Afternoon folks, I hope you can help I'm genuinely stumped on this one. I have scoured the net and any literature I can find and have exhausted all options I can think of but still, alas to no avail. Last week I started getting issues with the spinning wheel. It seemed to come on when using text based programs like Text Edit, Wrangler and Mail. Now it seems to be when I try to play with any files. For instance I can launch Photoshop with no issues, but as soon as I select file-open- I'll get the wheel for up to five minutes, at which point the machine is unusable, not just the application. Same goes for trying to open a file from within the text based apps mentioned. I've even had the same problem trying to drag and drop files into the trash. I tried the usual repairs with no luck. Although the RAM wasn't appearing to be heavily vexed I'd been meaning to get around to upgrading for a while anyway. So I did, from the 2GB that comes supplied with the MacBook Pro (late 2009), to the full 8GB it can take. (Successful install, RAM shows up fine, memory came from Crucial). The rest of the machine now works swimmingly with great speed, but the same problem still exists. About to hunt for my start up disc I noticed Lion was available, yay! So I downloaded it thinking it would solve the issue. It didn't. But this is where things got weird. I had 51GB free on my hard-drive prior to the Lion install, of a total 159. After the install and reboot I was getting a 'Start-up disk full' error. I checked and I now had only a few hundred meg spare! I purchased MacKeeper after I couldn't locate where the space had gone and it found over 100GB of space taken up by 'recovered messages' in mail! I deleted these and now have over two thirds of my hard-drive free and 8GB of RAM, still the wheel persists!! I used MacKeeper to clean up the system, duplicates, installs, all caches cleared. Still getting it! I tried the Lion version of the start-up disk to repair my hard-drive on the off chance that was the issue. Nope! The only thing I can think of now is an erase and reinstall, but at the minute I've no external hard drive to back everything up, so I thought I'd ask you good people if you could think of anything I'd missed before I go for the final option? I will actually love anyone who fixes this, I am perplexed!