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seggy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 13, 2016
421
283
'19 iMac on Monterey, migrated to Sonoma last week with a clean OS install + Migration Assistant - not out of choice but because I had to since the Sonoma upgrade trashed the existing install. I'd have expected less problems as a result but I've been coming across problem after problem which I've been working through. This one's new, and I only found out a few minutes ago since I don't use Safari much.

Beachballs when:
- Navigating away from the start page, even if same site (I had this one set to Amazon)
- Interestingly, also the moment you hit "Settings"

I've googled for problems which mostly touch on the first, but the second one I've not come across, which presumably means my problem is more serious. Nothing on that I've been able to look for.

Any idea why / what to do?
 

gilby101

macrumors 68030
Mar 17, 2010
2,634
1,406
Tasmania
migrated to Sonoma last week with a clean OS install + Migration Assistant
Migration Assistant will have loaded up all the rubbish from the previous install.

What happens if you do a clean install (erase and instal - no apps, no MA)? Does Safari still beachball?
 

seggy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 13, 2016
421
283
Migration Assistant will have loaded up all the rubbish from the previous install.

What happens if you do a clean install (erase and instal - no apps, no MA)? Does Safari still beachball?
This is probably my next step for *this* Mac failing any good insight - after inventorying all the software and the settings of each, which will take days, if not weeks if I drag my feet.

But I was looking for a fix than bypass, which doesn't require any expertise to recommend to do.
 
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bzgnyc2

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2023
140
163
This is probably my next step for *this* Mac failing any good insight - after inventorying all the software and the settings of each, which will take days, if not weeks if I drag my feet.

But I was looking for a fix than bypass, which doesn't require any expertise to recommend to do.

Just how many applications do you have?

In any case, try creating a clean user profile and seeing if Safari, etc beachball. That will help narrow down whether a system-wide or account-specific issue.

Also how much RAM do you have? I assume you are running your user account and most softwre off the internal drive?
 

seggy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 13, 2016
421
283
Just how many applications do you have?

In any case, try creating a clean user profile and seeing if Safari, etc beachball. That will help narrow down whether a system-wide or account-specific issue.

Also how much RAM do you have? I assume you are running your user account and most softwre off the internal drive?
That's a good call, I'll try that (even though both of us know it's probably speficific to the screwed migration).

40Gb (8+32) if I'm not mistaken. And yes, everything is off the internal (non Fusion of course, bleh) drive.
 

bzgnyc2

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2023
140
163
That's a good call, I'll try that (even though both of us know it's probably speficific to the screwed migration).

40Gb (8+32) if I'm not mistaken. And yes, everything is off the internal (non Fusion of course, bleh) drive.

Yes with 40GB RAM and an SSD (I didn't realize Fusion drives were the base config as late as 2019...) you should be fine hardware-wise to run even Sonoma. So far consensus is that it uses more resources than Monterey but not that much more (16 GB probably fine, 32 more than enough so 40 should be a non-issue).

It does seem likely based on what you've said that something came over with your user profile that isn't sitting well with Sonoma. If it was just Safari, I would suggest cleaning out the Safari preferences/etc stuff:
~/Library/Safari
~/Library/SafariSandboxBroker
~/Library/SafariSafeBrowsing
~/Library/SafariSandboxBroker
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.SafeBrowsing.plist
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.Safari.SandboxBroker.plist
~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.SafariBookmarksSyncAgent.plist
~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari
~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari.BrowserDataImportingService:
~/Library/Containers/com.apple.Safari.CacheDeleteExtension
~/Library/Application Scripts/com.apple.Safari
~/Library/Application Scripts/com.apple.Safari.BrowserDataImportingService
~/Library/Application Scripts/com.apple.Safari.CacheDeleteExtension
~/Library/Caches/CloudKit/com.apple.Safari
~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari
~/Library/Caches/com.apple.Safari.SafeBrowsing
~/Library/SafariSafeBrowsing
~/Library/Cookies/com.apple.Safari.SearchHelper.binarycookies

[Note deleting all the above folders files will delete all your bookmarks, history, preferences, website exceptions/blacklists, etc).

However if the issue is bigger than Safari (but not system-wide), your two basic choices are to do a lot of debugging across your existing profile until you find the thing(s) to replace/rebuild/delete/etc (Activity Monitor may provide some clues here) or create a new profile and manually migrate yourself over.

Assuming the computer works well under the clean profile and you go the latter route approach above, you probably don't need to reinstall the OS or any application under /Applications again. Basically just recreate their preferences/etc. However to your point sifting through all those settings and preferences to recreate them under a new profile may be as time consuming as anything...
 
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ignatius345

macrumors 604
Aug 20, 2015
7,082
11,658
This is probably my next step for *this* Mac failing any good insight - after inventorying all the software and the settings of each, which will take days, if not weeks if I drag my feet.

But I was looking for a fix than bypass, which doesn't require any expertise to recommend to do.
Before you go through a laborious process of reinstalling everything (that's your last-ditch solution because it's a disruptive PITA) -- do this first:

  1. Make a brand new user account (System Settings > Users & Groups).
  2. Restart
  3. Log only into that new account. Don't bother setting it up with your iCloud credentials, as it's just for testing and you don't want to tell it to sync up a bunch of stuff right away.
  4. See if the problem recurs.
  5. If everything runs smoothly, the issue is something in the existing user account you've been using this whole time. You can either try to fix what was wrong there or (maybe simpler) just make this new vanilla account your new home base. Log into iCloud, bring in your files, start setting everything up from this blank slate.
  6. If the problem does recur with this vanilla user account, then you can go to maybe reinstalling the system. But, again, as much as people (and Apple) will try to sell you this as a troubleshooting step, it's really the nuclear option.
 
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seggy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 13, 2016
421
283
Busy until now, tried today.

Thanks for the suggestions, bzgny's was what I already googled regarding safari initialisation and ignatius's testing was what I was trying to do today following bzgny's earlier post...

And you know what, I was completely wrong about me assuming it's a user profile problem, at least not in the way I was thinking.

The Mac beachballed to death during the test user setup process BWAHAHAHAHA
I didn't even get the chance to run Safari or even look at the desktop on another account before it ground to a halt 🤣

Clearly this install is screwed, and a non-functional Safari is the least of my problems.

Not sure what to do now.

1. I could reinstall Sonoma from scratch without using Migration Ass, only extracting data.
This will take days if not weeks to completely put everything back, and makes the purpose of having used this machine - to test a Sonoma upgrade for the rest of my remaining Mac stash - completely redundant. It's almost certainly a no.

2. I could try to put it back the way it was - i.e. blow away the Mac partition again, get Monterey back, restore the first backup on the TM.
Quite tempted to try this to hopefully have a working machine again, but there's no knowing what MacOS will get wrong even in this situation. But I feel like it's potentially a better effort-result payback. And as for Sonoma, forget it completely.

3. I could just leave it as is or attempt troubleshooting in drip feed (I probably will with trying to reinitialise Safari at least), and either use whatever I can out of it, or just wipe it to OOBE Mojave and put it back into storage for future me to worry about.
This will serve as just one of the reminders of why I maintain MacOS is The World's Most Fisher-Price OS Once You Get Past The Unix For Karens Features. Obviously no Sonoma upgrade for the rest of the Macs.
 
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Fishrrman

macrumors Penryn
Feb 20, 2009
28,594
12,707
What I'd do...

1. BACK UP the iMac (unless you already have a good backup on an external drive already standing by)

2. Try to use the free utility "Mist" to download and build a bootable flashdrive.
Mist is here:
(download the dmg file)
You will also need a 32gb flashdrive (might work on 16gb, don't know).
Mist will AUTOMATICALLY download the latest monterey installer AND "build" the bootable flashdrive, takes a while so be patient.

3. Power the iMac off, all the way off.

4. Boot from the flashdrive (hold down option key at boot)

5. Open disk utility. Go to the view menu and choose "Show all devices".

6. Use disk utility to ERASE the ENTIRE internal drive. You can't see the internal drive unless you followed step 5. It should be "the top line" in the "list on the left".

7. Once erased, quit disk utility and open the OS installer. Start clicking through.

8. The Mac will reboot one or more times, and the display will go dark for a minute or more with no other indication of activity. Be patient.

9. When done, you should see the initial setup screen (choose your language).

10. CONNECT YOUR BACKUP DRIVE and start clicking through. When the setup assistant asks if you wish to migrate from another drive, YES.

11. Point the way for SA to find the backup and give it time to "digest" everything.

12. SA will present you with a list of things to migrate. I'd just migrate it all.
Again, give SA time to do the job.

13. When done, you should see your old login screen.

Good luck.
 

seggy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 13, 2016
421
283
um - yes, that's what I said I was considering doing in option 2.

thanks anyway.

my 'wishful magic wand' solution is maybe a way I can magically prep the original TM backup so that a Sonoma upgrade will work.
 

LinMac

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2007
1,200
15
Did you ever try Onyx or Sonoma Cache Cleaner? Any of the applications like those?
 
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bzgnyc2

macrumors regular
Dec 8, 2023
140
163
Busy until now, tried today.

Thanks for the suggestions, bzgny's was what I already googled regarding safari initialisation and ignatius's testing was what I was trying to do today following bzgny's earlier post...

And you know what, I was completely wrong about me assuming it's a user profile problem, at least not in the way I was thinking.

The Mac beachballed to death during the test user setup process BWAHAHAHAHA
I didn't even get the chance to run Safari or even look at the desktop on another account before it ground to a halt 🤣

Clearly this install is screwed, and a non-functional Safari is the least of my problems.

Not sure what to do now.

1. I could reinstall Sonoma from scratch without using Migration Ass, only extracting data.
This will take days if not weeks to completely put everything back, and makes the purpose of having used this machine - to test a Sonoma upgrade for the rest of my remaining Mac stash - completely redundant. It's almost certainly a no.

2. I could try to put it back the way it was - i.e. blow away the Mac partition again, get Monterey back, restore the first backup on the TM.
Quite tempted to try this to hopefully have a working machine again, but there's no knowing what MacOS will get wrong even in this situation. But I feel like it's potentially a better effort-result payback. And as for Sonoma, forget it completely.

3. I could just leave it as is or attempt troubleshooting in drip feed (I probably will with trying to reinitialise Safari at least), and either use whatever I can out of it, or just wipe it to OOBE Mojave and put it back into storage for future me to worry about.
This will serve as just one of the reminders of why I maintain MacOS is The World's Most Fisher-Price OS Once You Get Past The Unix For Karens Features. Obviously no Sonoma upgrade for the rest of the Macs.

Hahaha, unfortuantely it does feel like that is where MacOS has ended up. I started out on real UNIX systems many years ago and switched my desktop from Windows to Mac with OS X 10.1. It wasn't enterprise-grade but was impressed with what they had done so far melding the old and the new and where they were going. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way took a wrong term and feel like it has been spiraling for some time now. I don't have a better alternative overall but there have been so many missed opportunities...

In any case, my reading of the above is your installation is foobar. Or possibly hardware but my assumption is software without a diagnostic that shows otherwise. At this point I would probably do a clean install of Monterey and check that all the basics work with a clean profile. Then do a clean install of Sonoma and check again. If even the basics don't work in one of those circumstances I would kick the tires on the hardware a bit more.

Otherwise if all that works, it sounds like Migration Assistant screwed up not just your profile but your whole computer when it moved things over. In which case I think you're left with a manual migration. In which case I'd install the latest of each application and check after each one that one of them isn't screwing up the system along the way.

If you get that far with everything still working only then would I recreate my home profile/user folder. After that, I would just copy over my home folder/profile (I am assuming through all of the above that you have appropriate copies and backups of everything...). Then login under that profile and let MacOS update all the preferences and such of that profile and then see if everything still works. In my experience your whole system won't end up wonky like it did if you simply bring your profile over manually even if the profile is screwed up (i.e. the issues will at least be isolated to that one profile).

Also somewehat implicit in the above is having a seperate user account for administration and your day-to-day profile and documents. That is all the reinstall/new setup would be done under a generic "admin" account while "seggy" (I'm just guessing) would come over seperate and last. You seem like someone who might already do that but just making it explicit here so as not to assume.
 
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SalisburySam

macrumors 6502a
May 19, 2019
829
704
Salisbury, North Carolina
Busy until now, tried today.

Thanks for the suggestions, bzgny's was what I already googled regarding safari initialisation and ignatius's testing was what I was trying to do today following bzgny's earlier post...

And you know what, I was completely wrong about me assuming it's a user profile problem, at least not in the way I was thinking.

The Mac beachballed to death during the test user setup process BWAHAHAHAHA
I didn't even get the chance to run Safari or even look at the desktop on another account before it ground to a halt 🤣

Clearly this install is screwed, and a non-functional Safari is the least of my problems.

Not sure what to do now.

1. I could reinstall Sonoma from scratch without using Migration Ass, only extracting data.
This will take days if not weeks to completely put everything back, and makes the purpose of having used this machine - to test a Sonoma upgrade for the rest of my remaining Mac stash - completely redundant. It's almost certainly a no.

2. I could try to put it back the way it was - i.e. blow away the Mac partition again, get Monterey back, restore the first backup on the TM.
Quite tempted to try this to hopefully have a working machine again, but there's no knowing what MacOS will get wrong even in this situation. But I feel like it's potentially a better effort-result payback. And as for Sonoma, forget it completely.

3. I could just leave it as is or attempt troubleshooting in drip feed (I probably will with trying to reinitialise Safari at least), and either use whatever I can out of it, or just wipe it to OOBE Mojave and put it back into storage for future me to worry about.
This will serve as just one of the reminders of why I maintain MacOS is The World's Most Fisher-Price OS Once You Get Past The Unix For Karens Features. Obviously no Sonoma upgrade for the rest of the Macs.
Door #2, unless you value the hobbyist experience.
 
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seggy

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Feb 13, 2016
421
283
Did you ever try Onyx or Sonoma Cache Cleaner? Any of the applications like those?
I didn't actually - my mind had kind of put those apps in the "CCleaner corner", for those familiar with Windows 😆 - I thought they'd become pretty redundant.

Now you mention them however, I'll probably have a go when I next take a look at the Mac - nothing to lose at this point. Thanks
 

LinMac

macrumors 65816
Oct 28, 2007
1,200
15
They are a good place to start before more invasive fixes and debugging. If a friend is having issues with a Mac, those are my go-to. Run Onyx, reboot, run Malwarebytes, reboot, and check for errors. It clears old caches, checks the disk, etc and that can fix a lot.

For Windows, you get things like https://www.bleachbit.org/ and https://docs.bleachbit.org/doc/winapp2ini.html I'm not the most familiar with it, but I've heard good things from friends. Also, Shutup10 for Windows is practically required.
 
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