Very slow Emac...if that's a surprise I guess

goramba

Registered
Hey guys! I'm VERY new to the mac world but I'm trying help diagnose a very slow and buggy emac. It's the 800mhz version with 384 meg ram. Not much is run on it, filemaker, email, a web browser or two, that's about it. Yet it runs very slow and many times programs will suddenly crash other times we can't open commonly used programs.

I thought it may have been ram (had 128) but installing more did nothing to help. I looked at the running processes and noticed one called "cgpdftops" using 80% or more of the CPU. I tried looking it up but all I got was something about a CUPS filter and PDF printing.

Is there any way to get rid of it? It's being run by "daemon" (not sure if that matters) but it won't let me 'kill' it from a terminal window. Reboot and it's instantly loaded again.

So I'm out of the few ideas I had on this. Essential program? Should it be taking that much cpu?! Any help is appreciated!
 

Ifrit

Registered
It sounds to me like you have faulty RAM. Even with 128 (the absolute minimum for OSX) programs shouldn't crash 'out of the blue'.

Try using just one stick of RAM at once - maybe there is an incompatibility or just one of the two you used is faulty. I assume you inserted additional 256 MB. Otherwise (if you have the money) buy 512MB (and please, avoid 'noname brands').
Unfortunally OSX is very picky about about RAM.
 

nitz

Registered
I have exactly the same problem for the last three days. I don't think it is a faulty RAM chip though. I'll check it with the hardware test CD just to be sure. Here is what I posted in another forum:

I noticed that our email server (eMac, 700MHz, 640MB, running 10.2.8) was running really slow so I checked in Activity Viewer to see what processes were taking up CPU resources. I found a process called cgpdftops that was sitting at around 90-95%. I think I can safely assume that this is what was causing the problem. I tried to force quit it but it wouldn't let me because it is a daemon. I then went into Terminal and did a kill -9. That worked but it started right up again with a different Process ID. I repaired permissions but it didn't help.

According to the Internets cgpdftops has something to do with the MacOS PDF creator. Its Parent process according to Activity viewer is CUPS. I haven't installed or changed any print/pdf/acrobat settings lately.

Whenever I restart the computer or login the process starts right back up and the computer runs really slow. Is there someway via Terminal that I can tell the system not to start this at startup?

Any clue as to what could be causing this? Thanks a bunch for any ideas.
At the end is what I found in /var/log/cups/error_log
Please look in your logs and see if you notice anything similar. have you made any changes to PDF/Acrobat settings lately? What OS version are you using?
The logs....

Code:
I [05/Oct/2005:09:05:22 +0200] Listening to 7f000001:631
I [05/Oct/2005:09:05:22 +0200] Configured for up to 100 clients.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:05:22 +0200] Allowing up to 100 client connections per host.
E [05/Oct/2005:09:05:22 +0200] Filter "pdftops" cannot be found!
I [05/Oct/2005:09:05:23 +0200] LoadPPDs: Read "/private/etc/cups/ppds.dat", 12 PPDs...
I [05/Oct/2005:09:05:24 +0200] LoadPPDs: No new or changed PPDs...
I [05/Oct/2005:09:05:28 +0200] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/cgpdftops (PID 468) for job 32.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:05:28 +0200] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/pstops (PID 469) for job 32.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:05:28 +0200] Started backend /usr/libexec/cups/backend/mdns (PID 470) for job 32.
E [05/Oct/2005:09:19:40 +0200] Scheduler shutting down due to SIGTERM.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:19:49 +0200] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/cgpdftops (PID 535) for job 33.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:19:49 +0200] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/pstops (PID 536) for job 33.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:19:49 +0200] Started backend /usr/libexec/cups/backend/mdns (PID 537) for job 33.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:19:49 +0200] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/cgpdftops (PID 538) for job 32.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:19:49 +0200] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/pstops (PID 539) for job 32.
I [05/Oct/2005:09:19:49 +0200] Started backend /usr/libexec/cups/backend/mdns (PID 540) for job 32.
 

goramba

Registered
Ifrit - Yeah I was thinking about pulling the stick I didn't recently replace and see it that was an issue. While doing my last software checks I came across the cgpdftops issue. I'll probably give that a shot anyway.

Nitz - It looks like we might be having the exact same problem, you just obviously know more about Mac troubleshooting. I have no idea how to get to that log file you posted but it's running on version 10.2.8. The person using the computer knows so little about it (uses it mostly as a typewriter) I doubt there was any intentional change of settings.

Is there a way to edit the startup functions? Maybe taking lines out one by one will tell us where this problem is starting. I've been working with PC's for about 12 years now but I'm only on my 3rd month of Mac so I'm still figuring out the basics.

Good to know I'm not alone with this issue, sorry you have to experience it too. I'll let you know if I find anything.

Thanks!
 

fryke

Moderator
Staff member
Mod
What printer is used? Does it use the CUPS printer driver? If you uninstall the printer (disconnect it, get rid of it in the printer setup thingie) and restart, does the problem come back?

If that doesn't "solve" the problem, does creating a new, clean-slate user and only logging in to _that_ account? (To find out whether the problem is system or user specific...)
 

nitz

Registered
I logged in as root and it was still slow. The process "cgpdftops" was still running because its a daemon and AFAIK it will run whether or not someone is logged in or not. I was trying to deactivate printers as well but the computer was reacting sooooo slow that it was taking too long to open windows and start programs. It will have to wait till monday.

One thing I did try because I was curious was to SSH into the machine and rename the file cgpdftops which resides at /usr/libexec/cups/filter/.... That didn't change anything but in the process viewer it didn't show up. Instead there was a new process that didn't have a proper title but was instead just a black apple logo. Strange. It probably has no bearing on this problem. I decided not to mess it any further so I renamed it back to cgpdftops. The problem is still there though.


Goramba---
To look inside your log files, open up the program called terminal which is located inside your Applications/Utilities folder.

At the prompt type:
Code:
pico /var/log/cups/error_log
This should open up a bunch of text in the window. To scroll through text press ctrl-V. To search for cgpdftops type ctrl-W and enter the text. If you find anything similar to what I found, or that looks suspicious, Select and copy the text and paste it into a reply here using the CODE tags.
 

nitz

Registered
I opened up a text document and opened up the print dialog with apple-P. From there I went to the printer settings and deleted all the printers from the list. Now the cgpdftops process is no longer showing up in the Process viewer. The computer is a bit faster but still slow. That might be a result of our email server playing catchup now that it has more processor power. We'll see what happens.

As an aside I tried to do a hardware test on that machine by using the 1st restore CD that came with it and holding down Option when the machine reboots. I selected Apple Hardware Test but it told me that it is not compatible with this machine. Hmmm. What's up with that?
 

goramba

Registered
I looked through the error logs and mine looks remarkably similar to yours! Looks like we're in the same boat here. Here is a copy:

Code:
I [10/Oct/2005:10:46:14 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/cgpdftops (PID 477) for job 3328.
I [10/Oct/2005:10:46:14 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/pstops (PID 478) for job 3328.
I [10/Oct/2005:10:46:14 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/pstoxeroxps (PID 479) for job 3328.
I [10/Oct/2005:10:46:14 -0400] Started backend /usr/libexec/cups/backend/pap (PID 480) for job 3328.
E [10/Oct/2005:11:57:13 -0400] Scheduler shutting down due to SIGTERM.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:57:13 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/cgpdftops (PID 486) for job 2536.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:57:13 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/pstops (PID 487) for job 2536.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:57:13 -0400] Started backend /usr/libexec/cups/backend/mdns (PID 488) for job 2536.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:57:13 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/cgpdftops (PID 489) for job 2532.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:57:13 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/pstops (PID 490) for job 2532.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:57:13 -0400] Started backend /usr/libexec/cups/backend/mdns (PID 491) for job 2532.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Listening to 7f000001:631
I [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Configured for up to 100 clients.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Allowing up to 100 client connections per host.
E [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Filter "pdftops" cannot be found!
E [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Filter "imagetops" cannot be found!
E [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Filter "texttops" cannot be found!
E [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Filter "texttops" cannot be found!
E [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Filter "texttops" cannot be found!
E [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Filter "texttops" cannot be found!
E [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Filter "texttops" cannot be found!
E [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] Filter "imagetoraster" cannot be found!
I [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] LoadPPDs: Read "/private/etc/cups/ppds.dat", 12 PPDs...
I [10/Oct/2005:11:58:31 -0400] LoadPPDs: No new or changed PPDs...
I [10/Oct/2005:11:58:38 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/cgpdftops (PID 402) for job 2532.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:58:38 -0400] Started filter /usr/libexec/cups/filter/pstops (PID 403) for job 2532.
I [10/Oct/2005:11:58:38 -0400] Started backend /usr/libexec/cups/backend/mdns (PID 404) for job 2532.
This is a copy of the process information incase something jumps out:

402 cgpdftops 83.4% 66:09.23 1 15 28 2.32M 19.7M 22.0M 35.5M
 
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