PLEASE help - spinning beachball, etc

cleo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 21, 2002
1,186
0
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
OK, major crisis. My iMac (running 10.1.4) has been feeling kind of sluggish the past few days. A few hours ago I was happily posting and listening to iTunes. It occurred to me that I needed to make a new icon and I opened Can Combine Icons (which is a nifty little shareware program, btw). It would act ok for about a second and then I would get the spinning beachball. It went on for some time, and I eventually force killed. I tried again with the same results. Then I gave up and decided to listen to a different CD. Clicked the iTunes icon and got iTunes for half a second and then the spinning beachball. Got pissed off and restarted the machine.

Now I can't use any of my programs - OmniWeb, Adium, Word, GraphicConverter - all seem fine for a moment and then the spinning beachball begins. The only thing that seems to be working is the Finder.

Please help - how do I troubleshoot this? Keep in mind that I have no pre-OS X experience. I've got my iBook (from which I'm posting) set up right next to the iMac, so I'm ready to go to work. Please help!
 

Beej

macrumors 68020
Jan 6, 2002
2,139
0
Buffy's bedroom
Boot from your 10.1 CD and reinstall. Don't worry, you won't lose any files, reinstalling just replaces system files etc. Give it a go. If you're still having problems, let us know.

Oh, or you could just give your iMac to me :D
 

Mr. Anderson

Moderator emeritus
Nov 1, 2001
22,561
0
VA
Originally posted by Beej
Boot from your 10.1 CD and reinstall. Don't worry, you won't lose any files, reinstalling just replaces system files etc. Give it a go. If you're still having problems, let us know.

Oh, or you could just give your iMac to me :D
The reinstall sounds like a good option to me, that really sucks, sorry to hear about it. Good luck.

But the other thing you might want to think about is if you installed anything recently, which might have caused the problem. Let us know.

D
 

Ensign Paris

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2001
1,781
0
Europe
I would first run a disk utility, such as the one included with the OSX Disk, then I would shut down the machine and come back a few minutes later (let it finish system balances etc...

If this doesn't work, zapp the pram (Command, Option , P & R) at startup.

Then I would reinstall just the core system files.

Ensign
 

cleo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 21, 2002
1,186
0
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
OK, slow down!

OK. No, I don't have Classic running (first thing I checked :)). How do I run the Disk Utility? (As I can't open it from Finder...) If I wind up reinstalling the OS, do I need to backup my home folder first? Will it walk me through the process of reinstalling (as I have never done this before!)? What should I do, step-by-step? (Forgive me for being paranoid, I'm still in Windows mode when it comes to system stuff... afraid I'll hit the wrong key and my hard drive will be toast!)
 

cleo

macrumors 65816
Original poster
Jan 21, 2002
1,186
0
Tampa Bay Area, FL, USA
Brilliant!

OK, I decided I was being a wuss and just dove right in. I figured out how to run the Disk Utility and it said that I had an "Invalid Leaf Count" so I clicked Repair and viola, everything is working as it should. I feel so empowered! Does anyone know what a leaf count is, and how mine might have become invalid?

Now that I feel a little more secure with this whole booting-from-a-CD thing (have I mentioned how ridiculously easy this is compared to Windows? :D), is there anything else I should do to keep things in working order? I know I should get Norton one of these days to defrag things occasionally.

Thanks for all the help!
 

j763

macrumors 6502a
Nov 25, 2001
660
0
Champaign, IL, USA
A couple of things guys -- if you're using a more recent version of os x than you've got on CD (i.e. you've run sw update or d/l'd some updates), DO NOT reinstall from the CD... you end up having to do a software restore. The other thing is that you don't have to boot from the OS CD to do the disk util trick. When my mac's running sluggishly, here's what i do.

1. Boot up holding down [APPLE]+
2. You will see a black background with some white text. Once you see that, you can let go of the two keys.
3. Once the text stops scrolling and says "localhost", type in "fsck -y" without the quotes and hit enter. Keep repeating this until it says "Macintosh HD is OK"
4. Once it tells you "Macintosh HD is OK" as opposed to "FILE SYSTEM MODIFIED", type in reboot and hit enter.

This way of doing it is easier than inserting the os x cd and all that, once you get used to it...
 
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