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View Full Version : Help! Powerbook won't start - HD Full




Dandaman
Sep 8, 2007, 03:07 PM
Did a quick search and couldn't find anything.

My HD in my powerbook and full and I can't seem to start up my powerbook because the hard drive is so full.

Does anyone know a way to get the computer started up so I can free up some space in my hard drive? I also have an external HD if that is of any help.

Thanks a ton in advance,

Daniel



RaMaz
Sep 8, 2007, 03:59 PM
Did a quick search and couldn't find anything.

My HD in my powerbook and full and I can't seem to start up my powerbook because the hard drive is so full.

Does anyone know a way to get the computer started up so I can free up some space in my hard drive? I also have an external HD if that is of any help.

Thanks a ton in advance,

Daniel

Never have less then 8 Gigs left on the HDD, OS X just has problems with it. Happen to me, i had to re-install OS X.

cube
Sep 8, 2007, 04:01 PM
Did you try to start it in single user mode to delete something?

Digital Skunk
Sep 8, 2007, 04:24 PM
You can reboot with the OS X DVD and try reformating your drive... that is if you have your stuff backed up.

If you have an external drive you can install OS X on it, boot from that, then delete some of the files on your computer's HDD.

Dandaman
Sep 8, 2007, 05:11 PM
Did you try to start it in single user mode to delete something?

nevermind. figured out how to start in single user mode. didn't work though.

daniel

CanadaRAM
Sep 8, 2007, 05:14 PM
If you have access to another OSX Mac and a Firewire cable, the easiest way might be to plug them together with Firewire, then start the Powerbook in Target Disk mode (hold the T key down while booting), then boot the other Mac. This should give you access to the hard drive of the Powerbook so you can delete some unneeded files.

shoulin333
Sep 8, 2007, 05:18 PM
Wirelessly posted (SAMSUNG-SGH-I607/I607FG1 Mozilla/4.0 (compatible; MSIE 4.01; Windows CE; Smartphone; 320x240) UP.Link/6.3.1.17.0)

You can reboot with the OS X DVD and try reformating your drive... that is if you have your stuff backed up.

If you have an external drive you can install OS X on it, boot from that, then delete some of the files on your computer's HDD.

what he said :)

cube
Sep 8, 2007, 05:22 PM
See Section I here:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=107210

You also need to know a couple Terminal commands like cd, rm, reboot.

Be very careful.

cube
Sep 8, 2007, 05:26 PM
OK. Then Target Disk Mode like CanadaRAM said, if you have another Mac.

Otherwise, I guess you'll have to look at it as good opportunity to upgrade your hard drive.

Dandaman
Sep 8, 2007, 05:35 PM
If you have access to another OSX Mac and a Firewire cable, the easiest way might be to plug them together with Firewire, then start the Powerbook in Target Disk mode (hold the T key down while booting), then boot the other Mac. This should give you access to the hard drive of the Powerbook so you can delete some unneeded files.

Ok, so I backed up my computer on my external HD about a year ago. I got osx booted up running off the external HD. How do I access the HD of my computer to start deleting stuff? If I can't do this, my sister has a macbook (but she's out of town at the moment) and I can do the Target Disk thing. If I can do this through my external HD, that would be awesome.

Thanks again guys for all your help. This is why I love macrumors :p

daniel

cube
Sep 8, 2007, 06:06 PM
If you have 10.4 on the external disk, launch Disk Utility, and if you see the internal disk, repair from there.

Otherwise, use the Terminal:

Do 'diskutil list' to see the device paths to the disks.

Look at the output of just 'mount' to verify that the internal disk is not mounted.

Lookup the documentation for 'fsck' and check/repair the internal disk automagically (not perfect, something could be lost here).

Use 'diskutil mountDisk devicepath' to mount the whole internal disk

Now you should be able to delete stuff.

Dandaman
Sep 8, 2007, 06:43 PM
If you have 10.4 on the external disk, launch Disk Utility, and if you see the internal disk, repair from there.

Otherwise, use the Terminal:

Do 'diskutil list' to see the device paths to the disks.

Look at the output of just 'mount' to verify that the internal disk is not mounted.

Lookup the documentation for 'fsck' and check/repair the internal disk automagically (not perfect, something could be lost here).

Use 'diskutil mountDisk devicepath' to mount the whole internal disk

Now you should be able to delete stuff.

hmmm, disk utility seems to hang up while I try this... thanks though.

daniel

cube
Sep 8, 2007, 07:05 PM
Then don't use Disk Utility. Use the Terminal as I showed.

It will be the same if you hook it up to your sis' Mac.

Dandaman
Sep 8, 2007, 07:17 PM
Then don't use Disk Utility. Use the Terminal as I showed.

It will be the same if you hook it up to your sis' Mac.

doh that's not good. terminal doesn't do anything also when i type diskutil list

a reformat may be in order :(:(:(

daniel

cube
Sep 8, 2007, 07:29 PM
What does 'mount' say?

Dandaman
Sep 8, 2007, 07:33 PM
What does 'mount' say?

gives me 6 things:

/dev/disk1s10 on / (local, journaled)
devfs on /dev (local)
fdesc on /dev (union)
<volfs> on /.vol
/dev/disk1s12 on /Volumes/Media (local, nodev, nosuid, journaled)
/dev/disk1s14 on /Volumes/Other (local, nodev, nosuid, journaled)

????

daniel

cube
Sep 8, 2007, 07:44 PM
OK, so it looks like you have 3 partitions on the external disk, and the internal disk is probably /dev/disk0

What does 'pdisk --list /dev/disk0' say?

Dandaman
Sep 8, 2007, 07:46 PM
OK, so it looks like you have 3 partitions on the external disk, and the internal disk is probably /dev/disk0

What does 'pdisk --list /dev/disk0' say?

pdisk: can't open file '/dev/disk0' (Permission denied)

cube
Sep 8, 2007, 07:50 PM
Needs superuser permission. Do 'sudo pdisk --list'. It will ask for the admin password.

Digital Skunk
Sep 8, 2007, 10:12 PM
Dude... if your external is big enough to take your entire laptop drive them clone it over and reinstall OS X on machine. There should really be no reason to go into terminal and hack into your machine. I think we're just making it harder than it seems.

Dandaman
Sep 9, 2007, 12:06 AM
Needs superuser permission. Do 'sudo pdisk --list'. It will ask for the admin password.

I got some info out of that. Basically telling me what is free and what not. What do i do from there?

CanadaRAM
Sep 9, 2007, 12:17 AM
Ok, so I backed up my computer on my external HD about a year ago. I got osx booted up running off the external HD. How do I access the HD of my computer to start deleting stuff?

Wait: are you saying that when you boot from the external drive, you can see the icons of the external drive's partition(s), but you DO NOT see the mounted icon of the internal drive?

If that is the case then you have more severe problems than just an overfull hard drive.

You may have a b0rked directory structure on the internal drive, or a hardware problem.

You say the DiskUtility is hanging when you launch it from the external drive, and attempt to Repair Disk on the internal drive?
Does the internal drive show up in the DiskUtility list of drives on the left?

Can you get access to a bootable diagnostic-repair tool like TechTool Pro or DiskWarrior or both?

Dandaman
Sep 9, 2007, 12:22 AM
Wait: are you saying that when you boot from the external drive, you can see the icons of the external drive's partition(s), but you DO NOT see the mounted icon of the internal drive?

If that is the case then you have more severe problems than just an overfull hard drive.

You may have a b0rked directory structure on the internal drive, or a hardware problem.

You say the DiskUtility is hanging when you launch it from the external drive, and attempt to Repair Disk on the internal drive?
Does the internal drive show up in the DiskUtility list of drives on the left?

Can you get access to a bootable diagnostic-repair tool like TechTool Pro or DiskWarrior or both?

DiskUtility is hanging when I launch it from the external drive. Nothing shows up in DiskUtility.

I have TechTool Deluxe. Will that work? I hope I can save this thing. Thanks for you help Canada.

Daniel

cube
Sep 9, 2007, 07:19 AM
I got some info out of that. Basically telling me what is free and what not. What do i do from there?

That should show you the partition maps for the disks. You can see which are the ones containing filesystems in the broken disk (those of type Apple_HFS, I assume you're not using an Apple-specific type).

Form the numbers there you can deduce which is the corresponding device (something like /dev/disk0s10, for example, for the 10th partition on disk 0).

You can give that parameter to 'fsck' (or 'fsck_hfs' if the other refuses to execute). You probably also have to 'sudo' the command as before.
The -f parameter to fsck_hfs forces a check/repair even if the journal is clean on journaled filesystems.
For the -y parameter to both answers 'yes' automatically to the questions that the tool may ask you (eg, confirmations to repair).

Remeber, something could be lost with the automatic repair, but doing it manually would be very difficult.

Dandaman
Sep 9, 2007, 09:57 AM
That should show you the partition maps for the disks. You can see which are the ones containing filesystems in the broken disk (those of type Apple_HFS, I assume you're not using an Apple-specific type).

Form the numbers there you can deduce which is the corresponding device (something like /dev/disk0s10, for example, for the 10th partition on disk 0).

You can give that parameter to 'fsck' (or 'fsck_hfs' if the other refuses to execute). You probably also have to 'sudo' the command as before.
The -f parameter to fsck_hfs forces a check/repair even if the journal is clean on journaled filesystems.
For the -y parameter to both answers 'yes' automatically to the questions that the tool may ask you (eg, confirmations to repair).

Remeber, something could be lost with the automatic repair, but doing it manually would be very difficult.

WHEWWWWWWWWWWW....

I booted up from my external HD this morning and low and behold, I could see my powerbook HD. I'm currently pulling all my important files into my external HD and then I'll try to recover this HD. I'm gonna try deleting some files first and then try to start up with the normal HD.

Thanks a ton you all, especially cube and CanadaRAM. I owe you guys big time.

daniel