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vocalnick
20th October 2007, 08:06 PM
Heya, the Macbook arrived last week, very nice machine :)

Except I'm having some troubles. Occasionally I'll get the spinning beach ball of death for a loooooong time. I'll leave the machine for a while, but half an hour later I'll come back and it's still spinning away, the clock hasn't advanced. It's a frozen mac.

Ok, so at that point I hold the power button down, shut down, etc. But when I restart it I get the flashing question mark folder - can't find the system drive.

I tried all the procedures at this link (the apple support site) (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58042) and none of them work. Disk utility just can't see the drive.

This happened first last night, then this morning it was OK again. It seems to be the hard reboot that's getting its knickers in a twist. I'm going to ask Apple about the problem, but in the meantime, is there a better way to do a reboot if it gets stuck in a beach ball loop?

Gerbils
20th October 2007, 08:31 PM
Press Command Option Escape and Force Quit the offending application. No need to reboot... in most cases.

Currawong
20th October 2007, 08:51 PM
If the whole system has frozen, that's a bad sign. Back-up all your data and do an "Erase Install" from the original DVD's. If the system is still dodgy after that, you could have bad RAM (sometimes just requiring removal and re-inserting) followed by faulty hardware.

Huy
20th October 2007, 08:52 PM
You might just have to force the app to quit from the Dock itself - right-click on the icon down in the Dock and it should have Force Quit there as well.

vocalnick
23rd October 2007, 08:37 AM
Thanks for the replies :)

Force quit wasn't an option, the whole thing was frozen. Not a good sign, as Currawong said!

I did an Erase Install and it seems to have cleared up. I had been messing around with Crossover Mac, as well as just generally poking around, finding my way around OSX, so I probably broke something. I'm keeping an eye on it still, but for the moment I'll put it down to a keyboard-chair interface problem :P

SyncMan
23rd October 2007, 09:01 AM
AppleJack (http://applejack.sourceforge.net/) helps me with most of my problems.

When your Mac is stable again, and you are sure it's not a hardware issue, give it a try.

Oh, yes, and it's command line driven :-)

vocalnick
23rd October 2007, 09:30 AM
Ahhh, takes me back to my MS-DOS days...

Actually, if I go back even further, it takes me back to my Apple ][ days! :eek:

Thanks for the link, I will check it out :)

Any thoughts on hardware test software, just to rule that out? It would be nice to check the RAM reliability...

mechcon
23rd October 2007, 09:40 AM
applejack rocks!!! has saved me many of times in the past.

morn
23rd October 2007, 09:45 AM
Unrecoverable beachballs seem to me to often be a stall in accessing a resource... for example.... a file share that went down, a file permission problem blocking access... a configuration problem or just some bug that's made something important stop responding. So the computer just sits there waiting for a response from something that can't respond. You probably can't exit such a thing gracefully.

vocalnick
23rd October 2007, 09:46 AM
Unrecoverable beachballs seem to me to often be a stall in accessing a resource... for example.... a file share that went down, a file permission problem blocking access... a configuration problem. So the computer just sits there waiting for a response from something that can't respond. You probably can't exit such a thing gracefully.

Fair enough...

I guess my concern was that the only way I could exit was to do a hard reset, which rendered the startup disk invisible for a time (flashing question mark on boot, no visible hard disk when I ran disk utility off the OSX disc).

Is that normal?

morn
23rd October 2007, 09:47 AM
No that's not really normal, go to startup disk an make sure that your boot volume is selected. :)

vocalnick
23rd October 2007, 09:52 AM
I tried to do that after the couple of times I had to hard reset, but the drive wasn't visible to the system. When I left the machine off for half an hour or so, it booted normally.

Weird...

iSlayer
23rd October 2007, 10:16 AM
Check the S.M.A.R.T status of the drive in disk utility. Sounds to me like it could be faulty (not that S.M.A.R.T will give a definitive answer always)

vocalnick
23rd October 2007, 10:27 AM
S.M.A.R.T status looks fine. I'm still *well* within warranty period (only had the machine a week) so I'll just be vigilant with backups and keep an eye on it.

Thanks for all the advice in here - I really appreciate it :)

sendai
23rd October 2007, 10:41 AM
the drive wasn't visible to the systemThat's the most concerning part.

In addition, back on the subject, I've gracefully recovered from several beach-balls by SSHing into the system and killing the offending process.