I described, several months ago now, my ongoing problems with the spinning beachball of doom under Mac OS X 10.4 (Tiger). This weekend I finally popped the Tiger DVD into my drive and performed an Archive and Install, which shuffles the System folder (and odds and ends of other system-owned folders, including surprisingly the development tools folder) into a Previous System Folders directory and creates a clean new system installation. I decided this time around to migrate all the user profiles into the new installation, so that I would still have a usable machine and would understand better what was causing the slowdown.
At this writing, I have to say that the archive and install wasn’t helpful. I was still getting SBODs after the first reboot with the new install. This, to me, suggests that the problem is either caused by something in my user profile (maybe Spotlight indexes, or startup items, or something) or else something that is endemic to the machine (like too little RAM).
As this machine continues to live up to its dubious fame as one of the least reliable PowerBooks—in addition to the slowdowns, I’ve got a bad stuck hinge that is damaging the frame of the display on the lower left side—I will be listening for news of new ’books at this week’s MacWorld keynote with more than the usual interest.