m1 iMac apps unresponsive and unable to switch

Posted:
in Genius Bar
I've just got a new M1 iMac and in the main am very pleased with it. However, the other day several apps became unresponsive, I could not 'select' them by clicking on their windows, or their icons in the Dock. Only a system restart fixed the issues yet on a force quit in the finder none of them showed as unresponsive and a force quit did not work either. This was on macOS 11.3. I've since updated to 11.4 and today the same thing happened with iAWriter. I had it in a separate Space so could not return to the window, could not save my work and the dock became unresponsive. I had to restart the system and lost my work. Any idea what the issue is?

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 9
    mpw_amherstmpw_amherst Posts: 539member
    It's still in the 14days so should I send it back? It can't be maxing out the 8GB of RAM already can it? Other than iAWriter on 11.4, it was all system apps on 11.3 - Messages, Safari and Mail.
  • Reply 2 of 9
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,472moderator
    I've just got a new M1 iMac and in the main am very pleased with it. However, the other day several apps became unresponsive, I could not 'select' them by clicking on their windows, or their icons in the Dock. Only a system restart fixed the issues yet on a force quit in the finder none of them showed as unresponsive and a force quit did not work either. This was on macOS 11.3. I've since updated to 11.4 and today the same thing happened with iAWriter. I had it in a separate Space so could not return to the window, could not save my work and the dock became unresponsive. I had to restart the system and lost my work. Any idea what the issue is?
    Odd freeze ups can be caused by hardware/OS issues like GPU/graphics driver, SSD/memory issues but there are things that can be checked before sending it back.

    If you turned on Filevault, check that the encryption finished ok (it pauses when you use the computer). Type diskutil apfs list in terminal to see if any encryption is still ongoing.

    Check /Applications/Utilities/Console.app for any unusual logs around the time of the freezes. The system reports and system logs (/var/logs/system.log) will let you see logs for the OS and hardware and they log when the computer was shutdown so look at entries before shutdown or boot messages.
  • Reply 3 of 9
    mpw_amherstmpw_amherst Posts: 539member
    Thanks so much Marvin for taking the time to reply - I really appreciate it. FileVault is on but not showing as still encrypting in system prefs. The line in terminal says Filevault: Yes. Does that mean it is done rather than still encrypting?

    I'm not sure what to look for in the console in terms of what would be odd or normal. When it first happened my inclination was that it was macOS being buggy on the iMac. But given I've not got loads of software on it and it has occurred with system apps and something as basic as iaWriter, without loads of others complaining of similar issues I'm anxious if it's with the machine.
  • Reply 4 of 9
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,472moderator
    Thanks so much Marvin for taking the time to reply - I really appreciate it. FileVault is on but not showing as still encrypting in system prefs. The line in terminal says Filevault: Yes. Does that mean it is done rather than still encrypting?

    I'm not sure what to look for in the console in terms of what would be odd or normal. When it first happened my inclination was that it was macOS being buggy on the iMac. But given I've not got loads of software on it and it has occurred with system apps and something as basic as iaWriter, without loads of others complaining of similar issues I'm anxious if it's with the machine.
    It would show a percentage completion if it hadn't finished encrypting so that looks ok.

    When there's something serious wrong, the logs can have errors with references to storage or graphics. It can be hard to narrow it down but having the time of when the reboot happened helps to see what was happening around the same time. Clicking on the /var/log link in the Console will show the archived system.log.gz for the past few days. Searching those for shutdown will show when the system was rebooted. App-specific errors are logged in there too so you can see if there are any for the apps that froze up just before reboot.

    Running the Disk Utility First Aid test will check the internal storage for anything wrong there.
  • Reply 5 of 9
    mpw_amherstmpw_amherst Posts: 539member
    Thanks again, Marvin. First Aid says is all fine with the disk. I'm sure I'm being very dumb but I can't find the /var/log/ link in the Console? I seem to recall there being some kind of graphics error in the log just before the apps became unresponsive yesterday but can't double check. I did speak with Apple Care, who were far less help than you. Short of doing an erase and restore on the system they couldn't offer anything.
  • Reply 6 of 9
    mpw_amherstmpw_amherst Posts: 539member
    Apologies - found it. Around the time of the issue the odd messages out are the following, although variations of some appear earlier in the log too. I'm sorry if all this totally fine and normal - I have no clue as to what they mean!

    Can see a few 'systemstats: assertion failed' not sure what that means? Quite a few 'SYDClient implemented in both ...' 'One of two will be used. Which one is undefined.' As well as 'getattrlist failed for /' ... 'No such file or directory'. And: '(com.apple.sandboxd[51251]): Service exited due to SIGALRM | sent by kernel_task[0]'

    Could this be the issue that killed the app? "(application.pro.writer.mac.292445.292585[2973]): Service exited due to SIGKILL | sent by loginwindow[416]" It was sent at 1715 and I messaged my partner 5mins later saying I'd rebooted having lost all my work. Shortly after it says: "Operation not permitted while System Integrity Protection is engaged" but this is before shutdown and reboot so isn't anything to do with login.

    Thanks again for all your help and sorry if I'm sharing a bunch of irrelevant detail!

    I wish AppleCare were as helpful as you!
  • Reply 7 of 9
    mpw_amherstmpw_amherst Posts: 539member
    There's also a 'Coalition Cache Hit' but that's for System Prefs. Can't see anything for memory or GPU...might an erase and restore work after all? I installed everything for the first time on the machine rather than using a Time Machine back up or anything so it should be clean straight from Apple.
  • Reply 8 of 9
    MarvinMarvin Posts: 14,472moderator
    Apologies - found it. Around the time of the issue the odd messages out are the following, although variations of some appear earlier in the log too. I'm sorry if all this totally fine and normal - I have no clue as to what they mean!

    Can see a few 'systemstats: assertion failed' not sure what that means? Quite a few 'SYDClient implemented in both ...' 'One of two will be used. Which one is undefined.' As well as 'getattrlist failed for /' ... 'No such file or directory'. And: '(com.apple.sandboxd[51251]): Service exited due to SIGALRM | sent by kernel_task[0]'

    Could this be the issue that killed the app? "(application.pro.writer.mac.292445.292585[2973]): Service exited due to SIGKILL | sent by loginwindow[416]" It was sent at 1715 and I messaged my partner 5mins later saying I'd rebooted having lost all my work. Shortly after it says: "Operation not permitted while System Integrity Protection is engaged" but this is before shutdown and reboot so isn't anything to do with login.

    Thanks again for all your help and sorry if I'm sharing a bunch of irrelevant detail!

    I wish AppleCare were as helpful as you!
    There's a thread here that mentions similar log items:

    https://discussions.apple.com/thread/252519294

    They say the problems started with 11.2 and they plugged in something to one of the Thunderbolt ports to keep it stable.
  • Reply 9 of 9
    mpw_amherstmpw_amherst Posts: 539member
    Interesting. The log is full of the SIGKILL items so I’d assumed they were normal. I’ve already got something plugged into the thunderbolt port. I think I will ask Apple to swap it. It’s a faff and annoying to wait for a machine until July having ordered on April 30th. But I’d rather be sure it’s not some kind of hardware gremlin and regret not swapping it later. Thanks so much again for all your help Marvin - you’ve been great. 
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