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yatesk
Apr 3, 2006, 11:22 AM
i bought a new ibook in october of 2004. just days ago the cursor froze for the first time--i had to hard-shut-down. upon reboot after being completely shut off, 7 out of ten times it doesn't even make it to the desktop--it freezes at the blue screen that appears before the desktop. if it does make it to the desktop, it freezes shortly thereafter, and NEVER gets past the blue screen if i just restart (command + eject). i've run both the hardware test and the software test from the disk-one CD-ROM provided by Apple, and both tests came back with no problems detected. i have 16 MB of free space. does anyone have any ideas of the problems or what i can do?



Eidorian
Apr 3, 2006, 11:25 AM
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214

Boot into single user mode (Cmd + S) after the boot tone. Run a fsck.

fsck -fy

There's ONE space after the 'k' but minus. I had a Power Mac doing the exact same thing.

IJ Reilly
Apr 3, 2006, 11:29 AM
Some will tell you to reinstall OSX. Please don't. Try restarting in Single User Mode. (cmd-s on reboot until you see the black screen.) Then at the prompt type:

fsck -f [return] (including the space)

Is anything repaired?

Then, at the prompt type:

reboot [return]

Does the Mac reboot?

If it doesn't, then you probably have a hardware problem

socamx
Apr 3, 2006, 11:30 AM
Just out of curiosity, did you give your iBook a static shock or anything? Did anything happen right before it froze?

I've got an iBook G4 from November 2004 and it gets full freezes every month or so but so far I haven't had any failure to boot's.

IJ Reilly
Apr 3, 2006, 11:31 AM
http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=106214

Boot into single user mode (Cmd + S) after the boot tone. Run a fsck.

fsck -fy

There's ONE space after the 'k' but minus. I had a Power Mac doing the exact same thing.

You beat me to it. ;)

BTW, why fsck -fy? I've always used just fsck -f.

Eidorian
Apr 3, 2006, 11:31 AM
Some will tell you to reinstall OSX. Please don't. Try restarting in Single User Mode. (cmd-s on reboot until you see the black screen.) Then at the prompt type:

fsck -f [return] (including the space)

Is anything repaired?

Then, at the prompt type:

reboot [return]

Does the Mac reboot?

If it doesn't, then you probably have a hardware problemIn 10.4.5 is says to use "fsck -fy".

Don't ask me why either. It tells you again when you're at the terminal too. :cool:

We posted at almost the same time too. Thank you for the reboot command though. I forgot that.

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 3, 2006, 11:44 AM
i have 16 MB of free space. does anyone have any ideas of the problems or what i can do?16 MB...!? :eek:

If that is so (and not 16 GB) then I think we might have a suspected cause...

yatesk
Apr 3, 2006, 02:29 PM
i can't remember if it's MB or GB; i'm at work right now and not near my ibook to check. how many MB or GB *should* an ibook have to run smoothly? and what files should i delete if i need to free up space? i did have limewire installed, which i suspected could have made it sluggish and contributed to the inception of the constant crashing, but i've deleted it (as far as i know) and my system keeps crashing/freezing.

Eidorian
Apr 3, 2006, 02:32 PM
i can't remember if it's MB or GB; i'm at work right now and not near my ibook to check. how many MB or GB *should* an ibook have to run smoothly? and what files should i delete if i need to free up space? i did have limewire installed, which i suspected could have made it sluggish and contributed to the inception of the constant crashing, but i've deleted it (as far as i know) and my system keeps crashing/freezing.I believe you should have between 6-8 GB (6,144-8,192 MB) free for virtual memory.

yatesk
Apr 4, 2006, 10:59 AM
(ok, so i checked: it's 16 GB; silly me for confusing them) i ran the fsck single-user boot, and everything worked fine. then it crashed, frozen at the blue screen, despite repeated restarts.
in this case, which seems like a last resort, should i reinstall the software? if i reinstall the software, does it just take the place of the software that's already there or do i un-install anything?

Eidorian
Apr 4, 2006, 11:06 AM
(ok, so i checked: it's 16 GB; silly me for confusing them) i ran the fsck single-user boot, and everything worked fine. then it crashed, frozen at the blue screen, despite repeated restarts.
in this case, which seems like a last resort, should i reinstall the software? if i reinstall the software, does it just take the place of the software that's already there or do i un-install anything?Do an archive and install. You're not going to wipe the drive but create a new System folder.

IJ Reilly
Apr 4, 2006, 11:13 AM
(ok, so i checked: it's 16 GB; silly me for confusing them) i ran the fsck single-user boot, and everything worked fine. then it crashed, frozen at the blue screen, despite repeated restarts.
in this case, which seems like a last resort, should i reinstall the software? if i reinstall the software, does it just take the place of the software that's already there or do i un-install anything?

Not if it were me. The chances of an OS reinstallation fixing the problem are very, very small. Balance that against the probability of your Mac freezing during the reinstall process, thus compounding your misery.

It's a hardware issue, almost without a doubt.

yatesk
Apr 4, 2006, 11:20 AM
i have no idea how to do an archive and install.

and i agree about it most likely freezing during an install process. although, i did run the apple hardware check test which came back in the clear...

so the facts are: all the tests i run are coming back saying nothing's wrong, yet it freezes on the blue screen before the desktop comes up. it never EVER makes it all the way to the desktop if i simply re-start, i must always hard-kill the power and let it rest a few moments before turning it back on.

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 4, 2006, 11:28 AM
Mac OS X: About the Archive and Install feature (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107120)

yatesk
Apr 4, 2006, 11:34 AM
Thank you. It's worth a try to reinstall the OS before I take it to get the hardware fixed, right?

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 4, 2006, 11:35 AM
Yes, it shouldn't hurt. And if you can get the OS up and running (at least for a while) it could give you a vital chance of making an up-to-date backup of whatever data you would like to keep... :)

calebjohnston
Apr 4, 2006, 11:38 AM
If the OS doesn't load, it's always worth the fun of trying to reinstall and hoping that it doesn't freeze. :).

IJ Reilly
Apr 4, 2006, 11:38 AM
i have no idea how to do an archive and install.

and i agree about it most likely freezing during an install process. although, i did run the apple hardware check test which came back in the clear...

so the facts are: all the tests i run are coming back saying nothing's wrong, yet it freezes on the blue screen before the desktop comes up. it never EVER makes it all the way to the desktop if i simply re-start, i must always hard-kill the power and let it rest a few moments before turning it back on.

The hardware test CD will tell you when you do have a hardware problem, but it won't tell you for certain that you don't.

Here's one other thing you can try:

http://guides.macrumors.com/Resetting_NVRAM

Do you own another Mac, by any chance?

IJ Reilly
Apr 4, 2006, 11:40 AM
If the OS doesn't load, it's always worth the fun of trying to reinstall and hoping that it doesn't freeze. :).

Kind of like the fun of banging your head against the wall, because it feels so good when you stop?

Eidorian
Apr 4, 2006, 11:41 AM
The hardware test CD will tell you when you do have a hardware problem, but it won't tell you for certain that you don't.

Here's one other thing you can try:

http://guides.macrumors.com/Resetting_NVRAM

Do you own another Mac, by any chance?If you have another Mac you can boot up your iBook in Target Disk Mode. The iBook will essentially be an expensive FireWire hard drive and you can get your data off of it before any installation.

IJ Reilly
Apr 4, 2006, 11:44 AM
If you have another Mac you can boot up your iBook in Target Disk Mode. The iBook will essentially be an expensive FireWire hard drive and you can get your data off of it before any installation.

Exactly. It will also tell you if the HD is hosed. (Though probably, it isn't, or fsck would have been unable to repair it.)

yatesk
Apr 4, 2006, 11:56 AM
No, I don't have another Mac...

By resetting the NVRAM, what am I doing, essentially? Should this definitely be attempted before reinstalling?

And is it mandatory to the reinstall that I perform the archive and install?

Mitthrawnuruodo
Apr 4, 2006, 12:02 PM
And is it mandatory to the reinstall that I perform the archive and install?Not mandatory, but if you perform a clean install you'll loose everything, absolutely everything, that is on your HD now... an archive and install just replaces the system and leaves all your data where it is...

IJ Reilly
Apr 4, 2006, 12:06 PM
No, I don't have another Mac...

By resetting the NVRAM, what am I doing, essentially? Should this definitely be attempted before reinstalling?

And is it mandatory to the reinstall that I perform the archive and install?

It essentially zeroes out all of the persistent settings. What they all are, I couldn't tell you for certain, but they include things like the clock, wake/sleep scheduling, etc. There's no harm in trying. It doesn't hurt anything, might just help.

If you are going to attempt the reinstall (and I am personally advising against it), then archive and install is the best route especially given your situation.

Eniregnat
Apr 4, 2006, 02:20 PM
This just happed to me. Before I left on a trip my computer worked fine. The HD was physically ok, but every time I launched the disk utility the computer would freeze completely. On the way back from a trip, on the plane my computer started to freeze while booting. I cloned my computer before I left on my trip, so I was ok. I launched from my external drive, copied off the documents I wrote while at the conference, and then erased my PB's HD, and cloned the external drive back. It solved my freezing issues. A reinstall might do the same. If you can boot from an external HD or from the CD, then it is likely not a hardware issue, unless it is the HD or its controller. IJ Reilly is right, if you reinstall and your computer crashes, you compound your data recovery problems. If you have a friend with a mac, boot into target disk mode (http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=58583) and attempt to recover your data.

IJ Reilly is adamant about people not reinstalling their OS, and most of the time this is true. His argument is that Apple's newest OS is extremely robust and good at marinating it's self. There are significant advantages to never actually doing anything other than upgrading the OS. For instance, some drivers that were good up to os 10.2 stopped working if you did a fresh install of 10.3, but kept working if you did an upgrade. For me a virgin install reminds me of the tools I need, have and use regularly. I usually junk all of the apps and media I don’t use regularly.

If given the chance of a clean install and an archive and install, I would choose the clean install- if all of your vital data has been recovered. In any case, I hope you get your computer fixed, and you might think about getting an external FW HD to eventually put a bootable clone on. It can be a life-saver.


[The likely cause of my freezing was croupted data on the HD caused by signifant exposure to EMR at the airport. X-rays do little damage, if any to laptops, but the magnetic fields created by the devices can be huge! My computer was passed back and forth a number times- for what ever reason.]

yatesk
Apr 4, 2006, 02:34 PM
thanks for all the advice. i wonder if it's more likely a software issue or a hardware issue, though, and if i shouldn't reinstall the OS, should i get the HD checked? IJ Reilly, what do you suggest if it's a HD issue?

It definitely doesn't like me putting the disk in and pressing "c"--almost always freezes before I can get anywhere with it.

Eniregnat
Apr 4, 2006, 02:55 PM
It looks like a hardware issue if you can't boot from CD.

Remove what ever extra RAM you added, it's the only free trouble shooting technique I can say might help you. If the computer boots, then it's the RAM, but this is unlikely.

IJ Reilly
Apr 4, 2006, 03:06 PM
Yup, hardware. I'd make an educated guess at bad RAM. I don't think you'd be able to boot even into Single User Mode if the motherboard was fried.

Removing all the RAM you can is another possible step. Should have suggested that earlier.

yatesk
Apr 5, 2006, 12:06 PM
last night i reset the NVRAM, zapped the PRAM, and it still froze upon reboot. should i just take it into a mac store and tell them i need a new hard drive?

IJ Reilly
Apr 5, 2006, 01:00 PM
last night i reset the NVRAM, zapped the PRAM, and it still froze upon reboot. should i just take it into a mac store and tell them i need a new hard drive?

Did you remove any RAM? I think you need authorized service, but I wouldn't tell them what you think is wrong. Just tell them what you tried to set it right.

buckuxc
Apr 9, 2006, 10:39 PM
I believe I have a similar problem so I figure I should post to this thread.

I have an iBook G4 1.33mHz with 1.25GB RAM. Several weeks ago my hard drive failed and the iBook went back and forth in the mail a couple of times before finally being fixed. A few days ago my computer completely froze (the same thing happened before the hard drive failed) and I put it to sleep to see if that would solve the problem. When I woke it up, I grey bezel said I needed to restart the computer. Upon restart everything stopped at a bluish-grey screen with a tiny, Classic-style folder in the middle and an alternating Finder icon and question mark. I booted from the install disk and used Disk Utility, but Repair Disk failed. I tried using CMD + s to get into single-user mode to try fsck, but it went straight back to the finder/? thing.

Does anyone have any other options for me? I don't have AppleCare on it, so I need to determine it's not a hardware problem before I call Apple again.

Thanks.

sps

IJ Reilly
Apr 10, 2006, 12:17 AM
You need a disk repair utility, such as DiskWarrior. You probably don't have a hardware problem if you can boot to the install CD, particularly if Disk Utility reports a drive problem.

buckuxc
Apr 10, 2006, 12:23 PM
And I just tried to use Target Disk Mode to get files off my iBook before possibly sending it to Apple (if nothing else works). The Host Mac said the disk "was not readable by this computer." It gave me the options Initialize, Ignore and Eject. Initialize led to Disk Utility. I ran repair disk and it gave me the same message as from within the Install CD Boot:

Verify and Repair disk “disk1s3”
Checking HFS Plus volume.
Invalid B-tree node size
Volume check failed.

Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit


1 HFS volume checked
1 volume could not be repaired because of an error

Without DiskWarrior, what do I do? Is this definitely a software problem? Wouldn't have Target Disk Mode worked if it was a software problem?

sps

IJ Reilly
Apr 10, 2006, 04:40 PM
Without DiskWarrior, what do I do? Is this definitely a software problem? Wouldn't have Target Disk Mode worked if it was a software problem?

No, it's definitely a hard disk problem. Target Disk Mode told you that -- if the drive was okay, then you would have been able to mount it on the host Mac. If you want to save the data on the hard drive, then you'll need a heavy-duty drive repair utility, like Disk Warrior. You're really out of options.