What is the cause of the spinning ball?

Discussion in 'iMac' started by 420benz, Dec 7, 2015.

  1. 420benz macrumors 6502

    420benz

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #1
    My mac is about 5 years old and i never turn it off. I am sure there is so much crap on it that is making it very slow. Receintly the spinning ball is apeiring more often. What can i do to clean up alot of the un-needed crap on this machine?Thanks
     
  2. AlexisV macrumors 68000

    AlexisV

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Manchester, UK
    #2
    Which Mac?
    Which operating system?
    How much memory
    When does the ball appear?
    What shows up in Activity Monitor?
     
  3. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #3
    Another question (there's so many :D )
    How much free space is available on your hard drive?
     
  4. 420benz thread starter macrumors 6502

    420benz

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #4
    Mac os x 10.7.5 Lion
    Memory 4GB
    Lots of memory left. This machine is only used to surf and wife to use Facebook.
     
  5. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #5
    Do tell us what Mac model you have.
    Best is to go to the Apple menu, then About this Mac, and click on More Info button, and click on System Report.
    That will open your System Information.
    In the Hardware Overview, what is the listed for Model Identifier?
    I expect that you have a Mac that is 5 or 6 years old. If you have the original hard drive, then noticeable slowdowns may be symptoms of a failing hard drive.
     
  6. 420benz thread starter macrumors 6502

    420benz

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #6
    imac 12,1

    Model Name: iMac
    Model Identifier: iMac12,1
    Processor Name: Intel Core i5
    Processor Speed: 2.5 GHz
    Number of Processors: 1
    Total Number of Cores: 4
    L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB
    L3 Cache: 6 MB
    Memory: 4 GB
    Boot ROM Version: IM121.0047.B1E
    SMC Version (system): 1.71f22
    Serial Number (system): C02H3LDDDHJF
    Hardware UUID: 7F9C29F3-3854-5976-BACF-DD98060787B7
     
  7. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #7
    Beach balls are generally caused by 3 things.

    1, cluttered os
    2, spotlight indexing on top of usual usage
    3, I/o access delays.

    If you want to pep your machine up a fresh install will do the trick.

    If you want to get the best performance boost then increase the ram to 8gb and slap a cheap ssd in there.
     
  8. 420benz thread starter macrumors 6502

    420benz

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #8
    What do you mean by (A fresh install? ).
     
  9. TheBSDGuy macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2012
    #9
    Check the article at http://scsc-online.com in their how-to section about hard drive problems. They have sections in there about problems that act like hard drive problems that aren't. The symptoms you're describing are similar to hard drive problems but that doesn't mean that's what they are.

    One of the things that I've noticed is that a lot of websites have become downright abusive, loading tons of ads and dynamic content. They can peg your RAM and CPU, cause swaps, and make the system crawl.

    If the problem seems to happen at random it may be the drive or mds indexing. If you connect and disconnect external drives, then it's almost certainly mds indexing.
     
  10. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2003
    Location:
    Delaware
    #10
    Also, your mid-2011 iMac can be upgraded to as much as 32GB RAM installed.
    If it is a RAM issue, then even doubling to 8GB, which would be 2 minute-simple, can make a world of difference, if that's all you need.
    Your admitted use, however, should still be fine with only the 4GB that you have now.
    #3 in Gav2k items (I/O access delays) can also point to hard drive issues.

    Here's what *I* would do for a fresh install, particularly with 4 years of likely cruft in the the system:
    Backup the hard drive to an external storage.
    boot to your Recovery partition, erase your internal hard drive using Disk Utility, then reinstall Lion. That's a "fresh install"
    You would reboot, then the new user setup will give you the choice to migrate data and apps from another drive. You would choose to do that, with your backed up volume as the source. Your fresh system will migrate everything over. It will take some time - maybe an hour or so. When that is complete, you will be back to your old system, with a "pruned" system (old caches, etc, will be gone, which is as it should be :D ) Your desktop, your pictures, etc, should all be as it was before you started.
    Might be a wasted effort, if the problem is actually a failing hard drive.
     
  11. DesertSurfer macrumors 6502a

    DesertSurfer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Location:
    Between the Sonoran Desert and the Pacific Ocean
    #11
    You say you never turn it off. Have you tried doing that and restarting?
     
  12. 420benz thread starter macrumors 6502

    420benz

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2012
    #12
    Yes I have but still very slow.
     
  13. DesertSurfer macrumors 6502a

    DesertSurfer

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2014
    Location:
    Between the Sonoran Desert and the Pacific Ocean
    #13
    I had a slowness problem on my Macbook Pro and was advised to check if it might be a memory problem (as in too little RAM). If you open Activity Monitor (in the dock, probably), and select the Memory tab at the top, you can see at the bottom how much memory you have (4 gb) and how much is being used. At the bottom where it shows Swap used, if it isn't zero that may be part of your slowness issue.
     

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