9 Replies Latest reply: Nov 6, 2013 3:32 PM by BDAqua
Jarveye Level 1 (5 points)

I just turned on my mac today (spec below) and it was working fine, when i got the spinning beach ball, and nothing was responding, i had a few things running, i had aperture, firefox, and mail running.


i had to hold downt he button on the front to turn off and on again, as i couldnt even force relaunch finder...


it re-started, i put it down to a one off an continued what i was doing, but it happened again, so i did the same thing, this time during start up i got a folder icon with a question mark (does this mean it cant find the startup disk??) i has a mild panic attack, and tried just off/on again which luckily seemed to start the computer again. this time once started i tried a few simple tasks without starting all the same programs, i used firefox, and mail, but no aperture, the crash happened again, so this time i unplugged all things not necessary (mainly external HDs) and got my start up disk and booted from it and did a repair permissions and repair disk, i couldnt see anything obvious which was fixed, but i have started up fine and i am posting on here using firefox without any problems as of yet... (fingers crossed)


Now i suppose what im asking is, any ideas on the problem? or what elese i should do to remedy it?

i have another internal HD, should i do repair to this also? what about the other external HDs?


I know the mac and the OS is a little dated now, but i am stuck with it for the meantime so i would like to bear with it but if the diagnosis is that the computer or HD is on its last legs it would be good to know in advance, its difficult to ensure everything is alays backed up safely, and this version of OSX doesnt have time machine.

Mac Pro 2x2Ghz Dual Core Xeon, Mac OS X (10.4.11), 6CB 667Mhz DDR2 FB DIMM
  • Jarveye Level 1 (5 points)

    Update: it has been continuing to happen, although it appears if i leave it long enough it does unfreeze, but as you can imagine it is still rendering the computer fairly useless while this does happen.

  • Jarveye Level 1 (5 points)

    Ok, new update...


    i have been trying to back everything up which isnt already, like i said it kept continuing to freeze with beachball spinning, but usually would unfreeze after a long wait, but then i got the screen saying i had to hold down the power button to turn off, when i trying to power it up again, the first time I just got a grey screen, nothing.. the second time i tried i have the apple logo on the grey screen with the whirring loading icon, but nothing is happeneing...


    needless to say i havent managed to back up everything, so if the HD is nackered im hoping theres a way to salvage items off it..


    any help much appreciated!

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,635 points)



    Have you blown the dust out lately?


    Get Temperature Monitor to see if it's heat related...




    See if the Disk is issuing any S.M.A.R.T errors in Disk Utility...





    Open Activity Monitor in Applications>Utilities, select All Processes & sort on CPU%, any indications there?


    How much free RAM & free Disk space do you have also, click on the Memory & Disk Usage Tabs.


    Open Console in Utilities & see if there are any clues or repeating messages when this happens.


    In the Memory tab of Activity Monitor, are there a lot of Pageouts?


    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 problem in Safe Mode...


    PS. Safe boot may stay on the gray radian for a long time, let it go, it's trying to repair the Hard Drive


    Reboot, test again.


    If it only does it in Regular Boot, then it could be some hardware problem like Video card, (Quartz is turned off in Safe Mode), or Airport, or some USB or Firewire device, or 3rd party add-on, Check System Preferences>Accounts (Users & Groups in later OSX versions)>Login Items window to see if it or something relevant is listed. Or an errant process eating up RAM.


    Check the System Preferences>Other Row, for 3rd party Pref Panes.


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











  • Jarveye Level 1 (5 points)

    Ok this is a little difficult now as i said in my last post, it will not start up at all now... i will try blowing dust out of the inside including the HD using compressed air, but im not holding out much hope.


    theres plenty of free disk space from ememory, between 10-30GB


    i will also try that safe boot. i did already repair permissions, and do a disk repair... but can try again...


    another new problem (assuming i need a new HD)

    I bought one locally and it was the same model i am using as a second internal HD, but when i start the bootdisk it will ot recognise the new HD, if i then try disk utility, it spots the HD but massively overestimates the size of it (the 1TB drive was apparently something like 76TB) i tryed both formatting it and partitioning it, but it will not allow me to do this, it says theres an input/output error.


    i tried swapping this for a smaller 500GB drive but got same issue.


    researching this, i discovered there was some conflict between newer drives and the version of OSX 10.4, out of intrest i tried a OSX 10.5 disk which seemed to work and recognise the disk confirming the issue, but my MacPro cannot install this version so that leaves me in a problem, unless i can somehow source an older drive which is compatible with 10.4 a new HD is out of the question...


    ill go try those suggestions and report back, any other help much appreciated!

  • Jarveye Level 1 (5 points)

    Right BDAqua, firstly thanks for your time, i have been and tried everthing you suggested.


    The computer after a dust off started as before, but crashed/froze as before also, so whether this was due to dusting, or it cooling off overnight im not sure.


    I started in safe mode and it seemed to start fine without problems.

    The drive is S.M.A.R.T. verified and seemed fine according to disk utility. i did temperature readings as follows:

    temperature monitor safe mode.jpg

    not sure whats good bad here, so perhaps someone can tell me?

    i did the activity monitor, console etc and i have below each withe the SAFE MODE on LEFT and normal on right:

    console.jpgdisk usage.jpg


    also seeing it seemed to start ok in safe mode here are the startup items you suggested i check, quite a few, but i dont know what any of them are really...

    sys, lib, launchdaemons.jpg

    sys, lib, start up.jpg

    The only other thing i found was a program called BrowserPlus in my startup in system ref, which i uninstalled, but this is appaently for Yahoo Mail which i use.


    i am currently on the computer in normal mode putting together this response, and as of yet have not had another freeze, but im reluctant to beleive it has just magically stopped, as it was doing it again after i dusted and i havent changed anything else...

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,635 points)

    Hmmm, according to this, your Mac ro can run 10.5,  even 10.6, or the not so good 10.7!?






    Anyway, Dropbox seems to be failing or bad from the above.


    In System Preferences>Accounts>Login Iems, highlight Drobax & click the tiny minus icon below.

    i am currently on the computer in normal mode putting together this response, and as of yet have not had another freeze, but im reluctant to beleive it has just magically stopped, as it was doing it again after i dusted and i havent changed anything else..

    Safe Mode also clears a lot of Caches, so maybe Vropbax is OK now?


    Oh, are you at 10.4.11?

  • Jarveye Level 1 (5 points)

    Hi  thanks, yes i am currently 10.4.11 and the problems are continuing...


    I have actually returned the HD now, as it didnt seem to be an option, any idea why the 10.5 disk would tell me why it could not be installed on that computer? it was the start up disk for another mac pro in the office.


    also, provided we solve the reason why it wont install on that computer, if im pressed for time is there anyway i can download any of those 3 versions of OSX on another computer or on the broken on in safe mode, then install it on a new HD?

  • Jarveye Level 1 (5 points)

    i think the 10.5 disk doesnt work because it came with another mac pro of a completely different spec.


    SO yes, if i get that hard drive back, is there any way i can download 10.6 or 10.7 and install it on the new hard drive without having to order the disk?


    Keep in mind, my current version does not seem to have the app store thingy to download programs, and the apple store website doesnt seem to let you do it direct from there anymore...

  • BDAqua Level 10 (121,635 points)

    i think the 10.5 disk doesnt work because it came with another mac pro of a completely different spec.


    Correct, gray discs are machine specific.

    is there any way i can download 10.6 or 10.7 and install it on the new hard drive without having to order the disk?

    Nope, you mist orer the 10.6 disc, then update to 10.6.8 to get App Store..


    Snow Leopard/10.6.x Requirements...


    General requirements

       * Mac computer with an Intel processor

        * 1GB of memory (I say 4GB at least, more if you can afford it)

        * 5GB of available disk space (I say 30GB at least)

        * DVD drive for installation

        * Some features require a compatible Internet service provider; fees may apply.

        * Some features require Apple’s MobileMe service; fees and terms apply.


    Which apps work with Mac OS X 10.6?...



    It's been pulled from the online store & Apple Stores, so you have to call Apple to buy it, last I heard.

    Buy Snow Leopard > http://store.apple.com/us/product/MC573/mac-os-x-106-snow-leopard

    Call Apple Sales...in the US: 1-800-MY-APPLE. Or Support... 1-800-275-2273


    Other countries...



    It looks like they might still have it...