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Spinning beach ball, slow login, random freezing.

2069 Views 8 Replies Latest reply: May 23, 2013 5:08 AM by ksternberg RSS
Bad News52 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Feb 3, 2013 5:41 AM

Hardware Overview:

  Model Identifier: iMac12,2   27" Mid 2011

  Processor Name: 3.4 GHz Intel Core i7

  Number of Processors: 1

  Total Number of Cores: 4

  L2 Cache (per Core): 256 KB

  L3 Cache: 8 MB

  Memory: 12 GB 1333 MHz DDR3

  Graphics  AMD Radeon HD 6970M 2048 MB

  Boot ROM Version: IM121.0047.B1F

  SMC Version (system): 1.72f1

  Software  OS X 10.8.2 (12C60)



I feel like Ive tried everything and I cannot seem to fix this problem Ive had for a while now. Everytime I right click a file and try to use "open with" I get a spinning beach ball and it won't show any of my applications for about 20 seconds. It also takes about a minute just to boot up after the login screen. The dock will show up right away but if I try to open any applications they are un-responsive for about a 45 seconds. I am also getting system hangs at random times that freeze everything no matter what it is for about 2 seconds. It happens about every hour and I searched the console messages but can't find anything when it happens. My mac used to be fast and reliable but now it's starting to feel like Winblows . I also made a new user to see if it fixed the problems and it did for about 2 logins but after that it started to slow tremendously and there was a huge difference in speed from when I first added the new user.

If anyone could help that would be awesome because I feel like I have tried everything with no luck.

Here is what Ive tried so far.

Repairing disk permissions + resetting ACLs on home folder.

Deleting all caches and system logs with Mountain Lion Cache Cleaner.

Reset the PRAM and SMC

Ran daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance scripts

Removed all login items

Updated prebindings, Locate Database, and rebuilt spotlight.

Unchecked "put hard disks to sleep when possible" in energy saver.

Re-installed the OS using Mountain Lion's built in recovery disk.

Checked the smart status of my drives.

Thats all the sutff I can remember off the top of my head and nothing has worked so far.

The only thing I can think of would be to erase my HD and re-install a fresh copy of Mountain Lion, but the last time I did that it took months to get everything back to the way I had it. I had to re-download all my apps and all the settings and preferences for each app plus serial numbers were gone.

The sad thing is my old iMac from 2005 is faster then this one at logging in and other things. Finder seems to be faster and snappier on my old iMac. Programs open faster...

I feel like I know more than the average person about macs but I just can't seem to figure this out.

If anyone could help that would be awesome!


iMac, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), 3.4GHz Intel Core i7, 12GB Ram
  • KarenSelena Level 4 Level 4 (1,905 points)

    Try this......REPAIRING DISK -


    I see you "Re-installed the OS using Mountain Lion's built in recovery disk"

    as per above, but did you repair the disk?


    About OS X Recovery -

    - restart your computer hold down command + R keys on the keyboard to boot you into Lion / Mountain Lion Recovery mode

    - select english as your main language then the continue arrow

    - select "Disk Utility" on the resulting screen then 'Disk Utility' ---


    - When prompted to select a disk volume or image, select the 'Macintosh HD' in the left column

    - ensure the the "first aid" tab is highlighted blue in the middle of the screen

    - click the button at the bottom that says 'REPAIR DISK' .......NOT "Repair disk permissions"

    - this process will take a few minutes to run.  It will indicate it's done, by scrolling to the bottom of the "details area" displaying "The Macintosh HD appears OK"


    If you get any other message OTHER than "The Macintosh HD appears OK", like "the Macintosh HD was repaired successfully" run the "Disk Repair" again, until it displays  "The Macintosh HD appears OK".


    Once done, restart the computer as normal

  • johnl927 Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)

    You can try to delete finder perferences and see if it would help!  Found under /User/Library/perferences or (hold option and navigate to the go menu and choose library)


    Screen Shot 2013-02-03 at 8.44.26 AM.png

  • johnl927 Level 3 Level 3 (565 points)

    Boot into recovery mode (Command + R @ startup) and reinstall Mac OS X, if you still have problems after that, then you'll have to check which app is causing a conflict with your machine.


    Tip:  Open Activity Montior and see which app is hogging resources and try to pin point from there

  • KarenSelena Level 4 Level 4 (1,905 points)

    Create a test user, and see if the issue happens in a new user. 

  • seb1000 Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 27, 2013 2:38 AM (in response to Bad News52)

    I had more or less the same issues - caused by a partly corrupted hard drive. I finally found out, when cloning the disk via CCC while reinstalling the OS.


    what was really annoying:

    - SMART status showed no problems at all.

    - Time machine didn't bother to copy the corrupted files (as 0kb)

    - Disk utility never showed problems (nor rights or disk errors)

    - fsck didn't find anything


    for you: maybe you want to try cloning to an external drive, start from it and test, if your problems go away...

  • ksternberg Calculating status...
    Currently Being Moderated
    May 23, 2013 5:08 AM (in response to Bad News52)

    Not sure if you are still looking for answers, but... I was having a lot of the same problems and it turned out that I had a faulty hard drive that was actually recalled by Apple. Check the Hard Drive Replacemnet Program and enter your serial number to see if your computer was effeted. The program ended April 12 2013, or 3 years after original purchase of your computer. Apple should have emailed you about the recall, but I never received one and my computer was effected. They just replaced it for free because I was still in the 3 year range (I found out about it 6 days before I would have been s-o-l). I hope you have resolved your problem, as I know it is really frustrating!


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