7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 19, 2010 2:29 AM by thomas_r.
theosib Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
I'm having a problem where any time I have an unclean shutdown [*], my root file system is left partially broken, and I have to use disk utility from the install disc to repair it. As I understand it, HFS+ is a journaling file system and therefore should be fairly robust to this, but when I do the disk repair, I always find that there are inconsistencies in terms of file counts and other minor things. I've never lost any files (that I know of). But one symptom is that Spotlight stops working until I perform the repair.

Can anyone advise me on how I might investigate why journal replay on mount is evidently failing?

Thanks.


[*] Footnote: I have a MacBook Pro, and I don't reboot it much. I'll often go weeks just putting it to sleep and waking it up. One sure fire way to hose the system is to engage in this usual behavior and then plug in a USB thumb drive. Either the kernel will panic, or the system will become partially hung where the mouse moves, but applications are unresponsive, and I cannot shut down cleanly. When I have finally rebooted, I can use USB thumb drives with no problems. Note that this problem happened with Tiger and Leopard, as well as Snow Leopard, each of which had new kernel and drivers, so it's not the result of some recent corruption of system files.

Mac OS X (10.6.2)
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,110 points)
    This is not normal behavior. I never reboot my MBP, except when there's a system update, so I often have an uptime measured in weeks and have no problems as a result. Remember, the Mac OS is Unix at the core, and Unix is made to run on servers for a good long time.

    If this problem has been happening for a long time throughout multiple systems, there are three basic possibilities:

    1) It's a hardware problem

    2) Your system is corrupt and you've been carrying that corruption along since Tiger by just installing each subsequent system on top of the old one

    3) You have a troublemaking application installed

    You can check #1 by running [Apple Hardware Test|http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1509], though a pass does not guarantee that you don't have problems. You can rule out #2 if you have ever done a completely clean reinstall, with a manual import of user data and no import of any settings, and the problem persisted. (If you haven't done this since Tiger, it might be a good thing to try.) For #3, you can try pruning back your login items and eliminate any unusual apps from your workflow temporarily.
  • theosib Level 1 Level 1 (10 points)
    Thanks for the reply.

    Back in January, I had my main board replaced. There were some instability issues that caused kernel panics, and some part of the battery charging circuit was ruining batteries. So it's unlikely to be a hardware problem unless the memory is bad. However, I had the memory replaced two years ago because I was getting worse instability problems if I didn't reboot for a week or two. Replacing the RAM helped a LOT.

    There are two kernel extensions I use. One is MacFUSE. The other (IIUC) is part of the Cisco VPN client. I have noticed increased instability problems when I have one active, and having both active is a recipe for trouble. The kernel panic when plugging in a thumb drive (only Microcenter thumb drives, never external hard drives) has always been a problem.

    It'll be a pain, but I suppose it might be worth trying a fresh reinstall. What would be the least painful way of going about that? Cloning the drive with Carbon Copy Cloner, installing the OS clean, and then using the migration assistant to migrate back from the clone? (BTW, I used CCC to migrate my system from my 120GB drive to a new 500GB drive, and Time Machine ended up wanting to back up 80GB.)

    Here are the checked login items. Can you identify any of them as being problematic?

    macfusionAgent
    GrowlMenu
    GrowlHelperApp
    iTunesHelper
    HardwareGrowler
    AdobeResourceSynchronizer
    GrowlHelperApp
    iStat menus Helper


    Thanks!
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,110 points)
    Back in January, I had my main board replaced. \[...] So it's unlikely to be a hardware problem unless the memory is bad.


    Never rule anything out... I've seen people who had bad hardware replaced with bad hardware, or problems that kept recurring. For example, on my old PowerBook G3 many years ago, I had recurring hinge problems and the power supply card kept breaking off the motherboard, despite having both fixed several times.

    There are two kernel extensions I use.


    If you can manage to disable both for a while to see if that makes any difference, that would be a good idea. Kernel extensions can cause major problems sometimes.

    It'll be a pain, but I suppose it might be worth trying a fresh reinstall. What would be the least painful way of going about that?


    You're pretty much on track with your plan except for using Migration Assistant. I don't like MA, as it does not have fine enough control on what gets migrated. I'd recommend reinstalling any applications from scratch and going the all-manual route for importing from your CCC backup. Of course, that requires knowledge of what should go where. For assistance with that, you could post back here with info about what things you'll need to restore, or you could try Googling for the info, which shouldn't be too difficult to find.

    Here are the checked login items. Can you identify any of them as being problematic?


    Not that I know of. If I were you, I'd remove all of them (except iTunes Helper, which is on that list normally), if you can manage to do without them for a while. You can add things back slowly if you don't have problems. The common technique is to add half back. If you start having problems, remove half of what you added and try again. If you don't have problems, add half of what's left. Keep this up until you narrow it down to one specific item (if there's one causing problems).

    Good luck! This sort of thing is never fun.
  • Barney-15E Level 8 Level 8 (41,395 points)
    theosib wrote:
    The kernel panic when plugging in a thumb drive (only Microcenter thumb drives, never external hard drives) has always been a problem.

    Things that make you go, "Hmmmm?"
    How is it formatted and have you ever tried other thumb drives (without NTFS formats--possible MacFUSE+NTFS)?

    Is iStat menus up to date? Also, does it compile stats on drives (I don't use it)? That would suggest another test combination. Old Thumb without iStat, New Thumb with iStat, New Thumb without iStat.

    Message was edited by: Barney-15E
  • baltwo Level 9 Level 9 (61,945 points)
    You're pretty much on track with your plan except for using Migration Assistant. I don't like MA, as it does not have fine enough control on what gets migrated. I'd recommend reinstalling any applications from scratch and going the all-manual route for importing from your CCC backup. Of course, that requires knowledge of what should go where. For assistance with that, you could post back here with info about what things you'll need to restore, or you could try Googling for the info, which shouldn't be too difficult to find.


    Interesting, but I don't agree. I've been running the current system from its initial Jaguar beginning on the G4, upgraded from that through Leopard on the G4, only using the upgrade option, although I tested all the others while beta-testing those cats. The current iMac installation is one migrated from the G4 and upgraded through SL, which I also beta-tested. I've never had to reinstall OS or applications nor wasted time selectively and manually migrating. AFAICT, each OS upgrade replaces all previous OS components with new ones related to the new OS, so there's no remnants left behind that can muck things up.
  • Alexandre Level 3 Level 3 (850 points)
    Hiya,
    with a new motherboard (or logic board), the internal hardware has changed.
    Try an *SMC reset*
    or you could try the PRAM .
    As the hardware has changed, but not the other parts, the machine probably still behaves as if it has the old one (and needs to be instructed as to the new one).
    Any good?

    NB: If you have your install disk (or a full version of 10.6) that came with your machine, and you could (if the above do not work) try to boot from that disk and perform a "repair"from the disk utility included in that. It's not the preferred option but there may be something on the "boot sector" that of the disc that needs repairing.

    NB II: iStat helper could be an issue
    Message was edited by: Alexandre
  • thomas_r. Level 7 Level 7 (30,110 points)
    I've never had to reinstall OS or applications nor wasted time selectively and manually migrating.


    If you've never had to reinstall the OS because of problems, then it's not surprising that migration has never caused you problems. That's not the situation being discussed here, though. If there are problems that can only be solved by a fresh reinstall, manual migration of data is the safest bet.