I’m Paul Herron, a full-stack developer and technical manager.
I focus mainly on back-end development with tools like Symfony
and devops with tools like Docker

Troubleshooting my Macbook slowdowns

by Paul Herron on 04 July 2014

I’ve been tormented by an issue on my Mac for a while now where it would be fine for a day or so after booting, but then would suddenly slow down in various specific ways:

Apart frome these things it would seem fine, but as the above things happen quite a lot it was rather frustrating.

I searched all over for something that might be misbehaving. CPU and memory usage was fine. launchd seemed to be writing a lot to disk but I couldn’t connect that to the problems I was having. Generally, disk IO seemed fine. After a lot of hunting around, the only surefire way I could find to sort the problem was to reboot, which as I’m supposed to be technical felt like a bit of a defeat!

It took me a while to realise that the common theme here is that in each of the above cases, a sound would be played. Could it be the sound daemon misbehaving? To further my suspicions, when I tried toggling the sound on and off via System Preferences, that too caused the system to hang for a few seconds. I tried doing the following, and sure enough, everything went back to normal:

sudo killall coreaudiod

Finally, I’d found a fix for the problem that didn’t involve a full reboot.

I haven’t worked out specifically what’s going wrong just yet, or how to fix it. But for the moment I’m happy to have found this workaround.

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