spinning ball all the time

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by LizardLizard, Jun 10, 2008.

  1. LizardLizard macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #1
    My Macbook is worthless right now. I have been getting the "spinning ball of death" constantly and often it freezes up and it is impossible to force quit any program. I have tried rebooting Mac OS X but it has not made any difference. The hardware scans say that nothing is wrong.

    Have I got a dud here? Please let me know if you have any suggestions.
    Thank you.
     
  2. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere

    GGJstudios

    Joined:
    May 16, 2008
    #2
    Have you looked at Activity Monitor to see what's using your resources?
     
  3. LizardLizard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #3
    I'm not totally sure what to look for there. Usually I can't get into it because I get the ball, but when I can the CPU appears idle. Should I be looking for something that I'm not?
    (thanks for replying!)
     
  4. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #4
    You may have a bad cache file.

    Try a "Safe Boot" (hold down the shift key immediately after startup or restart, when you here the bong and keep holding until you see the spinning gear on the grey screen, then let go). This clears some of the cache files but takes much longer to boot. You will know if it is successful when you get the login screen with "Safe Boot" in red letters. Then login. Download OnyX (a free maintenance utility), run it and let it check your smart disk status as well as the OS files. Then provide your password and clean ALL of your caches - you can do them in sequence by not allowing the reboot to take place after each tab, but allowing the reboot to take place after you have cleaned the last set of caches.

    See if this helps. You could also be having a disk drive problem, but do the caches first.

    Report back.
     
  5. LizardLizard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #5
    Thanks Merl1n!
    I will give it a try. At the moment, my mac is frozen again so I will have to wait until it is in a better mood before I can try it. I will get back to you in an hour or so.
    (See how ridiculous this machine is?)
    Thanks again.

    Sorry Merl1n,
    It still is freezing before I can finish downloading OnyX. I will keep trying and let you know. Thanks again.
     
  6. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #6
    Your hard disk may be failing.

    If you have the original DVD that came with your Mac, insert it and force a shutdown.

    Then hit the power button and IMMEDIATELY HOLD DOWN THE OPTION KEY and keep holding until the boot loader screen (blue screen) comes up. Select the Apple Hardware Test and continue the boot (right arrow).

    Run the Quick Test and Extended test and write down (verbatim) whatever error comes up. Use another computer to post the results here.
     
  7. LizardLizard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #7
    Me again!
    Both tests assure me that the hardware is not the problem. I still haven't been able to successfully run the onyX, but sometimes if I leave it for a while it will cooperate for a short time. I will try it again later.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  8. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #8
    The Apple tests are just very basic and not a "sure fire" way of determining hardware problems. It is just a first step in trouble shooting.

    Questions:

    How much memory do you have and how many RAM modules make this up?

    Are these Apple RAM modules or a third party?

    Have you tried swapping them around or taking one out?

    Have you tried the following?
    SMC reset
    PRAM reset
    Repair permissions on your disk

    What OS level are you running and how did you apply the updates?
    Thru Software Update or the combo updater?

    Please answer these questions so I can come up with some plan of attack.
     
  9. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #9
    One more thing, please send me a PM when you have updated this thread. I'll be out for part of the day, but will be notified by email when you send the PM.
     
  10. chas0001 macrumors 6502a

    chas0001

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2006
    Location:
    Alicante, SPAIN
    #10
    Try an archive install. It sorted out the spinning beachball problem with my Macbook.
     
  11. LizardLizard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #11

    Thanks Chas0001! Was your beachball spinning making your computer effectively unusable or was it just during particular programs?
     
  12. LizardLizard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #12
    I sent you a PM. Let me know if you think you can still help. My situation remains problematic.
     
  13. CanadaRAM macrumors G5

    CanadaRAM

    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2004
    Location:
    On the Left Coast - Victoria BC Canada
    #13
    Reboot from your DVD as if you were going to reinstall the OS, but don't proceed. Under the Utilities menu at the top, pull down to Disk Utility. Run a Repair Disk and a Repair Permissions on your hard drive.

    Report results
     
  14. LizardLizard thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2008
    #14
    Hi! I did what you suggested and when I highlight the icon [5.1 GB MATSHITACD-R...] it does not allow me to hit Repair Disk Permission. When I hit Verify Disk Permission it says No valid packages. I am confused....
     
  15. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #15
    Sent you a PM a little while ago. I was gone for most of the day today. Please answer the questions that you didn't answer before. They are in the PM.
     
  16. merl1n macrumors 65816

    merl1n

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Location:
    New Jersey, USA
    #16
    Lizard,

    Ok, based on your PM responses, this is what you should do. You should do the SMC reset first before proceeding with the rest of this.

    1. Boot into Safe Boot mode.

    2. Use Disk Utility (I know you did this already, but do it again) and repair permissions.

    3. Download the 10.4.11 combo updater from here:
    http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/macosx10411comboupdateintel.html

    4. Apply this update while in Safe Boot mode.

    After restarting (may happen twice - don't worry this is normal), login and repeat step 2.

    See how it goes from there.

    Merl1n
     

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