Needing to redo Lion (Losing my MIND)

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by austinkays, Oct 31, 2011.

  1. austinkays macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2008
    Hey guys, sorry if this has already been posted. I can't exactly check.. without losing my sanity.

    I will keep this brief since every 5 characters I type, I stare at the pinwheel for 30 seconds.

    Ive tried everything. Safari and iTunes are killing my i5 processor. Fall 2010 17" MBP.

    How can I redo Lion without losing all of my music, movies and photos?

    Been getting worse.. now I have lost it.

  2. Jethryn Freyman macrumors 68020

    Jethryn Freyman

    Aug 9, 2007
    Open the Activity Monitor, how much free memory do you have?

    Could be a faulty hard disk...
  3. austinkays thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2008
    1.61 GB Free System Memory

    104.81 GB Free Disk Usage

    The Disk Activity spikes when I see the pinwheel, as well as CPU usage
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Nov 28, 2010
    What process is using the CPU?

    image below uses sorting by CPU as an example
  5. austinkays, Oct 31, 2011
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2011

    austinkays thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2008
    There are about 5 different Processes that are fighting for about 18-25% CPU.

    Flash Player (Safari Internet plug-in)

    Safari Web Content and Safari are using from 2 to 8% as well
  6. austinkays thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2008
    Wirelessly posted (Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; CPU iPhone OS 5_0 like Mac OS X) AppleWebKit/534.46 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/5.1 Mobile/9A334 Safari/7534.48.3)

    Desperately bumping. Extremely frustrated with the mac right now, been having to use my phone.
  7. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    hope I'm reading your situation right.

    if you have a 10.6 install disc (which I presume came with your MBPro), you should be ably to startup from that and run Apple Hardware test -

    if that checks out ok - you know for sure it's not a hardware issue - which is a possibility

    now, can you startup normally, shut down all apps and then connect an external drive to run Time Machine backup without the spinning wheel?

    Lion is a bit of a pain, but it should run fine on an i5
    (personally, if I could, I'd rather run 10.6 on my 2011 Air)

    if you can't back up, you may have no choice but to do another fresh install of Lion and pray that your data remains unscathed - which it should.

    if you can indeed back up, then maybe do an erase and reinstall of the OS - you'll have a choice of a clean install of 10.6 or 10.7
  8. iVikD macrumors regular


    Sep 11, 2011
    I've seen this several times on MacBooks. Running the hardware test like the previous poster said is your best bet, however, try running Disk Utility and doing a disk check. When I did this on the aforementioned MacBooks, I got a message saying the disk drive was damaged and needed replacement.
    I did reinstall the operating system on those devices, and it worked fine for about a week, when it became unusably slow once more. Like I said best bets are hardware check and disk utility.
  9. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Long-shot suggestion: Does dragging the window around the screen immediately cause the beachball to disappear? I had that happen to me once, and I've heard one other report of the same thing here.

    Actually, you REALLY don't; Apple Hardware Test is always a good first-line thing to try when something is acting very weird, but it's rather notorious for giving a clean bill of health to systems with intermittent problems or certain ones it just doesn't test very thoroughly for.

    For example, when doing a drive test it mostly checks the SMART status, but many drives failing with hardware problems will report SMART as just fine. It also doesn't do a really thorough RAM test, and I've had it tell me everything was fine when its own screen was almost unreadable due to graphics card problems.

    As for the OP, do what other people are suggesting. It sounds to me suspiciously like either a hard drive directory problem (which Disk Utility would tell you about, and maybe be able to fix), or bad sectors on the hard drive, which can cause infuriating hangs while the hard drive runs its internal recovery routines.

    One thing that might be of interest to check: Assuming here that you don't have an SSD, the next time it beachballs, put your ear on the computer and listen to the hard drive. Is it making no perceptible sound, constant scratching noises, or a rhythmic ticking sound?

    The ticking sound indicates a failing drive often--it's the drive repeatedly re-reading the same section of data. The violent scratching sound might be directory problems, Spotlight indexer going nuts, or paging to disk due to insufficient RAM. Dead silence usually means it's hanging in software.

    Activity monitor would also show some of the above; if disk access goes to zero during the hangs, it's either bad sectors or pure software; if it goes very high, RAM paging or runaway background processes are more likely.
  10. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    if that be the case then (after you've done the hardware test which apparently will show up bugger-all even though it's ID'd faulty graphics processor and faulty memory for me in the past :cool:) then restart and hold down the 'C' key and then run your disk utility repair from there and not from within Mac OSX on normal start-up
  11. austinkays thread starter macrumors newbie

    Aug 3, 2008
    I appreciate all of the help everybody!

    I ended up taking my MBP into the Apple store today and having it checked out. Turns out there were some programs that were causing it to pinwheel.

    They didn't show up under the activity monitor which was weird, but as soon as we closed the program... it ran fine.

    Oh well, I guess sometimes it is right under your nose. Thanks again everyone!
  12. mmomega macrumors demi-god


    Dec 30, 2009
    DFW, TX
    on another note, what do you use for your screenshots and highlighting?
  13. halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    shift+command+4 for the screen shot :cool:
  14. agentphish macrumors 65816


    Sep 7, 2004
    Can you share which programs were causing this?

    I've found flash to be a main culprit for my machines. I didn't install Flash on my new Air. I use Chrome if i need to watch flash content since it's sandboxed within chrome.


    And the highlighting? I'm interested in knowing that too...
  15. halledise, Nov 5, 2011
    Last edited: Nov 10, 2011

    halledise macrumors 65816

    May 7, 2009
    Hamilton Island, Whitsundays, QLD Australia
    shift+command+4 then draw a square around what you want to snap and 'hey presto' it drops it onto your desktop

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