What is running my machine down? This is iotop output...I still can't tell what is driving my system to a halt. Command+i on the SSD shows my "used space" slowly changing. It does this for about an hour...then freezes. I still have over 112 GB of free space on the drive...yet it yields me a... Beach-ball Of Death...any ideas?

If I listed what I've tried it would be two pages long.

iotop iosnoop kextstat kextunload on all Virtual Box drivers

removed Virtual Box


Discovered Virtual Box is not the problem

Created another user...logged in as other user...same problem...


Reinstalled OSX 10.8.2 from apple website....


here is a gist of the output....


  • 1
    Can you reword your question to be more clear what you have tried and what you are asking? Especially the title.
    – Kevin Chen
    Commented Jan 13, 2013 at 18:32

1 Answer 1


Please post the make/model/specs of your machine, and especially the brand, model and firmware revision of your SSD. I have an SSD that started throwing errors after 4,900 hours of operation. Updating the firmware resolved the issue.

You can find the SSD firmware by running the Hardware Profile (or more info in About this Mac) and selecting Serial-ATA and the your SSD in the Device Tree.

Hardware Profile SATA drives

Is the problem hardware or software?

I will attempt to list here a couple of possible issues, and what we need to help resolve.

If you have a second hard drive you can boot from (HDD, USB drive, etc.), please do.

  • Does the problem still occur?
  • If it does, does it happen on the boot device or still on the non-booted SSD?
  • While booted from something other than the SSD, run any disk checking software you have, even if its just a Disk Utility/First Aid/Verify Disk

Disk Utility

When did this problem start, and can you peg it to any action you did?

Wild process

Open Activity Monitor. First, click the drop list and change from My Processes to All Processes. Then click on the %CPU column header once (or twice) so the list shows the top CPU users at the top

Activity Monitor

Is there a run-away process at the top? If so, please let us know.

Consistency after reboot

How soon after a reboot does the disk usage start? Do you reboot with the following option checked?

OS X reboot dialog

If you do, reboot, but first uncheck the option.

Now that you're opening with a "fresh" login,

  • how soon after reboot does the problem start?
  • Is there a consistency with any programs running when this happens?

Your problem can be a lot of things, but from your initial output, I'm less inclined to think malware.

  • +10 for the EPIC response! I've done a few of these things already...I'll sit down and take time to respond in detail to this post later this week.
    – thefonso
    Commented Jan 14, 2013 at 2:12

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