And it happened again just as I clicked on the "edit" button for the post above (and the site went off-line while I was typing an addendum).
This time the initial symptom was an unresponsive Firefox, and when I tried to launch Activity Monitor the menu and the CPU monitor showed up but the Activity Monitor window did not open and the menus were unresponsive when I tried to open it.
I next tried to quit Eudora from the Dock and the Dock froze, leaving me with a spinning beachball which I could drive around the screen with the mouse but with no additional functionality.
Here are the last few lines from the Console log prior to and including the restart:
8/5/12 6:18:09.549 AM com.apple.backupd: Backup completed successfully.
8/5/12 6:47:10.300 AM [0x0-0xc70c7].org.mozilla.thunderbird: Warning: unrecognized command line flag -foreground
8/5/12 6:49:17.216 AM firefox: -_scrollPhase is deprecated for NSScrollWheel. Please use -momentumPhase.
8/5/12 6:54:11.489 AM [0x0-0xcb0cb].org.mozilla.firefox: NOTE: child process received `Goodbye', closing down
8/5/12 6:57:58.865 AM com.apple.backupd: Starting standard backup
8/5/12 6:57:58.995 AM com.apple.backupd: Backing up to: /Volumes/Time Machine/Backups.backupdb
8/5/12 6:57:59.000 AM kernel: nspace-handler-set-snapshot-time: 1344175080
8/5/12 6:57:59.351 AM com.apple.backupd: 2.85 GB required (including padding), 208.95 GB available
8/5/12 7:07:09.000 AM bootlog: BOOT_TIME 1344175629 0
I just noticed that the issue showed up immediately before the beginning of the Time Machine backup started.
I have competely disabled the The Time Machine backups and was still getting freezing on my particular Mac. That can be an issue that can causes freezes, yes, but I suspect there are other issues at play too.
As for me, I am selling my 2011 MacAir off for parts tomorrow (I don't feel I can put it on Ebay or Craigslist while knowing the next user is going to get freezes and probably hassle me that I sold them a bad unit or something). For now, regrettably, I am exiting the OS X venue and getting one of the Samsung Series 3 Air knock-offs. Gritting my teeth and going back over to the Windows side of things for awhile, but I cannot afford to upgrade to a higher spec of Mac at this time. (I still am an IOS guy though and will happily use my iPhone 4, which has been great.)
Best of luck to those of you who are getting the freezes on your Airs! I am more than a little frustrated and disappointed it did not work out for me this time around as I have always been happy with my other Mac computers (PowerMac G4, MacMini, MacAir 2010 11" model). Oh well, one day I'll be back to the Mac - I love them too much to stay away forever!
New data - After a discussion with an Apple tech, I was asked to not perform a hard reset when the spinning beachball appeared but to wait it out and see if it recovered on its own. This was the result:
Last night I shut down all applications, plugged in my BlackBerry to charge, used a hot corner to blank the screen and walked away.
This morning I hit the space bar to turn on the display, entered my password, got a normal desktop view, checked the Dock to make sure that nothing was running and launched Console. Console opened, Dock froze, spinning beachball appeared (and continued to spin for 30 min). It was responsive to the mouse and the touchpad but otherwise dead. Hot corners were not being detected. I heard the external hard drive spin down so perhaps that indicated that Time Machine finished.
After 30 min the ball stopped spinning and I had control of Console but the Dock did not pop up. When I tried to minimize the window it would not (though the icon dimmed; when I clicked on the Maximize button I got the spinning ball briefly. For a time neither one (maximize or minimize) had any effect. Spotlight was available. I could not Hide Console but all of the menus seemed to be available. When I tried to Hide Console the screen did not change but the Finder menu showed up; after 5 min the Console window minimized (so it seemed to just be REALLY REALLY slow) and the Dock was again available. Activity Monitor opened and everything looked normal.
After having occasionally checked to see if the MBA had gone South during the morning (it did not, at least not that I detected)- While it was asleep I hit the space bar to wake it up and ------ nothing. After probably 10 min total time the password box popped up. Console was still running and showed no misbehavior; Activity Monitor was still running and showed nothing strange. The Console log seemed so show that Sophos was updating while Finder was unavailable this morning (about 40 min duration between 0658-0738)).
Later while I was typing an email in Eudora I got the spinning ball. The Dock would open for me but I elected not to launch anything and just monitor system behavior. The Hot Corners all worked for about two minutes and then quit, at which point the Dock stopped responding. The CPU monitor was showing but did not show any changes (which I interpreted as a frozen display). The clock was not incrementing. Time Machine did not seem to be running (I could not hear any head motion on the external drive and there was no Time Machine clock motion).
Sometime while I was away, it fixed itself.
Later, with no applications running I launched Firefox from the Dock and got a bouncing icon but no launch. Eventually (after about a minute) the Dock froze and I tried to open a new Finder window, at which point I got the spinning beachball.
Soon after this I really had to use the machine so I did a hard reset, but this seems to show that the spinning beachball is not necessarily an indication of a terminal condition and perhaps just an indication that the OS is not getting many cycles.
I have a 2012 MBA and have tried all the tips above plus upgraded to mountain lion to see of I could resolve the issue. My mac freezes using ms office, safari, mouse pad, etc. At this point I am using my iPad to contact the support forum because I am about to lose 2 hours of work if I hard reboot.
I've had a couple genius bar appointments and called apple care,I have done what they recommended but still hanging.
I'm the first time Mac User after 20 years of PCs now what do I do?
I think this issue is finally fixed on my MBA.
After a number of weeks and a number of call to Apple the persistent spinning ball is no longer showing up.
After some preliminary diagnostics to assure us that it was not a hardware issue, the solution that seems to have worked was to reinstall Lion and NOT USE MIGRATION ASSISTANT. This required reinstalling all third party applications from scratch and dragging all of my visible User folders (Documents, Desktop, PIctures, Movies, Downloads, etc) from Time Machine. The theory was that there was an incompatible plist or prefs file that was at the root of the problem (because the orininal migration had been from a Snow Leopard configuration) but we didn't know which one(s).
In the process, a number of permissions (ACLs) were messed up and it took a few days to find somebody who knew how to get them all aligned properly (not sure they are actually ALL correct yet).
I can report that from my MacAir 11" 2011 experience that I did multiple fresh installs of Lion and ML (without Migration Assistant in the mix at all) and still had freeze ups, a few within minutes of having booted up a completely fresh reinstallation. Hardware checked out fine, still not sure what the heck the issue was other than my theory of having only 2 gigs of RAM and that not being enough to do stuff.
A follow-up to this thread...
My Dell desktop went belly up this past week and so I scraped together a few $$$ and got the lastest Mac Mini to replace it. Just ordered the baseline model, but grabbed some cheap 3rd party RAM to upgrade it to 8 gigs. And here's the fascinating thing to me: so far it runs like a dream. It's been great, even running all the software and such that my Macbook Air just couldn't handle....
My theory about more RAM for Lion and Mountain Lion is gaining more validity in my mind. I have been monitoring the RAM usage on this thing and with 8 gigs of RAM installed, I usually have half or a little more than half of it used up, even if I am not running a ton of programs.
From here on out, I am preaching it to everyone I meet: if you are going with Lion or Mountain Lion - load up on the RAM. The 2 gigs on my Air was laughable and even 4 gigs I think would have struggled. You gotta be running at least 6 gigs or more to get any kind of decent L or ML experience. Just a hunch, for what it's worth.
Its can be about RAM.
I have MBA with i7 and 8GB ram.
I get those freezes all the time. Its quite random when it happens. Sometimes Im just typing of a forum, other time Im trying to "drag" something from one folder in finder to another.
I did read some previouse responses and I dont think any solution would work for me.
I have not imported nothing with time machine or anything. I dont use my MBA heavy. And I get those freezes out of nowhere all the time.
No "spinning ball", it just freezes.
Apple, please, fix it!!!