8 Replies Latest reply: Jul 30, 2008 5:22 AM by vusa
vusa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
My Powerbook hangs on the grey apple window during start up indefinately. I have tried single mode start up and when I tried to Repair the disc it ended on the message that said 'Incorrect block count for file mach (It should be 1 instead of 0). Nothing else responded after this so I had to shut it down. When I tried repairing the permissions it hung on the repair indefinitely. I then tried the Verbose mode andit eventually seems to loop one message continuosly. The message is 'IOTABlockStorageDriver : : sCompleteZeroBlockTransfer-WARNING,completing a zero block transfer. The hard drive is accessible though through target disk mode and when I 'Option Boot' I can see the drive with its original mode.
What does this mean and how can I solve this problem? The computer is running on OS X 4.11 and I had just updated Third party sware called birthday book over the internet.

Powerbook G4 Laptop, Mac OS X (10.4.10), 1 GHz Power PC G4 Processor 512 MB Ram
  • Allan Jones Level 7 Level 7 (32,095 points)
    Have you tried booting in Safe mode (shift key held down)? According to the article I linked, it forces a directory check. If you get a boot that way, try a normal restart before doing anything else; SM may have fixed something.

    Your post doesn't say--are you booting from a system or install DVD to run utilities? That gives DU a few more options. If DU still cannot fix, you may need a third-party repair utility. DiskWarrior is supposed to be the best for directory problems.
  • vusa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Im booting straight from the harddrive without the install cd in the machine. Part of the problem is that I dont have my install cds with me where I am. I have tried safe mode but it goes straight to the grey apple screen.
  • Steven Vanderhoek Level 2 Level 2 (425 points)
    You are going to need something a little more sophisticated like DiskWarrior or Tech Tool Pro. But if it is bad blocks that are ailing your HD then you will end up having to reformat it with "zero all data". That is the only way to repair bad blocks. If you don't have your disks then you will have to call apple to purchase replacement disks or use someone else's mac via Target Disk Mode.
    Steve
  • vusa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I took a chance and started in single mode and deleted the caches files. I then did a disk repair and again it stopped on the message 'Incorrect block count for file mach (It should be 71 instead of 0). I left it like that for a while. Not intentionally though but it proved to be my saviour. After a good 20mins plus of no sign of activity it gave the message 'Disk repaired'. I then started it up in Verbose mode and after a few messages it started up. What would you recommend I do now as Im worried about shutting it down at this point
  • Steven Vanderhoek Level 2 Level 2 (425 points)
    Your internal hard disk has a certain amount of "spare blocks" that it can use to replace the bad blocks. Over time, the data on your bad blocks is re allocated to the spare blocks so that those bad blocks aren't use any more. Go to Disk Utility and click on your drive and look at "S.M.A.R.T. status" and see what it says. If the disk is working fine then it says "Verified". Right now, the best idea is to get an external hard drive and use either [SuperDuper!|http://www.shirt-pocket.com/SuperDuper/SuperDuperDescription.html] or [Carbon Copy Cloner|http://www.bombich.com/software/ccc.html] to create a bootable backup of your hard drive. This will create a mirror image of your hard drive from which you can boot. Note that for power pc, your external drive needs to be connected to the firewire port in order to boot from it.
    Steve
  • vusa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks for the advice. The S.M.A.R.T status says "Verified" in DU. I also did a full scan using Drive Genius and it found no bad blocks. Im wondering whether it wasn't the fact that I havent repaired my permissions in a long time. After it started up I repaired the permissions and there were a lot of errors to repair there. Also could erasing the caches have helped in any way? Will definitely do a copy. What is the best app to use to back up my data on a daily basis?
  • Steven Vanderhoek Level 2 Level 2 (425 points)
    For Tiger, I'm pretty sure it is. I never really did any backing up until I got Leopard and started using Time Machine. But having a backup and something that you can boot from is a must for sure.
    Steve
  • vusa Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    I have since bought an external HD and made a bootable clone of my powerbook and backup the data regularly. Now that I could experiment a bit more on the system without worrying about the data I think I have found the problem. I have realized that my machine is erratic at reading the memory slots. My machine actually had 1GB of RAM but I was surprised that Its reading 512MB. I noticed that the Lower Slot reads empty. I tried removing the chips, cleaning the contacts and changing the chips around and at first try both chips were seen and it read 1GB RAM. The machine froze again and I powered it down and tried a restart but it hung again on the grey screen. Verbose mode started it fine this time except that it read 512MB RAM and the Lower Memory Slot said empty. I restarted and It booted fine except that it still did not read the Lower memory slot. (I have to mention that at this point I did not here the "chimes" sound that comes at start up. The Diagnostics section in sys hardware profiler says Power On Self Test failed" and it identifies the problem as being on the Lower Memory Slot. So i did a bit more experimenting an removed the upper slot and rebooted. It booted fine , with chime sound and all and it read the lower memory slot. This worked fine until about 20 minutes. It hung and I had to restart it. This time it just gave 3 beeps and the sleep light flashed and the screen remained black. I decided to remove the RAM chip from the lower memory slot and put the same chip in the upper slot and it has been working perfectly ever since. The P.O.S.T test reads passed and the machine generally seems happier without the Lower RAM slot occupied. Does anyone know about this problem and how to solve it.