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xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 12:41 PM
I have a customer that brought me a computer to work on and its a mac. I dont really work on macs, but have recently acquired a macbook. The problem is that once it boots up and shows the desktop, I see the desktop image and then all I see for about 3 or 4 minutes, seriously, is the spinning beach ball color wheel thingy..

Then the icons will show up and I can use the computer. I ran the disk check and it shows everything as ok. However, I am not sure where to go from here as to why it would be starting up slow...

any suggestions or websites that can crash course me on some mac stuff would be great to! Thanks!

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 01:37 PM
Some specs on the machine would be nice. OSX version, RAM, CPU, HD capacity/free space..

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 02:11 PM
OS X 10.6.7
2.26 Intel dual core
2gb ddr3 ram
160gb drive with 75GB free

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 02:25 PM
Can you get into system preferences/accounts, select the account you are logged into and click on login items? How many and what items are listed? Other than that if there is not much listed there, you'll need to go to applications/utilities/activity monitor and check RAM and CPU usage. When in activity monitor, try to make sure you have the drop-down box set to active processes so it narrows down the list somewhat.

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 03:38 PM
Activity monitor shows all processes normal now, it doesnt show anything using up hardly and cpu or ram.... like i said, once it finally gets there, its good to go, but booting takes forever.

I also ran a program called cocktail, which reset permissions, cleared the cache, etc.

I also checked the startup programs and unselected all of them and it still is taking a while.

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 03:56 PM
May only need a safe boot. Start up holding down the shift key. It will take forever but hold down the shift key until you see a login screen. You'll need the password (if there is one) to log in. If its acting better, then just reboot normally and see how it acts.

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 04:32 PM
i booted it into safe mode and it ran great, then i booted in normal mode and it is still taking forever to boot.

I am doing the software update right now to see if that clears anything up.

any other suggestions?

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 05:03 PM
i booted it into safe mode and it ran great, then i booted in normal mode and it is still taking forever to boot.

I am doing the software update right now to see if that clears anything up.

any other suggestions?

Its most likely a 3rd party app causing trouble then. Like I said you are going to have try to get into activity monitor when its happening to see what is using the CPU. Try creating a second dummy admin account on the machine and set it to auto login to the account and see if the 3rd party app is limited to that particular user profile.

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 05:56 PM
ok - I created a new admin profile and it seems to be working fine, so i guess its just a part of that user profile...

just an fyi...i deleted two HP folders from the /library/startupitems folder....still it is acting the same...

How can I get to where these third party apps are and work my way through them?

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 06:11 PM
ok - I created a new admin profile and it seems to be working fine, so i guess its just a part of that user profile...

just an fyi...i deleted two HP folders from the /library/startupitems folder....still it is acting the same...

How can I get to where these third party apps are and work my way through them?

You pretty much have to go through the applications folder and take educated guesses at what's there. Without activity monitor to tell you the active processes when its happening its a guessing and experience game. I'd suspect its either a broken or outdated antivirus program or I've seen a stuck print job in the print queue do the same thing, but in that case it would usually not stop after start-up. I'd try to set activity monitor as a log in item so it launches at start-up to help show the active processes.

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 07:03 PM
ok have activity monitor booting up on that user profile.
Once activity monitor comes up I see a lot of bouncing around and then the spinning wheel starts and I cant click anything.
When that happens, I see everything is under 1.0 under the CPU..
The two highest usage things are activity monitor and kernal_task. kernal task is using .8 cpu and 125mb ram and using 60 threads.

i also see WindowsServer using .5, 4 threads, and 33mb ram...

any ideas?

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 07:11 PM
Once activity monitor comes up I see a lot of bouncing around and then the spinning wheel starts and I cant click anything.


What do you mean a lot of bouncing around? I'm sure you mean program(s) bouncing on the dock. Is it just activity monitor that's bouncing or are there several applications icons bouncing on the dock besides activity monitor? Can you tell me from activity monitor is there a lot of cpu being used overall or not much?

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 07:28 PM
i meant bouncing around like programs coming on and off the list...

I dont see anything using anything more than 4-5 percent max on the cpu...

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 07:51 PM
i meant bouncing around like programs coming on and off the list...

I dont see anything using anything more than 4-5 percent max on the cpu...

Then set activity monitor to look at memory. Reboot and check page ins and page outs. If there isn't much RAM being used then try emptying caches. Maybe try downloading Onyx and use the clean up utilities (especially under user) which will include options to empty caches. User corruption issues can be a PITA, much less trying to walk someone through these things over a forum with little experience with OSX, but worse case scenario is their user profile may need to be manually rebuilt.

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 08:07 PM
let me ask you this..

If I was to delete the user profile and create a new one, would the user loose all pics and documents, etc?

I think this would be the best bet would be to create a new one and delete the current one, but I would like to preserve their documents and quickbooks file saves, etc.

Where are these files usually located?

EDIT _ I think I found the user folder with all the docs, and pics, etc. Could I just copy these over to my flash drive. Create a new user profile, then add all this back into the new user profile???

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 08:28 PM
let me ask you this..

If I was to delete the user profile and create a new one, would the user loose all pics and documents, etc?

I think this would be the best bet would be to create a new one and delete the current one, but I would like to preserve their documents and quickbooks file saves, etc.

Where are these files usually located?

EDIT _ I think I found the user folder with all the docs, and pics, etc. Could I just copy these over to my flash drive. Create a new user profile, then add all this back into the new user profile???

If you delete the user account everything will be lost, unless you choose to save to a disk image (it will ask you this when you try to delete an account). Then all the data will be saved in disk image in a folder on the root level of the drive under deleted users. You can also drag and drop that user folder to an external drive and then delete the existing user profile and create a new user profile. I usually do a manual rebuild of a user account as a last resort, because doing it right takes a lot of time and experience to put everything back together right so it functions properly-> (Making sure you didn't drag the corruption right back into new account, mail is there, music, iphoto/itunes libraries, ical, etc..). Its definitely not as easy as dragging and dropping the entire user folder back onto the computer and expecting it to log in and work.

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 08:40 PM
Customer wanted me to back up his files such as pictures, and quickbooks data and then do a complete nuke and pave if you will.

However he does not have his installation DVD so I could not do this, so I dont think he cares about loosing his mail settings and stuff like that.

So if I was to backup his pics and docs and quickbooks files and music onto an external drive, then delete the user acct and then create a new one, I would be able to have this folder full of stuff for him on his desktop to sort through such as pics and stuff...or can I just put these items back in the folders that I pulled them out of?

Also, I plugged in my Western Digital drive to it and it sees it, however I cant delete any data from it, copy any data to it, or create a new folder on it...any ideas?

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 08:53 PM
Customer wanted me to back up his files such as pictures, and quickbooks data and then do a complete nuke and pave if you will.

However he does not have his installation DVD so I could not do this, so I dont think he cares about loosing his mail settings and stuff like that.

So if I was to backup his pics and docs and quickbooks files and music onto an external drive, then delete the user acct and then create a new one, I would be able to have this folder full of stuff for him on his desktop to sort through such as pics and stuff...or can I just put these items back in the folders that I pulled them out of?

Also, I plugged in my Western Digital drive to it and it sees it, however I cant delete any data from it, copy any data to it, or create a new folder on it...any ideas?

I imagine your external is not formatted correctly. Its not going to write to NTFS. You'll have to repartition/reformat the drive to either FAT32 with a MBR partition scheme (I assume that's the current partition scheme) or Mac OS extended (journaled) with either a GUID or APM partition scheme.

If you want to just drag and drop those particular files back into the folders they came out of, then that should be fine.

On a side note. Noticed a while back you gave me bad rep for a comment I made a long time ago. How about adding good rep for all the unpaid handholding I've done for you today?

EDIT: Oops, never mind, wasn't you that gave me that bad rep, someone with a kinda similar handle. Wouldn't mind the good rep still though.

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 09:05 PM
ok i just formatted my spare external and now i am copying over all the data, then Im going to delete that user profile and then create a new one.

When I delete the user profile and if I choose to make a disk image...well lets say the customer gets it home and i missed an album or a pic, can they open that image and pull data out of it?


BTW - I really appreciate the back and forth with me today, beleive it or not, I have learned a lot about macs today and am kind of proud of what I have learned about the OS. Thanks for being patient with me!

anonymous Mac Tech
07-21-2011, 09:32 PM
When I delete the user profile and if I choose to make a disk image...well lets say the customer gets it home and i missed an album or a pic, can they open that image and pull data out of it?

BTW - I really appreciate the back and forth with me today, beleive it or not, I have learned a lot about macs today and am kind of proud of what I have learned about the OS. Thanks for being patient with me!

Yeah, they will just have to double click the disk image to mount it, then it will show on the desktop and then they can drag and drop stuff across as they wish. As long as they have adequate drive space that would be a good way to go. It does take a little while for the system to create the disk image and there is no clear signal to tell you its done (besides the fact the user account will be gone) so be patient and let it do its thing.

I'm glad you appreciate the help. It makes me feel good to help when someone feels like they've learned something. Besides, its been a slow day. Otherwise, I've just been getting acquainted with OSX Lion since it was just released.

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 10:21 PM
btw. I just downloaded lion on my personal mac that I just acquired from my mother. She had one and hated it so I traded her a pc laptop for a macbook. So I have been playing with it to and like it!

xxsilk109xx
07-21-2011, 10:53 PM
hey when you say it takes a while for it to image the user profile, how long do you mean? like an hour or two ?

i ask because while practicing on mine, i deleted my moms profile and my users and groups windows shows the profile on the left and it says "deleting account" just curious if I should wait it out and see what happens or is it already done??

anonymous Mac Tech
07-22-2011, 01:18 PM
hey when you say it takes a while for it to image the user profile, how long do you mean? like an hour or two ?


It depends on the amount of data, but it can take a while to convert the contents into a compressed .dmg file