[OT] Mac Beach Ball Party (or welcome to hell, here's your mac)

Kay C Lan lan.kc.macmail at gmail.com
Fri May 11 21:08:40 EDT 2012

I'll throw my 2 cents into the Ring.

When I have this happen I always start up Activity Monitor and check out
the readings:

Network - I generally turn off all the Auto Download Update features but
occasionally one slips through, like iTunes gets the latest HD Epsiode of
'Modern Family' to download. iTunes is set to open simultaneous connections
so it can max out my broadband connection and slow other net related
activities on my computer.

Disk Usage - you've already said you've got plenty, so this base covered.
But what about your backup Drive. I have Carbon Copy Cloner set to trash
Archives whenever the HD gets to <15%. Still, if there are several HD
Episodes to backup PLUS I'm working on several GB of iMove files at the
same time, they can takeup nearly all that space, and will slow everything
right down. Only when the backup is complete, or before the next one starts
does CCC Trash the oldest archive.

Disk Activity - Backup/Archive* activities can max out disk read and writes
and slow down other apps trying to use the disk.

System Memory - Is anything hogging it and is it expected.**

CPU - is there anything hogging the CPU and is it expected.**

*I find CCC a Must Have utility, but it also significantly slows down my
system and I can get the beachball making numerous appearances especially
if TimeMachine comes on at the same time - and they both have 2GB HD
episodes to save.

** Anything that is hogging CPU and/or Memory and you think it's strange,
Quit it.

Also I run multiple external HDs connected to my computer and have 'Put HDs
to Sleep when possible' ticked in the Energy Saver Preference. This means
anytime I Save, or Save As... (I've only migrated my wife to Lion) I get
the beachball as I have to wait for all the External HDs to spin up.
Anytime it's Archive time things slow down as they all spin up. I don't
know how Lion operates with it's Auto Save (Versions) function and the
energy saver preference, but there could be constant spinning up and down
of external HDs.

I use Onxy and find it very useful.

I use Drive Genius and DO defragment my HDs and believe it makes a small

But most of all I do find that any time things slow down noticeably,
Activity Monitor points to the culprit.


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