1 2 Previous Next 15 Replies Latest reply: Oct 14, 2005 8:52 PM by Leo Earle
Leo Earle Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
My PowerBook currently stalls during startup (a dark grey apple on a light grey bground with a circling sun). I have tried holding down the C key as my Mac starts up and then clicking the hard disk icon and then the right arrow (my Mac just stalls on the grey apple again once I've done this). I have also tried Disk Utility and the Apple Hardware Test. Neither identifies any errors, except when I try to Repair disk permissions Disk Utility reports an Internal Error - 'Disk Utility has lost its connection with the Disk Management Tool and cannot continue'. I have tried restarting the process many times but I always get this same message.

The problem began when I attempted to export a QuickTime movie in QT Pro as an MPEG-4. I attempted to resave the MPEG-4 as a QT movie afterwards. QT then created a gastronomically huge .mov file when I attempted to do this. A file in the region of 32GB! (It should have been less than 1MB). My computer crashed after it told me my hard disk was almost full (there is now only 2.7GB free). This has happened to me before but normally what I can do is restart my Mac and then delete the offending .mov file, however this time I can't even get into my Mac to do this.

I don't want to format my hard disk as I did this only last week after a problem with OS Tiger that I subsequently deleted and reverted back to OS Panther. I have created a lot of work since then that I haven't backed up anywhere else.

If anyone has any ideas… I'd be v v grateful

leo
  • 1. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,150 points)
    Hi Leo,

    Try running Repair Disk: Boot from install disc (insert disc>restart>immediately hold down c key and keep holding it until you see “Preparing Installation”)>at first screen go to Installer Menu>open Disk Utility>select your HD in the panel on the left side>click Repair Disk at bottom of main window. Run this at least twice, and keep running it until it says “appears ok” twice in a row. If that doesn’t happen, you may need a stronger utility such as DiskWarrior or you may have a damaged HD (Repair Disk can only repair the directory structure, not the HD itself).

    Post back with results.
  • 2. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Hi, Leo. In addition to tjk's suggestion, which I can't make out whether you've already tried: if you have a bootable CD or external hard drive that will allow you access to the desktop (an OS installer CD won't), start up from that disk and trash the offending oversized file from your internal HD.

    Your HD is probably just too full (or thinks it's too full) for the OS to function at all.

    In Disk Utility, repairing permissions on the hard drive must be done when you're booted to the hard drive, not when you're booted to a CD. Conversely, DU's Repair Disk routine can only be run when you're booted to a volume other than the one needing repair.
  • 3. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    Leo Earle Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Hi tjk

    I have done Repair Disk about 10 times in a row in response to your suggestion. I get the same message at the end of Repair Disk every time:
    "Repair attempted on 1 volume
    HFS volume repaired"

    Yesterday I did Repair Disk too and got different messages in the beginning, but now it appears to have stabilized on the same message. I can't remember what the initial Repair Disk end messages were.

    Any other suggestions?

    Leo
  • 4. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    Leo Earle Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Hi eww,

    I have attempted tjk's suggestion but it just says 'Repair attempted on 1 volume - HFS volume repaired' every single time.

    Where might I find a bootable CD? As for external hard drives, I have a Maxtor OneTouch firewire drive but I don't understand how I could possibly enter my desktop through this.

    I don't understand what you mean about Disk Utility. I'll explain what I have been doing... I insert the OS installer CD, keep my finger down on C, switch on my Mac, go into Installer, choose Disk Utility, then Macintosh HD and click on Repair Disk. What else could I do?

    Many thanks leo
  • 5. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    Leo Earle Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Anyone have any ideas?

    Perhaps I need to go to an Apple Store to have it checked?
  • 6. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Leo: The procedure you've been using to Repair Disk is exactly right. If you wanted to Repair Permissions, though, you'd have to be able to boot to your hard drive first. Because you're unable to boot to your HD, and yet you mentioned trying to Repair Permissions, I pointed out that under present circumstances that won't be possible. Sorry if my post was confusing.

    IF your FireWire hard drive has a bootable OS on it — which you'd have to have installed on it or cloned from your internal drive — you can boot the PB to that drive. Connect the drive to the PB, turn the drive on, hold down the Option key, select the external drive as the startup voloume, and allow startup to complete. Assuming that the overly-full internal hard drive then mounts on the desktop normally, you should be able to open it up in the Finder, locate the monster file, trash it and empty the trash. This is all academic, though, if there's no bootable OS installed on the external drive — which you'll know is true if it doesn't appear as a selectable startup volume when you hold the Option key down at startup.

    In that case, it might be wise to look for another Mac to which you could temporarily connect your PB in FireWire Target Disk Mode. You could then trash the monster file by accessing your PB hard drive from the host Mac. This could be accomplished in five minutes at an Apple dealership, using a demo Mac on the showroom floor, if you have no other options and can find a helpful dealer. I propose this option because I don't know where to suggest you look for a bootable CD that allows Finder access, unless you have the hardware, software, and knowhow to burn one. I don't believe I have one myself. I don't need one, because my backup hard drives are all bootable.
  • 7. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    Leo Earle Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Thanks. I'll go to the Apple London Store tomorrow.

    I'll install OS X onto my external hard drive once my PB is fixed. Is it an easy procedure?

    Leo
  • 8. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Is it an easy procedure?


    Download the freeware Carbon Copy Cloner and use it to create a bootable clone of the internal hard drive on the external. The external drive will then be an exact duplicate of the internal drive, and you can boot to either one.

    If the external drive is big enough, create two partitions on it, each large enough to contain a full backup of the internal. Then you can alternate between replacing first one, then the other backup clone with a new full clone at whatever intervals you normally back up your internal drive. That way even if something goes terribly wrong after you've allowed CCC to erase the old clone you're replacing, you'll still have another backup that's only one cycle old.

    Of course if the external drive fails, you lose BOTH backups — so having a third backup on other media is a good idea if you can afford it, and if the importance of your data warrants the extra care. You can always burn your most critical files to CDs or DVDs for emergency backup, but that's slow and laborious.

    Note that before backing up your internal drive, it's always a good idea to make sure everything on it is cleaned up and in first-rate order so that a) you don't copy a lot of unnecessary cache files and other dross to the backup, and b) you don't make a defective copy containing damaged and unusable files. The basic steps in doing this are to Repair Permissions, Repair Disk, and run Background Maintenance before cloning.
  • 9. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    Leo Earle Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Hi, I just managed to install OS X onto my external HD. I can now startup OS via my external HD and I have deleted the monster (32GB) file on my internal HD. Unfortunately my Mac still stalls when I attempt to startup via the internal HD. I have done Disk Utility about 6 times on it but it just comes up with the same message it did earlier today.

    I have opened Cloning Console but it doesn't appear to give me the option to make the Target Disk my external HD. Do you know how I can resolve this?

    The backup would be in view to eventually format my internal HD and reinstall OS X onto it. Is it necessary to format my internal HD? I hope not as I don't want to waste time reinstalling my software onto my internal HD.

    Do you have any more ideas eww?
    Sorry for being a pain!

    Leo
  • 10. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,150 points)
    Hi Leo,

    I have done Disk Utility about 6 times on it but it just comes up with the same message it did earlier today.

    "Repair attempted on 1 volume
    HFS volume repaired"

    That's telling you that DU is fixing something each time you run it, but because it also fixes something on the next run, it hasn't completely repaired your HD directory.

    This could be caused by a really messed up directory, or it could be caused by hardware issues with your HD, which no utility can fix.

    Some options:

    -Continue running Repair Disk until it says "appears OK," or "cannot repair," or you get tired of it.

    -Buy a stronger util like Disk Warrior and see if it will repair your directory.

    -Reformat your HD (I'd zero it) and install everything over again.

    Note that if your HD is having hardware issues, nothing short of replacing the HD will resolve your issue.
  • 11. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    eww Level 9 Level 9 (52,975 points)
    Hi, Leo. I gather you must have another OS X-capable Mac on hand, from which you were able to install the OS on your external drive.

    If that's the case, and if you can use FireWire TDM to access the HD in the Powerbook, try to copy everything important (not including the operating system) from the Powerbook to the internal drive on the other Mac (assuming there's room for it there). Do what you need to do to get all that important data backed up, because I think — given that Disk Utility isn't able to put you back in business — you would do best to reformat the internal drive, reinstall your OS and all applications onto it from original source disks, and only after verifiying that it's working properly, copy your data back onto it from your backup.

    If you had another disk utility application such as Diskwarrior, it would be worth running that from the host Mac to try to rebuild the directory on the internal drive. But since the nature of the problem on that drive at present is really unknown — you haven't seen the error messages from Disk Utility that usually indicate problems DiskWarrior is able to fix — I don't recommend spending money on another disk utility at this point. I think reformatting will be the nearest thing to a sure cure.
  • 12. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    Leo Earle Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Hi, I don't have another Mac. I inserted the OS disc> turned on my Mac and Firewire Drive> pressed C> went through the installer options and installed OS X onto my Firewire Drive. I'm in the process of backing up my internal HD onto my Firewire Drive.

    1) What do you mean by 'zeroing' the internal HD?

    2) Once I've formatted the internal HD and reinstalled OS X how do I verify that it's working properly?

    thanks

    leo
  • 13. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    tjk Level 7 Level 7 (24,150 points)
    1) What do you mean by 'zeroing' the internal HD?


    From your install disk, open DU, select the HD mechanism on the left, and select Erase>Options>Zero all data. This could take well over an hour.

    2) Once I've formatted the internal HD and reinstalled OS X how do I verify that it's working properly


    After repairing permissions, I'd run Repair Disk again and see if you get the proper "appears ok" twice in a row. If so, I'd simply use the machine for a few days and put it through all its paces before I'd really trust it again. At that point, take the time to transfer your data files back (you could also do that right away and maintain up-to-the-minute backups, but if there is still an issue, it could be a waste of time).
  • 14. RE: Mac stalls during startup
    Leo Earle Level 1 Level 1 (45 points)
    Thanks for everything.. : ) Leo
1 2 Previous Next