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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Help - spinning wheel of death abounds!

Help - spinning wheel of death abounds!
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entelechy
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Nov 23, 2004, 12:36 PM
 
Hi All,

I'm new to this forum (first post), and still have much to learn about Macs - though I love them dearly and they've changed my life! I have a Powerbook G4/667 and recently wiped & rebuilt everything to eliminate my OS9 partition and open up some more room.

Everything went well and I was back up and running. After reading about all the problems with OS 10.3.5 & 6, I took the system back up to 10.3.4.

As a final tidying step, I ran the latest version of Tech Tool Pro to run maintenance and optimize my hard drive and external hard drive (in 3 partitions).

I believe my internal drive is faltering, so I ran Tech Tool off an external superdrive connected via firewire to the PB and the external drive. Everything went well, but then I couldn't find any way to "eject" the Tech Tool disc from the external superdrive after running the programs. Holding down the eject button during start-up had no effect, and the latest version of Tech Tool doesn't seem to allow you to choose a different start-up disc.

As such (perhaps ill-advised, but I couldn't think of another way), I disconnected the firewire input on a restart, so that the machine would reboot back into the main OS.

All seemed fine, until launching certain apps which creates the spinning wheel of death. It seems pretty arbitrary, but every time I attempt to launch Safari, iChat, Disk Utility (to repair permissions), Mail, Tech Tool (installed), iCal, and the Address book, it just spins endlessly. Other apps such as iTunes, iPhoto, Word, Photoshop, Internet Explorer, Font Book, Macromedia, etc. are all fine.

I'm completely baffled. Running the latest versions of Disc Warrior and Tech Tool from the internal drive (which worked fine) had no effect.

Any help or advice would be MUCH appreciated, as I really hope I don't have to rebuild everything again (I had to start from Jaguar discs). A friend thought it might be some bad RAM, but I haven't changed it for a year and it's been fine. I did, however, just order some more RAM from Crucial, and installed it last night - works fine, but no changes in regard to the above.

Many thanks in advance!
~Chris
     
entelechy  (op)
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Nov 23, 2004, 01:47 PM
 
Update:

I trashed prefs in both the home and system folders. Now I seem to have access to everything but Safari. Going to try a trash & re-install.

~C
     
entelechy  (op)
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Nov 23, 2004, 02:13 PM
 
Update 2:

Still zeroing in...thought that maybe I have too new a version of Safari (the latest) to work with 10.3.4? Is that what is causing the spinning wheel? Can you download previous versions anywhere?

Also my Mac Mail is completely screwed-up. I have to enter set-up info every time and can't access new mail through it (I imported all my saved mail from back-up). I checked ownership through get info on the library files for mail, and it confirms I own it and can read & write.

This is a bummer - can anyone lend any insight?

Cheers,
~Chris
     
barbarian
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Nov 23, 2004, 02:48 PM
 
I've experienced night and day differences on certain machines simply by running Xupport (versiontracker) hitting Maintain and then using the "clear caches" button.

Other machines have seemingly been fixed simply by booting up into safe mode and rebooting.
     
cpac
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Nov 23, 2004, 03:09 PM
 
Um, I'd recommend doing the re-install, but then NOT running the Tech Tool Pro optimize business.

Also, even if you have to start with Jaguar (because you only have upgrade panther CDs), you should do an "archive & install" if that's an available option. Then you should just update all the way to 10.3.6. People have had problems, but many, myself included, have had none at all, and given that you'd be starting with a fresh system, you'd be unlikely to run into problems.

Finally, yes, I believe the latest Safari may well require the latest system update.
cpac
     
entelechy  (op)
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Nov 23, 2004, 03:41 PM
 
Barbarian & Cpac,

Thanks for taking the time to respond, and a special thanks to Barbarian! I'm happy to report I'm logging this from Safari :-)

I cleared the caches, and played around with Mail settings and set-up and .mac, etc. I'm bleary-eyed, have a pounding headache, and am not sure where along the line everything suddenly "worked", but all seems back to normal.

Cpac, I used the archive & install to repair my boss' powerbook. He experienced what a handful of others did in that it completely shut down his computer (couldn't even boot into it in safe mode) and I had to rebuild it from scratch. It went pretty easy with the archive and install, which is what gave me the confidence to rebuild mine, but of course, it also made me a little gunshy about 10.3.6 - still, in the long run, I think you're right, and that I should make the jump.

I'm also a little gunshy now about optimizing with Tech Tool! Disk Warrior no longer offers optimization, and I'd always heard raves about Tech Tool which is why I picked it up. If it's what caused this whole mess in the first place, how am I supposed to keep my drives nice and optimized - any suggestions out there?

Again, many thanks - if I weren't at work, I'd have a stiff drink!

Cheers,
~C
     
cpac
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Nov 23, 2004, 03:52 PM
 
you don't need to optimize your disks.

Panther will defrag them on the fly, and the optimization just really isn't needed. (especially if you just did a nice clean install)
cpac
     
entelechy  (op)
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Nov 23, 2004, 04:35 PM
 
Good to know - thanks Cpac!

Not to belabor the point, but when I'm doing video editing, what would you recommend to optimize the external hard drives? I'm guessing it would probably be fine to use Tech Tool to optimize these, but not the main hard drive with the OS installed?

Again thanks for the info...

~C
     
cpac
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Nov 23, 2004, 05:08 PM
 
again, I'm not sure why you'd need to optimize those external drives - I'd say don't worry about it, and then, if disk speed is really appearing to be an issue, give it a try.
cpac
     
entelechy  (op)
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Nov 23, 2004, 07:16 PM
 
guess it's just peace of mind watching them go from a garbled mass to nice neat blocks :-), also thought it was essentially "preventative maintenance" to stave off problems down the road...
     
jasong
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Nov 23, 2004, 08:31 PM
 
Sounds like your "preventative maintenance" just caused you a lot of headache. It's time to enjoy another benefit of the Mac, no need to spend hours "optimizing" your drives.

-- Jason
     
entelechy  (op)
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Nov 23, 2004, 08:50 PM
 
that's a relief coming from the elite members - will do, and thanks again...this forum is terrific :-)

All the best,
~Chris
     
Chuckit
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Nov 23, 2004, 09:29 PM
 
Originally posted by cpac:
Finally, yes, I believe the latest Safari may well require the latest system update.
Just for the record: It doesn't. I installed it on a 10.3.4 machine just a few weeks ago. Works fine.
Chuck
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"Instead of either 'multi-talented' or 'multitalented' use 'bisexual'."
     
jasong
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Nov 23, 2004, 09:43 PM
 
Also, while I am glad you not only took my advice, but reveled in my Elite status, you should realize that elite might just mean that I spout out a lot of nonsense (which is true, but what I said is still valid )

Enjoy your Mac

-- Jason
     
barbarian
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Nov 24, 2004, 01:24 PM
 
how am I supposed to keep my drives nice and optimized - any suggestions out there?


Let OS X do the work. This is not OS 9, not Windows. X defragments most small files on the fly. Unless your disk is almost completely full you probably don't need to defragment (I don't think there is a single reliable de-fragmenting program for OS X btw). And if it's that full you probably need a second drive anyway.

Cache files/prefs can sometimes become corrupted because of crashes and those can be cleared BUT only if you notice problems.

These days I oversee about 500 Macs. My mantra us to not fool with the system.

If you are looking for speed, add more memory and buy a faster internal hard drive.
     
entelechy  (op)
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Nov 24, 2004, 02:30 PM
 
Thanks Jason

And thanks Barbarian - this is good info to know. Not that it matters now, but when I spoke to Disc Warrior's guys, they said they are working on a separate software to optimize OSX, but that it would be awhile before it's ready for market.

Cheers,
~Chris
     
wadesworld
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Nov 24, 2004, 04:10 PM
 
About the only people who have a need to optimize drives are high-end video folks and audio pros. For those groups, there is a real benefit. But for your average user or amatuer video guy, it's usually just wasted time.

Wade
     
bergy
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Nov 24, 2004, 10:14 PM
 
From Apple ...

Apple OSX Disk Optimization
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=25668
Tiger 10.4.8
     
   
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