Spinning Wheel of Death is driving me insane!

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by Neeznoodle, Jul 7, 2014.

  1. Neeznoodle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    #1
    Hello,

    I have a 2008 Mac Pro with the following stats:

    Processor 2 x 2.8 GHz Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Memory 12 GB 667 MHz DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Graphics ATI Radeon HD 2600 XT 256 MB
    Software OS X 10.8.5 (12F45)

    About five months ago I replaced my system's hard drive with a Solid State SATA drive (OWC Mercury EXTREME Pro 6G SSD) and I have it set up so that only essential programs run on this drive. All other items are on another drive, such as backups, documents, files, etc..

    My system was getting very slogged down and slow so last week I did a fresh install of the OS. I did this by erasing and reformatting my hard drive, doing a fresh install of the OS, and then did a fresh install of all applications that I use. It took me several days to finish, but once I was done things seemed better.

    Now, however, things are slowing down again. The spinning wheel of death is worse now than I remember it being before the reformat, and it takes far too long to switch from one program to another.

    I use CleanMyMac to keep things running well, and have run the program, but it didn't help. I've opened my Activity Monitor to try and figure out any problems but nothing jumps out at me. I've also verified and repaired permissions, but that didn't help.

    What more can I do?

    Thank you for any responses.

    Rochelle
     
  2. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
  3. Neeznoodle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    #3
  4. elvisizer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose
    #4
    why do you have 667Mhz RAM in a 2008 MP? That would have shipped with 800Mhz. Do you have a mix of 667 and 800 FB-DIMMS installed? If so, remove until you only have one type or the other installed and see if the problem persists.

    why do you have a 6G SATA SSD on a 3G controller?
    put the SSD on a 6G card, or swap it for a 3G SSD, OWC sells those, too. 6G SSD's can attempt to draw more voltage at times than the 3G controller can put out. And you're not getting a speed boost the SSD being 6G anyway, unless you hook it up to a 6G controller.
     
  5. Neeznoodle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    #5
    The short (and honest) answer to both questions is ignorance.

    The memory modules are all the same: 12.0GB OWC Matched Set (2GB x 6) PC5300 DDR2 ECC 667MHz 240 Pin FB-DIMM Modules for all Mac Pro Quad Core and 8 Core systems.

    Re: 6G card. Is this something I could easily do myself, or would it be better to take it somewhere to have replaced?

    ----------

    Hmm. I just found something. I was trying to see how you knew my computer has a 3G controller. To do this I opened the "About This Mac" link, then clicked on "System Report".

    The Diagnostics shows the following:

    Power On Self-Test:
    Last Run: 7/6/14 7:55 PM
    Result: Failed
    Failure Type: Memory
    Memory Slot: DIMM 2/DIMM Riser B

    Would that result in computer slow downs/freezes/the spinning wheel of death?

    Edit: Wait, now I'm really confused. I have two empty slots and I think that the failed result was for an empty slot. Here is what I see when I click on Memory:

    Memory Slots:
    ECC: Enabled

    DIMM Riser B/DIMM 1:
    Size: Empty
    Type: Empty
    Speed: Empty
    Status: Empty
    Manufacturer: Empty
    Part Number: Empty
    Serial Number: Empty

    DIMM Riser B/DIMM 2:
    Size: Empty
    Type: Empty
    Speed: Empty
    Status: Empty
    Manufacturer: Empty
    Part Number: Empty
    Serial Number: Empty

    DIMM Riser A/DIMM 1:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser A/DIMM 2:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser B/DIMM 3:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser B/DIMM 4:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser A/DIMM 3:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser A/DIMM 4:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser B/DIMM 1:
    Size: Empty
    Type: Empty
    Speed: Empty
    Status: Empty
    Manufacturer: Empty
    Part Number: Empty
    Serial Number: Empty

    DIMM Riser B/DIMM 2:
    Size: Empty
    Type: Empty
    Speed: Empty
    Status: Empty
    Manufacturer: Empty
    Part Number: Empty
    Serial Number: Empty

    DIMM Riser A/DIMM 1:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser A/DIMM 2:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser B/DIMM 3:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser B/DIMM 4:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser A/DIMM 3:
    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000

    DIMM Riser A/DIMM 4:

    Size: 2 GB
    Type: DDR2 FB-DIMM
    Speed: 667 MHz
    Status: OK
    Manufacturer: 0x0000
    Part Number: 0x000000463732353642363145353636374600
    Serial Number: 0x00000000
     
  6. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #6
    Is this really true? It's my understanding 6Gbps devices are interchangeable with 3Gbps devices without issue.

    ----------

    I assume you had this memory installed prior to your performance issue? If so it's reasonable it's unlikely to be the cause of the performance issue. I wold recommend trying a different drive be it an SSD or traditional hard disk. See if that solves the problem. Stalling is a classic symptom of hard disk issues...at least when it comes to the traditional hard disk.
     
  7. Neeznoodle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    #7
    Yes, the memory has been installed since 2008 when I bought the machine.

    I have another question. I'm fairly certain that one of my additional hard drives is starting to fail (I use DriveDX to monitor my drives and it recently began reporting that one of my drives is failing). The drive that is failing is the one that I keep all my photos, music, and documents on. Would this likely be the cause of the slowness I'm experiencing?

    Last night is a good example of what's going on. I was trying to open and view images that are on the potentially failing drive. It took about two minutes just to get to the photos because Finder was very slow to open each folder in the hierarchy of where the images were.

    Then, when I finally got to the images and opened them in Preview, it took probably another three to four minutes for the images to load in Preview so that I could look through them.
     
  8. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #8
    Yes, the potentially failing drive is an excellent candidate for the performance issue you've been experiencing. If possible temporarily disconnect it to see if the problem disappears.
     
  9. Neeznoodle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    #9
    Thank you! I have ejected the drive and will see how my system is without it. If things improve, I'll replace the drive as soon as I can.

    I truly appreciate all the help that was given.
     
  10. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #10
    If that doesn't work I would take it a step further and physically disconnect it. In fact I would recommend replacing it ASAP regardless if it's the problem or not. Hard disks are inexpensive and I wouldn't continue to use any hard disk which has given any signs of problems. Also you should be certain to make an immediate backup of the data if you're not already doing so.
     
  11. Neeznoodle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    #11
    Thanks for the tip. I'm going to go get a new hard drive tonight when I have time to do so. I'm not worried about the contents of the drive because they are backed up to one of my other hard drives. I'm overly cautious when it comes to losing data and have every drive that I use backed up to another drive, as well as back up the contents to Carbonite.

    ----------

    One more question - Any recommendations on internal hard drive brands?
     
  12. elvisizer macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    May 29, 2003
    Location:
    San Jose
    #12
    Yes, replace the drive.

    ----------

    It's true--I've only ever seen it actually affect reliability on laptops, but in theory it could affect desktop controllers as well.
    We're talking about a super freaking niche case, though- 9 times out of 10 it's going to be something else, as we saw here today.

    My rule of thumb is (whenever I buy ANY ssd for my Macs) google the model first and see if anyone's reporting issues with that model SSD in your model Mac. It's the best way to avoid buyer's remorse.
     
  13. LiamHD macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    #13
    Go for WD IMO they make the best hard drives
     
  14. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2003
    Location:
    The Peninsula
    #14
    Very true. A symptom of a failing desktop hard drive is pauses of several tens of second while the system attempts to re-read the data.

    Your earlier posts more or less said that the performance loss was gradual. With a failing drive it will be sudden and marked periods of no system activity during access to the failing drive.


    IMO it's Seagate all the way. YMMV
     
  15. gpzjock macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 4, 2009
    #15
    Score another for Seagate, best mech drives I've used in 20 years of storage. My WD experience is 4 year lifespan if lucky, sometimes way shorter.

    I have a 3G OWC Mercury Pro 128 SSD in a Mac Pro 3,1 still running my OS fast 4 years on, can't recommend them enough either.
     
  16. Draeconis macrumors 6502a

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    May 6, 2008
    #16
    +1 for Seagate. Hitachi is another very good brand.

    As for WD, I work in IT; whenever there's an issue with a HDD, it's made by WD.
     
  17. handheldgames macrumors 6502a

    handheldgames

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2009
    #17
    Seagate desktop drives reload the head's once a minute and have the lowest maximum warranty coverage at around 3ook until the drive is out of warranty. Leaving the drive on for 3-4 months will essentially use up its warranty. Data center reports show seagate leading the failure rate pack, just in front of WD.

    Longevity wise, HGST drives have the best track record.

    A samsung crucial or the latest Adata ssd would by my 1st stop to fix the spinning discs probably caused by the owc drive.

    Good luck.
     
  18. brand, Jul 8, 2014
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2014

    brand macrumors 601

    brand

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2006
    Location:
    127.0.0.1
    #18
    It is perfectly acceptable to have 667MHz modules installed in a 3,1 Mac Pro as the bus will just down clock to the slower speed of the 667MHz modules.

    SATA, SATA2, and SATA3 are all both backwards and forwards compatible so again it is perfectly acceptable to install a SATA3 drive on a SATA2 bus as the SATA3 drive will down clock to the slower speed of the SATA2 bus.

    Do you have any documentation that you can provide that will substantiate this claim?
     
  19. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    Location:
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    #19
    Really? My Seagates average about two hours, not one minute.

    Code:
    > smartctl -a sdd
    smartctl 6.1 2013-03-16 r3800 [i686-w64-mingw32-win7(64)-sp1] (sf-6.1-1)
    Copyright (C) 2002-13, Bruce Allen, Christian Franke, www.smartmontools.org
    
    === START OF INFORMATION SECTION ===
    Device Model:     ST4000DX001-1CE168
    User Capacity:    4,000,787,030,016 bytes [4.00 TB]
    
    Vendor Specific SMART Attributes with Thresholds:
    ID# ATTRIBUTE_NAME          FLAG     VALUE WORST THRESH TYPE      UPDATED  WHEN_FAILED RAW_VALUE
      9 Power_On_Hours          0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       227
    193 Load_Cycle_Count        0x0032   100   100   ---    Old_age   Always       -       127
    
     
  20. Neeznoodle thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2014
    #20
    Thank you for all the information and advice.

    Last night I bought a new Seagate and installed it. Today my computer is up and running, and all seems well so far.

    Interestingly, I noticed something that I haven't seen before. After removing the failing drive and installing the new one I saw that the free memory was several GB more than it normally is when I first turn on my computer. Usually it is around 8 or 9GB free. Now it is about 11GB free. It's never been that high before at start up.

    Why would replacing a failing drive with a new one improve the free memory at start up?
     
  21. reco2011 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    May 25, 2014
    #21
    The new drive solved the spinning wheel of death for you? As for the memory I doubt there's a connection unless the OS was attempting to cache more due to the disk issue.
     
  22. AidenShaw macrumors P6

    AidenShaw

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    #22
    WD Green and Black also quote 300,000 load cycles in their specs....
     
  23. Neeznoodle thread starter macrumors member

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    Jul 7, 2014
    #23
    So far it seems that it has, though it may be too soon to tell as it's only been a few hours since I removed the bad drive. I've tried replicating the problem and haven't been able to yet.

    Again, thank you to everyone who helped with this!
     
  24. LiamHD macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 5, 2014
    #24
    I use 1TB Velociraptors for the 3 data storage drives on my MP and 4TB WD RE Drives for my NAS. Never have I had any drive failures whilst they are in use. I have had one DOA SE drive and that was replaced ASAP and I was given a partial refund as well.
     

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