My Mac is turning into a Windows PC (ref: preposterous datagram length)

Discussion in 'macOS' started by jmfm, Jul 22, 2012.

  1. jmfm, Jul 22, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 27, 2012

    jmfm macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #1
    Hi,

    The title of this thread is actually pretty descriptive of what is happening. I'm not going back to Windows (I don't think) but for the last few days my Mac has been behaving like a Windows machine. Every 3 or 4 hours I have to reboot my computer because it starts going slower and slower until I cannot work anymore. Everything slows down to a crawl. I cannot switch windows. There is a huge lag between the time I type a character and the character appears on screen. If you have worked with Windows, you know that this was a fairly frequent affair and you were used to have to reboot your machine every once in a while. I thought those days were over :-(

    Can anybody help me figure out what is going on? I would be very thankful.

    OK, if I'm asking for your help, there is some information that I'm going to have to provide. Here it is:

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac11,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core i7
    Processor Speed: 2,8 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 1
    Total Number Of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 8 MB
    Memory: 8 GB
    Processor Interconnect Speed: 4.8 GT/s
    Boot ROM Version: IM111.0034.B02

    Running OSX 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard)

    As you can see, I have plenty of processing power and memory. I have taken a screenshot of the activity monitor screen at the time the slowdown started. I'm including it here [​IMG].

    As you can see, there is plenty of RAM available. I have a utility that monitors memory and I was able to see that during the whole session I always had at least 4GB of free memory. Yet, as you can also see, page outs are high (at least that what I think given what I normally see, or saw) and swap memory has been used.

    The real culprit seems to be the process called 'WindowServer'. When the slowdown happens, this process consumes almost 100% of the cpu power and it stays there until I reboot.

    I have checked the log files (system.log and windowserver.log) and I can see a lot of error messages that I don't understand. I include a selection below. I have deleted huge portions because the seem to be repetitions of the same error. What puzzles me particularly is the message "Preposterous datagram length xxxxx".

    I also include links to the files just in case someone needs to see more information to figure out what is going on. You can find them here:

    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/447406/system.log
    https://dl.dropbox.com/u/447406/windowserver.log

    What I find even more surprising is that once it starts going slow there is nothing I can do to recover normalcy. I've tried a utility that frees up memory but it doesn't seem to do anything. I have even shutdown all applications but the computer is still painfully slow with no application activated (well, probably the Finder is always on as is revealed by the error messages).

    As I said, I would be really thankful for any help anybody can provide to solve this problem.

    Josep M.

    Selection of error messages:

    system.log

    Jul 22 13:11:30 hal2 [0x0-0x98098].com.apple.systemevents[1710]: com.apple.FolderActions.enabled: Already loaded
    Jul 22 13:12:08 hal2 thunderbird[673]: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type 6
    Jul 22 13:12:08 hal2 thunderbird[673]: kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
    Jul 22 13:12:08 hal2 [0x0-0x2e02e].org.mozilla.thunderbird[673]: Sun Jul 22 13:12:08 hal2.local thunderbird[673] <Error>: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type 6
    Jul 22 13:12:08 hal2 thunderbird[673]: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData
    [...]
    Jul 22 13:12:08 hal2 [0x0-0x2e02e].org.mozilla.thunderbird[673]: Sun Jul 22 13:12:08 hal2.local thunderbird[673] <Error>: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData
    Jul 22 13:12:09 hal2 thunderbird[673]: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type 50331648
    [...]
    Jul 22 13:12:09 hal2 [0x0-0x2e02e].org.mozilla.thunderbird[673]: Sun Jul 22 13:12:09 hal2.local thunderbird[673] <Error>: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData
    Jul 22 13:12:15 hal2 thunderbird[673]: kCGErrorRangeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Preposterous datagram length 926941440
    [...]
    Jul 22 14:25:09 hal2 Finder[243]: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type 6
    Jul 22 14:25:09 hal2 Finder[243]: kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
    Jul 22 14:25:09 hal2 Finder[243]: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData
    Jul 22 14:25:09 hal2 com.apple.Finder[243]: Sun Jul 22 14:25:09 hal2.local Finder[243] <Error>: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type 6
    Jul 22 14:25:09 hal2 com.apple.Finder[243]: Sun Jul 22 14:25:09 hal2.local Finder[243] <Error>: kCGErrorFailure: Set a breakpoint @ CGErrorBreakpoint() to catch errors as they are logged.
    [...]
    Jul 22 14:25:12 hal2 Finder[243]: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData
    Jul 22 14:25:12 hal2 com.apple.Finder[243]: Sun Jul 22 14:25:12 hal2.local Finder[243] <Error>: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type 50331648
    Jul 22 14:25:12 hal2 com.apple.Finder[243]: Sun Jul 22 14:25:12 hal2.local Finder[243] <Error>: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData
    Jul 22 14:25:12 hal2 Finder[243]: kCGErrorRangeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Preposterous datagram length 926941440
    [...]
    Jul 22 14:46:32 hal2 com.apple.Finder[243]: Sun Jul 22 14:46:32 hal2.local Finder[243] <Error>: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type -2046492672
    Jul 22 14:46:32 hal2 com.apple.Finder[243]: Sun Jul 22 14:46:32 hal2.local Finder[243] <Error>: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData
    Jul 22 14:46:33 hal2 Finder[243]: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type -1610285056
    Jul 22 14:46:33 hal2 Finder[243]: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData
    Jul 22 14:46:33 hal2 com.apple.Finder[243]: Sun Jul 22 14:46:33 hal2.local Finder[243] <Error>: kCGErrorTypeCheck: CGSDispatchDatagramsFromStream : Bad datagram type -1610285056
    Jul 22 14:46:33 hal2 com.apple.Finder[243]: Sun Jul 22 14:46:33 hal2.local Finder[243] <Error>: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetPortStreamData




    windowserver.log

    Jul 22 14:23:56 [190] kCGErrorFailure: CGXDisableUpdate: UI updates were forcibly disabled by application "Finder" for over 1 second. Server has re-enabled them.
    Jul 22 14:25:13 [190] kCGErrorFailure: CGXDisableUpdate: UI updates were forcibly disabled by application "Finder" for over 1 second. Server has re-enabled them.
    Jul 22 14:25:38 [190] kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGXMoveWindowListToWorkspace: invalid window id: 3f4
    Jul 22 14:26:17 [190] kCGErrorFailure: CGXDisableUpdate: UI updates were forcibly disabled by application "Finder" for over 1 second. Server has re-enabled them.
    Jul 22 14:27:36 [190] kCGErrorFailure: CGXDisableUpdate: UI updates were forcibly disabled by application "Finder" for over 1 second. Server has re-enabled them.
     
  2. satcomer macrumors 603

    satcomer

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2008
    Location:
    The Finger Lakes Region
    #2
    Hold down the 'option' key and then click & hold on Dock's Finder shortcut. A pop-up will come up and select "relaunch". This will take a few seconds but it will restart the Finder. See if this helps.

    Plus in you picture you highlighted item could have been 'quit' and it would have restarted also.
     
  3. ScoobyMcDoo macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2007
    Location:
    Austin, TX
    #3
    Have you installed any 3rd party screen savers? If so, uninstall them and see if it helps. I have read of folks who have had these issues, and just disabling the screen saver didn't help; they had to completely remove it. I have also heard some folks blaming flip4mac, but I dont' know if there really is anything to that or not.

    If you are killing all your apps and WindowServer is still cranking away, there is something else which is making lots of requests to WindowServer.
     
  4. stomer macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2007
    Location:
    Leeds, UK
    #4
    The Dropbox helper is known to do some really hacky stuff in order to integrate with Finder. Try removing Dropbox and restarting Finder.

    I've had similar issues when running Dropbox.
     
  5. jmfm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #5
    Is my Mac turning into a Windows PC?

    Thanks a lot guys!

    I think last time I had this problem I relaunched Finder (via Force Quit) but I will do it again as satcomer suggests and see if things improve at that moment. When I did it last time it was in the middle of the confusion and I was shutting off many things.

    I don't have any third party screen saver. I had seen some forums that mentioned that as well. The dropbox suggestion is a good one. I said I had killed all apps but I had not killed the dropbox related processes. I will certainly try that when the computer starts slowing down again (and, unfortunately, it will).

    I hope to report good news soon.

    JM
     
  6. richest macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    #6
    Virus maybe?

    How about a full re install.

    Windows style I know but it may work.
     
  7. jmfm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #7
    RE: back to nightmare Windows days

    I didn't think I had a virus but I did run an anti-virus scan anyway and the results were negative.

    I tried what stomer suggested and relaunched Finder after killing the Dropbox process. This seemed to help a little bit at first (or perhaps it was my perception) but after a very short while the computer slowed down again.

    Yes, a full reinstall might fix the problem but I really thought these kinds of things didn't happen with Macs. Not having to go through this was one of the main reasons I switched to Mac.

    So, any new suggestion that doesn't involve having to go through a full reinstall? If I have to reinstall I might as well wait a few days and install Mountain Lion. I wanted to stay as long as I could with Snow Leopard because I don't really like the direction things are going after Lion.

    JM
     
  8. richest macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2012
    #8
    I am about to join virus free Apple soon.

    However, even Apple admit that they are not 100% virus free, especially with software or apps not regulated by them in store or iTunes etc.

    Better than pc mass issues I guess.
     
  9. blueroom macrumors 603

    blueroom

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2009
    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    #9
    Something's running that's not part of your original install.
    Things to look for.
    Parallels (patch it)
    Browser plug ins (stop them all)
    Screen savers (LCDs aren't CRTs)

    It's very very unlikely a virus.
     
  10. jmfm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #10
    I have the default apple on black backround screen saver so that should not be the problem. I do have Parallels, though, and the most annoying thing is that it has these services and daemons running from the time you log in whether you are going to use Parallels or not.

    When you say "patch it", though, what do you mean exactly? I keep it always updated and as far as I know I have the latest version. Although perhaps it is precisely the latest version that introduced the problem. The problem is that it is very difficult to test whether the problem comes from Parallels because you cannot kill the running processes with the Activity Monitor. You try to kill them and they come back to life again. So the only solution appears to be to uninstall it. I guess if I keep a copy of the virtual machines it created, I will be OK.

    The plugins are also a good suggestion. I'll try what you suggest. Thanks!

    JM
     
  11. moongravy macrumors member

    moongravy

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Location:
    Cardiff, Wales UK
    #11
    Have you installed something that changes the system font? The "Activity Monitor" text in the screenshot you've posted looks very large/bolded.

    Try uninstalling this if so.
     
  12. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #13
    Currently there are no viruses affecting Mac OS X in public circulation, it may change or it might not.
    But then again, the term "virus" is not used for its proper definition (installs itself and propagates itself), but used to mean all kinds of malware, like trojans and such, of which some exist in public circulation.

    There is a Mac Malware FAQ somewhere on this message board, maybe you can take a look at it. I am tired of linking to it, even if it means, others could learn something from it. But then again, who really wants to learn something?
     
  13. ElectricSheep macrumors 6502

    ElectricSheep

    Joined:
    Feb 18, 2004
    Location:
    Wilmington, DE
    #14
    Create a new user account and run that for a bit. See if you get the same slowdowns. If not, you know that the issue is isolated to your user account, which could be caches or some installed components (Growl, contextual menu plugins, etc.)

    EDIT: Are you using SIMBL? What plugins do you have installed...
     
  14. mfacey macrumors 65816

    mfacey

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2004
    Location:
    Netherlands
    #15
    Very annoying, but wait until later this week when Mountain Lion is released, buy it and then do a clean install.

    That's what I'll be doing this weekend!!:rolleyes::cool::apple:
     
  15. jmfm, Jul 27, 2012
    Last edited: Jul 27, 2012

    jmfm thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2010
    #16
    The return of the (snow) leopard king

    I was starting to lose faith in the Apple gods but my faith is back. I think I will wait a little bit to install Mountain Lion (loosing a bit of freedom and flexibility in exchange for some other good things that I don't value as much) because Snow Leopard is back and it is definitely alive and kicking.

    Perhaps I will never know what the problem was, but it is definitely solved and it was much easier than I thought. I didn't have to do a reinstall. I just booted with the install DVD and let Disk Utility work its magic. I ran repair disk permissions and repair disk and rebooted. My Mac is running as fast as the first day.

    Yes, it's been frustrating. I would have saved a lot of time by doing this immediately after noticing the problem. This has worked for so many other problems that seemed to have nothing to do with disk permissions or disk problems that I decided to give it a try. And it worked.

    All I know is that when this happened with Windows (and it happened more often than not) I could never go back to the way things were without formatting the disk and doing a full reinstall.

    So no, my Mac had not turned into a Windows pc, it was just misbehaving a little bit. Having been able to work with the same installation for so long without any problems feels like a miracle to me.

    Thanks for all your help.

    JM

    ----------

    I was starting to lose faith in the Apple gods but my faith is back. I think I will wait a little bit to install mountain lion because snow leopard is back and it is definitely alive and kicking.

    Perhaps I will never know what the problem was, but it is definitely solved. I didn't have to do a reinstall. I just booted with the install DVD and let Disk Utility work its magic. I ran repair disk permissions and repair disk and rebooted. My Mac is running as fast as the first day.

    Yes, it's been frustrating. I would have saved a lot of time by doing this immediately after noticing the problem. This has worked for so many other problems that seemed to have nothing to do with disk permissions or disk problems that I decided to give it a try. And it worked.

    All I know is that when this happened with Windows (and it happened more often than not) I could never go back to the way things were without formatting the disk and doing a full reinstall.

    So no, my Mac had not turned into a Windows pc, it was just misbehaving a little bit. Having been able to work with the same installation for so long without any trouble (which had an easy solution after all) until now feels like a miracle.

    Thanks for all your help.

    JM
     

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