11 Replies Latest reply: Dec 28, 2011 10:11 AM by FrenchToast
dutchmatrix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

I recently (August 2011) purchased a MacBook Pro 13", 4 GB Ram, Intel i5, 320GB HDD. This is my first MAC and I was pretty excited.

However after using it for a few months one issue is constantly bothering me.

 

When I start up my MAC the fan starts making loud noises. This happens 75% of the time. AT first I thought that it would go away and went aboyt my work. Slowly I realized the the MAC was actually very slow and the fan noise never subsided. When it does the MAC works like a charm.

 

I checked the memory usage in the Activity Monitor and found it to be healthy. At this moment with a Browser (chrome) and Finder opened it has 2.6 GB of free memory. However the CPU usage is very surprising. Just one process, which is teh kernel task is hogging everything and is at 250% consistently. WHen it does come down (sometimes when I am lucky) the fan noise also subsides.

 

Has anyone faced this issue? Or am I just one of those unlucky people who got a bad MAC.

 

Any help/pointers etc appreciated. I dont want to be disappointed with my MAC experience.

 

Thanks


Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.7), MacBook Pro 13",4GB RAM,i5,320GB HD
  • 1. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,030 points)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.

     

    This procedure is a diagnostic test. It’s unlikely to solve your problem. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.

     

    The purpose of this exercise is to determine whether the problem is caused by third-party system modifications that load automatically at startup or login. Boot in safe mode and log in to the account with the problem. First, disconnect all wired peripherals except keyboard, mouse, and monitor, if applicable, and remove all aftermarket expansion cards. The instructions provided by Apple are as follows:

     

    • Be sure your Mac is shut down.
    • Press the power button.
    • Immediately after you hear the startup tone, hold the Shift key. The Shift key should be held as soon as possible after the startup tone, but not before the tone.
    • Release the Shift key when you see the gray Apple icon and the progress indicator (looks like a spinning gear).

     

    The login screen appears even if you usually log in automatically. You must know your login password in order to log in. If you’ve forgotten the password, you will need to reset it before you begin.

     

    Safe mode is much slower to boot and run than normal, and some things won’t work at all, including your login items.

     

    Launch some application(s) and test. Same problem(s)?

     

    After testing, reboot as usual (i.e., not in safe mode.)

  • 2. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    dutchmatrix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I tried this. No perpherals connected and the exact procedure followed.

    The fan noise still existed, but the CPU usage was normal. The kernal was not showing spiked usage. I worked around for some time and everything was good.

     

    I rebooted into normal mode and the kernel stuff came back again. The safe mode was somewhat faster for me.

    However at this moment everythign seems fine, although I have seen good phases before too.

     

    How do I find out why the kernel is always eating up so much of CPU time. WHich apps are causing this. I just have Chrome, PyCharm, Firefox and Skype installed apart from the preinstalled S/W. I do have MacPorts installed too, but i use it from the command line.

  • 3. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,030 points)

    Please read this whole message before doing anything.

     

    This procedure is a diagnostic test. It won’t solve your problem. Don’t be disappointed when you find that nothing has changed after you complete it.

     

    Third-party system modifications are a common cause of usability problems. By a “system modification,” I mean software that affects the operation of other software -- potentially for the worse. The following procedure will help identify which such modifications you've installed. Don’t be alarmed by the complexity of these instructions -- they’re easy to carry out and won’t change anything on your Mac.

     

    These steps are to be taken while booted in “normal” mode, not in safe mode. If you’re now running in safe mode, reboot as usual before continuing.

     

    Below are four lines of text in monospaced type, which are UNIX shell commands. They’re harmless, but they must be entered exactly as given in order to work. If you have doubts about the safety of running these commands, search this site for other discussions in which they’ve been used without any report of ill effects.

     

    Some of the commands will line-wrap in your browser, but each one is really just a single long line, all of which must be selected. You can accomplish this easily by triple-clicking anywhere in the line. The whole line will highlight, and you can then either copy or drag it. The headings “Step 1” and so on are not part of the commands.

     

    Note: If you have more than one user account, Step 2 must be taken as an administrator. Ordinarily that would be the user created automatically when you booted the system for the first time. The other steps should be taken as the user who has the problem, if different. Most personal Macs have only one user, and in that case this paragraph doesn’t apply.

     

    To begin, launch the Terminal application; e.g., by entering the first few letters of its name in a Spotlight search. A text window will open with a line already in it, ending either in a dollar sign (“$”) or a percent sign (“%”). If you get the percent sign, enter “sh” and press return. You should then get a new line ending in a dollar sign.

     

    Step 1

     

    Copy or drag -- do not type -- the line below into the Terminal window, then press return:

     

    kextstat -kl | awk ' !/com\.apple/ { print $6 $7 } '
    

     

    Post the lines of output (if any) that appear below what you just entered (the text, please, not a screenshot.)

     

    Step 2

     

    Repeat with this line:

     

    sudo launchctl list | sed 1d | awk ' !/0x|apple|com\.vix|edu\.|org\./ { print $3 } '
    

     

    This time, you'll be prompted for your login password, which won't be displayed when you type it. You may get a one-time warning not to screw up. You don't need to post the warning.

     

    Step 3

     

    launchctl list | sed 1d | awk ' !/0x|apple|edu\.|org\./ { print $3 } '
    

     

    Step 4

     

    ls -1A {,/}Library/{Ad,Compon,Ex,Fram,In,La,Mail/Bu,P*P,Priv,Qu,Scripti,Servi,Sta}* 2> /dev/null
    

     

    Important: If you synchronize with a MobileMe account, your me.com email address may appear in the output of the above command. If so, change it to something like “user@me.com” before posting.

     

    Remember, steps 1-4 are all drag-and-drop or copy-and-paste, whichever you prefer -- no typing, except your password.

     

    You can then quit Terminal.

  • 4. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    sachit Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    When I go through macbook communities I come across same issues. Is this a real problem? Like fan noise and heating problems.

     

    Because I am planning to buy a new late 2011 macbook pro 13 within next couple of days.

     

    Guys please help.

  • 5. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    dutchmatrix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Results of the steps performed

     

    kextstat -kl | awk ' !/com\.apple/ { print $6 $7 } '

    No Output

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----

     

    sudo launchctl list | sed 1d | awk ' !/0x|apple|com\.vix|edu\.|org\./ { print $3 } '

    No Output

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----

     

    launchctl list | sed 1d | awk ' !/0x|apple|edu\.|org\./ { print $3 } '

     

    com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper

    com.google.keystone.user.agent

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- -----

     

    ls -1A {,/}Library/{Ad,Compon,Ex,Fram,In,La,Mail/Bu,P*P,Priv,Qu,Scripti,Servi,Sta}* 2> /dev/null

     

    /Library/Components:

     

    /Library/Extensions:

     

    /Library/Frameworks:

    AEProfiling.framework

    AERegistration.framework

    AudioMixEngine.framework

    NyxAudioAnalysis.framework

    PluginManager.framework

     

    /Library/Input Methods:

     

    /Library/Internet Plug-Ins:

    Flash Player.plugin

    JavaAppletPlugin.plugin

    Quartz Composer.webplugin

    QuickTime Plugin.plugin

    flashplayer.xpt

    nsIQTScriptablePlugin.xpt

     

    /Library/LaunchAgents:

     

    /Library/LaunchDaemons:

    com.apple.remotepairtool.plist

    org.macports.mysql5.plist

     

    /Library/PreferencePanes:

    Flash Player.prefPane

     

    /Library/PrivilegedHelperTools:

     

    /Library/QuickLook:

    iWork.qlgenerator

     

    /Library/QuickTime:

    AppleIntermediateCodec.component

    AppleMPEG2Codec.component

     

    /Library/ScriptingAdditions:

     

    /Library/StartupItems:

     

    Library/Address Book Plug-Ins:

    SkypeABDialer.bundle

    SkypeABSMS.bundle

     

    Library/Input Methods:

    .localized

     

    Library/Internet Plug-Ins:

    Picasa.plugin

     

    Library/LaunchAgents:

    com.google.keystone.agent.plist

    com.zeobit.MacKeeper.Helper.plist

     

    Library/PreferencePanes:

  • 7. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    dutchmatrix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    uninstalled mackeeper.

    Still no lck. This problem existed even before I installed MacKeeper. I installed this in hopes of finding some solution.

     

    Anything I am missing? The slowness is extremely apparent.

  • 8. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (118,030 points)

    You probably have a hardware fault. Take the machine to an authorized service provider for testing.

  • 9. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    FrenchToast Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    Got a question: you say it's the kernel task that's running at 250%, but can you tell us what's the CPU usage for the  "mds", "mdworker", "mdhelper" and "SystemUIServer" processes when you experience those freezes?

  • 10. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    dutchmatrix Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    mds: Generally below 1%. Once went up to 1.8%

    mdworker: Under 1% always

    mdhelper: Not FOund

    SystemUIServer: Under 1%

     

     

    Screen Shot 2011-12-28 at 11.25.40 PM.pngAttaching the screenshot of ActivityMonitor

  • 11. Re: Kernel CPU usage ad 250% on Idle MacBook Pro 13"
    FrenchToast Level 3 Level 3 (570 points)

    If you have anything at all hooked to your USB ports, unhook them and tell us if your kernel_task process is still ballooning.