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OS X - Operating System General OS operation information and support

Rainbow wheels spins every 5 or so minutes


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rachinc

 
Member Since: Jan 20, 2012
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The rainbow wheel on my computer spins every 5 or so minutes. When it spins, it spins for a few seconds too long: to the point where it's very frustrated because I have to wait for it to go away so I can continue typing my emails. I’m not running many programs when this happens. I’ve had this computer for quite a while and it just started doing this within the past 2-3 weeks.

I’ve looked into some of the reasons this may be happening:

• One could be that the program you are trying to open is requiring more RAM than your system has available
o The only programs I’m really running on this computer lately are Final Cut Pro, Mail,
Microsoft Word 2004 and Safari. Even without FCP it’s still giving me these issues

• If your Mac is old and you are trying to run multiple new applications, these can take up a lot of RAM.
o I don’t think my computer is THAT old. Maybe 2009? It’s one of those iMacs with a
J-looking stand. It’s this one but with a larger display:
http://media02.hongkiat.com/macicons/maoos.jpg

• You could upgrade your RAM
o I called Apple and asked to do that. They had me read some specs on the computer
and determined that I already have 4gb of ram in the computer which is the maximum
amount

• I’ve run disk warrior several times, I’ve ran Disk utility several times, I’ve even cleared out 100gb worth of space in my computer. (The hard drive now says 226gb available). None of these things have helped.

• I’m running Snow Leopard 10.6.8

• Everyone is saying okay time to wipe the computer. I’d like to avoid doing that.

What else can I try on my mac that might fix this problem? Please help!
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dekan

 
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When you say that you ran disk utility - did you repair and verify the disk permissions? My iMac here at work is a year older than yours, also with 4GB RAM and it's doing fine in Lion. When running a bunch of Adobe CS5 apps at the same time I see slowdowns and the spinning beach ball, but it's still pretty fast otherwise.

Something else to check: Open Activity Monitor (Applications -> Utilities) and see if and how much RAM is available when your Mac is running slow. The list of apps will also show you which one is hogging all the RAM.

Hope that helps!

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rachinc

 
Member Since: Jan 20, 2012
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dekan View Post
When you say that you ran disk utility - did you repair and verify the disk permissions? My iMac here at work is a year older than yours, also with 4GB RAM and it's doing fine in Lion. When running a bunch of Adobe CS5 apps at the same time I see slowdowns and the spinning beach ball, but it's still pretty fast otherwise.

Something else to check: Open Activity Monitor (Applications -> Utilities) and see if and how much RAM is available when your Mac is running slow. The list of apps will also show you which one is hogging all the RAM.

Hope that helps!
Yes, I've ran Verify Disk Permissions and Repair Disk Permissions. I've done it several times in the past 1-2 weeks. It seems to produce the same issues every time. I looked up some of the issues (like ACL i think?) and Mac says it has to do with permissions and it's not something to be concerned about. Mac OS X: Disk Utility's Repair Disk Permissions messages that you can safely ignore

I've opened Activity Monitor. How can I tell which one is running the most RAM? Would that be the PID category? or the %CPU category of the Real Mem category?
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chas_m

 
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Sounds to me like the hard drive is hitting a bad sector or starting to fail.

Try cloning your entire drive to an external drive using SuperDuper or Carbon Copy Cloner (free to try) and then boot from the clone drive. Does the problem go away?
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