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  1. #1
    I am in Beachball Hell
    (Reposting this because it seems to have failed. My apologies if there are suddenly two of them!)

    I'm on a 2014 Mac Air running Mojave 10.14.3. All my apps are up to date.

    For the last several months, I've been plagued with beachballs, on both native and non-native apps. Among them:

    Firefox
    Thunderbird
    Office 365
    Safari
    Photos
    Audacity

    Photos and Firefox are particularly nasty in their recovery time.

    I've noticed that an app doesn't have to be in use to start hanging. Example: Thunderbird stalled out, so I opened the Force Quit menu. As expected, Tbird said "not reponding". But right in front of my eyes, Airdroid turned to "not responding", too. Hadn't even touched it.

    I've run an EtreCheck, which I'm attaching. (What in the world are all those lines about Samsung in there??)

    Please speak slowly and use small words. Computers are not my strength! Many thanks.EtreCheck 5:10:19.doc

  2. #2
    I am in Beachball Hell
    pm-r's Avatar
    Member Since
    Oct 16, 2010
    Location
    Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
    Posts
    11,596
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    18
    When was the last time you actually completely shut down and then booted up again??


    - Patrick
    ======

  3. #3
    I am in Beachball Hell
    pigoo3's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 20, 2008
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    41,028
    Your Mac's Specs
    2011 17" MBP 2.2ghz, 16gig ram, OS 10.11.6
    Rep Power
    43
    Also, how full is the internal storage?

    - Nick
    - Too many "beachballs", read this: Beachballs
    - Computer seems slower than it used to? Read this for some slow computer tips: Speedup
    - Almost full hard drive? Some solutions. Out of Space
    - Apple Battery Info. Battery

  4. #4
    I am in Beachball Hell
    Rod's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
    Posts
    4,951
    Your Mac's Specs
    MacBook Pro Retina 13" macOSX 10.13.3 beta
    Rep Power
    14
    Well I would say to my untrained eye you have way to much going on for your system resources to handle. This is the primary reason for SPOD (Spinning Beachball Of Death) other than a shortage of empty storage which needs to be about 10% of your total storage or more.
    The Samsung network references I think are related to a network connection via a USB modem. Do you use a Samsung portable USB modem?
    You can see in the report what your primary problem is:

    Major Issues:
    Anything that appears on this list needs immediate attention.

    Time Machine backup out-of-date - The last Time Machine backup is over 10 days old.
    Kernel panics - This system has experienced kernel panics. This could be a sign of hardware failure.
    Stuck iCloud - This machine has a large number of pending iCloud transfers.
    Poor performance - EtreCheck report shows poor performance. This is unusual.
    Heavy CPU usage - Some processes are using an unusually high amount of CPU.
    Stuck iCloud is obviously a problem and processes using unusually high amounts of CPU resources.
    Try putting Activity Monitor on your Dock and running it when you get slow behaviour on the device. I notice Carbonite is using up a lot of CPU.
    Activity Monitor is a great little utility for seeing what's using up CPU, Memory (RAM) and network resources. You can quite processes directly from the Activity Monitor interface which makes it a handy diagnostic tool.
    Given that you only have 4Gb RAM I would also try to limit the number of helper background apps to a minimum. Things like Clean My Mac Helper are really just eye candy and use up valuable resources.
    If things like OneDrive and DropBox run in the background they will use up resources too.
    Try starting up your MBA in Safe Mode. See this article:
    How to boot a Mac in Safe Mode - Macworld UK
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by pm-r View Post
    When was the last time you actually completely shut down and then booted up again??


    - Patrick
    ======
    Three times today, so - about every three hours.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Of 250 gb, I have 63 available. That's adequate for normal usage, yes?

  6. #6
    Well I would say to my untrained eye you have way to much going on for your system resources to handle. This is the primary reason for SPOD (Spinning Beachball Of Death) other than a shortage of empty storage which needs to be about 10% of your total storage or more.

    I think my storage looks okay.


    The Samsung network references I think are related to a network connection via a USB modem. Do you use a Samsung portable USB modem?

    No, it's a Netgear. My phone is a Samsung - maybe those are the footprints of my Airdroid phone-to-Mac connections?


    You can see in the report what your primary problem is:

    Time Machine backup out-of-date - The last Time Machine backup is over 10 days old.


    Yeah, I need to turn that reminder off �� - I use Carbonite, which backs up all the time by itself.

    Kernel panics - This system has experienced kernel panics. This could be a sign of hardware failure.

    That's grim. Presumably we should knock everything else off the list before I haul this to the genius bar, though?

    Stuck iCloud - This machine has a large number of pending iCloud transfers.

    I'm sorry, I'm a bit unclear on what that means - transfers to, or from, this laptop? What would stop the flow, and is there any way to troubleshoot it?

    Heavy CPU usage - Some processes are using an unusually high amount of CPU.


    This is the one thing that I recognize from before all the problems started: Firefox has always been a devil, eating us CPU and memory. Before everything else became a problem, I'd close firefox, let the fan calm down, then restart it. Now of course that won't do the trick.

    Stuck iCloud is obviously a problem and processes using unusually high amounts of CPU resources.

    Okay, I'm going to dig into the whole Stuck iCloud thing, and look up some solutions.

    Try putting Activity Monitor on your Dock and running it when you get slow behaviour on the device.

    This one I have done, and should have put that in my original notes. In addition to Firefox usually being a pig, whatever's beachballing at the moment eats CPU and jumps to the top of the list. When it gets unstuck the number drops.

    I notice Carbonite is using up a lot of CPU.

    I'd like to find out if that's a necessary evil with the automated backups. Presumably I'd ask Carbonite about that?

    Given that you only have 4Gb RAM I would also try to limit the number of helper background apps to a minimum. Things like Clean My Mac Helper are really just eye candy and use up valuable resources.
    If things like OneDrive and DropBox run in the background they will use up resources too.


    All good advice, thank you. I don't think any of those are constantly running, but I'll check.

    The most mysterious thing to me is that my usage habits haven't changed at all - quite literally for years. No new apps, habits, job changes that would shift the length or complexity of my usage. Everything used to work, and now it doesn't. In fact, the computer's frozen twice while I've written this.

    Try starting up your MBA in Safe Mode.

    Good idea - should've thought of that. I'll report back.

    Thank you for that extensive input!

  7. #7
    I am in Beachball Hell
    chscag's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 23, 2008
    Location
    Keller, Texas
    Posts
    58,053
    Your Mac's Specs
    2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, Numerous iPods, Mojave
    Rep Power
    53
    Just to add on here.....

    Carbonite will definitely eat up memory as it runs continuously backing up your data. That also consumes those input/output cycles.

    Another thing you might want to do is boot your MBA to recovery mode and run a Disk Utility check on the SSD to see if it comes up with any errors. As Rod pointed out, you've got a lot going on so the slowness and kernel panics may be due to software clashes, low memory, or even hardware.

    The next time you receive a kernel panic, go into your logs and copy the kernel panic report to the clipboard and then paste it to a reply here.

  8. #8
    Another thing you might want to do is boot your MBA to recovery mode and run a Disk Utility check on the SSD to see if it comes up with any errors. As Rod pointed out, you've got a lot going on so the slowness and kernel panics may be due to software clashes, low memory, or even hardware.

    Okay, have done! And thank you for the suggestion. Came up nice and clean, no errors.

    And I'll post the next kernel panic data. Unfortunately, I'm sure I won't have to wait long for the chance!

  9. #9
    Okay, I've now tried repeatedly to start it in Safe Mode. No go. The progress bar takes forever to creep all the way to the right, then it won't boot. It just sits there while I keep the Shift key pressed.

    I poked around the internet for wisdom on this. The only advice I've found is to disconnect all peripherals - I don't have any plugged in - and to turn off my firmware password, which I never set. (I have a logon password and a master password, neither of which apparently is a firmware password. I started up in recovery mode and checked the utilities menu to be sure - no password set.)

    Any ideas how I can get this thing to boot in safe mode?

  10. #10
    I am in Beachball Hell
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    6,001
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Rep Power
    26
    Yes, patience. Safe Boot is very, very slow to get to done.
    Jake

  11. #11
    I am in Beachball Hell
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    6,001
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Rep Power
    26
    Get rid of CleanMyMac. Don't need it, takes up a lot of resources.
    Jake

  12. #12
    I am in Beachball Hell
    Randy B. Singer's Avatar
    Member Since
    Feb 01, 2011
    Location
    Sacramento, California
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    1,560
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    Quote Originally Posted by EternalNewbie View Post

    For the last several months, I've been plagued with beachballs...
    I have created an entire Web site devoted to troubleshooting this problem!

    Macintosh Beachballs!
    Macintosh OS X Beachballs!

    You might also want to have a look at:

    Macintosh Slowdown Solutions
    Macintosh OS X Slowdown Solutions
    Randy B. Singer
    Co-author of The Macintosh Bible (4th, 5th, and 6th editions)
    Mac OS X Routine Maintenance http://www.macattorney.com/ts.html

  13. #13
    I am in Beachball Hell
    Rod's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
    Posts
    4,951
    Your Mac's Specs
    MacBook Pro Retina 13" macOSX 10.13.3 beta
    Rep Power
    14
    Quote Originally Posted by MacInWin View Post
    Get rid of CleanMyMac. Don't need it, takes up a lot of resources.
    Jake CMM doesn't use any resources except when you launch it, on the other hand it's "helper" app runs all the time and as I stated in Post#4 it can/should be disabled.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  14. #14
    I am in Beachball Hell
    MacInWin's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 01, 2009
    Location
    Winchester, VA
    Posts
    6,001
    Your Mac's Specs
    MBP 15" Mid 2015, iPhone XS, an iMac, plus ATVs, AWatch, MacMini
    Rep Power
    26
    And that is what I meant to suggest, Rod. That, and Malwarebytes, don't need to be resident and running all the time. And frankly, the 90+ interfaces seems excessive, but should not induce beachballs.
    Jake

  15. #15
    I am in Beachball Hell
    Rod's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jun 12, 2011
    Location
    Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
    Posts
    4,951
    Your Mac's Specs
    MacBook Pro Retina 13" macOSX 10.13.3 beta
    Rep Power
    14
    Yep, and I forgot to mention the Malwarebytes "Helper" too.
    EternalNewbie, you might like to check System Preferences > Users & Groups > Login Items. I'll bet there are a few "extras" that could be disposed of. All of their functions can be run manually by launching the corresponding apps but having then run all the time can be a real drain. Things like dropbox and CleanMyMac X Menu all can be disposed of with the minus button at the bottom of the window.
    I also quit OneDrive when I'm not actually uploading and I imagine you could do the same with Carbonite.
    As for the iCloud pending operations, check the iCloud settings in System Preferences. Assuming you have enough storage it should just work. Check what you are storing and syncing and if necessary log out then back in. That usually gets it going again.
    Do you have Photo Library, iCloud Drive, Mail, Contacts, Calendars, Reminders etc, etc all switched on? It could be any one of them or just a logjam.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

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