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Random freezing from Snow Leopard - total lock-up for about 30 seconds

196317 Views 525 Replies Latest reply: Nov 3, 2010 9:22 AM by @martinlabelle RSS
  • LeKnober Calculating status...
    Hi all. While I think its nice of the poster above to offer help, I would avoid it. Anyone who says this:

    "Required a small hack and a updated Airport kext file and its awesome (i love speed):"

    Is pretty much asking for trouble. You should not ever be modifying the OS for any reason. I was a software engineer at Apple for many year and have been using a Mac for over 20 years. My problem ended up being hardware. Some of the other major causes are old plugins, corrupted preferences and PRAM, and bad cache files. Since there are multiple reasons for the spinning beach balls, there is no one magic solution. You just need to go through and eliminate the possibilities one by one.

    The easiest thing to try right away is to boot from an external HD. If that solves your problem then you know its hardware. After that try a fresh OS install on a completely erased volume without moving any files over. If that solves your problem then you know its some stale software.
    Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • thobie Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I don't understand how the OS X 10.6 can be so slow with 2Gb of memory. In a normal Safari use with several tabs, when the OS has paged reserved whole memory, using about half of it, running out the free memory starts ruff paging/swapping with high IO / beachball with slowed down OS.

    If I disable the paging by a hack, the OS performs much much faster till the memory is fully used (but ofcourse when full 2Gb are used (example several big photos) the kernel panics / stalls / whateva).

    4Gb memory and SSD are able to help this, but 2gb memory shouldn't perform this bad as it is nowdays under OS X. If this continues there's time that 4Gb isn't enough...
    MacBook (Late2007) & MacMini (Late2009), Mac OS X (10.6.1)
  • z1ross Calculating status...
    Ok LeKnober,
    There is a know, Highly visible issue that apple hasn't released a updated firmware to allow 17" 2.4Ghz Santa Rosa MBP (version 3,1) with 4gb memory to run easily in 64bit kernel mode. There are two files to mode and change to allow native 64bit mode to run properly on this specific model. Which Apple still hasn't released the firmware update but promised full 64bit mode with this unit when it was released. The mod only involves 1 file, but the second airport kext file is needed in order for the driver for the wireless run in 64bit mode.

    I could say lots of things in response! I don't do anything that is undocumented and I like to generally help people. I love using macs, and yea I like my computers to run fast, clean, and STABLE!! Is there anything wrong with that?? Running in 64bit kernel mode full time I've seen a 10% increase in speed over all, Also better memory management. All the Developers I've contacted in ask them to upgrade their software to 64bit have done so and enjoyed most of the feed back I've provided.

    I work for a multi national company and provide support to our mac users on a volunteer basis company wide as our own IT department it stuck in the world of windows. My job is working with unix machines and software all day long, I'm not the best in the field, but I'm good, and It really has helped me get a greater understanding of OS x.

    -Bill
    Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • HarryO5353 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    "I could say lots of things in response! I don't do anything that is undocumented and I like to generally help people. I love using macs, and yea I like my computers to run fast, clean, and STABLE!! Is there anything wrong with that?? Running in 64bit kernel mode full time I've seen a 10% increase in speed over all, Also better memory management. All the Developers I've contacted in ask them to upgrade their software to 64bit have done so and enjoyed most of the feed back I've provided."

    Where ya been? I've been running 64 bit since the first day Snow Leopard came out and was installed on my '07 iMac! Yes, it is a little more snappy, but not that is 'bowl 'em over' fast compared to 32 bit mode. First of all, an app has to be able to run 64 bit in order to gain anything. Now, most of the new stuff is, however, when SL was first released, the only stuff that took advantage of 64 bit was Apple's own programs.

    Harry
    iMac 7,1 4gb RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • LeKnober Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Let's not get off topic here. The point is that 32 or 64 bit is not going to solve the spinning beach ball problem and has nothing to do with it. That's just causing more confusion for those searching for a solution.
    Mac OS X (10.5.8)
  • HarryO5353 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I agree....modes are kind of distracting.

    I have not had the usual freeze in 2 days. I consider this to be notable. The only thing I did was to replace the Gala release of Flash with a standard pre-release Flash plug-in. Not the release, a beta. That's the only different thing about the computer since the last freeze. No numerous freezes, not even one!

    I still have to attribute the problems, with my system, on the Flash plug-in. I've got to go to the Apple store on Friday for another matter, but have made an appointment with the Genius Bar anyway. I have a screen issue that I have to have dealt with. Just a frost on the inside of the glass...nothing affecting performance. If the freezing happens before then, I will raise that issue as well.
    iMac 7,1 4gb RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Macgruder Calculating status...
    Here's my experience which may help people narrow down the issue:


    I switched to a new hard-drive and the locking problem stopped. I'm not sure yet whether the issue is the hard-drive itself or the way the OS interacts with it.

    After swapping to the new hard-drive, I noticed that I still had the dreaded:

    INSERT-HANG-DETECTED

    but now it was limited to Safari (mainly) and a couple of other apps (NetNewsWire). But it seemed these were apps that use Web Kit.

    So I did this in the terminal, and got this output:

    18:17:43 $ lsof / | grep Safari
    launchd 411 30r REG 14,11 661254 6566285 /Users/foo/Library/Safari/Bookmarks.plist
    Mail 790 txt REG 14,11 346028 4587801 /Users/foo/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/EvernoteSafariClipperPlugin.webplugin/Contents/MacOS/EvernoteSafariCli pperPlugin
    Yojimbo 2425 txt REG 14,11 346028 4587801 /Users/foo/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/EvernoteSafariClipperPlugin.webplugin/Contents/MacOS/EvernoteSafariCli pperPlugin
    NetNewsWi 2469 txt REG 14,11 346028 4587801 /Users/foo/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/EvernoteSafariClipperPlugin.webplugin/Contents/MacOS/EvernoteSafariCli pperPlugin

    Note that the
    Users/foo/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/EvernoteSafariClipperPlugin.webplugin/Contents/MacOS/EvernoteSafariCli pperPlugin
    is shared between applications.

    So I cleaned out /Users/foo/Library/Internet Plug-Ins/ and INSERT-HANG-DETECTED seems to have gone away.

    Now I just need to work out why I get this all over the place!
    2010/5/13 2:39:15 AM [0x0-0x11f81f7].com.apple.iTunes[96145] Thu May 13 02:39:15 default.test iTunes[96145] <Error>: doClip: empty path.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.5.6), Early 2008
  • JohnFrink Calculating status...
    About two weeks ago I started having problems with the beach ball spinning on my MacBook and interfering with programs like Mail, Firefox, Safari, iTunes, and System Prefs, while other programs like Activity Monitor and MS Word ran OK. Sometimes booting wouldn't even get past my startup screen, but like many posters here, it always worked in Safe mode. The Apple Tech person suspected a kernel extension from an old Canon scanner driver that came over during migration (very convenient, but all your old crap comes along with the good stuff). When removing it didn't work, he suggested backing up with Time Machine, wiping the HD, and installing only my user files and reinstalling all the apps, etc., which I wanted to avoid.

    I did all the usual things suggested here and elsewhere, fixed permissions and volume structure with Disk Utility (which found a bad thread), checked with TechTool (everything OK), rebuilt the Spotlight database twice, reinstalled and updated Snow Leopard, zapped the PRAM and the SMU, and used Onyx to clean the caches, permissions, etc.

    Sometimes it worked for a while when normally booted up and I'd get my hopes up, but it would eventually relapse, especially when I ran the programs mentioned above. I noticed that the first thing to go would be the right finder menu which showed the beach ball when the cursor was on it, which made me suspect Spotlight or the audio system since both Spotlight and sound are disabled in Safe Mode. Another finding was that when the beach ball was spinning, the Activity Monitor showed almost no CPU activity- over 90% idle, suggesting that some things are frozen.

    I was getting my files ready for the backup and clean install when I found Snow Leopard Cache Cleaner (free demo for 30 days), which can remove Spotlight. Immediately, the computer worked fine. When I turned Spotlight back on, once its index was rebuilt, the beach ball returned. I used SLCC's "Rebuild Spotlight Metadata" command, which seemed to clean the files more deeply than the other methods, because Spotlight didn't start rebuilding them until after a restart, and mds and mdworker seemed a whole lot busier than previous times rebuilding the database.

    Since then (a full day), my MB is working fine even when I run all the usual suspects at once. My guess is that there was a corrupted metadata file that was slowing or stopping Spotlight and thereby messing up a bunch of programs that interact with it dynamically. I don't think this is the same thing as the people who have clicks and 30 second stalls, but it does resemble some of the posts here. I just sent the SLCC folks their $10.
    MacBook 2008 White, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Graffinius Calculating status...
    I'm having the exact same problems with my snow leopard. It freezes up for about 30 secs to a minute, almost every time I use Safari or Firefox, when I access Spotlight, and when I use Itunes. This never happened before I upgraded to snow leopard... Have you figured out a solution yet?
    MacBook Pro 2.66 15 Inch, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • HarryO5353 Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I followed the advice from AppleToolbox.com and downgraded to 10.6.2. The result was no more freezes. Apparently, something in the IOUSB module, if I got that right, may be causing it. Certain apps, including the Flash Player, may make it more prevalent.

    I am happy at this point, and eagerly awaiting the next OS update....10.6.4.
    iMac 7,1 4gb RAM, Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • lainey Calculating status...
    I also have had nothing but problems since installing SL. I did manage to get on line after opening up a second 'fix-it' account but still can't get email. I'm sorry I ever installed it as there is hardly any difference that I can see that would make it an improvement over Leopard. I'm so fed up watching that SBBOD!!!! I guess I'll have to spend some more money and bring it to the Apple store for repairs. What a mess!!
    iMac, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • Ted Whofar Calculating status...
    I finally fixed my issue with freezing. I simply turned off Spotlight. Not a problem for almost 2 weeks. Nothing else I tried worked.

    I'm not sure that my issue was the same as others, but I was also following this thread

    http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=2299513&start=0&tstart=0
    Mac Pro Xeon quad, Mac OS X (10.6.3), Server
  • jrychter Calculating status...
    Just for the record and in case anybody at Apple is paying attention (and they should):

    I'm getting those hang problems on a 2009 unibody MacBook Pro 2.66GHz, 4GB RAM. Extremely frustrating. Logs full of INSERT-HANG-DETECTED and QUERY-HANG-DETECTED. Tried using hdapm to turn off power saving on the hard drive, no result.

    I checked and I do have free memory available, so it isn't just the swapping activity that causes this.

    Deal with it, Apple. I didn't buy a MacBook Pro (and not the bottom of the line, too) to suffer 10-second hangs all over the place.
    Mac Pro, Mac OS X (10.6.3)
  • firman Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Hi,

    check my posts on this topic for background but I am rebuilding
    my late 2008 MacBook pro 2.53 15" from scratch.

    The thing that has made the most dramatic difference
    has been the disabling of Spotlight.

    I bought snow leopard cache cleaner which comes
    with very good detailed tech help. This has the commands in
    menu and dialog format to disable spotlight.

    There are plenty of other tuning options for OS X.

    I think this sort of tuning might be neccessary
    with the compounding migration of the file system
    via timemachine and the radical upgrade to 64 bit.

    However, it's not what we are used to with OS X.
    iMac 24" & Macbook, Mac OS X (10.5)
  • redpola Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    I think this is a red herring. Spotlight necessarily chews up some CPU time on new installs, to index things! Because it also is necessarily accessing disk during this operation, you will - definitely - see more beachballs / diskwait.

    Do the symptoms persist when you've let the index completely build and then used the machine normally?
    Aluminium MacBook, Early 2009, Mac OS X (10.6.2), Max user-installed RAM, 500GB user-installed HD.

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