June 29th, 2004 • 10:52 am
Regular Betalogue readers know that I have be experiencing recurring system-wide freezes in Panther and that, over the past few months, I have been tentatively attributing them to a variety of causes, including a defective hard drive, USB devices, Panther’s screen saver, Panther’s display sleep feature, etc.
Well, today I read the following on MacInTouch.com by reader Nate Goldshlag:
Many people, myself included, get freezes in OS X 10.3.4. For me I can move the mouse but can do nothing else, and the freezes are occasional. Other people have freezes much more often, and sometimes they look like the spinning beachball. System UI server process has been seen to run away for many people.
There are threads in the Apple discussions about this with a very large large number of posts…
Nobody really has a clue what causes the freezes. For me, they went away for a while when I defragmented my disk, which is not supposed to be necessary, but now they are back. I ran with complete stability until somewhere around 10.3.2. Here are some links: Topic: Panther freezes; no force-quit cmd works, Topic: New G5 Freezing thread
It is my belief that there is something deep in the guts of OS X 10.3.x that causes these freezes. I hope Apple does something about it soon…
And I am inclined to agree… While I haven’t experienced a freeze in the past couple of weeks, I have had a near-freeze situation that forced a hard reset just the same — and I know that it’s just a matter of time before the next one hits anyway.
They are (fortunately) not frequent enough to cause major disruption and I am always a bit paranoid about saving my work, so I rarely experience more than a few minutes of frustration with having to restart and reopen everything — but it’s painful just the same, and it sounds like there are more than enough reports to prompt Apple to actually do some real investigative work.
Since Mac OS X 10.4 is still a long way off, there’s really no excuse. If it’s something deep inside Mac OS X 10.3.x, it needs to be fixed, for both current and prospective Panther users. Jaguar had its own set of problems, but it didn’t have such system-wide freezes occurring on a regular basis for a number of users.