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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.

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.

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.

Note and UPDATE:
If you use the above method 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.

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 complete 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.
- crossposted from Feedback


Supported by: UW Center for Game Science, UW Department of Computer Science and Engineering, UW Baker Lab, VU Meiler Lab,
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