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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Laggy Finder (Suggestions?)

Laggy Finder (Suggestions?)
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l008com
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May 20, 2011, 01:58 AM
 
I've had an ongoing problem for a while now that I just haven't been able to squash with hardware upgrades. I just assumed the problem was an old machine, but none of my upgrades have had any effect. The problem is that my Finder locks up for a second or two. It does it A LOT. Its a real problem because you end up dropping files into the wrong folder, or moving the wrong file into the right folder. Often times if your heading for the trash, you'll drop the file on a folder that's near the trash.

I took a video and posted it to youtube, you have to look close though because it's a low framerate video. But you'll see the cursor and dragged-file separate. When that happens, the finder is frozen. If you let go of the cursor, the file gets dropped where it froze, not where the cursor was when you let go. So you end up with random files in random places.
YouTube - ‪Laggy Finder‬‏

So here's the clincher... My machine is pretty damn fast, even though it's old.
It's a 2006 Mac Pro, 4 x 2.66 GHz (10.6.7)
6 GB of RAM
Radeon 5770 GPU with 1GB VRAM (Apple, not 3rd party)
90 GB SSD boot/applications drive, 1 TB HDD for my Users folder.
(both drives are very new)
Before that, I had a pair of 320 GB drives in a software fast raid.

All of these upgrades are fairly recent and none have had any effect on my Finder. It seems to be a completely software problem. I really don't want to start doing full OS archive & installs either. I'm hoping someone might have some specific ideas of exactly what might be causing this?
( Last edited by seanc; May 21, 2011 at 05:49 AM. )
     
l008com  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 10:12 PM
 
So, have I not explained my problem clearly, or have I stumped you? :-D
     
AKcrab
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May 20, 2011, 10:55 PM
 
Stumped.
Can you boot from an external OS and see if the issue persists?
Have you tried with a second user to see if the issue is there?
     
l008com  (op)
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May 20, 2011, 11:00 PM
 
Tried on a barely used account, and that other account didn't have that problem. It also had no files in the desktop, essentially no files in it's whole home folder, no volumes mounted on the desktop... Later on I'll play around with removing my finder's prefs file, and if that doesn't work, i'll try connector to 5 network shares and see if that lets me replicate the problem on the other account.
     
AKcrab
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May 21, 2011, 12:36 AM
 
I'll just throw this out there... If you have many gigs or many files on the desktop, that can cause trouble with the finder. The finder will choke trying to create icon previews resulting in symptoms of the finder freezing.

Try removing everything from the desktop and see if the issue goes away.
     
l008com  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 12:46 AM
 
I do have many GBs on my desktop but its all in folders. My total number of file/folders directly in the desktop folder is very low, 33 items spread across two 20" displays. But 614 GB inside all of those items.
     
reader50
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May 21, 2011, 12:53 AM
 
Check for invisible files, especially on the desktop. A few thousand would explain everything. Except for how they got there.
     
l008com  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 01:04 AM
 
Hah, nope, no invisibles.
     
l008com  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 01:12 AM
 
Ok one thing I just observed is that it seems to happen exactly 3 seconds into 'dragging' a file. Like clockwork, any file a drag, 3 seconds into the drag, it locks up for a second or so, then releases. I also get much smaller "hiccups" nearly instantly when I start dragging. But the big one at 3 seconds is the killer.
     
AKcrab
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May 21, 2011, 01:16 AM
 
I would still suggest moving everything off the desktop.
     
l008com  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 01:37 AM
 
I just deleted a lot. I'm down to about 60 GB and ~30 files. That is a very normal amount of data to have in a folder. That shouldn't be causing any problems.
     
l008com  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 01:42 AM
 
Hey lets play a game.
How large is your finder prefs file?

~/Library/Preferences/com.apple.finder.plist
     
AKcrab
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May 21, 2011, 01:44 AM
 
I like this game!

49KB
     
AKcrab
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May 21, 2011, 01:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by l008com View Post
I just deleted a lot. I'm down to about 60 GB ... That shouldn't be causing any problems.
I agree. It shouldn't but it might be.
     
l008com  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 01:51 AM
 
Mines about a MB. And nearly the entire file is entries into "FXDesktopVolumePositions"
Which as google tells me, stores info on every volume ever connected to my desktop. Including disk images (wow) and music CDs (omfg, I do CD ripping as a side biz). So a quick little "find all" and it looks like my Finder prefs file is remembering data from 9,513 different volumes.

A) HOLY SHIT
B) WTF APPLE!!!

Clearly this is the culprit.
FXDesktopVolumePositions
Is it literally storing JUST desktop positions of volume icons? It seems like a HORRIBLE way for apple to handle this situation. I can't be the only person who's Mac sees a lot of volumes. Is there some other way to handle this, besides deleting all of the FXDesktopVolumePositions data out of my prefs file?
     
l008com  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 01:59 AM
 
And as a bonus, this forum won't let me search for the word "FXDesktopVolumePositions"
     
l008com  (op)
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May 21, 2011, 02:21 AM
 
Yawn.
So I just deleted it. Not the whole file, just the volume position data, via some "defaults" command that I already lost. But now my prefs file is 33 KB and the lag appears to be gone.

Moral of the story:
Don't upgrade your graphics card. It's still a completely waste of money unless you game with it.
If your computer is "feeling" slow, pay more attention to it.
     
Waragainstsleep
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May 21, 2011, 05:19 AM
 
My finder prefs file is 66KB. Only 400 volumes listed.

What is more interesting is that I have 37 iApps.plists all bar one of which are 0KB. The non zero is com.apple.iApps.plist, all the rest have a 7 character suffix on the end made up of lower an upper case letters and numbers. The suffixes are all unique.

Same is true for com.apple.iTunes.plist except there are 137 of those and I have 66 for com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX.plist.

Does anyone else have this in their user library prefs?
I have plenty of more important things to do, if only I could bring myself to do them....
     
AKcrab
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May 21, 2011, 05:58 PM
 
I have nothing even remotely similar to this. Your ~/Library seems quite jacked up.
     
Cold Warrior
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May 21, 2011, 06:05 PM
 
Originally Posted by Waragainstsleep View Post
My finder prefs file is 66KB. Only 400 volumes listed.

What is more interesting is that I have 37 iApps.plists all bar one of which are 0KB. The non zero is com.apple.iApps.plist, all the rest have a 7 character suffix on the end made up of lower an upper case letters and numbers. The suffixes are all unique.

Same is true for com.apple.iTunes.plist except there are 137 of those and I have 66 for com.apple.QuickTimePlayerX.plist.

Does anyone else have this in their user library prefs?
I get those sometimes. It's nothing to worry about.
     
   
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