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Hourly beach ball (possibly time machine)

2745 Views 44 Replies Latest reply: Jan 10, 2013 2:08 PM by Phil Marinucci1 RSS
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W.R.R. Farid Calculating status...
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May 14, 2012 2:02 PM

Ok guys,

 

I am having this problem since may be a week. I am suspecting that it started after updating to 10.7.4 Lion.

 

Every hour, in my case at 47 minutes of the hour, I get a spinning beach ball and my MacBook becomes (sometimes completely) unresponsive. this happend in several programs including, Safari, Word, Powerpoint, Mail, Address Book etc etc.

 

Once I noticed that when this was happening my Time Machine icon was spinning (preparing backup). So I thought it might be related to that. Especially since time Machine tries to backup every hour. Now I usually backup every couple of days by connecting my USB drive, and have never had these problems before. I am guessing that every time Time Machine tries to make an hourly backup my computer for some reason becomes unresponsive.

 

I kept an eye out for it and indeed everytime it happens it is at mintue 47 of the hour in my case. And it happens every hour. Although I usually do not see the spinning Time Machine icon since my MacBook usually becomes almost completely unresponsives and reacts to almost nothing. I am guessing that's why I only noticed the time Machine icon spinning just once.

 

Has any one else had these problems? And if so do you have a solution for it? It's really annoying to have this problem if you are in the middle of something.

MacBook 5,1 Aluminium 2008, Mac OS X (10.5.7), C2D 2.4GHz, 4GB, 250GB
  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    May 14, 2012 5:15 PM (in response to W.R.R. Farid)

    That doesn't sound like a Time Machine problem.  It does try to back up hourly, but it won't be at the same minute of every hour for very long.

     

    There must be something else scheduled to run at that time.  Make sure by turning TM OFF well before the 47 minute mark (and being sure a backup isn't already running).

     

    Post back with your results, and we'll see whether you need to investigate a problem with TM (or your USB drive), or something else.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,905 points)
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    May 15, 2012 12:48 PM (in response to W.R.R. Farid)

    It sounds like Time Machine's local snapshots. How much free disk space do you have? Are you running any software like virtual machines or Entourage that create very large files that frequently change and need to be backed up or exluded?

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    May 15, 2012 12:52 PM (in response to W.R.R. Farid)

    W.R.R. Farid wrote:

     

    Ok, so restated again. And even before I could disable Time Machine I encountered the slow down again. I was actually just in Activity Monitor and saw that I had a huge disc activity peak at almost 40MB/sec. I cannot see what process is causing this. Any idea's how I could see the details on this?

    See what's using the CPU.   Sort the Activity Monitor list by highest % CPU.  That's likely to change every few seconds as the display is refreshed, but see if one Process Name is among the top items consistently.

     

    And/or, eject and disconnect the USB drive.  If there's a problem with it, OSX may be trying to figure out what it is and/or fix it.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    May 15, 2012 12:54 PM (in response to etresoft)

    etresoft wrote:

     

    It sounds like Time Machine's local snapshots. How much free disk space do you have? Are you running any software like virtual machines or Entourage that create very large files that frequently change and need to be backed up or exluded?

    It certainly shouldn't be, unless it's having trouble deleting old snapshots.

     

    In that case, the mtmd and/or mtmfs processes should be using a lot of CPU.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
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    May 26, 2012 5:49 PM (in response to W.R.R. Farid)

    It's not clear whether you got Time Machine turned OFF (and any backup either finished or cancelled).

     

    If not, do that. Wait a bit, as any Local Snapshots will be deleted, and that does take some time.  If the problem persists, then you know it's not Time Machine (or Local snapshots).

     

    You might also want to verify your internal HD (not permissions), just to rule out directory problems.  See #6 in Using Disk Utility if you're not sure how to do that.

  • etresoft Level 7 Level 7 (23,905 points)
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    Jun 7, 2012 2:26 PM (in response to W.R.R. Farid)

    W.R.R. Farid wrote:

     

    I actually only backup my documents folder using Time Machine. Nothing more.

    Time Machine works best when you just turn it on and let it run. In theory, you should be able to exclude everything but your documents folder. In practice, people reporting problems with Time Machine have often made some changes to the default settings. I suspect that in many cases, those people may have made other, possibly command-line modifications as well.

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jun 7, 2012 2:30 PM (in response to W.R.R. Farid)

    W.R.R. Farid wrote:

    . . .

    I have already verified the permissions.

    No, you need to run Verify Disk, not Verify Disk Permissions.

     

     

    So basically still having this problem, and no real source found on what is causing it. I am more surprised (but also happy) that I am the only one having this problem. Since I seem to be the only one having this problem it is probably solvable by a clean install in a worse case scenario, which I would like to prevent

    Doubtful; a clean install is a last resort, and rarely accomplishes anything good.

     

    A clue may be lurking in your logs.  See the tan box in OSX Log Files to locate your system.log, then the blue box there to decipher it.  Look at the messages sent at about the time of the slowdown.  If that doesn't help, at a few moments before you anticipate the slowdown, set a "Marker" per the Monitoring the log for a reproducible problem section.

  • awilliamsny Calculating status...
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    Jul 10, 2012 5:40 AM (in response to W.R.R. Farid)

    I've got this same issue, running Lion, latest updates.  TM off or on, doesn't matter.  It beachballs hourly and my only recourse is to force shutdown the machine with the power button.  I've worked with Apple tech support on the phone and repaired all persmissions, verified disks, removed startup items, all of that.    What is the fix, there must be someone smart here to help me, thanks!

  • Pondini Level 8 Level 8 (38,710 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Jul 10, 2012 6:51 AM (in response to W.R.R. Farid)

    Have you tried looking in your system.log, per my previous post:

     

    "See the tan box in OSX Log Files to locate yoursystem.log, then the blue box there to decipher it.  Look at the messages sent at about the time of the slowdown.  If that doesn't help, at a few moments before you anticipate the slowdown, set a "Marker" per the Monitoring the log for a reproducible problem section."

  • awilliamsny Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
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    Jul 10, 2012 7:36 AM (in response to Pondini)

    I did.  Here's what's happening, right before every crash it's doing something with ws.agile.1PasswordAgent - and it doesn't find the file.  I no longer have any 1P files on my machine (I use LastPass).  I've searched for the folder /Users/Andy/Library/Application Support/1Password/Agent/1PasswordAGent.app and it's not on my Mac.  Help...   Link to log output:

    https://img.skitch.com/20120710-qiamaf9c2y2hx6e5w7hp4jjaij.jpg

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