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Joined: 03/05/2015
Groups: Gargleblasters

If your Mac suffers a hard freeze and it doesn't involve a foldit client "hanging"... foldit isn’t at fault. Read on:

Symptoms of "finder freeze"
I have been experiencing numerous random instances when nothing extraordinary is going on with my computer but all of a sudden, the only thing that works is my mouse.

The screen appears frozen but isn't (can see the mouse movement) but all else is not activatable. The only resolution is a hard reboot.

Note and UPDATE:
If you use the method below to remove this hang-inducing nuisance you will need to run periodic updates manually once the updater's turned off. The article also tells you how to do this. However, this is not a complete fix and google still tries to reinstall as long as there is any google material that requires logins (like YouTube accounts) which means a real fix is... removing Google completely from your mac (which involves turning off accounts, transferring email, etc.)

You need a little experience using Terminal to fix the critter...but you can also search on how to do that if you don't already know. It's really dead simple, just cutting and pasting a command into terminal and it's done.

HOWEVER... I had to completely remove anything google from my Mac to stop it from updating... including gmail, google maps, and access to any Youtube subscriptions or content I had. A little hassle but frankly, worth it. A search revealed that there were several threads about the google updater hanging Macs... and a few sites with some fixes. So after a week of pulling important emails off gmail... I finally deleted the rest this morning. (6-17-2017)

Going "google free" ... am trying Duck Duck Go for searches, and the Apple Maps app for direction finding. And using YouTube without the sign-in (which means that google will still try to update youtube but MAYBE not the whole thing. If I have to do without YouTube due to more hangs... that's yet to be determined.

That's definitely better than random hangs right in the middle of having 4 foldit clients open! This is a setting Google just foists on us and it runs in "stealth"... without notifications or asking permission. Which can cause problems with running applications, browsers, etc. But in truth, when you agree to the terms to use Google's free products, you also agree to let their automatic updaters crawl through your system on a regular basis... this is a bit alarming when they use the content on your computer to "customize" your views and push email ads based on your search and email and other google product activity. I finally got fed up when I was essentially having my mac hijacked for random updates and frozen out.

Let me ask you this: Let's say that your country's postal service sent you a note offering you free postage and storage of your letter mail "forever" ... and the only thing that you had to do to get it was agree to let them open and scan the content of every letter, every package you ever sent and to go inside your online accounts and look at where you went to shop and what kinds of things you read... would you agree to this for "free" postage? If so, and you're okay with an occasional freeze of your machine then you probably don't need to continue.

So with the above caution in mind... Here's what I discovered
Today (June 10 2017) I finally located what I'd begun to call the “Mac Crash” (freeze and hang requiring reboot) culprit… GoogleSoftwareUpdateAgent. This has frozen me out many times but iuntil I started monitoring the Console system.log I never saw a consistent pattern. Good news is that I was able to turn this updater off. Bad news is that it doesn't stop google's automatic updater from trying.

The latest freeze occurred after I had opened Chrome Browser to do something my Safari browser refuses to do. Don't know if that is what triggered google updater (as it has happened previously, numerous times, with only Safari running). The updater is set to occur at regular intervals.

Where I found the fix:
Searched/google (oh the irony) for “how to disable Google SoftwareUpdateAgent” and found a link to a
As the article title implies, this is information about the "finder freeze" - and the author of the site, "philastokes" instructs you how to disable it. If you can live without Google I suggest taking the more drastic approach and ridding your Mac of anything Google if you want to stop the finder freezes for good. The article above has links to other articles that tell you how to remove every bit of Google. Good luck!

Update July 8 I added some information to the content above and explained the ramifications a bit more.

- crossposted from Feedback


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