Check available free space on the Macintosh HD.
Check health of both external and internal drives.
Use a different external drive, a New one formatted for Mac (Mac OS Extended (Journaled) ), and create a test catalog and import X number of images to it.
Check what else is running on your Mac.
The spinning color wheel means one of 2 things.
1) The system is to busy to process what you've asked it to do. To many processes running for the amount of RAM installed and overall speed of the system.
2) The system can't access the data on the drive fast enough. Problems with the drive.
I would start by getting a new external drive and copying all your images to it, ASAP. I personally have no faith in LaCie external hard drives.
Many thanks for the reply.
Will look at the issues. Mac has about 150GB avail, so shouldn't be that.
Areas I was looking at was updating to El Capitain to enable Lightroom CC and converting to Lightroom CC from Lightroom 5.
Ack that re LaCie - doing a save to another hardrive tonight!
thanks for your reply, appreciated.
You don't need El Capitan to use the newest release of LR CC 2015. What you do need is Mavericks or Yosemite. At least Mavericks 10.9.x. If you go to only Mt Lion, 10.8.x then the only version of CC 2015 that will run is 6.1. With Mavericks, 10.9.x, and Yosemite, 10.10.x all current versions of CC 2015 work.
Both of those slightly older versions of OS X should still be available on the Mac App Store. But you might have to search for them. Apple is great for pushing the newest version of OS X.
Great update, thanks. Must admit to being slightly baffled as to which OS system to upgrade to, and have seen horror stories on these boards, so have balked at taking the leap. Very useful advice. Thank you. Cheers PH