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I am in Beachball Hell

Dec 19, 2018
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Update: changes since last post

I've made some forward progress here, long-term benefits unknown. Here's the checklist.

- I've reset the NVRAM and the SMC.
- I had an OS update downloaded but not applied - 10.14.4. I've applied it now.
- After applying that, I tried again to start in safe mode. No luck. The progress bar fills, but after 15 minutes it still hadn't started. Is it reasonable to wait longer than that?
- Since the update the MBA is running notably quieter! Only one beach ball in the past hour, and a very short-lived one. No fan.
- I went into Network/preferences and deleted all the Samsung connections. I'm assuming that's all Airdroid stuff - it will re-establish itself if so, next time my phone connects.
- I'm holding off on disabling Carbonite updates. I just don't want to risk not backing up.
- I've removed *everything* from my login items. It's empty.

In sum - things are notably better, but not completely solved. Fingers very much crossed!
Oct 16, 2010
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Brentwood Bay, BC, Canada
I'm about to flash some ignorance here: when you say

Basically what I was suggesting, was to see if booted from another cloned backup Drive would improve things.

Carbon Copy Cloner.app can create such a backup cloned Drive that you can boot from.

If you were to use your existing external Seagate Drive, you would need to partition it to make a volume large enough to hold your existing data plus a 20 to 40 GB surplus as a minimum, or erase the drive completely in order to clone using Carbon Copy Cloner.

If your existing Seagate backup Drive is already bootable, you could try using it. But I don't know what was used to create the backup so it may not be bootable.

Also, depending on your Macs, you may be able to use Target Disk Mode and use your proper working MacBook to boot from, but it may not be worth the hassle.
For directions and compatibility maybe check here:
What Is Target Disk Mode? How and When to Use It on Your Mac
Mac Target Disk Mode includes USB | The IvanExpert Mac Blog
or if needed:
can a macbook be used as a boot drive using target disk mode - Google Search

I can't remember if it was mentioned, but it won't hurt to use Disk Utility.app to do any possible repairs or first aid.

- Patrick


Well-known member
Staff member
Jan 23, 2008
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Keller, Texas
Your Mac's Specs
2017 27" iMac, 10.5" iPad Pro, iPhone 7+, iPhone 8, iPhone 11, Numerous iPods, Catalina
Thanks for including the kernel panic report, but next time please just copy it to the clipboard and then paste it direct. Most folks do not like to download an attached file.

Anyway, three things I noticed that are probably eating up memory (you only have 4GB) and causing slowdowns:

com.seagate.driver.PowSecLeafDriver_10_5 5.2.7
com.seagate.driver.PowSecDriverCore 5.2.7
com.malwarebytes.mbam.rtprotection 3.2.36

Get rid of those three and then see if your beach balling subsides.


Jun 12, 2011
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Melbourne, Australia and Ubud, Bali, Indonesia
Your Mac's Specs
2015 MacBook Pro Retina 13" macOSX 10.15.1
It's a reasonable assumption that over time and use any device will pick up detritus that is leftover from web sites, software updates, software that has been removed but not completely uninstalled, pref files, daemons, control panels and helper files/apps.
It is almost impossible with a busy machine like yours EternalNewbie for you to avoid some conflicts not withstanding all of the malicious software that is out there these days.

So, there are two distinct methods for handling this inevitable tangle;

Use a slow process of elimination to locate the worst offenders and either remove them or alter their behaviour. Some of this can be done as you have no doubt read by restarting in Safe Mode but it can be a bit difficult to do as you've discovered.
As an alternative to the Safe Mode method you could download and run Maintainence app from Titanium Software | Operating system utilities for Mac - Home This will perform most if not all of the tasks performed in Safe Mode but will not allow you the advantage of seeing how your device works without anything except core systems running. Maintainence is a smaller app than OnyX and performs all the tasks you will need. Just run the default script. Make sure you get the version for your macOS.

The second method of solving your issue is a "Nuke & Pave" method, essentially a Clean Instal it involves erasing your internal drive, installing a fresh copy of the Operating System then re loading all of your apps and data. As daunting as that may sound it's something we have all done and some do regularly.

Usually I do this at each new version of macOS. So I did an erase and Clean Instal when High Sierra was released and again when Mojave was released.
Last edited:
May 21, 2012
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13th state, U.S.A.
Your Mac's Specs
iPhone 11 iOS 13, 12.9" iPad Pro 1 iPadOS 13, Late 2014 Mac Mini macOS 10.15
If you can get into Recovery, you have the option to reinstall macOS. And if you do do that, it will not affect any of your files, however, it is always recommend to have a completely updated backup before you proceed, just in case.

Also, when you are attempting to boot into Safe mode, you don’t need to keep Shift held down, you only need to hold it until the progress bar appears.