Why so Many Spinning Beach Balls Pt2

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
Feb 2014 Update: this issue has been resolved. The problem in my case was a failing hard drive.

Continutation of thread from 10.8 forum subsection after upgrading my computer to 10.9...

I've disabled spotlight on my external partitions after...

After installing 10.9 last night, I restarted my MBP this morning, and it seemed
to do fine until about 8 pm, then I got a perpetual spinning ball so bad that my network connection dropped, the dock would not open up and I had to wait and wait and wait some more. All I ran today was Firefox, with about 15 tabs open. However experimentation regarding the number of tabs vs memory usage seems to indicate there is no correlation to more tabs equaling more memory usage.

The MacOS was functional when I left it, came back an hr later and Spinning balls. Oh, yes, when I tried to purge memory in the terminal, I now get a new message "that's not allowed". I also noticed when I finally got it restarted, all most all of my memory in the Activity Monitor was shown as being used. Drat. Memory management might be better, but I think overhead is higher. This what I wanted to avoid. :eek: I acknowledge as OSs advance they become more demanding. If I want to keep using this computer, and not lose my mind, I'm going to have to upgrade RAM... :(

This is what Activity Monitor looks like after installing Mavericks-

On Startup:


Is this something I should be alarmed about? Where before, using 10.8 Activity Monitor showed a substantial amount of memory as free on startup, with 10.9 it basically shows all of the memory as allocated? Is this a different way of showing the info or is 10.9 much more of a memory hog?

I also noticed that Mavericks has disabled the memory "purge" command in the Terminal.



What should I make of that?
Thanks!
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
Like I said. MyDrive and the Razer mouse can cause SB's.
I'm going to upgrade RAM, but when I read about people "hitting the wall" with 8GB RAM installed, is it fair to say MacOS has become a memory hog? I realize it's doing things in the background but...

----------

sudo purge
Thanks! Actually that did free up a little memory, it went from 3.69 used to 3.18 used, but nothing like the good ole days of going form 10MB free to 3GB free. :p I assume that the new memory scheme Mavericks uses depends a lot on virtual memory and uses it from the start?
 

LV426

macrumors 6502a
Jan 22, 2013
837
246
Continutation of thread from 10.8 forum subsection after upgrading my computer to 10.9...
...
Is this something I should be alarmed about? Where before, using 10.8 Activity Monitor showed a substantial amount of memory as free on startup, with 10.9 it basically shows all of the memory as allocated? Is this a different way of showing the info or is 10.9 much more of a memory hog?
You might want to search for the numerous threads that discuss Mavericks memory management. There you will find that the important things to keep your eye on are the Memory Pressure graph and the amount of swap you're using. You have low memory pressure and no swap, so your memory is doing just fine. Don't worry if all your physical RAM is being used. This is normal and correct in Mavericks. The OS can always find some use for your RAM, and it's better that it does so, rather than have your chip sitting there contributing nothing to the operation of your computer.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
You might want to search for the numerous threads that discuss Mavericks memory management. There you will find that the important things to keep your eye on are the Memory Pressure graph and the amount of swap you're using. You have low memory pressure and no swap, so your memory is doing just fine. Don't worry if all your physical RAM is being used. This is normal and correct in Mavericks. The OS can always find some use for your RAM, and it's better that it does so, rather than have your chip sitting there contributing nothing to the operation of your computer.
Thanks for the info! The next time I get a prolonged spinning ball, I'll try to pull up activity monitor and see what it shows for memory pressure. That has happened one time. Yesterday, no issues, fingers crossed for today. ;)
 

smithrh

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2009
2,463
833
I don't have time for a longer reply right now, but keep in mind that a beach ball doesn't necessarily always equate to a memory or swapping issue.

Also, 'top' is still available via Terminal, which will show you swapins and swapouts (pageins/pageouts), which is missing in the new activity monitor.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
I'm currently on vacation away from home, all of my extra hardware (harddrives) left at home, and Windows 7 has become my preferred OS. It cranks right up with no muss of fuss. See my sig for hardware.

MacOS9 is slow like molasses, takes frickn forever to launch, punctuated with many spinning balls and overall glacial response. I'll stress, this is doing nothing fancy, just surfing. Of note I use the same razor mouse on both Windows on Mac if that makes any difference. Would it be fair to accuse the MacOS of becoming bloatware, not that I am doing that...

I realize this might be a 4GB RAM problem, that the MacOS is apparently doing more in the background than Windows 7, but that when I first bought this hardware in 2011, it was plenty snappy running Lion as I recall. I plan on upgrading to 8GB RAM in the near future. Let's hope this fixes the issue.

My wife wants a MB Air. Does Apple have an adequate reason to be selling laptops with 4GB standard these days? I think I'll be putting 8GB RAM on it.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
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The Misty Mountains
Your swap is empty and 1.82GB of it is file cache. Don't blame the memory.
What do you mean? How do I fix? Help! :)

___________
Tonight I started my MBP. Elapsed time: 21 minutes.
6:47 Start Button Pressed
6:51 Apple Icon and Tone
6:53 Desktop Appeared
7:08 Functional Desktop

Possibly some time machine or indexing action going on but no direct sign of that. Repaired disk (Boot Recovery), repaired permissions, ran Disk Warrior on my drive with the OS on it (from DVD).

Restarted MBP: 23 minutes elapsed time
7:28 Selected restart
7:34 Mac restarted
7:36 Apple logo appeared
7:38 Sign in page
7:41 Dock appeared, but not functional
7:51 Drop box appeared and desktop became basically functional

Here is a copy of Activity monitor CPU, First number after item represents %CPU, the first 10 items are big numbers:
mdworker 35.5 6.51 3 0 545 dpeck
mdworker 25.2 5.28 3 1 546 dpeck
mdworker 24.9 5.68 3 0 544 dpeck
mdworker 22.4 6.55 3 0 543 dpeck
mds_stores 16.5 1:03.61 8 0 193 root
mds 10.7 42.05 13 1 38 root
WindowServer 6.8 20.41 4 50 190 _windowserver
Activity Monitor 6.7 16.21 12 38 437 dpeck
kernel_task 2.3 36.66 101 456 0 root
sysmond 0.1 1.10 3 0 144 root
AppleSpell.service 0.1 0.09 2 0 484 dpeck
SystemUIServer 0.1 2.53 6 1 315 dpeck
configd 0.1 1.59 9 0 58 root
RazerNagaHelper 0.1 0.73 3 2 390 dpeck
TrackballWorksHelper 0.1 0.78 3 2 391 dpeck
launchd 0.1 0.88 2 0 302 dpeck
MicrosoftMouseHelper 0.0 0.70 2 2 386 dpeck
launchd 0.0 1.54 3 0 1 root
CIJScannerRegister 0.0 0.17 6 4 456 dpeck
fontd 0.0 2.37 2 0 336 dpeck
UserEventAgent 0.0 0.88 6 0 306 dpeck
cfprefsd 0.0 0.59 4 1 310 dpeck
netbiosd 0.0 0.03 4 1 538 _netbios
Logitech Control Center Da… 0.0 3.27 3 0 369 dpeck
notifyd 0.0 0.59 3 0 15 root
distnoted 0.0 2.44 8 1 307 dpeck
pacemaker 0.0 0.14 3 1 170 root
cfprefsd 0.0 1.00 5 0 78 root
opendirectoryd 0.0 3.46 9 0 19 root
loginwindow 0.0 0.63 2 0 42 dpeck
Finder 0.0 4.30 6 0 316 dpeck
automountd 0.0 0.05 8 1 450 root
CalendarAgent 0.0 2.82 4 0 348 dpeck
coreservicesd 0.0 0.86 4 0 77 root
printtool 0.0 0.14 2 0 481 dpeck
hidd 0.0 0.09 3 0 48 root
mtmfs 0.0 0.90 3 0 36 root
launchservicesd 0.0 0.59 2 0 55 root
locationd 0.0 0.61 6 0 44 _locationd
UserEventAgent 0.0 0.59 17 0 11 root
mDNSResponder 0.0 0.34 3 0 39 _mdnsresponder
backupd-helper 0.0 0.03 2 0 61 root
ntpd 0.0 0.04 2 0 165 root
distnoted 0.0 1.35 8 0 18 root
diskarbitrationd 0.0 0.52 2 0 54 root
Synk Engine 0.0 0.12 4 0 72 root
SleepServicesD 0.0 0.02 2 0 29 root
accountsd 0.0 0.12 2 0 384 dpeck

Here are Memory Processes, first number is memory used. mdworker seems to be spotlight. Synch Engine appears to be a program called Synch which I use to keep data backed up between drives. I'm turning those off.
xpcd 1.7 MB 2 33 402 _appleevents
xpcd 1.9 MB 2 34 321 _coreaudiod
xpcd 1.8 MB 2 33 207 _softwareupdate
xpcd 4.2 MB 3 80 322 dpeck
xpcd 2.2 MB 2 62 75 root
WindowServer 48.3 MB 4 332 190 _windowserver
WiFiKeychainProxy 1.2 MB 2 55 351 dpeck
wdhelper 1.3 MB 2 31 22 root
warmd 2.3 MB 3 47 23 root
usernoted 2.3 MB 2 75 346 dpeck
UserEventAgent 4.3 MB 18 267 11 root
UserEventAgent 6.5 MB 6 281 306 dpeck
usbmuxd 1.4 MB 3 49 24 _usbmuxd
usbd 1.6 MB 2 61 164 root
ubd 5.8 MB 10 129 334 dpeck
TrackballWorksHelper 3.8 MB 3 135 391 dpeck
TISwitcher 3.2 MB 3 128 379 dpeck
tccd 1.9 MB 2 49 327 dpeck
tccd 1.4 MB 2 42 239 root
taskgated 3.4 MB 5 31 13 root
SystemUIServer 15.1 MB 5 332 315 dpeck
systemstatsd 1.1 MB 2 22 417 root
SystemStarter 744 KB 2 31 168 root
System Events 7.3 MB 3 129 419 dpeck
sysmond 2.1 MB 3 34 144 root
syslogd 1.2 MB 7 106 17 root
Synk Engine 3.9 MB 4 76 72 root
Synk Engine 4.8 MB 4 72 69 root
Synk Engine 4.2 MB 4 80 73 root
Synk Engine 4.4 MB 4 70 70 root
Synk Engine 3.7 MB 4 70 74 root
Synk Engine 5.2 MB 4 66 67 root
Synk Engine 5.8 MB 4 70 71 root
Synk Engine 3.8 MB 4 76 68 root
Synk Agent 9.2 MB 4 141 367 dpeck
suhelperd 1.7 MB 2 47 209 root
storeagent 4.1 MB 2 94 408 dpeck
softwareupdated 10.3 MB 2 63 205 _softwareupdate
socketfilterfw 3.3 MB 3 59 171 root
SocialPushAgent 1.5 MB 2 45 352 dpeck
soagent 4.9 MB 2 98 353 dpeck
SleepServicesD 724 KB 2 29 29 root
SIMBL Agent 5.0 MB 3 127 368 dpeck
sharingd 5.3 MB 4 81 325 dpeck
ShareKitHelper 5.1 MB 3 136 398 dpeck
securityd_service 1.0 MB 2 29 304 root
securityd 2.3 MB 5 114 14 root
secd 1.9 MB 2 64 396 dpeck
rpcsvchost 1.6 MB 17 46 134 root
revisiond 3.3 MB 4 50 31 root
RazerNagaHelper 3.8 MB 3 135 390 dpeck
QuickLookSatellite 3.5 MB 2 46 495 dpeck
quicklookd 3.5 MB 6 90 494 dpeck
printtool 2.2 MB 2 44 481 dpeck
powerd 1.6 MB 4 98 16 root
pbs 1.8 MB 2 44 429 dpeck
pboard 640 KB 1 24 320 dpeck
pacemaker 440 KB 3 22 170 root
opendirectoryd 6.1 MB 11 517 19 root
ocspd 1.4 MB 2 26 421 root
ntpd 840 KB 2 28 165 root
notifyd 1.1 MB 3 149 15 root
Notification Center 8.4 MB 4 174 347 dpeck
networkd_privileged 696 KB 2 26 141 root
networkd 1.5 MB 3 81 138 _networkd
netbiosd 1.1 MB 2 42 474 _netbios
mtmfs 3.6 MB 4 64 36 root
mtmd 3.5 MB 3 69 37 root
MicrosoftMouseHelper 2.9 MB 3 103 386 dpeck
mdworker 4.2 MB 4 57 471 dpeck
mdworker 40.5 MB 3 5
mdworker 24.8 MB 3 56 506 dpeck
mdworker 22.9 MB 3 56 507 dpeck
mds_stores 154.2 MB 12 120 193 root
mds 40.1 MB 12 289 38 root
mDNSResponder 1.8 MB 5 74 39 _mdnsresponder
lsboxd 1.3 MB 2 57 357 dpeck
Logitech Control Center Da… 5.7 MB 4 147 369 dpeck
loginwindow 6.8 MB 3 369 42 dpeck
logind 1.1 MB 2 44 43 root
locationd 3.1 MB 7 91 44 _locationd
librariand 2.4 MB 2 68 331 dpeck
launchservicesd 3.1 MB 3 210 55 root
launchd 1.2 MB 2 367 302 dpeck
launchd 2.8 MB 3 1,345 1 root
launchd 696 KB 2 66 293 _spotlight
kextd 8.5 MB 3 66 12 root
KernelEventAgent 632 KB 3 29 45 root
kernel_task 440.8 MB 101 0 0 root
kdc 1.6 MB 3 53 46 root
IMDPersistenceAgent 2.1 MB 3 60 392 dpeck
imagent 2.8 MB 3 83 360 dpeck
Image Capture Extension 5.5 MB 4 141 455 dpeck
identityservicesd 4.1 MB 5 104 361 dpeck
hidd 1.8 MB 4 93 48 root6 504 dpeck
mdworker 26.4 MB
 

smithrh

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2009
2,463
833
mds and most everything with mds in the name is Spotlight.

Looks to me (with limited visibility) that your drive is being re-indexed again, I'm wondering if the Synk app has something to do with that.

When Spotlight is indexing, it is noticeable. Yeah, Apple says it isn't, but it is.

Also, how many pointing devices do you have? I'd understand (although not necessarily approve of) one "helper" app, but you look to have several.

Do you also have a scanner?

You might consider removing all of the non-Apple items and see what happens. I've seen many a poor PC driver ported over to Mac with horrible results. If it runs better, then add them back one at a time to see where the culprit is.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,038
16,520
The Misty Mountains
mds and most everything with mds in the name is Spotlight.

Looks to me (with limited visibility) that your drive is being re-indexed again, I'm wondering if the Synk app has something to do with that.

When Spotlight is indexing, it is noticeable. Yeah, Apple says it isn't, but it is.

Also, how many pointing devices do you have? I'd understand (although not necessarily approve of) one "helper" app, but you look to have several.

Do you also have a scanner?

You might consider removing all of the non-Apple items and see what happens. I've seen many a poor PC driver ported over to Mac with horrible results. If it runs better, then add them back one at a time to see where the culprit is.
Thanks for the suggestion. I finally broke down and called Apple. This hardware is covered by extended Applecare. They spent several hours on the phone with me. First thing I did was reinstall the OS from scratch. Then for some reason there was an issue with Time Machine in that I could not use it to restore my OS partition. For some reason the System files were not being saved, and although I could recover data, not the system. However it was relatively simple and they showed me how to go into the Time backups and pull out my old user folder which made it very simple to revert mostly back to where I was. Then we restarted Time Machine to make sure this time that System files were being saved. Now I do have to reinstall several programs and I think I am out of the woods.

The difference in the responsiveness of my MBP is impressive, back to how I remember it. I'll say that I've owned MacOSX since the beginning and this is the first time I've had to reinstall it from scratch. It's also the first Mac I've upgraded through 2 major OS updates. I was under the impression that the MacOS on occasion defragmented and cleaned itself. Now I'm not so sure.

I need to find a good resource that offers a routine of preventative maintenance for Mavericks. Any suggestions would be appreciated! :)

Thanks!
 

medic27

macrumors member
Dec 18, 2013
53
0
I had this issue constantly. Try turning off App Nap on everything.
In activity monitor - > click on energy to find out what applications use App Nap.
Go to the offending app and get info. click box next to prevent app nap to disable.
It resolved the issue for me past two months.

The issue was constantly happening, indicating a failing hard drive but was not the case.
 

smithrh

macrumors 68020
Feb 28, 2009
2,463
833
Thanks for the suggestion. I finally broke down and called Apple. This hardware is covered by extended Applecare. They spent several hours on the phone with me. First thing I did was reinstall the OS from scratch.
It does happen - rarely - that an upgrade or installation has gone wrong in some subtle way and a scratch install will get you to a known good point. I was having a KP on CPU2 of my iMac, AppleCare couldn't figure it out and we agreed (together, which was nice - they typically have pretty damn good phone support) a scratch install might be the way to go.

Mind you, this isn't Windows with the registry abomination, so a re-install isn't the panacea that it is on the Windows side.

I need to find a good resource that offers a routine of preventative maintenance for Mavericks. Any suggestions would be appreciated!
Thanks!
Use. Enjoy. Backup. Use. Enjoy. Backup. Repeat.

There's really no routine PM needed for MacOS X. Yeah, there are crontabs (LOL spell checker changed that to corncobs!) that do some mild log file pruning, but that's hardly important these days.

If you want, I can regale people of all of the Unix sysadmin tasks that needed to be done in the days of yore, but really none of them apply any more.

I've been a Unix sysadmin, and written manuals for best practices, and I'm pretty anal about things. I do nothing (besides backups!) on the Mac platform, that includes 3 laptops, 2 servers and an iMac.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,038
16,520
The Misty Mountains
I've found way less BB since upgrading to SSD. Are you still running HDD?
I am as I don't believe this can be upgraded in a MBP. I do plan on upgrading to 8GB RAM for this hardware.

After I reinstalled Mavericks on Monday, I went for 3 peaceful days until this morning when I ran into another hard core spinning beach ball, 15 minutes later without being able to shutdown firefox or tell the MacOS to shutdown, I finally pulled the plug and forced a restart. This stall was so horrific, maybe it would have recovered, but I did not have an hour to sit there staring at it. If I am at fault it is for not shutting down my MBP, but putting it to sleep at night. Usually I restart it about once a week or so. I may have to abandon this practice and shut down every night. After the restart every thing seems back to order for now.

I'd like to communicate this to Apple. Are the Apple Community forums the best avenue or just email them? There is something woefully inadequate in the MacOS when it allows itself to reach this state. I am not a programmer, but I think I understand memory leakage and imagine it would not be that difficult to monitor memory usage and put out a warning that available memory is low and a restart is recommended or hold enough memory in reserve so that there will always be enough control to tell the computer to restart. What do you all think?

Update: I posted this issue at the Apple Forums.
 
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leventozler

macrumors 6502
Feb 18, 2009
307
106
I never had any beach balls until I've connected to a win XP machine and opened a file with Coda 2. After that, even after restarting, cleaning last file history etc. for days I had crashes when launching Coda (and iTunes, Firefox etc.)

Now I'm using this trick; http://osxdaily.com/2013/11/24/slow-open-save-dialog-problem-mac-os-x/

No effect on usability, but for now I don't have any slowdowns/apps waiting for an 'once mounted remote drive.'

PS. late 2013 iMac with samsung ssd & 32gb ram
 

mfram

macrumors 65816
Jan 23, 2010
1,056
138
San Diego, CA USA
Another possibility for the O.P. Is that there are bad sectors on the hard drive. If the computer tries to access the bad sectors, it will slow down significantly. A re-install could temporarily alleviate the problem if the bad area was initially unallocated. But then come back later as the drive is used. Maybe check Console logs.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,038
16,520
The Misty Mountains
Another possibility for the O.P. Is that there are bad sectors on the hard drive. If the computer tries to access the bad sectors, it will slow down significantly. A re-install could temporarily alleviate the problem if the bad area was initially unallocated. But then come back later as the drive is used. Maybe check Console logs.
Sounds like a great tip. I have Disk Warrior. I need to see if it will identify bad sectors, but won't Disk Utility do that too?

About a week later after a clean install, although my overall performance has improved, I'm still seeing TONS of spinning balls, anywhere from 10 seconds to 5 minutes. This morning I have two programs up: Firefox with 10 tabs open and Pages. Here are some shots from my Activity monitor with SBs occuring frequently.





When this computer ran under Lion (10.7) I had none of these issues. There is no way that two programs should be causing this. I realize there are more than these 2 programs running in the background, but they are the two I have selected to run. ;) These SBs are making this computer basically unusable for any serious work.

As it so happens I have 8GB RAM supposed to be delivered today. :D I'll report back after I have a chance to see what kind of a difference that makes, but right now my impression is that no one should be upgrading a 2011 MBP to Mavericks without at least 8GB RAM installed.

Stand by! :)
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,038
16,520
The Misty Mountains
Update- The 8GB memory arrived, I installed it, anxiously awaited startup and I was greeted with... SPINNING BALLS, lol. Just to be sure, I used the Recovery drive and ran Disk Utilityrepair on my main HD and verified that it was ok and I repaired permissions. No problems found. At this point I believe this is something other than a "memory" issue.

On restart, it took 2 minute for the login page to appear, and another 2 minutes for the desktop to appear, but then it took another 22 minutes to reach a "functional" desktop where programs would launch, where I could right click an icon, or move an icon without a frack'n SB. So I've had it. I've made an appointment at the local Genius bar because before I pull any more hair out, I want to verify that I don't have a hardware issue. Maybe they will discover the source of this issue which is rendering my computer not suitable for serious work.

Another update forthcoming on Friday (the day I see the Genius).