Mavericks Upgrade Experience – Apps keep freezing

So I, like a zillion other Apple fanbois, updated to Mavericks yesterday. Yay for free upgrades.

Overall, I’m impressed. It feels faster, I love the proper support for multiple monitors, iBooks on the desktop is a win, and the iCloud keychain works as advertised, with syncing to my phone.

But there’s one big negative – I’ve had multiple episodes of “applications randomly freezing”. When this occurs, the application _that I’m currently using_ just stops. It doesn’t crash, it just pauses. For a few seconds, or a few minutes, then it resumes. I can go use other apps, and they’ll work – or they might pause as well. It’s only been a day, but I’ve had 4 of these episodes so far – once last night shortly after upgrading, which I kind of shrugged off, and then 3 this afternoon, in about a 2 hour period. (Worked fine all morning though).

If I had to guess, I’d say it’s the new memory compression feature – but I had it occur just after a reboot this afternoon, with no other apps open. Then this evening it’s working fine again.

The other likely explanation is a clash with 3rd-party apps – I don’t run that many, but you never know.

In any case, I’m going to be doing a clean install to an external disk to see if it reproduces there – if it doesn’t happen there, then it will be a clean install for the laptop as well this weekend.

If you’ve had issues like that, feel free to leave a comment.

Update: Well, it just happened again. The only observation I can make is that it was while doing a build for the project I’m looking at – it’s quite possible that it was trying to compact memory or move stuff to swap. I wonder if the swap partition is corrupted?

Update the second: As it turns out, my hard disk had started reporting SMART errors the day before I download Mavericks. Bad timing. The freezes were being caused by I/O errors – sure enough, when reading from the swap file (not partition).

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Author: Robert Watkins

My name is Robert Watkins. I am a software developer and have been for over 18 years now. I currently work for people, but my opinions here are in no way endorsed by them (which is cool; their opinions aren’t endorsed by me either). My main professional interests are in Java development, using Agile methods, with a historical focus on building web based applications. I’m also a Mac-fan and love my iPhone, which I’m currently learning how to code for. I live and work in Brisbane, Australia, but I grew up in the Northern Territory, and still find Brisbane too cold (after 16 years here). I’m married, with two children and one cat. My politics are socialist in tendency, my religious affiliation is atheist (aka “none of the above”), my attitude is condescending and my moral standing is lying down.

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