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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Aug 07, 2011
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    Spinning beachball and reinstalling the system
    Hi all. I have a fairly cranky old iMac (black back, 3.06 Ghz) and I'm getting the ol' spinning beach ball with alarming regularity. I'm a designer so I often have Photoshop, Illustrator and Flash (CS5) all open at once and that seems to be the chief cause.

    A techy friend of mine told me that the best thing to do is a clean re-install of the system and progs. Is this correct? I have the key for CS5 and my system is backed up in its entirety via Time Machine, the main issue is that I'm running LION but only have the Leopard install disk.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated.

  2. #2

    louishen's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 22, 2007
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    Mac Mini Core i7 2012 | White 2009 MacBook 2 Ghz | 733 Mhz G4 Quicksilver
    How much RAM have you got. I have found that often when one program in the CS5 suite starts acting up it ends up beach-balling the other programs

    Also, how many fonts have you got open, I periodically purge my fonts and reactivate them when needed to stop font usage spiralling out of control
    Member of the Month September 2008 & August 2012 | Found advice useful? use the rep system

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Dec 11, 2010
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    With Lion, you have a hidden recovery partition from which to reinstall OS X. Hold Option key down after startup sound in order to see it as a startup choice.

    Reinstalling the OS to fix things is a common technique used by people handicapped by being "Windows Experts." You would need to do that if you intentionally removed random OS components. Or, if you've had a power outage that damaged your hard drive. In other words - in Very rare cases.

    Check how much hard drive free space you have. (Highlight drive - get Info) You need 10-15% of the drive available. OS X uses this extra space as "swap space" - temp space when moving things around in RAM memory. With those applications running, I'd guess OS X wants 25 GB min for this purpose.

    Repair your hard drive - start in the recovery partition, then use Disk Utility to repair the main partition.

    Let us know what you find out with these two steps.

  4. #4

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsahli View Post
    Reinstalling the OS to fix things is a common technique used by people handicapped by being "Windows Experts." You would need to do that if you intentionally removed random OS components. Or, if you've had a power outage that damaged your hard drive. In other words - in Very rare cases.
    Agreed, and just to add to gsahli's already excellent advice:

    OS X is not the same as Windows, which has a tendency to build up cruft in system directories and the registry, which will ultimately require periodic clean installs. This is a bad habit that people bring from Windows, it is usually (like, almost never) required for a Mac.

    Worst case scenario, you'd need to create a new user account and delete the old - but even that is probably not necessary in this case.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

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  5. #5


    Member Since
    Aug 07, 2011
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsahli View Post
    Check how much hard drive free space you have. (Highlight drive - get Info) You need 10-15% of the drive available. OS X uses this extra space as "swap space" - temp space when moving things around in RAM memory. With those applications running, I'd guess OS X wants 25 GB min for this purpose.

    Repair your hard drive - start in the recovery partition, then use Disk Utility to repair the main partition.

    Let us know what you find out with these two steps.
    I've had a 2gig drive put in and I'm only using just over half that. I only have the recommended amount of RAM installed though.

    How do I 'start in the recovery partition'? Will that erase any data?

  6. #6


    Member Since
    Dec 11, 2010
    Posts
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    OS X Lion: About Lion Recovery

    or:
    Quote Originally Posted by gsahli View Post
    With Lion, you have a hidden recovery partition from which to reinstall OS X. Hold Option key down after startup sound in order to see it as a startup choice.

  7. #7

    TattooedMac's Avatar
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    May 19, 2009
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    Waiting for a mate . . .
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    21" iMac 2.9Ghz 16GB RAM - 10.11.3, iPhone6s & iPad Air 2 - iOS 9.2.1, ATV 4Th Gen tvOS, ATV3
    I personally would be upping the RAM if you are using that sort of stuff.

    I would be repairing permissions or using something like Download MainMenu 1.7.4 Free to do a clean up of your system before a install.
    Dont forget to use the Reputation System if someone has helped you out !!!
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