Beating the dreaded rainbow pinwheel

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Skookum, Feb 13, 2009.

  1. Skookum

    Skookum Guest

    I have a MacBook Pro about 2 years old now, upgraded last year to Mac
    OSX 10.5.4

    In the last few weeks but probably worseining for more like twoi
    months, everything is slowing down even when there are few
    applications open. Nothing significant has been added in terms of new
    oftware and, like I say, it's more of a steady slowing than any sudden
    noticeable change.

    Now, much of the time, the dreaded raindbow pinwheel is spinning away
    when I load intrenet pages, open or swicth switch applications, and
    even when i just scroll down too quickly in a document.

    When - rue the day! - I was a PC guy, I used to defragment and do
    misc. clean-ups when things slowed. Is there a kind of standard
    organizing and cleaning up routine, approach or utility that should be
    regularly used to keep things moving like new?
     
    Skookum, Feb 13, 2009
    #1
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  2. 1. Back up the drive to another one using Carbon Copy Cloner.
    2. Reformat the original drive.
    3. Restore from the backup.

    If it's still slow, you can try reformatting completely and reinstalling
    Mac OS X. (You'll still have the clone to copy files from.)

    But I think you'll find it's *still* slow, which means something is
    wrong with your hardware.

    But remember that clone? Plug it in and boot from it, then as soon as
    boot is complete unmount the internal drive. If that speeds things up,
    you just need a new internal hard drive.

    (I hate to blame hard drives again and again, but there's a reason for
    it: They're usually the culprit.)
     
    Steven Fisher, Feb 13, 2009
    #2
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  3. Skookum

    Gerry Guest

    For the browser, empty the cache, this will speed up the web pages. Also
    some web pages are very slow to load which can cause the spinning pin
    wheel.

    Have you checked your disk and or repaired the permissions. The Disk
    Utility found in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder can be
    used to repair the permissions. To repair the hard disk, you will need
    to boot from you System DVD and use the Disk Utility found there to
    check and repair any problems on your hard disk.
     
    Gerry, Feb 13, 2009
    #3
  4. Skookum

    billy Guest

    As for web pages, the number of crappy ones, that eat CPU time like
    there's no tomorrow and take forever to load, is increasing. This is
    the most frequent complaint I get at work, where most everyone has
    a very fast computer and an extremely fast net connection. Here's
    some reading material concerning this problem, although yes, it would
    better be read by the people writing all this junk -

    Browser CPU usage
    http://inessential.com/2008/12/08/browser_cpu_usage

    Speed Matters
    http://glinden.blogspot.com/2006/11/marissa-mayer-at-web-20.html

    Camino's "Stop loading this page" Button
    http://forums.mozillazine.org/viewtopic.php?f=12&t=629548

    And here's a clipping that I missed saving the source for -

    | Flash isn't just a hog on OS X. It's equally garbage on Linux.
    | The system resources and CPU percentage it sucks out of a system
    | are ludicrous.

    Here is a very nice solution for the Flash problem (requires 10.5) -

    http://github.com/rentzsch/clicktoflash/tree/master

    | ClickToFlash is a WebKit plug-in that prevents automatic loading
    | of Adobe Flash content. If you want to see the content, you can
    | opt-in by clicking on it or adding an entire site to its whitelist.

    WebKit in the above means Safari (I don't know which other browsers
    might use it). It is implimented as a plug-in, so it won't screw up
    or break anything (like more than a few other things that modify how
    Apple's apps or OS works do). Those you interested in how it works
    can read this -

    http://boredzo.org/blog/archives/2009-01-29/how-clicktoflash-works

    Billy Y..
     
    billy, Feb 14, 2009
    #4
  5. Skookum

    Nelson Guest

    I second this advice. In particular, look for mds activity. I get the
    same symptoms occasionally and it is always due to *&^%$! Spotlight.
    If that is your problem, here's the way to fix it:

    http://www.macintouch.com/tiger12.html
     
    Nelson, Feb 14, 2009
    #5
  6. Skookum

    zara Guest

    This is one of the many reasons 97% of the worlds computer users, use
    WINDOWS machines. Too bad you overpaid for your MBP. Now you are forced to
    live with your mistake.
     
    zara, Feb 14, 2009
    #6
  7. Yes, absolutely. My advice on backing up/restoring was based on having
    ruled out software problems first. :)
     
    Steven Fisher, Feb 14, 2009
    #7
  8. No, there isn't any kind of standard organizing and cleaning up,
    though at least with some versions of the OS, having too many files on
    your Desktop can cause problems.

    More likely:

    1) you have hard drive problems resulting in delays while the system
    tries to access some part of the drive that isn't working correctly.

    or (better)

    2) You don't have enough RAM. My limited experience says that given
    the complexity of current web pages, one should have at least 1GB
    to keep everything humming along decently.

    It occurs to me that your machine may have shipped with 512 MB,
    which I would describe as definitely too little.

    The amount of RAM needed changes all the time as software gets
    bigger, and web pages get more complex, etc.
     
    Doug Anderson, Feb 14, 2009
    #8
  9. Hardware, or a runaway app that's not visible and is wasting a lot of
    virtual memory and/or CPU time.

    First thing to do is to run the Activity Monitor utility. Look at the
    %CPU and Virtual Memory columns. If any app is using an unusually large
    amount of CPU time or virtual memory, try quitting that app. If that
    doesn't work, try restarting your Mac.
     
    Wayne C. Morris, Feb 18, 2009
    #9
  10. Or, as a SWAG, the machine is infected with the DNS Changer Trojan.
    Here's the freeware removal tool:

    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/33696

    Computers balance CPU, memory, and I/O to obtain the optimal
    performance. Somewhere in the OP's MacBook Pro, there's a bottleneck
    causing the slowdown. If you run MenuMeters (or it's ilk):

    http://www.versiontracker.com/dyn/moreinfo/macosx/17713

    You can watch memory and network performance in realtime. If you have
    the Activity Monitor startup and run on login, you can display the CPU
    utilization in the Dock. It will tell you what's running, taking up
    your system's resources.

    Unless the hardware is going, spontaneous performance degradation
    doesn't happen. If you take data on what and when it happens, you're
    partway there to finding out the "how" and getting it fixed.

    Or this is really a wintroll.
     
    Michael Vilain, Feb 18, 2009
    #10
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