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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > Mac OS X > Why does OS X frequently freeze

Why does OS X frequently freeze
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Sep 7, 2008, 03:19 PM
 
I have a Mac Pro. Often the entire computer will temporarily freeze. By freeze I mean that I lose control of the keyboard and mouse and any processes chunk and chug. Then OS X kicks back on as though nothing happened unless I was typing in which I may see something like "I was typing and I happppppppppppppppppppened to be in the middle of a word when the computer chunked."

<IIIIIIIaaaaaaa uer needs to spin up one of the four internal HDD>

It just happened above.

It acts as though the computer needs to spin up one of the four internal HDDs and that process overrules everything else. Moreover, I can start from completely different HDDs with fresh copies of OS X and the problem persists. Any ideas as to what is wrong?

Eric
     
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Sep 7, 2008, 03:25 PM
 
What happens if you uncheck "Spin down hard drives when possible" in the Energy Saver portion of System Preferences?
     
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Sep 7, 2008, 04:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by P View Post
What happens if you uncheck "Spin down hard drives when possible" in the Energy Saver portion of System Preferences?
Don't know. I unchecked the option so I'll let you know.
     
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Sep 7, 2008, 04:49 PM
 
My guess would be a bad font. You should check things over using Font Book.
     
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Sep 8, 2008, 12:48 AM
 
Originally Posted by larkost View Post
My guess would be a bad font. You should check things over using Font Book.
Sorted out my fonts and removed duplicates as well as font's of foreign languages that I don't use.
     
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Sep 8, 2008, 03:36 AM
 
What brand of video card do you have? Is it NVidia by chance?

If so, check the Console after a freeze to see if you see a whole bunch of errors logged by the kernel process that start with "NVChannel".

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Sep 8, 2008, 03:43 AM
 
I have been having similar issues.
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Sep 8, 2008, 07:45 PM
 
Originally Posted by CharlesS View Post
What brand of video card do you have? Is it NVidia by chance?



If so, check the Console after a freeze to see if you see a whole bunch of errors logged by the kernel process that start with "NVChannel".
I'm continuing to experience the problem.

I have both an X1900XT and a 7300GT video cards (I'm running four monitors).

Since formatting a drive, I experienced the problem. Here is the report in the console:

9/8/08 4:05:42 PM Disk Utility[154] **********

9/8/08 4:05:42 PM Disk Utility[154] Disk Utility started.


9/8/08 4:07:33 PM Disk Utility[154] Preparing to erase : “WD1000 HDD”

9/8/08 4:07:33 PM Disk Utility[154] Partition Scheme: GUID Partition Table

9/8/08 4:07:33 PM Disk Utility[154] 1 volume will be created

9/8/08 4:07:33 PM Disk Utility[154] Name : “WD1000 HDD”

9/8/08 4:07:33 PM Disk Utility[154] Size : 931.5 GB

9/8/08 4:07:33 PM Disk Utility[154] Filesystem : Mac OS Extended (Journaled)


9/8/08 4:07:33 PM Disk Utility[154] Creating partition map.

9/8/08 4:07:36 PM Disk Utility[154] Formatting disk0s2 as Mac OS Extended (Journaled) with name WD1000 HDD.

9/8/08 4:07:41 PM Disk Utility[154] Erase complete.

9/8/08 4:07:41 PM Disk Utility[154]

9/8/08 4:09:54 PM [0x0-0x16016].com.apple.systempreferences[177] 2008-09-08 16:09:54.522 readconfig[186:10b] isInterfaceBuiltin IOServiceGetMatchingService
9/8/08 4:09:54 PM [0x0-0x16016].com.apple.systempreferences[177] 2008-09-08 16:09:54.526 readconfig[186:10b] isNetBootable IOServiceGetMatchingService
9/8/08 4:09:54 PM [0x0-0x16016].com.apple.systempreferences[177] 2008-09-08 16:09:54.527 readconfig[186:10b] isInterfaceBuiltin IOServiceGetMatchingService
9/8/08 4:09:54 PM [0x0-0x16016].com.apple.systempreferences[177] 2008-09-08 16:09:54.529 readconfig[186:10b] isNetBootable IOServiceGetMatchingService
9/8/08 5:50:43 PM Skype[342] SkypeApplication::init called
9/8/08 5:50:43 PM Skype[342] SKInitDebugLogging
9/8/08 5:51:26 PM Skype[342] SkypeSound::setAudioDeviceUID: cannot find audio device with UID (null), trying to use default system output device instead
9/8/08 6:36:24 PM com.apple.launchd[108] ([0x0-0x23023].com.apple.Safari[339]) Exited: Terminated
9/8/08 6:41:49 PM [0x0-0x24024].com.skype.skype[342] Main starting
9/8/08 6:47:04 PM helpdatad[398] port 'com.apple.helpdata' created
     
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Sep 8, 2008, 07:50 PM
 
Originally Posted by EricTheRed View Post
Sorted out my fonts and removed duplicates as well as font's of foreign languages that I don't use.
Wait a moment... did you touch anything in /System/Fonts? If so, then that was a really bad idea. You can't predict what MacOS X is going to need, and messing around in /System is a good way to hose your computer.
     
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Sep 8, 2008, 09:29 PM
 
Originally Posted by larkost View Post
Wait a moment... did you touch anything in /System/Fonts? If so, then that was a really bad idea. You can't predict what MacOS X is going to need, and messing around in /System is a good way to hose your computer.
I removed the duplicates and dumped all the foreign fonts that I don't use using Font Book.
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 09:37 AM
 
That does not sound promising. Did you remove any Apple-installed fonts? Removing Apple's version of say Helvetica WILL mess up your system, EVEN if there is another Helvetica present. AFAIK, it's much harder to do in Leopard than in Tiger, but I don't think it's impossible.
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 01:43 PM
 
Have you ruled out that it's a hard drive issue like you seemed to suspect initially? Have you taken the other drives out to see if the problem continues?

"The natural progress of things is for liberty to yield and government to gain ground." TJ
     
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Sep 9, 2008, 11:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
Have you ruled out that it's a hard drive issue like you seemed to suspect initially? Have you taken the other drives out to see if the problem continues?
I have not pulled the other HDDs to rule out an HDD problem.

I'm starting to wonder if there is memory allocation problem. As it happens more in the evenening after the box has run all day.
     
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Sep 10, 2008, 12:32 AM
 
That shouldn't be the case unless you have a lot of applications open and very little RAM.

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Sep 10, 2008, 01:12 AM
 
Originally Posted by Big Mac View Post
That shouldn't be the case unless you have a lot of applications open and very little RAM.
My Mac Pro is a first generation 3.0 with 6 GB RAM using all slots.

I run Safari, Firefox, Skype, and Fusion at the same time along with Mail, Dictionary, and sometimes iTunes. However the problem can happen with just iPhoto open or just Safari open or just Mail open. It probably can happen with nothing open I just haven't noticed.

Very strange.
     
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Sep 12, 2008, 07:52 AM
 
Eric the Red from Hotline. Is it really you.
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Sep 12, 2008, 09:50 PM
 
If you are still having issues try removing all but the stock video card and see if it fixes it.
     
R!K
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Sep 13, 2008, 06:06 AM
 
I had exactly the same thing (Mac Pro 8-core 3.0 Penryn, 10.5.4). Mouse & keys would suddenly become unresponsive for anything from a few seconds to a minute or more.

In my case I discovered exactly what it was, the 'automatic' sync for MobileMe. You could spot it instantly as the sync icon would be spinning in the toolbar when it was frozen, as soon as the sync finished control returns.

Switch syncing to 'manual' and the problem went away instantly, enable automatic again and voila! problem back.
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Sep 14, 2008, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by R!K View Post
I had exactly the same thing (Mac Pro 8-core 3.0 Penryn, 10.5.4). Mouse & keys would suddenly become unresponsive for anything from a few seconds to a minute or more.

In my case I discovered exactly what it was, the 'automatic' sync for MobileMe. You could spot it instantly as the sync icon would be spinning in the toolbar when it was frozen, as soon as the sync finished control returns.

Switch syncing to 'manual' and the problem went away instantly, enable automatic again and voila! problem back.
Can you explain that a little more? Because I have my own server I don't use Mobile Me or .Mac so I don't know where to look to turn it off. In <system preferences> I see <.Mac> but the only thing I can do there is sign up for .Mac.

Thanks,

Eric
     
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Sep 14, 2008, 03:21 PM
 
Eric, I think at this point the best thing you can do is to pop out the other drives to see what happens. Don't you have another thread linking a game to slow downs?
     
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Sep 14, 2008, 07:41 PM
 
Originally Posted by seanc View Post
Eric, I think at this point the best thing you can do is to pop out the other drives to see what happens. Don't you have another thread linking a game to slow downs?
I do but this problem has been on-going since Leopard landed.
     
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Sep 17, 2008, 05:12 PM
 
Is your problem related to the md process discussed in this thread?
     
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Sep 17, 2008, 05:53 PM
 
I have a first generation mac pro (2ghz) and mine does this periodically too. Thought it was leopard but I don't think so. I have to switch to tiger (on another internal drive) and it's still crawling. Am thinking it's a hardware issue but haven't pinpointed the problem.
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Sep 17, 2008, 06:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by AppleGirl1990 View Post
Eric the Red from Hotline. Is it really you.
I doubt it. Eric the Red was a real viking.

I do miss the old Hotline, before the PC version came out and all the kiddie porn server went up.
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Sep 19, 2008, 03:07 PM
 
Mine just froze up again. Been doing this more and more when left on for a few days. Anyone with 1st gen macpro's (intel) having issues when you leave it on for a few days? Now I can shut it off overnight and the next day it runs like a champ. Didn't have this problem under tiger but still don't think its leopard doing this.
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Sep 19, 2008, 04:21 PM
 
What hard drives do you guys have?
     
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Sep 19, 2008, 04:50 PM
 
I have a 2 GHz Core Duo MBP, it began freezing after I upgraded to Leopard. At first it was just a few times a week, then it gradually increased to a few times a day. I noticed that it was running extremely hot, so I installed smcFanControl which helped a little bit. I took it to an Apple Store where they ran some tests, and they said that it was a hardware problem with the logic board. They said that they'd replace it for a standard fee of $300.
     
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Sep 19, 2008, 06:55 PM
 
I had leopard on a maxtor (500GB). Finally, after cooling, I was able to clone it to a 300GB maxtor. My tiger runs on a western digital. One thing I have noticed is when I ran my fans high to keep it cool, runs good, when I did the clone. Mine came to a crawl this morning when I was doing a backup on the mac pro and got around 113 degrees. I ran apples hardware test (extensive) and it comes up clean. Ran disk warrior and comes up clean too. Starting to think its the motherboard or possibly power supply. Will run it a few days to see if I get problems on this other drive.
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