My computer was working fine until last night when I restarted. When the computer booted up and I logged into my account, I suddenly got the beachball whenever I tried to open an application. For example, I tried opening Safari and the window opened, but then the computer froze. I then restarted and logged in again. I tried opening iTunes and the computer froze. I did this for Finder and for iCal too, and none of them responded; the window would open, and then the system would freeze up. I tried to fix this by:

  • Booting into Lion Recovery and repairing the disk (twice + verified twice)
  • Booting into Lion Recovery and repairing the disk permissions (twice + verified twice)
  • Resetting the PRAM
  • Running a Hardware Test (results said hardware was fine)

I also tried to boot into safe mode but for some reason I couldn't. As a last resort, I attempted to reinstall Lion but my wi-fi would cut out so the download never finished.

When I booted into Lion Recovery and tried to save a file from Safari, I could view all the files on my Macintosh HD (not their content, but just the structure); it looks like the filesystem is OK. It's just that when I boot regularly, every application is unresponsive. Also when I boot regularly, Safari doesn't work (a window will open and then I get the beachball), but when I boot into Lion Recovery, Safari works fine and I can browse the web (which is how I'm posting this).

One thing that's weird: I have Geektool and I set it up to display the running processes and how much memory and percentage of the CPU they were using, and I noticed one process called "Character Palette" was using up 90-93% of the CPU. I suspect this might be the problem. All other process were taking up under 10% (most were under 1%).

Basically, my question is: what can I do to fix my computer?

Thanks in advance!


13-Inch Macbook Pro (2012) with 500 GB SSD Drive and 8 GB of RAM.

1 Answer 1


I talked to Apple Support and eventually had to reinstall Lion, which fixed the problem.

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