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Aqua's avatar

Computer Experts: Please help me this issue with prl_disp_service.

Asked by Aqua (2546points) October 4th, 2011

I have a MacBook Pro running OS 10.6.8; 2.4 GHz processor, 4 GB RAM. Every once in a while, prl_disp_service runs up the processor, taking around 98% of the CPU. I need to figure out why it’s using so much processing power and if there are programs I need to delete to prevent this from happening in the past. I did do some Google searching, but I’m still not sure what to do.

I ran this command (sudo launchctl list | grep -v ‘apple\|mdworker’PID) from the terminal as suggested on a forum I read, but I don’t know how to interpret the output or what to do next. I do have parallels installed, but I’ve never run it. I think restarting usually fixes the problem for a while, but I’d like to have it not come up again.

On a possibly related note, every so often (about once a week on average) the computer won’t let me open any applications. Anything I try to run just bounces in the dock but never opens. When this happens, restarting from the apple menu or using the power button doesn’t work. I either have to restart by holding the power button for a few seconds or using a sudo reboot command from terminal. If anyone can help me troubleshoot either of these issues, I would really appreciate it.

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14 Answers

Aqua's avatar

Sorry about the typo in the question title… my bad. It should be “Please help me with this issue…” (if a mod can fix that for me and then delete this post, that would be great)

koanhead's avatar

You say you’ve never run Parallels, so I’m thinking you don’t need the service running. I think if you aren’t actually using it then it should be safe to do a “sudo launchctl stop prl_disp_service” to kill the daemon temporarily. Then you can start it again when / if you want to use Parallels. That should be a little easier than rebooting the whole sytem.

I’m not actually a Mac / BSD guy, so I might be off base here. Anyway, if you post the output of the command you cite in your question that might be useful information for troubleshooters.

Aqua's avatar

Yeah, I was able to force quit the process with Activity Monitor. Here’s the output:
PID Status Label
– 0 0×100421b40.mach_init.mdworker32
12505 – 0×10041c7d0.mach_init.mdworker
12538 – 0×100421350.mach_init.mdworker
1 – 0×10040abc0.anonymous.launchd
30 – 0×100420fc0.anonymous.mds
12666 – 0×1001029b0.anonymous.login
12667 – 0×1001026f0.anonymous.bash
12673 – 0×100102430.anonymous.launchctl
3394 – 0×100102c70.anonymous.Terminal
193 – 0×100100b10.anonymous.prl_disp_service
171 – com.parallels.vm.prl_naptd
1 – 0×100102170.anonymous.launchd
131 – 0×10041dff0.anonymous.NortonMissedTask
– 0 org.x.privileged_startx
– 0 org.postfix.master
19 – org.ntp.ntpd
12665 – org.cups.cupsd
– 0
– 0
20 – com.vix.cron
48 – com.parallels.desktop.launchdaemon
– 0
– 0
49 – com.bluecoat.k9filter
– 0 0×100100850.mach_init.dashboardadvisoryd

koanhead's avatar

Hmm, it’s a bit odd that there are no values in the Status column there- but it’s unlikely they would be of much help anyway. According to the launchctl man page I looked at, the “anonymous” part of the label “0×100100b10.anonymous.prl_disp_service” means that it’s a service which is not actually managed by launchd, even though launchd has information about it, which is nice. Do Macs also use an old-fashioned BSD-style init? I don’t know. Anyway, you will probably want to find a way to stop the service being launched on your next startup, and I’m skeptical that the regular Mac method of regulating services (I don’t know what that is, but I gather there’s some graphical frontend for launchd) will work if the service is not managed by launchd.
Do you have a directory called /etc/init.d? Oh, Google says not. That being the case, if you can’t disable the service with “launchctl unload” then you will have to keep manually stopping it unless you uninstall Parallels (which may or may not remove the service.)

Anyway, with the service stopped, is your computer performing better, or is there something else hogging up the CPU?

dreamwolf's avatar

Ask the Apple experts I believe they are 24 hours. I had the bouncing apps problem too. I simply had to reinstall the dvd with apps, and update. Hmm 10.6.8? I’m sure that’s been trojan plagued now since Apples focus is with 10.7. time to upgrade. It has a great WDE security system.

koanhead's avatar

@dreamwolf How does one contact these experts? Is that something on-line, and if so can you provide a link? Or is this something that would be obvious to a Mac owner?

dreamwolf's avatar

for apple serial click, APPLE (left hand upper corner) + About this Mac+click VERSION until (serial number appears) plug that into what Apple is asking for on the link i gave you :D

dreamwolf's avatar

hint, when you are on about this mac, the “version” is just text it doesnt have a field box to click, but it is clickable

Aqua's avatar

@koanhead now that I quit prl_disp_service, everything’s running normally. Since I don’t currently use Parallels, I trashed everything I could find related to the program and haven’t had and problems so far. prl_disp_service hasn’t popped up, but when I run that command in terminal it still shows that “com.parallels.desktop.launchdaemon” is running. I’m not sure how to fully get rid of it.

@dreamwolf Now that my warranty expired, Apple tech support costs $$, so that’s not an option right now.

dreamwolf's avatar

Apple Store it is then? Genius bar.

koanhead's avatar

@Aqua Glad to hear things have improved!
Sorry I couldn’t help with the “bouncing icon” problem; that’s too deep into the layers of a foreign GUI for me to be of much use. Are you still having the problem?

Aqua's avatar

@dreamwolf yeah, I just might have to.

@koanhead It hasn’t happened since I posted this question, but I’ll let you know if it happens again.

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