Spinning Beach Ball Hell

Updated: 
07/31/2015

SWOD (Spinning Wheel Of Death)
a.k.a Spinning Beach Ball or Rainbow Pizza

It seems consultation regarding SWOD has been increased since Yosemite. Interestingly more from Japan initially but now I am getting inquiries here in US as well.

  • Mac acting slow
  • Spinning Wheel is preventing from working
  • Cooler fan is blowing loudly
  • A sudden complete freeze

There are quite a few possible causes we can discuss, while you must remember a very important cold fact. In this rapidly improving computer age, data storage media is still unreliable. There are improvements in performances, such as SSD's fast access, but these improvements are nothing to do reliability.

Key note: Backup! Backup! Backup! Backup!

You have no right to cry if you don't backup! By the way, you can't call it backup if you don't have it a set of 3, and 1 of these 3 must be outside of your house. I personally use TimeCapsul and Drobo in my house, and Amazon S3 backup service on the cloud. I have not lost a single data since 1997.

Let's talk about the possible causes of the SWOD

  • There was untouched bad sector(s) on your hard drive, which is triggered by the new OS update/upgrade
  • Hard drive directory catalog has been damaged
  • OS upgrade Migrate Assistant accidentally moved corrupted system file(s)
  • Broken permission bits (access privilege issue)
  • One or more dated application is dragging the OS down

I will discuss troubleshooting next