HELP! OS X has fallen and can't get up!

in Genius Bar edited January 2014

I need help. Only recently has this been going on, but I've been having trouble with OS X freezing on me. I will try to do something, then all of the sudden the rainbow disc appears and i can't do anything. I try to force quit everything but nothing stops it. I have even tried to open my process viewer to see what is sucking up my CPU but nothing will open.

I am currently running 10.1.5. on a 2001 iMac G3 500. I keep up with all of the updates and I think the last update I ran was for disk burning (and that was a few of weeks ago). I have turned off all of the visual stuff (like the genie effect, and bouncing app's). I haven't been able to figure out if it is related somehow to sleep mode (because I never shut the computer down at night, I just put it to sleep).

ANY help on this is MUCH appreciated.

Thanks in advance.


  • Reply 1 of 10
    I dunno. Smells like a reload to me. OS doesn't take kindly to manual repairs the way OS 9 did. Not to be the voice of doom but if you've run the standard stuff (Norton, Disk First Aid etc.) and rebuilt the desktop, then sounds like you've got some nasty gack. Best bet is to back up your personal data and reimage the sucker. Best of luck. Maybe someone else has some advice.
  • Reply 2 of 10
    Okay, now I know I must sound crazy to ask this, but how do your rebuild the desktop in X?

    [ 08-20-2002: Message edited by: BabyGotMac ]</p>
  • Reply 3 of 10
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    Er, you don't.

    Are you having apps crashing, and not being able to relaunch them?

    Or is this just it going into lalaland?

    Sounds to me like it's waiting on something. Does this persist across reboots, or does it get better for a while after rebooting?
  • Reply 4 of 10
    alcimedesalcimedes Posts: 5,486member
    another question, how long have you left it where it's just spinning like that before restarting?

    if the cursor still moves, it's not locked up. some apps have really long timeouts set on them for various reasons.
  • Reply 5 of 10
    I have waited about 10 minutes at the longest before I push the restart button on the side. After a restart it works fine. but then about a day later it will do it all over again?

    Is there any reason to suspect a virus or hack of some sort? I am on a cable modem. I'm not using a static IP, but I do leave the computer on all the time. I don't run apple talk (for the time being) and I'm not using any of the web sharing or web hosting features....yet (i would like to in the future)

    Thank you for your help!
  • Reply 6 of 10
    I seriously doubt you are a victim of a virus. If you were, that would be a first because there are no known viruses for Mac OS X to date!

    Before going the route of a clean install, I strongly suggest you do two things.

    First, download Apple's "Repair Privileges" app for Mac OS X and run it.

    Second, "fsck" your disk. If you've never done or heard of this, here is the procedure:
    • Reboot your Mac, but hold the apple and 's' keys while it boots. You will be dropped into a text interface. (you can then release the keys)

    • Enter this command at the prompt:

      fsck -y

      That will run a "filesystem consistency check" on your primary partition and will attempt to repair it.

    • If you get the following message:


      then run the command again. Keep executing it over and over until you get a message that says you disk appears to be okay.

    • When finished, enter this command to continue booting normally:


    If that still doesn't resolve your problems, please let us know. Also, please give us some specific details on what you are doing when the OS freezes up and what apps are running when it happens.
  • Reply 7 of 10
    THANK YOU!!!!

    I ran the code and it did need to modify.

    I'll see how it goes, and let you know if it happens again.

    I knew it couldn't have been a virus.


  • Reply 8 of 10
    airslufairsluf Posts: 1,861member
  • Reply 9 of 10
    kickahakickaha Posts: 8,760member
    [quote]Originally posted by AirSluf:

    <strong>Some applications, including certain pieces of the operating system require a large contiguous block of memory. When you leave you machine on a long time without rebooting, the RAM mapping for any particular process can get fragmented and cause the OS to hve to "pack" the RAM in order to get the contiguous space it needs. That pack operation can be excruciatingly slow, reports of upwards of 5 minutes by some reputable sources. This bug that was ID'ed during the PPP freeze fiasco and only partly fixed so far.

    Just reboot every once in awhile and you will avoid this. Also it will hopefully be fixed in Jag-wire.</strong><hr></blockquote>

    EH? Sorry, but that just sounds wrong. If the OS needs more memory, it creates a new swap file, and the contiguous space is mapped as needed. Are you instead saying that if it needs contiguous *in RAM* memory, that it pukes?

    I can see that happening only if it has to spool everything out to swap, but has to swap in OS chunks to do so, which collides with the contiguous space, requiring a swap out of the newly swapped in code, which collides, ad nauseum.
  • Reply 10 of 10
    airslufairsluf Posts: 1,861member
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