD+OPT+P+R the problem come back. It is weird.

    I did a couple of sessions with a Parallels developer specialist who guided me to several tests and we end up observing there is a huge interrupt storm happening inside OSX.

    I was experiencing this before with Snow Leopard and now same thing with Lion.

    I'm not sure if this interrupt storm has to do with my 2nd drive running at the DVD SATA port which may confuse OSX when looking for a DVD and finding a HD.

    Another thing I have tried without success was downgrade the EFI to 1.6 which makes the SATA port works in 1.5Gbps. No change, same problem.

    So, I was thinking what CMD+OPT+P+R does that I could do via script avoiding me to always reset the RAM after a shutdown.

    Any hunch?

  2. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    While, yes, technically there are still IRQs at the hardware level, it's not something that we can even look at from the Mac side. Therefore, I read your post and conceptually understood what you were saying, but I have absolutely no idea what to tell you to do since you didn't tell me anything remotely useful.

    So, I'll start with the obvious: what are your symptoms?
  3. fpmalard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    Basically the Parallels opening process takes 5-10min to boot any virtual machine (at the normal state it takes only about 30-40 seconds). During the startup process and also after the virtual machine is loaded and is in IDLE state, the Parallels process consume more than 100% CPU and the whole machine slows down.

    With the help of the Parallels specialist we did monitor the process and noted that the number of interrupts, which usually stays around dozens, are floating around thousands.

    Accordingly to the specialist, the way Parallels deals with the CPU is directly affected by this so called "interrupt storm" and most of native OSX application won't suffer that much.

    With this happening, if I just turn off my MBP and turn it on with CMD+OPT+P+R the Parallels back to complete normal behavior and I can work this way for days if I just put the machine to Sleep.

    If I do another shutdown and forget to CMD+OPT+P+R the problem is back.

    It is very annoying and I'm not sure if by doing CMD+OPT+P+R so many times could harm my MBP.

  4. fpmalard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jul 28, 2011
    Any crazy idea to fix this?

    I'm loosing my hope and starting to accept the usage of CMD+OPT+P+R every time I turn on my MacBook...
  5. Detrius macrumors 68000

    Sep 10, 2008
    Asheville, NC
    It's not the Dock taking up 100% CPU? There is a known Parallels bug causing that on 10.6.8.

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