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

 
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Walt449
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Joined: 29 Jun 2012
Posts: 6
Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 12:39 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.
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Smithcraft
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 4:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wish I could help you but I'm a bit behind in the current state of OS X and the mini.

However, my experience is just the opposite. I built a nice peecee for video transcoding. I don't have a bunch of apps that I don't use - just what I do use. Yet Windows is always lagging. Yet my obsolete G4 mini, while sometimes bogged down, is over all more responsive than my peecee.

Oh well, hopefully someone with experience can chime in and help you with your system, which should be a very usable machine. I would say it's relevant how many apps you have installed versus how many apps you have running.

Are you maybe able to take it to an Apple store or other support site for hands on help?

SC
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[Desktop] Intel mini - 2.16Ghz 2GB 60GB HDD - Newer miniStack v2 500GB - 10.5.8

[Media System] Intel i5 mini - 2.33Ghz 8GB 500GB HDD - 4 x Hitachi 2TB HDD in a qBOX-SF - 10.7.5 (Thanks Phil!)

Make sure it has pins!
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Y-Guy
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Joined: 06 Feb 2010
Posts: 484
Location: Tri-Cities, WA

PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 9:31 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

As you found 2GB isnít enough, but 8GB should be plenty.

Exactly what applications are you running when all this is happening?
Do you have a number of behind the scene apps running? (Antivirus, iStat menus, or other menubar items)
For PDFs are you using Preview or did you download and install the Adobe App?
Are you running MS Office?
What network speed are you connected to via wireless?
Can you try running a ethernet cable and see how it performs?
Do you leave your Mac on all the time or when not in use are you shutting it down? (The mac does its cleaning when itís been idle, if you donít give it time it canít do the work.)
Have you run any apps like OnyX? Which can help with maintenance and optimization.

Yes Sonos is junk IMHO. Removing it was good, but if you installed it then it makes me wonder what else youíve installed that might be junk too. To many new mac owners go on a download binge Iíve found.

It sounds like you have a memory leak going on. Try running the Activity Monitor to keep an eye on memory use and CPU use.

I run into one app of mine that can cause the SystemUIServer to go crazy and suck up a huge amount of memory and bring my system to a crawl. I can either do a reboot or what I do is launch terminal, which can be a challenge during this period since the system is dead dog slow, and then once Terminal is up I type in ďkillall SystemUIServerĒ without the quotes and within a moment the system is back working normally.
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macmanmacman
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 30, 2012 10:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can fix this because i had the same problem and you won't even think to look at it the same way again.

I purchased a 2011 mac mini after a few days the apple o.s beach balled and crashed mad i went back to my local apple store where the nice apple genius told me that my hard drive was to blame for the issue because it was a half flashed firmware on the hard drive so i purchased a new hard drive and had them install it and guess what no more beach balls you might want to go to a apple store and have them replace yours.
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Walt449
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Joined: 29 Jun 2012
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Location: Ontario, Canada

PostPosted: Tue Jul 03, 2012 6:01 pm    Post subject: Vacations Over - But still on my Honeymoon Reply with quote

Thanks to all who made some great recommendations & suggestions. Two days of heavenly bliss... and nary a beach-ball to be seen. I think I'm in love again. Sorry for the double post. Didn't realize it.
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marv777
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Location: Philippines

PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:31 pm    Post subject: Mac Mini Reply with quote

Smithcraft wrote:
I wish I could help you but I'm a bit behind in the current state of OS X and the mini.

However, my experience is just the opposite. I built a nice peecee for video transcoding. I don't have a bunch of apps that I don't use - just what I do use. Yet Windows is always lagging. Yet my obsolete G4 mini, while sometimes bogged down, is over all more responsive than my peecee.

Oh well, hopefully someone with experience can chime in and help you with your system, which should be a very usable machine. I would say it's relevant how many apps you have installed versus how many apps you have running.

Are you maybe able to take it to an Apple store or other support site for hands on help?

SC
I never had a problem with Sophos and I have 2 gigs of ram which came with the machine. I would call Apple in Cupertino if I were you.
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