Screen Freeze

Posted on 2005-04-05
Medium Priority
Last Modified: 2013-11-17
Why...when using Safari and Apple Mail does my screen freeze up and I am forced to do a restart ? All of a sudden my cursor will freeze and I will need to force a restart. Even though the cursor freezes...everything else seems to continue...the clock...any graphics on the page that I am on...it is just that my cursor freexes up.

Sometimes instead of going to an immediate forced restart...I do a forced shut down of Safari...the a forced shutdown of mail...but still my cursor is frozen...and I must press the forced restart button on the tower.

I have tried many things...but it still keeps happening...

I have done a complete...clean...re-install of my operating system...in fact I clean out the whole hard drive and re-installed from scratch...and still get it...

I tried zapping my PRAM...

Not sure if that really helped....but I still freeze up

Also did the fix or repair verifications on the hard drive with the disk utility..

And still freeze up...in fact I am afraid I will freeze up any moment and then loose all the explanation I just typed.

Could it be my processor is just too old for this new software....and sometimes it gets overwhelmed ??

I am using Mac OS 10.3.8 and Safari 1.2.4 (v125.12)....I keep up with all the current upgrades and security upgrades...

I am however using an older Mac...I am using a PowerMac G4 (The Gigabit Edition) with dual 450 MHz processors. I added memory some time ago...so I am using 1.12 GB SDRAM
Question by:Archangel55
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Expert Comment

ID: 13712261
Sounds like you need a new mouse. What happens when you unplug and then replug the mouse in when this happens?

Author Comment

ID: 13712430
Never tried that...but will next time....

But isn't it curious it only happens in Safari and Mail
LVL 14

Accepted Solution

cracky earned 2000 total points
ID: 13714548
Two common causes of Safari and Mail related freezes and / or slow-downs are:


Are your mailboxes very large? Sometimes the index takes a while to build if you are dealing with a huge mailbox. I tend to move older messages into an archive folder, especially in Sent Items.


The favicon cache commonly causes sluggish performance in Safari. See this article at MacOSXHints for a good fix:


Of course, if you are getting a permanent hang, then the problem might be more serious.
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Expert Comment

ID: 13715849
Was your RAM guaranteed to work with the system?

Macs are VERY VERY picky about their RAM, and sometimes, if it doesnt like it it'll cause a kernel panic. Sometimes a bad sector in the memory can cause crashes too....

It could be mailbox compression - this is done automatically behind the scenes, and can hang the computer whilst doing it if the mailbox is large enough.

Thinking about your mac setup it could just be the machine's age. We have two machines the same spec and whenever OS X goes near them they switch off with panic. However, somewhat confusingly, OS X (10.2.8 anyway) copes fine on a G3 iMac at 233mhz.

I'd recommend a CPU upgrade as first port of call, they're cheap and could get your speed up to 1.7Ghz G4. See how it goes from there.

Sorry if that's a bit jumbled :-)

Expert Comment

ID: 13717080
Try logging in as a different user (create a test one if you don't have a second one on the machine). See if you still get the problem as the other user. If not, then it could be a preference file with those apps.

I also agree on the sluggish nature of Mail when indexing a ton of emails. Give it a looooong time, like half hour or so to finish indexing before you force quit. Of course, force quitting it over and over might have corrupted the mailbox index beyond repair. A means for testing this is to find your mailbox file (search for .mbox) and move it to another folder. Mail will create a new one, and see how it reacts.

I have seen other apps lock up when trying to download a HUGE email or one that doesn't have a subject. You could goto www.myemail.com or www.mail2web.com to login to your email via browser to remove any troublesome messages.

As for Safari, if it gives you too much trouble, try out Firefox, www.mozilla.org. I find it works on sites that Safari gives me trouble with.

Author Comment

ID: 13720414
Its probably a little bit of everything that was suggested...but the site onle allows to accept one answer...

Thanks to all...

I will try the mail and safari tips...

Plug and unplug my mouse

See if that helps any...but I am probably also...like bigandybear said...running this stuff on an older machine..especially one with a clock speed of 450Mhz....despite the fact they are dual...

So far I have gone a half day without a freeze....
LVL 14

Expert Comment

ID: 13722944
Hi Archangel.

Thanks for the points, but you are actually able to split points between experts:

I hope they stay freeze-free for you :)

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