Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 23

Thread: System freezes periodically (I/O is zero)

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default System freezes periodically (I/O is zero)

    Hi folks!

    Here is my system configuration:
    - MacBook Pro Mid. Summer 2009, 4G RAM, 2x HDD: Segate Momentus ST9500420AS 500G (for data, here is user home folder located), SSD Kingston V-Series 128G (where system installed).

    MacOS 10.6.3 with latest updates.

    The problem is - my system freezes periodically (about 10-30 seconds of hanging). I can actually switch between apps and moves mouse over them, but if I click anywhere nothing happens. Mouse cursor shows waiting indicator.

    Is happens pretty often, especially during coping. All drives are ok according disk utility.

    Here is an example of freezing during coping data to an external hard drive:

    http://cl.ly/1258

    (the same things happen even if I don't use external HDD, sometimes it just happens without any open copy dialogs)

    Just a 10 seconds after I got the screenshot disk activity has normalized. And every time Activity monitor shows almost the same situation.

    Important note - I experienced the problem before installation of a SSD hard drive.

    A few days ago I found some related topics of apple forums where people mentioned exactly the same problems with Segate Momentus ST9500420AS/GS, and especially with the one with G-protection sensor. But my model doesn't have it at all.

    Ok... Who knows, I had to try. Here we go to an apple article wich says there is a thing called - Sudden Motion Sensor, and there can be a conflict between SMS (acronym) and some hard drives with built-in G-sensor protection. And I've applied the solution mentioned there and the freezes have gone! There were no any freezes about two days at all. A was very happy. But then, I've changed a label the partition there my home folder was located, then I realized it was a bad idea.. Running applications started crashing and I've changed the name of partition bad. After reboot all worked again but the freezes came back.. It happens not so often now, especially if i don't copy something but it's so annoying!

    Please help me find out what is the root cause of my problem. I don't believe it is a hardware issue, because recently I got absolutely freezes free machine after executing just one command - "pmset -a sms 0".

    PS. I've tried to enable/disable SMS again. Nothing changes.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Location
    Virginia... where one Democrat CAN make a difference
    Posts
    2,929

    Default

    Do you have a second computer you can test your external drive with? What kind of enclosure is it in? Is it getting hot?
    Damien,

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Thanks for quick reply.

    According to TemperatureMonitor utility the temperature is absolutely fine (43℃).

    I don't have any Macs nearby, but a PC with windows. And it is possible to move the HDD into USB case if it's needed.

    What kind of test do you want me to do?

    I tried to repair disk/permissions using my MacOS installation disk. The utility says - the disk is ok.

    One more detail about my configuration - the SSD hard installed in MCE OptiBay Hard Drive, and the Segate one is in a primary HDD slot.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default Reading Apple's forums...

    There are plenty people with such a problem...

    reading apple forum posts like this - http://discussions.apple.com/thread....2803&#11502803 and going slowly under my table...

    Hope it has a good end.

    To be more precise system hangs about 30 second in each case. Seems like sort of a standart I/O timeout or smth..

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    Just to be sure it is not a third party software issue, you might try booting and running is Safe Mode to disable all non-essential software/services.

    Just hold down the shift key while booting.

    If it still pauses/freezes, at least it will help narrow down what is not the problem.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Just rebooted in a safe mode. Opened a few movies in QuickTime, started atMonitor & mTorrent, and copied a movie from one partition to another.

    After about a few minutes freezes appeared again. The same thing, about 30 secs of freezing every time.

    Found many people from the apple forums complaining on the same issues, especially those of them who did upgrade to SL 10.6.3.

    I believe there is some trick here to avoid the freezes, because my system was running really smoothly for a few days recently (described in my first post).

    Actually I even tried to create a new clean account on my machine, there were freezes without any torrent application running and any background copy file processes..

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    Germany
    Posts
    2,352

    Default

    Hello

    All I can say over the years, S.M.A.R.T. is not any good indication of drive health status. Most drives seems to be OK in DU (cuz DU is using SMART for checking) but, they are faulty. Only save way to check a drive is using a surface scan utility problem is most/all of those are destructive which means your data had to be backed up first.

    2nd RAM could be the root of the problem as well, using MemTest or something like that to check the RAM could be helpful too.

    Regards

    Nicolas
    Custom Configurations! Rad Hacks and Mods!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    NW Montana
    Posts
    8,197

    Default MemTest is worth a try. Can't hurt a thing.

    2nd RAM could be the root of the problem as well, using MemTest or something like that to check the RAM could be helpful too.
    Very possible Can you pull the extra RAM easily from a PBook? I never used one. But it might help trouble shoot if it is easy to pull.

    MemTest is good - download and try it - free If I remember.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    Based on the Apple threads, it sounds like it could be an OS thing, as you suspect.

    If you have a FW drive handy, how about a clean install of 10.6, and run from the FW to see if you can duplicate the issue? You might do updates methodically, maybe stopping at 10.6.2. Should you get stable, you can clone over to the internal, or repeat the process.

    OTOH, 10.6.4 could pop in the next couple weeks, and it might solve this issue.

    ......Any progress?
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by unclemac View Post
    Based on the Apple threads, it sounds like it could be an OS thing, as you suspect.

    If you have a FW drive handy, how about a clean install of 10.6, and run from the FW to see if you can duplicate the issue? You might do updates methodically, maybe stopping at 10.6.2. Should you get stable, you can clone over to the internal, or repeat the process.

    OTOH, 10.6.4 could pop in the next couple weeks, and it might solve this issue.

    ......Any progress?
    I hope 10.6.4 will fix these problems.

    Today I bought a new drive - WD Scorpio Blue 640 Gb and the problem remains (system wasn't reinstalled, just transferred my data from Segate Momentus).

    Then I backed up my settings and applications using Time Machine and installed MacOS 10.6. And... it runs very smoothly!
    Seems like an OS issue. Maybe especially with high capacity drives (>=500Gb).

    Now I'm installing 10.6.2 OS update (downloaded manually from the apple site) and hope it won't be freezing again.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default

    hell no!

    After 10.6.2 update got the problem again.
    Tried to reinstall 10.6 and after 10 minutes system started freezing...

    I'm very disappointed. This is absolutely new hard drive! And the drive works fine in an external case...

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan 2002
    Location
    NW Montana
    Posts
    8,197

    Question

    So is it a 10.6.2 problem or 10.6 or other...

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    So.......no pauses or freezes from any of the drives in an external case?

    If you cannot duplicate the freezes from external.....then it is likely not the drives, or the OS. Could be a SATA bus issue (logic board) or a bus I/O issue with certain drives on the SATA bus.

    If this sounds right.....this leaves us with the dilemma of wondering is their a bus firmware issue causing an incompatibility, or, an actual issue with the logic board. Or something else??

    What I would do in your shoes:

    If you have a drive & OS that freezes internally, without making changes, run it from firewire and see if it behaves the same.

    If you have a drive & OS that does not freeze externally, mount it internally, and see if it behaves the same.

    Since you now have 2 or more drives available, you should be able to produce a pattern to confirm. At least you can probably rule out OS and specific HD issues.

    Oh, and if this is less than 12 months old, get to Apple ASAP to see what they can do. Need to have it on the books while under warranty.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    Oh, and if you get an OS that works right.......clone it! That way you can apply patches/update and still role back to an exact config painlessly.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  15. #15
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Thank you all guys your help.

    The problem seems solved after downgrade EFI from 1.7 to 1.6 version.

    See details here - http://discussions.apple.com/thread....readID=2426600

    PS. Actually I'm very disappointed by the fact I have spent about a few months digging out the solution... Actually I haven't had such problems even with linux where I was compiling software by myself... (used gentoo for a few years).

    Yes, I'm pretty happy what my macbook pro is working how it should be right now, but very very disappointed.

    You just can google such kind of problems with MacOS (using freezing, 30 sec, hangs and e.g.. keywords) and see how many people facing this problem. And it is very annoying! Believe me, it takes about 10-20 minutes and few reboots sometimes just to send a text-based email using Mail program..

    And there are no any responses from apple. I suppose they think they did a lot of hard stuff creating the support forums and it's not there responsibility to meet users there and help them to solve their problems.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    951

    Thumbs up

    Welcome to the "REAL WORLD" of computers!

    You did figure out that "research" is your buddy!

    You can smooth you nerves ..... by reading many post here by members .... who have spent many, many hours, weeks with searches and tweaking ..... the only way too know what it will or not permit you to do!

    Yea .... no doubt about it ..... what is .... isn't .... and what isn't .... is!

    welcome, h

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
    Location
    on the landline, Mr. Smith
    Posts
    7,787

    Default

    Glad you found it, and glad there was a fix.

    Agreed, there have been a few of these sorts of things over the last couple years that have been frustrating.

    On the bright side:

    1. Before Intel, you could not downgrade firmware! We were all stuck waiting for another firmware update, hoping it would fix what the last one broke. Could be months.....could be never. Very very rare, but a serious issue when it happened. At least you can revert now. More options are better, and we have more than before.

    2. Even though what you went through is unacceptable, and despite the fact that other users have too, these sorts of issues usually only affect a tiny percentage of Mac users. Doesn't help much when it is you.....small consolation.

    3. There always has been (and I hope always will be) a good (maybe great) Mac community. Some other platforms don't have near the same percentage of helpful peers.


    In short, the good out weighs the bad more times than not. No computer will ever be perfect, and even the best brands of any type of manufactured device will have its lemons, and clunkers. All we can do is buy the brand that has the least.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  18. #18
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Actually I did figure out the thing about research about 15 years ago when I first time installed OS by myself and wrote my first program..

    I'm not talking about disappointment regarding faulty computers, but about a particular one class of them - MacBook Pro. It's positioned as a very reliable piece of hardware made of the best materials by best people and having no trouble at all, every part of its software designed to get the best of the machine e.t.c..

    And what do people should expect after buying such a machine?

    That's what I'm talking about.

    People do expect any kind of problems with linux, because it's linux, people do expect crashes when they working with windows just because it's windows, but what they definitely don't expect is to have a brand new perfect shiny MBP which hangs every minute because of an OS issue.

  19. #19
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by unclemac View Post
    Glad you found it, and glad there was a fix.

    Agreed, there have been a few of these sorts of things over the last couple years that have been frustrating.

    On the bright side:

    1. Before Intel, you could not downgrade firmware! We were all stuck waiting for another firmware update, hoping it would fix what the last one broke. Could be months.....could be never. Very very rare, but a serious issue when it happened. At least you can revert now. More options are better, and we have more than before.

    2. Even though what you went through is unacceptable, and despite the fact that other users have too, these sorts of issues usually only affect a tiny percentage of Mac users. Doesn't help much when it is you.....small consolation.

    3. There always has been (and I hope always will be) a good (maybe great) Mac community. Some other platforms don't have near the same percentage of helpful peers.


    In short, the good out weighs the bad more times than not. No computer will ever be perfect, and even the best brands of any type of manufactured device will have its lemons, and clunkers. All we can do is buy the brand that has the least.
    Thanks unclemac.

    Actually the thing I used to downgrade the firmware was kinda hack. AFAIK officially it can be done only in authorized apple service centre.

    I thought about the small percentage but it doesn't look so if you read apple forums. There are a lot of people there who is looking a solution for this issue. And I'm sure not all of them are able to find a relevant topic to discuss. The problem seems very general for me. Because I've experienced it with two very popular HDD models (Segate momentus 500G, 7200 RPM and WD640).

    But maybe i'm wrong.
    I better enjoy hangs free computer now

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Posts
    951

    Default

    I just couldn't resist .... "I'm not talking about disappointment regarding faulty computers, but about a particular one class of them - MacBook Pro.

    It's positioned as a very reliable piece of hardware made of the best materials by best people and having no trouble at all, every part of its software designed to get the best of the machine e.t.c..

    And what do people should expect after buying such a machine?

    That's what I'm talking about."

    *
    *
    *
    *
    *
    Why am I thinking about the U.S.A. Space Shuttle program?

    Seven million parts .... all made by the lowest bidder!

    later, h

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •