123Macmini.com
FAQFAQ   SearchSearch   MemberlistMemberlist   GalleryPhoto Gallery   RegisterRegister   ProfileProfile   Log in to check your private messagesLog in to check your private messages   Log inLog in 

Spinning Beach-Ball but I'm not on vacation...

 
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> Mac Mini Troubleshooting
View previous topic :: View next topic  
Author Message
Walt449
New Member
New Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:40 am    Post subject: Spinning Beach-Ball but I'm not on vacation... Reply with quote

Hi folks! I love my MINImac however if I don't find a solution to the immense lagging that occurs in this machine, I'm moving back to a PC. In fact, I am using a several generations older PC Thinkpad to write this post as MINImac (as I named it), you guessed it, lags intermittently and without warning.

Heard & read so many positive reviews on Mac's & already having monitors, keyboards, etc (I use the aluminum Apple keyboard on my PC it's THAT good along with the Apple Touchpad) the transition was easy. So imagine jumping on the Mac Mini band-wagon after 20+ years with a PC. The learning curve has been steeper than I initially thought however.

Initially, the 2GB of ram was just fine. Then the beach ball started to appear intermittently when I downloaded Sophos AntiVirus. Thinking that the program was hogging resources, I upgraded the ram to 4GB. Performance improved initially, then, months later, after an Apple update, the spinning beach ball appeared.

I started downloading PDF & word documents, brochures and manuals & storing them on the HDD. Having multiple windows open brought out the spinning beach-ball. Performance slowed. Then I stumbled across an article mentioning that Sophos was regarded as spam on the Mac and to delete it would bring back the performance envelope of a new machine. Reluctantly, I deleted it. Sure enough, the beach-ball disappeared and performance improved substantially. Ah-ha I thought... MINImac really flies now. That is until we had a power failure and on boot-up that dang spinning ball appeared. If it were a PC, I know exactly what to do if the system gets shocked with power failure. What to do, what not to do... With MINI, not a clue.

Called Apple tech support and they guided me through "Permissions." That solution lasted about a week. Called ATS again and was basically told to delete programs I wasn't using to free up memory & I should really be running 8GB based on our conversation. Right. So currently, I use itunes with about 300 apps, 1714 photos & 1.2GB of music on a 500 Gig HDD spinning at 5400rpm, shared across 3 devices (iphone4, itouch, ipad2). Primarily, I use MINImac to surf the web across the globe. I deal in high-end automobiles and often find myself seeking specific models in the least likely areas. Not having an anti-virus program when I'm far from home makes me a little nervous, but the the web experience needs to be first class for my clients which is why I chose a Mac. In an average week, I'll log between 75 to 100 hrs of surfing.

With 8GB I was still getting intermittent beach-balls, so just yesterday, I upgraded to 16GB of ram and the first thing it did, before anything else, was the beach ball. Argh!!!
To say that I am terribly unimpressed with this POS would be an understatement. I am open to suggestions on improving performance before I dump it and go back to a PC.

Here are my specs:
Mac OS X
2.5ghz core i5
Mid 2011
16GB 1333mhz DDR3
AMD Radeon HD 6630M 256MB (256? That's all?)
Software: OSX lion 10.7.4 (11ES3)

MINImac is connected through a wireless. The lag appears with Safari, Chrome & Firefox. It's worse if I have multiple windows open. Initially thought it was network dependent so I upgraded the internet. The beach-ball still appears randomly and for several very long seconds at a time, which makes me wonder if it's hardware related. I need to be able to jump from open window to window instantly and when she's spinning, I may as well go water the garden.

I would appreciate the forums help in solving this and am open to trying whatever it takes to get it right.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cypher
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 3059
Location: North West - UK

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 2:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does sounds like you have a problem with your mini or with an application thats slowing it down. With your spec and 16GB of ram it should be flying compared to mine.

I do think Lion was a step backwards for Apple in terms of performance and I do class my Mini as my slowest machine, even though its actually my fastest spec wise. My 2.0Ghz iMac is much quicker but thats still running Snow Leopard.

My Mini is a core2Duo 2.53GHZ Mini with 4GB of Ram and I hardly, if ever, see any beach balls. I'd sure like it to be quicker but it works perfectly well.

Repairing permissions you've already done so next I would look at Activity Monitor to see whats hogging resources (Applications - Utilities - Activity Monitor) this is similar to looking in Task Manager on a PC.

You could also look in the Console and see if you see any errors are being logged when you get the beach balls, that might give you a clue to whats causing it.

Also have a look at a free utility called Onyx which you can get from http://www.titanium.free.fr

Personally if it was my machine I would back up all my data and important bits and pieces and do a fresh install. Its rare to need to do this on a Mac but in my windows days I did this every 6 months to keep my system running well so its definitely worth a try before you give up on the Mac.
_________________
Phil

Mac Mini 2.53GHz - iMac 2.0Ghz - Macbook Pro 2.4GHz - iPad 1 32GB 3G
6TB Netgear Ready NAS NV+ - 6TB Drobo S
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bandit Bill
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 5962
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cypher wrote:
It does sounds like you have a problem with your mini or with an application thats slowing it down.

Personally if it was my machine I would back up all my data and important bits and pieces and do a fresh install. Its rare to need to do this on a Mac but in my windows days I did this every 6 months to keep my system running well so its definitely worth a try before you give up on the Mac.


You could create a new user account. If the issues go away you know it is software related.

You had a power failure, you may have hardware damage.

If creating a new user account does resolve the issue, then clone your hard drive to an external hard drive using SuperDuper. Then reinstall OS X. If it runs awesome then you can evaluate if you want to correct the issues on the original copy.

There are many more trouble shooting techniques you could use, but the method I mentioned above is quick and simple.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Walt449
New Member
New Member


Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 5:31 pm    Post subject: Vacations Over - Get Back to work... Reply with quote

Here's an interesting thing. I deleted ClamXav - Newbie downloading spree it was, installed Onyx & pushed the magic Rebuild-a-MacMini -in-a-can button & POOF, I haven't seen the beach ball all day. Of course, the night is still early on, but wow, what a difference!

I may just keep MINI-mac around for awhile. Laughing

How often should I be using Onyx? I am thinking this is the same type of program that CCleaner is for PC.

Vive La Difference!

Thanks to all who stepped in. It is greatly appreciated.
Walt
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Bandit Bill
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 07 Jun 2005
Posts: 5962
Location: Edmonton, AB, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 6:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I run OnyX before I perform a OS update ie. 10.7.3 to 10.7.4 or an OS upgrade SL to Lion. I always clone my hard drive before I run OnyX or update, that way I can revert to the way the system was prior to the update if needed.

This method is the only maintenance I have ever had to do to my Macs since 2005 and I've always had a smooth running system. I've never had the need to reinstall OS X.

I've had one hard drive failure, but because I've always had a recent clone of my drive along with a time machine backup, I've never lost data.
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Y-Guy
Senior Member
Senior Member


Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 473
Location: Tri-Cities, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Actually CCleaner is now out for the Mac. OnyX is good but it's one I run about once a month. I run CCleaner a bit more often.

One thing I'd suggest is really investigate a download before you install it. If you haven't been to macupdate.com - add it to your favs and if you see software read the reviews from MU before you download and install. Also, get an app like AppCleaner and use it to uninstall apps you don't want. Used to be if you just drug an app to trash it was gone, but now more and more leave behind garbage. There are various apps that remove things, some cost, some are free. I use AppCleaner since it's free and does a decent job.

Get to know Activity Monitor or buy something like iStat menus so you can monitor your memory/cpu loads, when I see my memory bar in iStat go up I check to see what's hogging it.

Good luck.
_________________
iMac 24" 2.4 GHz 4GB | Logitech S530 | Z-2300 speakers | NewerTech Guardian MAXimus RAID
MacMini HTPC 2.26 GHz 2GB | Panasonic Plasma TV | Logitech diNovo Edge | Mercury Elite-AL Pro 800
AppleTV1 unhacked | Panasonic LCD
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Cypher
Veteran Member
Veteran Member


Joined: 24 Jan 2007
Posts: 3059
Location: North West - UK

PostPosted: Sun Jul 01, 2012 3:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm the same as Bandit Bill, I back up my system regularly to multiple hard drives & a NAS using Chronosync. This also includes keeping a clone of my system should I need to roll back (Carbon Copy Cloner). I don't run Onyx as often as I used to do which was usually before and after updates, Now its more likely just when I think I need to, this is probably due to not doing updates that often either.

On the PC I regularly reinstalled the OS but since switching to the Mac 5 years ago I've almost never done it. I suggested it as a last resort before giving up on the Mac. Another good suggestion from Bill was creating a new user account that definitely helps with fault finding.
_________________
Phil

Mac Mini 2.53GHz - iMac 2.0Ghz - Macbook Pro 2.4GHz - iPad 1 32GB 3G
6TB Netgear Ready NAS NV+ - 6TB Drobo S
Back to top
View user's profile Send private message
Display posts from previous:   
Post new topic   Reply to topic    123Macmini.com - Forums Forum Index -> Mac Mini Troubleshooting All times are GMT - 5 Hours
Page 1 of 1

 
Jump to:  
You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot vote in polls in this forum



      

Shop:  Apple Store  |  Refurbished Macs  |  Refurbished iPads  |  MacConnection  |  Mac Mini Vault  |  Other World Computing

MK 1 Studio Mac mini Racks  |  Crucial Mac Memory  |  Top Free Mac Apps  |  Top Paid Mac Apps



123Macmini.com is an independent publication and has not been authorized, sponsored, or approved by Apple Computer, Inc.
All logos and trademarks in this site are property of their respective owners.
Copyright © 2011 123Macmini.com. All Rights Reserved.