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Boots in safe mode, stalls on normal boot

3857 Views 16 Replies Latest reply: Dec 10, 2012 12:32 AM by Trane Francks RSS
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Eisen Feuer Calculating status...
Currently Being Moderated
Nov 28, 2012 5:55 PM

Running Snow Leopard on my Mac Pro 2009.

 

Pretty straightforward troubleshooting if you want to skip to the end, although how I got to this place might help:

 

About a month ago I had a massive system crash, the cause of which I cn only attribute to Flash (statistically 80-something percent of crashes come from this little twerp, right?)  I could not perform a normal boot, so I looked at Verbose Mode and saw I was getting errors which I cannot quote verbatim leading me to believe I needed to free up space on my hard drive.  So I did that in Safe Mode, and it still wouldn't boot in normal mode.  I tried again and again and on the 3rd time with no real explanation it booted normally.  For a while it would boot and after maybe 3 hours of uptime the Finder would start beachballing my cursor and slowly every app I touched would irreversably freeze.  I would force quit Finder (which would never restart) and other things but ultimately everything was frozen except my cursor.  The Apple Menu and Cmd+Opt+Esc wouldn't even come up.

 

I dealt with this for a while and figured I'd bust out TechTool, DiskWarrior for a permissions and directory overhall, and iDefrag (it was insanely fragmented).  Well, after polishing my data to perfection I'm back to not being able to boot normally, but I know the disk utilities didn't kill my drive because I can still do a safe boot.  Things seem pretty stable in safe mode, so there's a leech somewhere to salt.

 

 

So, what are the main differences between a normal boot and a safe boot?  Are there some usual suspects I can flush out?  Does anyone know how to do a complete purge of Flash's imfluence on my computer?

 

Should I post my boot logs from the console to help?

Mac Pro (Early 2009), Mac OS X (10.6.8), 32GB RAM, Radeon 4870, IntensityPro
  • John Galt Level 7 Level 7 (33,055 points)
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    Nov 28, 2012 6:09 PM (in response to Eisen Feuer)

    Safe Mode or "Safe Boot" is a troubleshooting mode that bypasses all third party system extensions and loads only required system components.

     

    Read about it: Starting up in Safe Mode 

     

    Certain activities are disabled in Safe Mode, but in general if you can boot in Safe Mode but not normally, then you have one or more third-party system modifications that are preventing your Mac from starting normally. Only you can know what you installed on your Mac.

     

    Eisen Feuer wrote:

     

    ... Should I post my boot logs from the console to help?

     

    Sure.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
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    Nov 28, 2012 7:42 PM (in response to Eisen Feuer)

    Run through this list of fixes,

     

    Step by Step to fix your Mac

     

    forget TechTool (meh), Disk Warrior (not) and iDefrag (this has been known to mess up machines)

     

     

    If you really want to defrag your Mac, nothing beats a clone, boot, reverse clone method + mapping off of bad sectors in the process, however your software needs to be working first. Clone crap you get crap.

     

    How to safely defrag a Mac's hard drive

     

     

    Only thing I use in all my  years is backup software (Carbon Copy Cloner) and OnyX cache (corruption) cleaning.

     

    Not one software problem, only one drive suddenly died of mechanical causes in over 20 years. Machine runs fast as it can.

     

     

    Why is my computer slow?

     

     

    more of my claptrap here

     

    https://discussions.apple.com/community/notebooks/macbook_pro?view=documents#/?p er_page=50

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 28, 2012 7:47 PM (in response to Eisen Feuer)

    Does anyone know how to do a complete purge of Flash's influence on my computer?

     

    How to install Flash, fix problems

     

    http://helpx.adobe.com/flash-player/kb/uninstall-flash-player-mac-os.html

     

     

    You also can use the free Easy Find to find all traces of Macromedia or Flash on your machine and delete it.

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 points)
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    Nov 29, 2012 4:39 PM (in response to Eisen Feuer)

    I don't do RAID, but defragging a Mac isn't necessary. Wiping and recloning defrags automatically, just doesn't optimize.

    27" i7 iMac SL, Lion, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 30, 2012 1:00 AM (in response to baltwo)

    baltwo wrote:

     

    ...defragging a Mac isn't necessary.

     

    Well in most cases it's not needed, certainly not on SSDs, however  if over time, say a year or two of many software changes to the hard drive it can become defragmented and not optimized. Which a defrag software could assist, but it really doesn't do that well of a job as it's not complete enough and people notice a slowdown over time so they do it again and again using the software approach on a live system and when it has a hiccup it hoses their machine.

     

    Wiping and recloning defrags automatically, just doesn't optimize.

     

    Ah, I beg to differ. If you reverse clone with Carbon Copy Cloner sometime, watch the file names, you'll see it starts via the alphabetical order of the filenames on the root directory.

     

    The major folders of Applications, Library, System, Users get written in that order.

     

    Hard drives are the fastest in what's called the "hot band" the area at the very beginning of the drive, where Applications folder will mostly go, this makes programs launch their fastest on hard drives with the fewest bounces and give a faster feel when launching them.

     

    Library + System are next, which despite not being in the hot zone on a reverse clone, are still near the top of the drive and thus boot just about as fast, I haven't found much any difference in boot time, likely because it's so large on normal installs thus falls out of the hot zone area. Also many people sleep their machines, so this negates the boot up time.

     

    What is especially good about the reverse clone method is the Users folder is written LAST, since these folders are subjected to the most drastic changes and occasional access, they can expand and contract into the slower 50% of the drive and thus keep away from affecting the performance of Applications and System longer.

     

    Many PC users like to partition their drives, leaving a space between the OS + apps and the Users data, so when changes to the OS occur or apps, it keeps it all up near the front of the drive for better performance and thus avoids the lengthily defrag process they have to perform monthly.

     

     

    Some defragging software doesn't optimize, but some do, however some do give the option to optimize for application or system/boot up performance.

     

    I see the reverse clone method also as a bootable backup method, so it's basically combining functions plus it's much safer as a bootable copy is available at all times.

  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 30, 2012 1:09 AM (in response to Eisen Feuer)

    Eisen Feuer wrote:

     

    I'd have some trouble defragging a 4TB RAID with the cloning method.

     

    RAIDs are notoriously unstable, software based RAIDs especially, RAID 0 even more so.

     

    If you have bad sectors on the drive and/or corrupted data, this is going to cause issues regardless.

     

    What a reverse clone does is copy all the data and put it back, if your having a issue with it then it's flagging a problem you need to address.

  • LexSchellings Level 5 Level 5 (5,485 points)
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    Nov 30, 2012 4:08 AM (in response to Eisen Feuer)

    I would like to stress the remark of ds store "certainly not on SSDs":

    do not defragment SSDs this will shorten the life of the SSDs and also will slow down the processing seriously, because of the Trim or GarbageCollection on the SSD.

  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (59,145 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Nov 30, 2012 11:39 AM (in response to ds store)

    ds store wrote:

    baltwo wrote:

    Wiping and recloning defrags automatically, just doesn't optimize.

    Ah, I beg to differ. If you reverse clone with Carbon Copy Cloner sometime, watch the file names, you'll see it starts via the alphabetical order of the filenames on the root directory.

    Although alphabetized, I don't consider that optimized, but mainly agree with the rest of your assertions. As for SSDs, none here and, IMO, unnecessary with desktop machines, even if Apple's making a move to push the boundaries with their mythical AI-controlled fusion drives.

    27" i7 iMac SL, Lion, OS X Mountain Lion (10.8.2), G4 450 MP w/Leopard, 9.2.2
  • ds store Level 7 Level 7 (30,305 points)
    Currently Being Moderated
    Dec 7, 2012 9:34 AM (in response to Eisen Feuer)

    Run through this, it will fix it,

     

    Step by Step to fix your Mac

     

    but I also suspect Ambrosia, BlackMagic and PeerGuardian and there seems to be something wrong with the NTFS drive or driver

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