Sick of the beach ball

Discussion in 'iMac' started by NickR80, Feb 8, 2017.

  1. NickR80 macrumors newbie

    NickR80

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    #1
    I have a 2014 21" iMac. I use hardly any space on the hard drive. So I am getting a bit tired of the 'spinning beach ball' every few seconds. Deleting PLIST files, PRAM resets, file cleaning, memory cleaning, dicking around with WiFi channels and doing a f**king rain dance to the king of the Potato People.

    Hey Apple...


    SORT OUT SIERRA AND GET MY F***ING MAC FAST AGAIN!!!!!!!!!
     
  2. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #2
    From your description, you likely don't have an SSD in your iMac. If you're not comfortable ripping it open and upgrading the drive, you can just get an SSD, install macOS directly to that, and run it externally through a USB 3 caddy. This will vastly improve system performance. Even running the OS through a 64GB SanDisk Ultra/Pro USB stick will improve the speed like nothing else.

    Also, avoid memory cleaning applications. They're junk. macOS does its own memory management.
     
  3. NickR80 thread starter macrumors newbie

    NickR80

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    #3

    So, your solution is to buy a solid state drive and open my iMac and shove it in. That solves the problems with OS Sierra? Granted an SSD drive may help with a slightly smoother running of the transfer of files but what you're suggesting is like cutting off my dick to cure stomachache.
     
  4. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #4
    So you can just as well run it from a fast USB stick. If you get a SanDisk Ultra or Pro USB 3 stick, plug that in and format. Turn off your Mac. Hold CMD+R on startup. Select Reinstall OS X/macOS and point it to the USB stick. That will now be your boot drive and it will run the OS like butter. You'll also be able to access to your internal HDD.

    You'd only need a 32GB one to hold the OS, though you can get a larger storage capacity depending on your workload and how much information you want to store on the faster Flash.

    That's a simple workaround and will vastly improve performance on your machine. Hope this helped.
     
  5. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #5

    It sounds like your HDD is dying unless you have a rogue process using all your ram and cpu.
     
  6. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
  7. JustMartin macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Feb 28, 2012
    Location:
    UK
    #7
    Worth having activity monitor running all the time, then when it slows you can see what's taking up the processor/memory. Last issue I had with beachballs turned out to be Libre Office getting into a loop after being open for a couple of days.
     
  8. mjohansen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #8
    lol - keysofanxiety has a point - Im betting that an SSD will vastly improve performance.
     
  9. NickR80 thread starter macrumors newbie

    NickR80

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    #9
    The mac has had light use and isn't that old. I doubt the hhs drive dies that easily. I had a cheap laptop that had a hard drive last longer. I doubt very much that the hard drive has a problem.
     
  10. antonis macrumors 68000

    antonis

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2011
    #10
    I don't recall reading anywhere that Sierra will expectedly have long spinning-beachball pauses unless you have an SSD. An SSD upgrade would just might cover up whatever wrong happens with the specific mac. It's definitely something wrong with a process going wild or a dying HD as already stated.
     
  11. NickR80 thread starter macrumors newbie

    NickR80

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2017
    #11

    Well, clearly you're the expert
    --- Post Merged, Feb 9, 2017 ---
    Well it'd cost me the price of a new mac to buy a new drive, get the iMac opened up and get it installed. I'm ok with the slow performance
     
  12. gnasher729 macrumors P6

    gnasher729

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    #12
    If memory is fully used, then buying more RAM will help an awful lot. I'd check in the order RAM usage first, SSD second. Activity Monitor will tell you if your RAM is full, which is bad. And how much the hard drive is used, but that may go down a lot when you have more RAM. And a defective hard drive is always good for slow downs, so make sure you have a Time Machine backup. BTW. If you don't have a Time Machine backup on an external drive, your Mac will do backups on your internal drive, which doesn't make things faster (but usually should be unnoticed).

    FWIW. My 2011 MacBook with 1TB HDD + Fusion and 10GB RAM runs the latest OS just fine. After a while any empty bit of RAM is filled with cached hard drive contents, so it doesn't access the hard drive a lot at all.
     
  13. mjohansen macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2010
    Location:
    Denmark
    #13
    I think people are just trying to help. A USB 3 enclosure and a 128 GB SSD isn't that expensive any more.
     
  14. Samuelsan2001 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2013
    #14
    And ?? What is your point?? Any HDD can die at any time for multitude of reasons. In fact any piece of tech can do the same. You are ruling out the most likely cause because you have preconceptions that are utterly wrong, and ignoring good advice in the process.

    A new drive will cost you a few hundred bucks fitted hardly the same as a two grand plus iMac.

    Try booting from an external drive with a clone of your system on it. If that works fine it's your hard drive.
     
  15. keysofanxiety macrumors 604

    keysofanxiety

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    #15
    Are you deliberately glossing over previous advice, or just looking to complain rather than get a solution? I've said twice that you can get a 64GB SanDisk USB stick for next to nothing and plug that in to make as your boot disk, which will make a massively positive difference. It's so to do as well.

    Opening the iMac and swapping the HDD for an SSD is just one of many options to improve performance, but an external USB 3 device will work just as well.
     
  16. Weaselboy Moderator

    Weaselboy

    Staff Member

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2005
    Location:
    California
    #16
    What you are describing really does sound like a hard drive dying. Assuming it previously did not beachball, and you did not install some incompatible app or utility that brought this on... and out of nowhere this beachball business started, that is a classic sign of a drive failing.
     
  17. briloronmacrumo macrumors 6502

    briloronmacrumo

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Location:
    USA
    #17
    If it "isn't that old", most hardware failures are covered under either the one year warranty or AppleCare.

    As others noted, hard drive failures can happen anytime, so don't assume a young drive is healthy. Running a SMART utility and/or booting from an external drive are both relatively easy and inexpensive ( mostly for a SMART utility - although some are free for a short period of time ) and will validate your assumption.

    One thing for sure: OS X on a relatively new Mac, even with an HDD, doesn't beachball constantly. Good luck. The community is giving you good advice.
     
  18. dlewis23 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    #18
    You don't have to open it up to upgrade to a SSD if you decide to go this route. You can get something like the Thunderbolt SSD linked below and install Mac OS on it, have it as your boot drive and get 90% of the performance of a internal SSD.

    https://www.amazon.com/Transcend-Thunderbolt-Solid-StoreJet-TS1TSJM500/dp/B00NV9LSGW?th=1

    A normal hard drive can die or start to die at anytime but first I would suggest a reinstall of OS X, if the problem still happens with a clean install then its likely the HDD going out.
     

Share This Page