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adamhauck Level 1 (0 points)

Ever since I upgraded to Lion on my Macbook Pro I am getting intermittant periods where the MDS and MDWORKER processes completely take over the CPU and all apparent activity for minutes at a time. It's now been a week, so I'm quite sure Spotlight is done indexing the drive. What are my options?


Screen Shot 2011-07-27 at 4.53.15 PM.png

MacBook Pro 15" (early 2009), Mac OS X (10.7), 2.8GHz Core 2, 8GB RAM, 500GB HD
  • Linda Custer Level 2 (330 points)

    I'm having the same problem you are, and I'm exploring options.


    First I noticed that Backblaze (backup service) was causing the problem, but I fixed that by including the /library/backblaze folder in Spotlight's privacy area. The complete lockup that was causing is now no longer a problem.


    However, I'm noticing that most of the cycles are going to indexing my Time Machine backups, which Spotlight will not allow in the privacy area. It looks like it's indexing many of my old mailbox files from that are backed up on the Time Machine (Time Capsule) disk. I really don't see the logic to this. I've had the computer on and idling with full access to Time Machine for many days now and this is still going on, with MacBook Pro fans running at full gun and CPU not quite maxing out, but frolicking between 5% and 65% or so on a regular basis with no other apps present. Activity monitor doesn't show anything else hogging cycles -- it's all mds and mdworker.


    Something isn't right with this. I hope that the next update from Apple will fix this, or someone on the intertubes will come up with a quick solution.


    All the above is on a MacBook Pro (late 2008). I do note that I have a MacBook Air (late 2010) that backs up to the same Time Machine but does NOT have Backblaze installed. (I put everything important on the MacBook Pro.) This machine does not seem to have these problems. Both computers are running Lion and have much of the same software. Backups are doing fine on both machines.


    My temporary solution is to turn OFF Time Machine on the MacBook Pro. This does seem to make things much better -- although even at 5% CPU use the fan runs somewhat higher revs than I was used to with Snow Leopard. I then run a manual Time Machine cycle just before I turn in for the night. When I'm back to using the machine again, I make sure the Time Capsule is not mounted. I'm backing up any working files continually to Backblaze still, as well as to Dropbox, so cutting the Time Machine frequency down to once or twice a day is not too bad for now. I do not want this to continue, however.


    Also, I have done the following: Repaired disk permissions, reset the SMC and PRAM, and started the computer up in safe mode fully, and then restarted in regular mode.


    If anyone has any possible fixes, I'm listening and thanks!

  • adamhauck Level 1 (0 points)

    Sounds to me like we're gonna have to just sit on our hands and wait. I'm not now, nor have I ever run backblaze, so you ought to be able to rule that out. Your suspicions RE: Time Machine sound pretty on the money.

  • melwin Level 1 (0 points)

    same problem, hey apple whats up there?


    a lot of mdworker and mds processes and full network traffic.... i have a time capsule too

  • melwin Level 1 (0 points)

    now i found this, and it works fine for me:


    "I decided to exclude /Volumes/TimeCapsule from Spotlight (System Preferences -> Spotlight -> Privacy). And within a matter of seconds mds dropped from close to 100% CPU usage to  about 10%. Now, 20 minutes later, it’s steady at 0,00% which is the way it should be."

  • adamhauck Level 1 (0 points)

    This approach appears to work for me as well. And I guess there really isn't any downside to not indexing the time capsule.

  • Linda Custer Level 2 (330 points)

    How did you do that, as under certain circumstances I receive a dialog box that I cannot exclude the TC from Spotlight indexing.

  • Peter Brooks5 Level 1 (35 points)

    Open Spotlight Preferences. Tab Privacy. Click on +.     In the File dialogue, Select Shared/All/My Time Capsule/My Time Capsule. This mounts the TC volume and blocks Spotlight.  Worked for me. Major reduction in CPU usage.

  • ealtson Level 1 (0 points)

    Reference here for more info and a possible workaround:


    Lion mdworker and mdworker32 draining battery

  • Ponkie Level 1 (0 points)

    I had never heard of 'mdworker' since last night, and i shouldn't have ever heard of it ! But what i hear is that it (the problem) started with "Lion" and that's true for me. It was slowing down 'Aperture' enormously.

    I don't use 'SpotLight' that often, but if i did, it's 'supporting' programs shouldn't slow down my 'primary' programs !

    The same goes for "TimeMachine" ! I'm copying or importing from an external (in this case USB) disc to my iMac and at the same time TimeMachine is making a backup. Can't that wait ? Can't the mdworker wait ?




  • CordovaBay Level 1 (0 points)

    I agree with you.


    Spotlight just isn't ready for primetime. I had to set the privacy setting to save my mind for exploding -- the cpu cycles that constantly were used plus the fan noise while it was doing it. Now I don't have any search capability and worst of all I can't find anything in my mail folders. With Snow Leopard I used that feature hourly. I have 20,000 messages in my inbox alone.


    Now It tells me I have to create a new Time Machine backup. Gone is my backup option for files I have been using over the past week in Lion. Secruity is killed!!


    Plus the other problems, sluggish applications, taking forever to load programs (the bouncing icon), the fan noise, the ****** battery life, the heat, applications not working as they should - today I had to cancel iChat conference because my mic would stop working after a few minutes and that's using snow Leopard Server as the host. Worst of all in that case all of the other attendees were running Snow Leopard and laughing at me. They are not going to upgrade to Lion any time soon.


    The loss of Rosetta is a pain. The poor network reaction to "wake from sleep" is pathetic.


    The number and serverity of problems just leaves me in a shocked state. If I could o back to Snow Leopared I would in a heartbeat. However, I can't do that easily - thanks again Apple - and Time Machine has not even begun to create a new backup although it's been running for over 30 minutes.


    Bad update! Warn your firends, co-worker and all to stay away until (if) Apple makes this a releasable OS upgrade. It might come to me losing all of my recent work and emails just to make the move back to Snow Leopard.


    I though Lion Server was many steps backward so luckily I didn't touch any of our Snow Leopard servers. That would have been catastrophic.

  • CordovaBay Level 1 (0 points)

    Two disasters... Spotlight is a complete disaster and whether it is enabled or not, the battery is 1/2 of the Snow Leopard life. It's terrible that Spotlight is running all the time (even a week after the upgrade) but to do it while using the battery is not just senseless it's got to be a huge deisgn flaw.

  • Dino Ilarde Level 2 (335 points)

    I've been having the same problems with mdworker.  The difference in my case is, I don't use Time Capsule.  Lion's been on my MacBook Pro for a couple of weeks now and should be beyond done indexing the five external hard drives connected to the laptop.  In fact, I leave my computer on all night, every night, so why should it continue whatever it's doing in the middle of the day while I'm in the middle of a bunch of tasks?

  • pendolino Level 1 (10 points)

    i was reading these forums and decided and noticed that some process starting with 'bz' was running. i recall reading somewhere that backblaze could be at fault and realized that, while i'd disabled backblaze i had not actually uninstalled it as i wasn't sure if i still wanted to use their service after the trial.


    well all i did was use their uninstaller (from ->  The uninstaller is found in /Library/Backblaze/ and with 2 seconds the CPU churn disappeared including mds and mdworker!


    this was the quickest fix i've seen in a long time. thought it could help others.

  • Tony T1 Level 6 (9,005 points)

    adamhauck wrote:


    Ever since I upgraded to Lion on my Macbook Pro I am getting intermittant periods where the MDS and MDWORKER processes completely take over the CPU and all apparent activity for minutes at a time. It's now been a week, so I'm quite sure Spotlight is done indexing the drive. What are my options?


    Open Console and see what mds says it's doing.   mds was indexing Time Machine on my Mac for a long time, but then it finally finished

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