1 2 Previous Next 25 Replies Latest reply: Oct 27, 2012 1:56 AM by thoughton
taylor-design Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Since upgrading to Lion I've been experiencing a problem where CPU usage will periodically shoot up to 100%, causing temperatures to rise, fans to kick up, and my battery to drain. When I've checked Activity Monitor I've found that the Finder and several applications have spiked in CPU use. Quitting any single application does not solve the problem as the rest will simpy scale up their CPU usage. I have to quit and restart all of them. The list is typically:

 

Finder

Real Studio

Adobe InDesign CS4

Adobe Extend Toolkit

Adobe Photoshop CS4 (sometimes)

 

I'm wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar or has any suggestions as to what's going wrong. I suspect it may have something to do with AppleScript, or with the interaction between AppleScript and Adobe's JavaScript engine, as I'm working on a project to automate certain tasks in InDesign. That seems to be the only common denominator, and I don't recall any apps which are not part of this project doing the same. Note that this is happening with the apps basically idle. It doesn't happen after a specific operation, which would make it easy to trace, but maybe an hour after I've stopped working on the project and am doing something else like writing a report.

 

Thoughts? Suggestions? (I know: quit when you're done. But I've grown used to leaving everything I use open. I could do this with Snow Leopard for a month at a time.)

 

I might post this as a separate topic, but I really wish Apple would add the ability to limit CPU usage. I wish I could set alerts and caps for the system as a whole and for specific processes. I've had other issues in the past with run away apps, and it's a problem if you happen to walk away for a moment only to come back and find your MacBook at 90C with the battery  rapidly draining. Spotlight is one of the worst offenders. Flash on Firefox is another.


MacBook Pro, Mac OS X (10.7.2), 8 GB RAM / 240 GB SSD
  • 1. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    taylor-design Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Have to modify my original post...

     

    This has nothing to do with AppleScript or Adobe's apps. It happened again today and the CPU hogging apps were: Finder, Mail, Firefox. I didn't have anything open related to the project mentioned above.

     

    This is the second time it has happened to me during a meeting, which is disruptive and embarrassing. By the time I noticed my CPU was over 90C. At this point I'm nervous to leave my MacBook on and unattended for fear this bug will burn it up.

     

    Snow Leopard was solid as a rock. Lion has left me very disappointed for several reasons, this being a significant one. I'll try the 10.7.3 update and see if that helps.

  • 2. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    taylor-design Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    10.7.3 did nothing for this...

  • 3. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,265 points)

    I can assure you that there is nothing about Lion that is causing this problem. You have some 3rd party incompatible software. To find out which one is causing the problem, run Linc Davis' 5-step diagnostic test found here:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/3707264

     

    And report the results

  • 4. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    taylor-design Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    That test isn't going to help me in the least. I can't run in Safe mode as a guest for days hoping for the Finder to go haywire. This isn't something I can trigger on command. It seems to happen every 24-72 hours.

  • 5. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,265 points)

    Please read my post more carefully. Linc had two diagnostic tests in that thread. The 5-step one is the one you want.

  • 6. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    taylor-design Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I don't see how that helps. It gives me a list of every 'extension' to the system. It doesn't tell me anything about what might be the cause.

     

    Today I discovered that the  Finder leaves this in the Console right as it starts running to 100%:

     

    Feb  9 10:21:26 Finder[236]: _NXGetScreenRect: error getting display bounds (1001)

    Feb  9 10:21:26 Finder[236]: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetDisplayBounds: Invalid display 0x1c80f6dd

    Feb  9 10:21:26 Finder[236]: *** process 236 exceeded 500 log message per second limit  -  remaining messages this second discarded ***

     

    I'm thinking now that this happens if I unplug my external monitor while my MacBook is asleep. I'll try to confirm tonight.

  • 7. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (24,265 points)

    taylor-design wrote:

     

    I don't see how that helps. It gives me a list of every 'extension' to the system. It doesn't tell me anything about what might be the cause.

     

    It's not for you. It's for me.

     

    Today I discovered that the  Finder leaves this in the Console right as it starts running to 100%:

     

    Feb  9 10:21:26 Finder[236]: _NXGetScreenRect: error getting display bounds (1001)

    Feb  9 10:21:26 Finder[236]: kCGErrorIllegalArgument: CGSGetDisplayBounds: Invalid display 0x1c80f6dd

    Feb  9 10:21:26 Finder[236]: *** process 236 exceeded 500 log message per second limit  -  remaining messages this second discarded ***

     

    Yes. That means the Finder is going haywire.

     

    I'm thinking now that this happens if I unplug my external monitor while my MacBook is asleep. I'll try to confirm tonight.

     

    Considering that is Apple's recommended method for disconnecting a monitor, it probably shouldn't be causing any problems.

  • 8. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    taylor-design Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Whether I disconnect my monitor with my MacBook awake or asleep doesn't matter. Using "Detect Displays" in the Displays menu after disconnecting doesn't help either. The Finder will go haywire regardless.

     

    I'm going to try forcing a Finder restart right after disconnecting and see if that solves the problem. If it does I guess I'll just keep an AppleScript in my dock to restart the Finder and try to remember to use it each time.

     

    Lovely OS. Wish I could go back to Snow Leopard for this and a dozen other reasons :-(

  • 9. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    petermac87 Level 5 Level 5 (4,205 points)

    I seriously don't know why you won't follow Linc's steps and post the results here if you really want to deal with the issue. Your problem may be able to be fixed in a couple of easy steps but you do not seem to want to help us help you, so there isn't much more we can do other than tell you to take it to you nearest Apple Repairer.

     

    Good Luck

     

    Pete

  • 10. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    taylor-design Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    I've looked at the list of extensions. The problem is not there.

  • 11. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    petermac87 Level 5 Level 5 (4,205 points)

    It diagnoses a great deal more than just extensions but as I said if you don't want help then spare us the details.

     

    Pete

  • 12. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    taylor-design Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Excuse me petermac87?

     

    Let me be a bit more clear:

     

    * I've followed the steps and reviewed the output and the problem is not there. I do not need help reviewing any of that information or testing various changes related to it.

     

    * Nobody is demanding that you read this thread if you wish to be "spared the details."

     

    Do we understand each other now?

  • 13. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    petermac87 Level 5 Level 5 (4,205 points)

    No but good luck.

  • 14. Re: Mac OS X Lion 10.7.2 100% CPU Use
    jgelements Level 3 Level 3 (520 points)

    I would update to 10.7.3 and make sure no other firmware updates are available. If your computer and monitor are all upated, then you will need to isolate. Barring any updates, it does sound like an extension issue.

     

    Third party software and extensions will have to be isolated--there is no way around it.

     

    Since you can't do a Safe Boot, move third party extensions, launch agents, launch daemons, and startup items, whether system wide or user specific, to the Trash, but do not empty. You can always use the Put Back feature later and retain proper permissions. Restart the computer and then test it over the next week.

     

    If the issue still occurs, we would need to know if it is user specific. I did not see in the thread above if a new user has been tested. If you can't do a new user test, it will be difficult to provide you an accurate resolution. However, here are the steps that you could do (assuming user-specific first, working towards system-wide last):

     

    1. Backup the computer
    2. Remove third party login items from Sys Prefs > Users/Groups > Login Items
    3. Rename ~/library/caches/ to Caches.old and restart
    4. Trash, but do not empty, ~/library/fonts/ (you can always use Put Back at a later time) and restart
    5. Trash, but do not empty, third party contents from ~/library/launchagents/ (If it exists) and restart
    6. Trash, but do not empty, third party contents from ~/library/launchdaemons/ (If it exists) and restart
    7. Trash, but do not empty, third party contents from ~/library/startupitems/ (If it exists) and restart
    8. Trash, but do not empty, third party contents from ~/library/extensions/ (If it exists) and restart
    9. Trash, but do not empty, com.apple.finder.plist from ~/library/preferences/ and restart
    10. Rename ~/library/preferences/ to Preferences.old and restart
    11. Rename /library/caches/ to Caches.old and restart
    12. Trash, but do not empty, third party fonts from /library/fonts/ and restart
    13. Trash, but do not empty, third party contents from /library/launchagents/ and restart
    14. Trash, but do not empty, third party contents from /library/launchdaemons/ and restart
    15. Trash, but do not empty, third party contents from /library/startupitems/ and restart
    16. Trash, but do not empty, third party contents from /library/extensions/ and restart
    17. Reinstall OS X Lion

     

    I hope the above information helps you in your situation.

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