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In about 50 minutes from now (it's 11:06 PM) my machine will slow down. It does this every night at the exact same time.

Is OSX indexing or what is going on and what can I do about it?

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Open up Activity Monitor and sort all processes by CPU usage. When your computer slows down, find the offending process. –  NReilingh Jan 20 '11 at 22:15

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Your computer is running the periodic daily scripts. These just clean up temporary files, caches, and do other daily maintenance. You can read more about it on Apple's site here.

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Never knew about that before... thanks for providing that info! –  nhinkle Jan 20 '11 at 23:25
    
thank you for your answer. –  ThomPete Jan 20 '11 at 23:27
    
Nope, this isn't it; the daily (and weekly) periodic scripts don't run at midnight, they run at 3:15 am, and the monthly one runs at 5:30 am (see the Additional Information section of the linked article, or the actual launchd files in /System/Library/LaunchDaemons/com.apple.periodic-*.plist). –  Gordon Davisson Jan 21 '11 at 8:14
    
Gordon is correct, the dailies run at 03:15 each day. I know this because I set up a script that would mount my Ext. FW HDD when daily script ran, and the HDD always mounted at 03:15. –  penguirl Jan 21 '11 at 9:29

If you want to make them happen when you're free to take the performance hit, type sudo periodic daily into the terminal.

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