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#21928 - 05/11/12 06:11 AM Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death
jowilly Offline


Registered: 05/10/12
Hi:

I'm a mac newbie who has just moved over from the Linux world.

I have a 21" iMac with Quadcore intel processor and OS X Lion on-board. I just bought the system about 2 weeks ago and every couple of days the system locks-up and I get the pinwheel of death. Is this a common problem that people are having with either the machine of this particular iteration of OS X??

Thus far I have only been able to get out of this problem by actually turning off the 'puter, but that seems to me to be most inefficient and could lead to more problems down the line.

I should also add that, being an open source devotee, I've loaded up onto my system:

1. Firefox,
2. Thunderbird,
3. OpenOffice
4. Gimp
5. Sophos Anti-virus, and
6. Handbrake

I'd very much appreciate any insight by those of you with long experience with Macs and OS X.
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Any time behind the boiler is a good time, so long as the safeties pop!

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#21929 - 05/11/12 06:34 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: jowilly]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Does the whole computer lock up or just a particular application? If you're not sure, try force-quitting the suspicious app and see if that's the problem. The instructions can be found by reading OS X Lion: If you can’t quit an application.
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.15.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#21938 - 05/11/12 11:22 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: jowilly]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
The most common cause of the pinwheel is doing virtual memory swapping. A system that pinwheels often is usually running out of RAM (think Linux pagefile slowness; same exact thing). However, a pinwheel that appears and then refuses to go away unless you shut down the computer often indicates an I/O error, a hard drive error, or a physical RAM failure. If the computer goes to access the swap file and then fails to do so because of a hardware fault, you will often see the pinwheel spin forever.

There are a few things I can suggest:

1. Look at the error logs. You can see the logs by using the Log Viewer application (it's in the Utilities folder in the Applications folder). Also look at the console using the Console app (same place).

2. Run an Apple Hardware Test. It should be on the DVD that was provided on your system.

3. Use Disk Utility to verify your hard drive and run a surface scan.

What you're experiencing *definitely* is not normal or expected behavior, and a problem as serious as the one you're reporting makes me suspect a hardware issue.
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Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#21940 - 05/11/12 11:40 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: tacit]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Originally Posted By: tacit
Use Disk Utility to verify your hard drive and run a surface scan.
Disk Utility cannot run a surface scan. TechTool Pro can, and also (I believe) Drive Genius. Did you mean to make the surface scan suggestion separate from the verify advice?
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.15.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#21955 - 05/12/12 08:19 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: tacit]
MicroMatTech3 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
There have been postings in various forums suggesting that either the dynamic pager in Mac OS X 10.7.4 or the new Safari 5.1.7 cause Lion to stop having so many virtual memory swapfiles in comparison to Snow Leopard.

I avoided installing Safari 5.1.7 when it became available, to see if the 10.7.4 update had any effect on the number of swapfiles I have on my iMac (July 2010) with 8 GB of RAM. So far, I have only one swapfile, created right during the automatic restart that followed the installation of the 10.7.4 update. I am keeping the path /private/var/vm in the Finder's Go to Folder feature, in the Go menu, and checking it every few hours. I hope to see no repeat of the 19 swapfiles incident I had a few months ago.
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Makers of TechTool

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#21960 - 05/12/12 07:19 PM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: jchuzi]
tacit Offline


Registered: 08/03/09
Loc: Portland, Oregon, USA
Right you are. Disk Utility can't do it (without erasing the drive, anyway); another utility is necessary.
_________________________
Photo gallery, all about me, and more: www.xeromag.com/franklin.html

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#21963 - 05/13/12 10:24 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: jchuzi]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: jchuzi
Disk Utility cannot run a surface scan. TechTool Pro can, and also (I believe) Drive Genius.

You are correct. Both TTP and DG can perform a surface scan.
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#21964 - 05/13/12 10:38 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
> Both TTP and DG can perform a surface scan.

As can TechTool Deluxe, which jowilly may have gotten along with AppleCare (If he purchased it).
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The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21972 - 05/13/12 03:58 PM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
Originally Posted By: artie505
As can TechTool Deluxe, which jowilly may have gotten along with AppleCare (If he purchased it).

Only if the Applecare was purchased a year or so back. TechTool Deluxe was dropped from Applecare sometime during the first quarter of 2011. Micromat had dropped all support for it some time before that. Using it in either Snow Leopard or Lion could be risky.
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#21975 - 05/13/12 05:56 PM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I knew it had been dropped, but I wasn't certain when.

Thanks for mentioning the Snow Leopard danger; I got TT Deluxe with my Leopard installed MacBook and wasn't aware that there was an issue with SL.
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21977 - 05/14/12 05:57 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: artie505]
joemikeb Offline

Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
I don't know for sure there is an issue with Snowy, but given the potential for harm from any disk utility that has not been tested with a particular OS version, I would proceed with caution.
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#21981 - 05/14/12 10:43 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Good advice; thanks!
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21983 - 05/14/12 11:45 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: joemikeb]
Virtual1 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Iowa
Originally Posted By: joemikeb
I don't know for sure there is an issue with Snowy, but given the potential for harm from any disk utility that has not been tested with a particular OS version, I would proceed with caution.


AFAIK, no changes have been made to the GIUD or HFS+ standards recently?
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#21987 - 05/14/12 08:07 PM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: joemikeb]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Hot off the presses:

Full Mac OS X 10.7 Lion compatibility

and

Reminder! This will be the final version of TechTool Deluxe!

Edit: Note to updaters... I had to go through the double-click on the dmg/hit "Open" routine two times before it opened, so don't give up after one try.

Edit 2: I launched TT Deluxe to make sure the update had gone smoothly, and I was pleasantly surprised by a pop-up offering an upgrade to TT Pro, for a short time only, for only $19.99. (I opted to pay an additional $9.00 + 99¢ shipping to get a backup CD.)


Edited by artie505 (05/15/12 04:20 PM)
Edit Reason: Reconfigured links & Edits
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#21989 - 05/15/12 02:18 AM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: jowilly]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
Jowilly,

We haven't heard from you since your original post on 5/11. Did you solve the problem? What happened?
_________________________
Jon

OS 10.15.4, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#22002 - 05/15/12 03:40 PM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: joemikeb]
MicroMatTech3 Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
From TechTool Deluxe 3.1.4 now available:

May 15, 2012

Micromat announces the release of TechTool Deluxe 3.1.4

The new version of TechTool Deluxe adds compatibility for Mac OS 10.7, 'Lion'.

SANTA ROSA, CA - Micromat Inc. today announced the release of TechTool Deluxe 3.1.4, which updates previous versions of the TechTool Deluxe diagnostics utility that tests a Mac's critical system components, including the processor, RAM, VRAM, hard drive and more.

This new version of TechTool Deluxe adds compatibility for Lion, Mac OS 10.7, and provides a number of fixes to improve performance on newer machines.

TechTool Deluxe 3.1.4 is downloadable free to all registered users of TechTool Deluxe, including users who received the diagnostics software as part of their AppleCare Protection Plan.

To update from previous versions of TechTool Deluxe, users should launch an installed copy of the TechTool Deluxe application and select the "Check For Update…" option located under the Services menu, where users can register for the new updater.

System Requirements and Availability:
TechTool Deluxe 3.1.4 is compatible on Mac OS 10.4.9 and greater, including Mac OS 10.7, and is available through previous version software as a free download direct from Micromat. TechTool Deluxe 3.1.4 ships in English, French, German and Japanese languages.
_________________________
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool

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#22003 - 05/15/12 04:04 PM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: MicroMatTech3]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
I beat you by just short of 20 hours, and I also mentioned the discount TTP upgrade offer, which, as far as I can tell, there's no way to know about if you don't update TTD.

Edit: New thread begun.


Edited by artie505 (05/15/12 04:21 PM)
_________________________
The new Great Equalizer is the SEND button.

In Memory Of Harv: Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. ~Voltaire

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#22004 - 05/15/12 04:10 PM Re: Newbie Question Regarding Pinwheel of Death [Re: artie505]
cyn Online

Administrator

Registered: 08/03/09
Please take your TT issue to a separate thread so this one can stay focused on jowilly's problem.
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