Persistent beachball on 2.16 iMac, tried everything I know

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Xfujinon, May 12, 2009.

  1. Xfujinon macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    I've got a 2.16 white 20" iMac that was purchased refurbished about 2 years ago. I do have Applecare.


    After about 3 minutes post-restart, the computer goes into spinning beachball mode and won't stop. I can't Force Quit, or do anything at all. I restart it, let it sit for awhile, and any time I do anything it beachballs about 2 or 3 minutes in.

    CPU/GPU temps are normal (38 to 48 C)
    RAM usage is normal
    I have repaired permissions/PRAM a few times
    I've restarted close to 20 times now. Problem persists each time the same.
    I am not running heavy or intensive programs
    I have not recently updated anything other than Adobe Acrobat

    I can't read the system log stuff, I'm not a computer specialist. I did not see any kernal panic messages or other error logs. Repairing startup disc with Disc Utility did nothing. Using Onyx to repair things did nothing.

    Any further suggestions? It's finals week, quite unfortunate timing.

    Thanks in advance for your expert advice.
  2. Rhalliwell1 macrumors 6502a

    May 22, 2008
    have you got a backup? can you re-install OS X? (find out if it is hardware or software.)
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    In your brief window, try quickly creating a new admin user and disabling auto-login, if it's on. Reboot and see if it happens logged into a different account. Also test it just sitting at the login window.

    If the freeze occurs in both of those situations, then try booting from the OS install disc and see if it freezes there. If yes, it's a hardware issue (maybe a connected drive that isn't responding, so is hanging the system). If no, time for a reinstall to see if it's something corrupt in the OS.

    If it only freezes with another account logged in, but not the window, that's harder--have you installed anything (like a system menu item or system tweak)?

    If the clean account doesn't have it, it's something that's automatically running in your normal account.

    For reference, in my experience, the most common cause for a systemwide beachball is I/O blocking--when the system tries to talk to a storage device that is still present and acknowledging its existence, but not actually responding with any data. For example, a broken flash drive or unresponsive mounted network drive (though that latter case has gotten much better in 10.5).
  4. i.shaun macrumors 6502a


    May 1, 2008
    pop in the OS X install disc 1, and see if you can run the apple hardware test, it may let you know of any hardware problems.

    I did it to mine and got some error that apparently means a fan isn't working, yet they seem to be running fine
  5. Xfujinon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    thanks for the input!

    I ran the Apple hardware test from the install DVD when I was checking everything else out. It said there were no problems.

    I will try the user account strategy, see if that works.

    The only I/O I have connected is a OWC 2x drive array that showed up normally on the desktop and functioned normally (I disk utility'd it too just in case).

    Not really sure what is up. It has never done this before, been a very reliable robust Mac up until this point.

    Thanks again, I'll keep working on it and get back with results.
  6. Xfujinon thread starter macrumors 6502

    Jul 27, 2007
    Iowa City, Iowa
    Thanks for everyone's help.

    I just reinstalled OSX. I had enough.

    So far, it works. Never found out what the real problem was.

    Oh well, I do appreciate your help!


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