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In Lion, everything is working but i am puzzled by the presence of a "busy" wheel in the far right hand side of the finder window status bar. What is it indicating is happening? I have no search in process, no file size calculation, or any other process that I am aware of that would account of the "turning worm".

The "searching" or "busy" wheel (the one with radial bars, not the spinning color "pizza wheel") is not always present, but does appear in every finder window eventually. Activity Monitor shows nothing obvious, and CPU usage is not high... so what is it showing?

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For how long have you had this? Did you reinstall the whole system recently? – gentmatt Nov 29 '11 at 19:39

In my case, it just means the Finder is gathering the contents of a folder in order to present them to you, that's all. It shows only when displaying a folder full of hundreds of file, or while browsing network shares.

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