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Spinning beachball of death

916 Views 3 Replies Latest reply: Sep 16, 2009 7:51 AM by Lofty Becker RSS
Lofty Becker Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Currently Being Moderated
Mar 4, 2009 4:47 AM
Since about January 10, I’ve had a continuing problem with the spinning beachball of death. The symptoms are always the same:

1. Beachball appears in some application, and spreads. That is, I can switch to another application which may work normally for a while, but eventually the other application will also hang. The triggering event seems to be when the other application is accessing the file system (save, read, etc.)

2. From the time the beachball first appears, Finder is always unresponsive. And Force Quit can’t be invoked: both command-option-esc and the Apple menu choice produce nothing.

3. Only way out is to force a powerdown by holding down the Power button on the machine, which powers off, then reboot. I have of course lost unsaved work, and there’s probably some directory damage each time.

4. Common thread SEEMS to be that it will happen only if I have a remote disk (one hosted at my office, which I connect to through afp) mounted. It’s possible that the disk not only has to be mounted, but also has to have a file open on it. It’s conceivable that Microsoft Word has to have the file open (that’s what usually I’m using for these files, but sometimes Pages).

5. I’ve rebuilt the directory, and used the Combo Updater instead of System Update to install all the updates. It’s happening less often recently. I’ve also run TechTool’s overnight RAM check, which reports no problem with my 6 gigs.

6. Most often starts overnight, though sometimes I’ve seen it happen as I work.

Any suggestions?

-Lofty
Mac Pro dual core, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • dwb Level 6 Level 6 (19,695 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 4, 2009 7:38 AM (in response to Lofty Becker)
    If you suspect the share why not make the effort to work without it. Log on long enough to copy the file to your computer then dismount it. Work with the file and then copy it back to the share when you are finished. Inconvenient perhaps but if the BBOD doesn't appear you'll know what the problem is and therefore what to attack in your attempts to solve it.
    MacBook • 20 + 24 iMac • MBP, Mac OS X (10.5.6), WinXP • Linux • iPhone • Touch
  • Neville Hillyer Level 4 Level 4 (1,845 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Mar 4, 2009 7:38 AM (in response to Lofty Becker)
    My experience is that the only way to home in on RAM problems is to remove it a bit at a time. I experienced several crashes and did very exhaustive RAM checks which found nothing.

    Try Applejack in auto mode after backing up all critical items.
    Xserve and two 733 MHz G4s with Leopard !, Mac OS X (10.5.6)

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