4 Replies Latest reply: Jul 13, 2014 12:05 PM by John Galt
kk13610 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

Been a Windows user for decades and recently (September 2012) switched to a new Macbook Pro 15 inch (OSX 10.7) which began having serious stability issues after just a few months. Something to do with the Nvidia display adapter vs built-in which caused the Mac to panic regularly. The frequency was twice weekly turned into daily to hourly as time passed and in April 2014, exasperated with it, I got a replacement MBP Retina 15 with SSD (OSX 10.9.2).  This is a work laptop with limited IT support.


Everything worked well on the MBP Retina until last week (2 months) when it froze with the "color wheel of death" in the middle of an MS Word session. Hard reset it a dozen times, got stuck at the gray screen with Apple logo for hours (waited overnight once) but did not succeed. Finally after 24 hours of trying, it opened my desktop Finder and was able to back up most of my files into an external USB drive. Following a KB article on Apple support, I removed a few startup items (Login items) except Google drive which I need for my work. Ran a disk and permission verify using the disk-utility and found no errors. Checked activity monitor and found that the pesky "jamf" and "vShieldscanner" were taking 10-25% of the CPU, nothing major. I went ahead to restart it cleanly which shutdown the Mac but it froze again upon startup.


On the base OS install which contains McAfee Security 1.2.0, I'd installed on my own, Google drive, VZAccess Manager (Verizon broadband), Garmin GPS console. I removed these except Google drive.


I called Apple support (Mac is still under warranty) and they instructed me to restart in safe mode (Command-shift-V) and it proceeded to open the desktop but within a few minutes of opening it, the color wheel of death popped up again and everything froze. I tried a few more times and gave up. The only other option as per the Apple support person I called was to reinstall the OS from the Recovery HD but unfortunately, it needs a firmware password.  IT support at my company wouldn't share it with anyone and I'll have to take it to them.


I'm an Apple fan with several other iDevices but the experience with the Mac leaves me wondering if they are serious about the quality of Macs in the Enterprise. It has me wondering if Apple is spending a lot of time with making everything pretty, external case, gui etc. but neglecting OS and HW stability??

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (178,455 points)

    Uninstall the worse-than-useless McAfee product by following the instructions on whichever of the pages linked below is applicable:


    How to install or uninstall McAfee Internet Security for Mac

    How to manually remove VirusScan for Mac 8.6.x using a removal script

    How to uninstall and reinstall McAfee Agent 4.x on Macintosh computers

    As long as it's installed, the system is unmaintainable. If you have a different version of the product, the procedure may be different.


    Back up all data before making any changes.

  • kk13610 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)

    Thanks for the tip Linc, I'll try it and let you know what happens. It does start up in safe mode and it gives me control for a brief second or so and as soon as I open Finder or Activity Monitor, the beach ball starts to spin and everything is frozen again. I'll try the manual method via the terminal although I'm not sure if my IT will like that I removed an antivirus program. Just googling around, the Internet forums are full of complaints about Maverick and 10.9.2.


    @Apple, please take note and help if you want to maintain and grow your enterprise install base. As a relatively recent user of a Mac at a large enterprise, I can guarantee that companies tend to spread the "word", good or bad.

  • Linc Davis Level 10 Level 10 (178,455 points)

    I'd estimate that about 95% of the complaints about the stability of any OS X version arise from incompatible or defective third-party software that the complainer chose to install. McAfee is a perfect example.

  • John Galt Level 8 Level 8 (43,220 points)

    kk13610 wrote:


    I'm an Apple fan with several other iDevices but the experience with the Mac leaves me wondering if they are serious about the quality of Macs in the Enterprise.


    None of the Macs in either small or large scale corporate or educational deployments I've been involved with have experienced the problems you reported. Since migrating from Windows PCs to Macs and iPads, all their IT departments were eventually reduced by a minimum of 90% and in many cases 100%. None of them are running any client-side non-Apple "anti-virus" products.


    Apple is doing quite well in the enterprise as the people in charge of their IT purchases are increasingly those who grew up among iPhones, iPads, and Macs. If anyone is spreading "bad news" about Macs, it's formerly employed or soon to be formerly employed IT "experts". Apple's obstacles to enterprise deployments are diminishing as old guard Microsoft - certified "professionals" find other needs for their skills (whatever they are - Best Buy sales staff perhaps).


    One example of your IT staff's worthlessness is the fact you are running an OS X version two updates old. Another is the fact that you were permitted to install one of the worst examples of Mac "anti-virus" software. Perhaps this was intentional on their part since "McAfee Security" will cause your Mac to run poorly or not at all, supposedly requiring their intervention, the digital equivalent of Munchausen syndrome by proxy.


    Been a Windows user for decades ...

    Since you already made the wise decision to migrate from Microsoft Windows after wasting decades of time with it, I suggest you cut your ties to that unproductive past. You will find the learning curve to as worthwhile as it is brief. A number of better alternatives to MS Office are worth considering. Among them are Apple's Pages and Numbers, but there are other MS Office lookalikes that are free or nearly so, and don't carry Microsoft's characteristic bloat.

    Google Drive has been a problem also. I don't know if Google has fixed them but Google has yet to demonstrate the ability to write efficient OS X code for any of their Mac products. Use Google's products as you wish, but by doing so you must accept the detrimental effect on your Mac's performance, and you must forfeit an unknown amount of what you may consider private details of your personal life.


    Your IT department appears to be justifying their tenuous existence through their stubborn refusal to divulge a firmware passcode. They hold few other keys to their shrinking kingdom.