Spinning wheels: Macbook Pro keeps freezing randomly after wake-up

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by fafnir83, Dec 13, 2009.

  1. fafnir83 macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2009
    Hello folks,

    For several days now, my 13" Macbook Pro (purchased in August; painfully clean-install upgraded to Snow Leopard in October) has been freezing into spinning wheel mode randomly every few minutes. It would seem that this happens particularly often in web browsers (but also when no browsers are operating and I'm typing away in Text Edit or chatting in Adium and Skype). When the browsers are on, the FlashPlayer would occasionally crash. No matter what app froze first, whatever else I click on also freezes.

    The freezes happen most frequently after the computer has been to sleep and woken up by opening the lid. The wheels go spinning for up to two minutes, and then everything goes back to normal (for up to 3 mins before freezing again). The longer the comp operates after that, the rarer they become, and after a few hours they seldom happen at all (then again, some times they do anyway). On some occasions, everything freezes so badly I need to hard-reset, and then it takes the comp upwards of 15 minutes to reboot - and then everything keeps freezing, of course.

    Contrary to other reports of similar problems here, no CPU jumps appear to be happening during the freeze.

    I tried:

    - Running Disk Utility after booting from Snow Leopard . Some permissions (which in forums here were referred to as inconsequential / not related to freezes) were repaired; HD in general "seems to be ok."

    - Running RAM tests (with Rember, supposedly updated to Snow Leopard). Everything seemed fine.

    - Getting rid of the ARD agent (which was related to some of the permissions mentioned earlier)

    - Stopping Bluetooth (as someone here with a similar problem thought it helped)

    - Installing the Beta Adobe Flash Reader (same as above)

    Nothing worked. I really don't want to take it to the lab; I live in Israel and the comp was purchased in the States, which means that the only licensed lab here reserves the right to keep the comp for up to 26 working days :eek: Any advice? Folks in the Macbook Pro forum suggested the problem might be iTunes, but the freeze happens whether it's on or off (and, if it's been a couple of hours since comp woke up, doesn't happen whether iTunes are on or off).
  2. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar
    Make a new user account, and see if you can reproduce the issue. It may be a process or application installed that is locking up the system.

    However, you say that when you reboot it can take 15 minutes. At what point does it take so long, grey screen? Just before the desktop loads? That makes me think the hard drive might be faulty and may be causing the issue.
  3. fafnir83 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 19, 2009
    It stays like that in the grey screen with the apple and the cogwheel going round and round. It then gets to the blue screen, stays there for two mins, shows the wallpaper, stays there for two mins, and finally logs in, to begin with the freezing. I ran all kinds of checks on the HD, seems to be in order...

    Thanks for the tip with the new username, will try it now. Supposing it works, how do I find out which program is causing the issue?
  4. MythicFrost macrumors 68040


    Mar 11, 2009
    I must ask, what exactly did you do, a clean install becomes dirty if you: migrate from an existing drive, OR install it from a time machine partition.
    If you do the clean install, when you first login you should have absolutely none of your files on the computer, you would have to re-install all your applications, and transfer all your old content (songs/documents/movies etc..) back onto the computer.

    Is that what you did?
    I have noticed since 10.6.2 I do get the spinning beach ball very rarely but more often than 10.6.1, particularly in Safari. I'm on a Mac Pro.
  5. madog macrumors 65816


    Nov 25, 2004
    Korova Milkbar

    Very true. If something "bad" from an old drive was migrated over, it could cause a problem. Even something innocuous like a preference file. Especially with Snow Leopard, the best is a clean install with fresh installs on applications, making sure they are compatible.

    Once the Apple logo shows, software is loading. Typically when you have a stall before it pops up it can be a hardware issue. Then again that's not always the case, and it can still be both after the fact (it's usually a good indicator though).

    Because your system is stalling so early, it might be a deeper rooted issue as opposed to simply a third party app? That's just a guess, but either way you may want to run the Console app from the Utilities folder to see if any errors continually pop up when the stalls happen.

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