2 Replies Latest reply: May 22, 2009 9:39 AM by leoofborg
mkummer Level 2 (285 points)
Hello - I run this morning into a serious problem w/o any obvious reason. My MacBook Pro became rather hot - 85° Celsius - without doing anything special. I checked Activity Monitor and found that the spotlight task mdworker/user was using 99% of the CPU. I tried some things including restting the machine but I I am meanwhile a little short of ideas how to get the MBP running as it did yesterday...

Any help or ideas would be greatly appreciated....

MacBook Pro 17' with 30' Cinema, Mac OS X (10.5.6)
  • Pondini Level 8 (38,740 points)
    mdworker isn't just Spotlight, although Spotlight is it's main user.

    mds (MetaData Server) is the main process; it invokes mdworker to examine files for their metadata. It's also used by OSX for various purposes, such as examining a disk drive when it's first connected, to see what's on it and how to respond; and TM uses it as well; plus some anti-virus scanners use it.

    So it's hard to tell just what's using it and why it's eating up your CPU.

    You might be able to slow or stop it, temporarily, by turning Spotlight off, via System Preferences > Spotlight > Privacy. Select your hard drive (and any other external drives/partitions).

    Then take a look at your logs, via the Console app (in your Applications/Utilities folder). When it starts, click +Show Log List+ in the toolbar, then navigate in the sidebar that opens up to your system.log and click on it.

    It will start at the most recent entries; you can scroll up to see earlier ones.

    You're likely to find a whole series of one or more processes "failing" then things like "throttling respawn" over and over and over, and perhaps references to things like "spin dump". Try to find the process name, shown just before the +process id+ which is a number enclosed in square brackets.

    Or just copy a post a portion of the log here.
  • leoofborg Level 1 (10 points)
    I had this happen to me as well. There are at least 3 other posts like this one about mdworker. I solved my issue, here's how:

    Go to Activity Monitor, and double click on the mdworker process that's running at 100 - 130%. Killing it will do absolutely no good, because it's hanging on a file, and launchd will just re-launch it and it will re-hang in the same place.

    You should see an 'Open Files and Ports' tab, click on it.

    This will give you a list of files that mdworker is 'working on' -- In my case, mdworker was choking on the Xvid plugins in /Library/Quicktime/* -- they were entry #2 and 3 in the list.

    Removing these files and restarting totally fixed my mdworker hanging issue.

    This wasn't an issue in 10.5.6. sigh