Take the 2-minute tour ×
Super User is a question and answer site for computer enthusiasts and power users. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I keep getting the Spinning Wheel of Death on my Mac and I have reinstalled OS X 10.5 three times now! It happens on all the applications and I'm thinking of upgrading to Snow Leopard to get rid of the problem.

Anyone know what could be wrong? Is it hardware or software? Is this a Common problem? Any ideas?

share|improve this question

migrated from stackoverflow.com Aug 11 '10 at 22:46

This question came from our site for professional and enthusiast programmers.

    
What happens to be running at the time? When does it happen? The beachball is a signifier that the UI is not responsive and there are many, many reasons it could appear. –  Chealion Aug 11 '10 at 22:54
    
In response to all answers: if you can't run any applications you can't run any applications, so you couldn't use Console or anything like that. –  None Aug 12 '10 at 22:14
    
@None: You can try having the program open before the instance happens if you know how to trigger it. You can also always check logs after the fact. –  Chealion Aug 12 '10 at 22:46
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Check your logs using the Console. In the past I've seen repeated messages in system logs, indicating trouble that beachballs the machine.

You may want to check to see if you have enough RAM and enough space on your hard drive. Use the Activity Monitor to see if your Page in/Page out ratio is increasing.

share|improve this answer
    
This really helped thanks ghoppe! I've been checking the page in/ page out ratio and i think i need more ram, thanks again ;-) –  Imran Aug 19 '10 at 13:17
add comment

Even though this will be closed, I'll throw you a bone - this is most likely being caused by a failing hard drive: page faults are taking very long to be serviced, and during this time the message loop isn't pumping (to use Win32 terms), so you're getting beachballed.

share|improve this answer
add comment

Belongs on superuser....

but you can use the 'Sample Process' option in activity monitor to get a time profile of a spinning application and see exactly what it's doing: might help

share|improve this answer
    
You can also try Spin Control.app (Part of the Developer Tools). –  ischeriad Aug 11 '10 at 23:37
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.