New to Mac question about Finder crashing

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Argand, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. Argand macrumors newbie

    Sep 21, 2007
    I've had my Mac for six days now and love it. Yesterday, while playing WoW, I experienced my first crash (it was the video freeze). Just moments ago, however, I experienced a second one that confuses me. I had a Finder window open and plugged in a USB drive, causing Finder to become unresponsive and I am unable to reboot via the apple menu. I tried to force-quit-restart Finder but the top menu bar is still frozen (save when I open an app). I have Safari open now and can select just doesn't do it.

    I'll do a hard reboot in a moment. As a long-time Windows user, when Explorer crashes, I simply kill it and start a new instance. Is there a similar technique with the Mac?

  2. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    The freeze you're describing is probably what happens when the OS is trying to get ahold of a drive that isn't available.

    Under most use patterns it's rare, but in the event that there's an external drive connected that suddenly stops responding, you can get that sort of stall. I won't pretend to understand the details of it, but basically the core of the OS is waiting for the connected disk, and won't even take care of force-quit operations until it responds. You can open new apps as long as they don't try to access that disk, in which case they'll stall too.

    The fix for this is generally to just unplug whatever drive may be misbehaving--you'll get the standard "disk connected improperly" error, but the freeze will immediately be cured. I've also seen it happen occasionally (though increasingly rarely with 10.4) with mounted network volumes.

    For what it's worth, this relative lack of robustness for flakey disks is my personal biggest pet peeve with the OS, even though I rarely see it happen. I've seen the same thing happen with Windows, actually, but I believe because Microsoft has always let you eject a disk without telling the OS about it (CDs and floppies since forever), Windows is significantly more tolerant of this situation.

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