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  1. #1

    Member Since
    Feb 04, 2012
    Hanging and beachballs and lots of outgoing data

    Despite having used a Macbook for many years, this is my first appearance on this forum so please be gentle. If this is a RTFM question then please say so politely. I'm honestly not sure if this is a hardware or OS problem. My Macbook Pro (Snow Leopard, 2Gb RAM, Intel Core Duo 2GHz), which is around 3 years old, has in recent months got slower and slower, and the Beach Ball of Death (BBOD) is increasingly appearing. In particular, during Firefox use. Sometimes when I'm doing something as simple as scrolling down a page I'll get a 10-second BBOD. Often it'll crash FF altogether, usually if a Flash Player and maybe Facebook and Gmail (with all its Ajax activity) are running. However, the BBOD also appears in other applications when no browser is running.

    I've got Activity Monitor always active, but even when there's plenty of spare RAM and CPU I get the BBOD. Interestingly, perhaps worringly, I've got scads of outgoing data - perhaps a third of incoming data, and I'm blown if I know what's generating this as I'm not doing any uploading or running grid applications or similar.

    I've got Onyx and use it to clean up caches and permissions. I've run permissions repair in Disk Utility. I know I should get more RAM, even though I usually don't use it all, but the DIMMs I got from a dealer won't work with my existing DIMMs (don't ask - long story, and I've been through all DIMM permutations, honestly).

    I don't want to reinstall the OS as it's awful time-consuming and may not solve the problem(s). What I'd like to do is diagnose the performance problems. On a Windoze PC I'd use one of many diagnostic progs (SiSoft Sandra, for instance) to examine proc and RAM usage, and network traffic, but all I can find on the Mac are Activity Monitor (which is pretty good) and Console (which messages only have meaning for Mac developers).

    So, after that long preamble, my questions are:

    1. What might be causing treacly performance and the increasingly frequent appearance of the BBOD?
    2. What's sending out so much data from my machine, and where's it going?

    I did have a Google for performance problems, and came across a good article on troubleshooting the beach ball, but I've already carried out all the activities that it suggests. I wasn't sure what search terms to use on these fora.

    TIA for any suggestions/tips.


  2. #2

    harryb2448's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 28, 2007
    Nambucca Heads Australia
    iMac, i7 4GHz, 32GB memory, 1TB PCI-e storgae StOS X.13.3
    G'day and welcome to the forums.

    Two questions ~ how full is the hard drive as it requires a minimum of 15% free space to work anywhere near premium, and do you use the latest Onyx version to run Daily, Weekly etc Maintenance chores?
    Hang on to those original install discs like grim death! Using OS X.7 or later make a bootable USB thumb drive before running Installer!

  3. #3

    Member Since
    Feb 04, 2012
    G'day yourself, mate, and thanks for the reply. In reply to your Qs:

    1. The HD's 160Gb of which 100Gb is used.
    2. I've not set Onyx for automatic maintenance - I run cleaning and permissions maintenance every now and then.

    I downloaded the latest Onyx for Snow Leopard yesterday, and it advised me that the HD needed repairing, so I did that with Disk Utility. I've only just logged on today and haven't had the BBOD yet, but it often appears an hour or two into a session. If this were a PC I'd be thinking that RAM's getting fragmented, but I don't know much about the internals of OS/X and its 'garbage collection'.

    We're freezing our buns off up here - I expect you're all sweltering down in Oz )



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