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10.4 Tiger - mds process hogs CPU and Memory

Has anyone run into an issue with mds (which I believe is part of Spotlight) hogging the processor and memory?  It seems to take whatever processor time and real memory is available, totally maxing out both.

Is this normally?  Is there a way to stop it from doing it?  Do I need to reinstall Tiger?

Any info at all would be helpful.

Thanks.
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phan71
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phan71
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1 Solution
 
sgstuartCommented:
Hi phan71,
       Is this happening shortly after a Tiger install?   I know that Tiger will index (basically for Spotlight) and it happens in the beginning, and depending on the size and amount of files of ALL of your Hard Drives.    At the Apple Store Demo's they were saying that this could take 24 hours or more, without doing anything else, your computer itself can make a difference too, the speed and especially the RAM.

     mds is the Metadata server service.    If mds hangs you can kill the process using "sudo kill -KILL XXXX" where "XXXX" is the PID (process ID).  You will then be asked for an adminstrator password.  The metadata server will restart, and most of the time, all will resume as it should.

Here is a link for some suggestions on what to do.
http://discussions.info.apple.com/webx?128@81.V9hPaV5dS1o.278164@.68aed183

I have seen that it appears to be most evident if there are external drives.

Thanks,
Steven Stuart

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phan71Author Commented:
Well, I've tried killing the process when this occurs, but it just goes back to maxing out the CPU and memory.  However, after a reboot it acts normally.

At first I thought it might have something to do with mounting an external FW HD, and then dismounting it.  I tried to replicate the problem by doing that, but I couldn't.

My new theory is that it might just occur while/after downloading many large files (that's the only other thing I remember doing both times this has happened).  I haven't tested this yet.

I'm going to keep an eye on it for a while and do some other testing to see if I can consistently replicate the problem.
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sgstuartCommented:
Hi Phan71,
     Was mdimport running as well (besides mds)?   I would have written that earlier, but I did not get a message this time that there was a response.  I think that mdimport would probably instantly bring the other one up.   Had you tried the mdutil commands in the link above?
     It sounds like you are okay now though.    It does seem like Spotlight is a little buggy at this time, but I am sure it will get fixed in the next two upgrades, a long with the network bug that seems to be around especially with Airport.

Thanks,
Steven Stuart
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phan71Author Commented:
I hadn't noticed the mdimport at the time, I didn't know it was related.

It hasn't happened again, but I've still got some things I want to try to force it (if I can), just to see if I can determine what the cause is.  If it does happen again, I'll probably take the steps in the link you posted to rebuild the Spotlight indexes.

I'll leave this thread open for a few days in case I have anything to add. Then, I'll accept your original comment and award points.

Thanks.
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phan71Author Commented:
Well, I was sort of able to replicate the problem.

It did it again when I was downloading some large files using Thoth.  The times it happened before seemed to also occur after downloading several large (30MB+) files, both with Safari and with Thoth.

This time, however, it fixed itself after the downloads completed and I quit Thoth.

So, who knows?  Coincidence?  Or maybe Spotlight has issues with large temp files?
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