12 Replies Latest reply: Aug 6, 2009 4:53 PM by BDAqua
Asen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
Not sure if this is the right place to ask, but:

Since this morning my MakBook Pro runing OS X Tiger needs to be rebooted frequently. I always get a dark screen with the message that the OS X quits unexpectedly and the computer needs to be restarted.

I don't even know where to start checking. The only problem I know I have is the battery which is weak, but bot dead.

Please, advice!..

Mac OS X (10.4.11)
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,010 points)
    Have you booted off the Install Disk by holding the *d key* down at boot-up, (not the c key), and run the extended Apple HW Test? Some Install disks require holding the Option key at bootup to select the AHT. Some Macs came with separate AHT CDs.

    One way to test is to Safe Boot from the HD, (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, Test for action in Safe Mode...

    Reboot, test again.

    If it only does it in Regular Boot, then it is some 3rd party add-on, Check System Preferences>Accounts>Login Items window to see if it or something relevant is listed.

    Also look in these if they exist, some are invisible...

    /private/var/run/StartupItems
    /Library/StartupItems
    /System/Library/StartupItems

    Could be many things, we should start with this...

    "Try Disk Utility

    1. Insert the Tiger Mac OS X Install disc that came with your computer, then restart the computer while holding the C key.
    2. When your computer finishes starting up from the disc, choose Disk Utility from the Installer menu. (In Mac OS X 10.4 or later, you must select your language first.)
    Important: Do not click Continue in the first screen of the Installer. If you do, you must restart from the disc again to access Disk Utility.
    3. Click the First Aid tab.
    4. Click the disclosure triangle to the left of the hard drive icon to display the names of your hard disk volumes and partitions.
    5. Select your Mac OS X volume.
    6. Click Repair. Disk Utility checks and repairs the disk."

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214

    Then Safe Boot , (holding Shift key down at bootup), run Disk Utility in Applications>Utilities, then highlight your drive, click on Repair Permissions, reboot when it finishes.

    The usual reason why updates fail or mess things up, or things don't load/run, is if Permissions are not fixed before & after every update, with a reboot... you may get a partial update when the installer finds it doesn't have Permissions to change one obscure little part of the OS, leaving you with a mix of OS versions.

    Some people get away without Repairing Permissions for years, some for only days.

    If Permissions are wrong before applying an update, you could get mixed OS versions, if Directory is the slightest messed up, who knows!

    If many Permission are repaired, or any Directory errors are found, you may need to re-apply some the latest/biggest updates again, or even do an A&I if you have enough free disk space.

    The combo update for PowerPC-based Macs...
    http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/macosx10411comboupdateppc.html

    The combo update for Intel-based Macs...
    http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/macosx10411comboupdateintel.html

    Repair Permissions before & after re-install, then reboot again each time.

    If all the above fails, then it appears to be time for a relatively painless Archive & Install, which gives you a new/old OS, but can preserve all your files, pics, music, settings, etc., as long as you have plenty of free disk space and no Disk corruption, and is relatively quick & painless...

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120

    Just be sure to select Preserve Users & Settings.

    I only use Software Update to see what is needed, then get them for real via...

    http://www.apple.com/support/downloads/

    That way I can wait a week or so, check the forums for potential problems, and get Permissions & such in order before installing.

    If it appears to be time for An Archive & Install, which gives you a new OS, but can preserve all your files, APPs, pics, music, settings, etc., as long as you have plenty of free disk space...

    http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120

    Be sure to use Preserve Users & Settings.
  • Asen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Ok, thanks again for really taking your time!

    What I could see is that you mainly assume it is a software malfunctioning and you suggest some steps to correct it.

    BUT, might that be some HARDWARE problem, causing that CARNEL PANIC or whatever it is, that makes my screen go dark and I get this "OS quited unexpectedly" message?

    Huh?
  • Limnos Level 8 Level 8 (42,050 points)
    We don't have much to go on as yet. Open the Console application and see what it reports in terms of error logs. It could be hardware, or software. It could even be a matter of the computer overheating (not unheard of in summer if you have the vents blocked by it sitting on your lap). Any other things happening? During specific applications?
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,010 points)
    BUT, might that be some HARDWARE problem...


    My very first paragraph was about trying to find a Hardware problem using AHT... Apple Hardware Test.
  • Asen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Ok, I missed that. Sorry.

    Seems, a bit complicated task to go through all those. But, I will. And I will go to my local service center if I don't find any problems myself.

    I will come back to this topic after I check all the info you provided. Thanks.
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,010 points)
    Yeah, first time you do it it does seem hard... I remember learning how to walk when an infant... I sez to myself... Is this worth all the trouble? Crawling seems to get you there without all these falling down instances!

    Looking forward to your report though!
  • Asen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    Problem identified. Some SMART problem with my HDD. Now I will replace it.

    Point is I cannot create an image of my old OS. When I try by using the Disk Utility and chose the "Macintosh HD" volume and chose the external USB HDD with a Mac OS Journaled partition, it simply replies "Resource Busy"... And just refuses to create an image of my old system, so that I can migrate it when I reinstall the OS on the new HDD.

    Please, advice how to do that? Will that be possible just to connect the old HDD as an external drive and use the Disk Utility?
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,010 points)
    Good find!

    Will that be possible just to connect the old HDD as an external drive and use the Disk Utility?


    Yes, I think you'll have to Install to a new HD first then try Migrating, a self powered Firewire case for the bad internal one would be best.
  • Asen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    BDAqua wrote:
    Good find!

    Will that be possible just to connect the old HDD as an external drive and use the Disk Utility?


    Yes, I think you'll have to Install to a new HD first then try Migrating, a self powered Firewire case for the bad internal one would be best.

    Without making an image or a system backup or whatever? Just by plugging the old HDD with the old OS X using a FW case, connecting it to the new OS and using a Migration Assistant?.. That'll be enough?

    Message was edited by: Asen
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,010 points)
    Yes, that is what we are hoping for , but may have to use something like Data Rescue II...

    http://www.prosofteng.com/products/data_rescue.php

    They have a free demo to see what it could recover.
  • Asen Level 1 Level 1 (5 points)
    That will do. Will let you know. So far the old HDD works. In few hours I'll replace it, install a new HD and will try to Migrate from the old system, which will be on the old HDD in a FW case.

    Thanks again. I do appreciate you taking time with all this.

    By the way, I don't need the Data Rescue. The old disk still works. Just crashes the OS from time to time...

    Message was edited by: Asen
  • BDAqua Level 10 Level 10 (120,010 points)
    Good deal, do let us know!

    After you install a fresh OS on the new Drive, on first reboot Migration Assistant will pop up & give you the opportunity of Migrating stuff.