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View Full Version : 17" PB Locks up (like a PC!!)


mainstreetmark
Jul 13, 2004, 09:51 PM
My 17" Powerbook has developed a nasty habit of occasionally locking up. I usually just ignore it, but since it happened twice in 2 days, I thought I'd post.

The mouse and caps-lock keys still work.
It seems like I always run iTunes during this time
I may also have been running Word both times
It usually runs between 125 and 129.
The most recent lockup was 125
I never reboot. I have probably asked it to shut down like 5 times in 9 months.
The system logs are predictably empty.
MenuMeters always shows that the harddrive is "reading".
Thinking this may be hardware related, I have a MX900 mouse and a SprintPCS Merlin card.

Advise?

neonart
Jul 13, 2004, 10:11 PM
Run all software updates and repair permissions.

You may also want to start from a CD and check the hard drive with disk utility.

Do you have enough RAM? If so, have you tried to remove the extra RAM? RAM can cause lots of problems. My old DP 1.25 was flawless, until I installed some Kingstone ValueRam. Within an hour I had 2 Kernel Panics and 3 or 4 application crashes. I pulled that RAM and all problems were fixed.

Chip NoVaMac
Jul 13, 2004, 10:18 PM
Or did you add RAM? If you have two modules in there you may want to try each one solo if the above suggestion does not work.

mainstreetmark
Jul 14, 2004, 10:27 AM
Well, I repaired permissions, and it happened again a few minutes ago.

Was running iTunes. Was not running word or any of that. CPU temp was 126. MenuMeters again showed it was reading the drive.

For the second time in this adventure, iTunes thought it had to re-import the "iTunes Music Library.xml" - a scarry proposition.

Perhaps it's time to back everything up, eh? I'm beginning to think it's the drive itself somehow getting stuck.

Toeknee
Jul 14, 2004, 10:36 AM
Or did you add RAM? If you have two modules in there you may want to try each one solo if the above suggestion does not work.

Actually this is gonna sound kinda crazy but i got another stick of 512mb and a while back and i had the same problem. My computer kept freezing up and i was getting the gray screen. SO I swtiched around the RAM modules and started up my PB again. Since then my computer hasnt locked up or anything. Give it a try before punting.

mainstreetmark
Jul 31, 2004, 02:40 PM
It did it again. The first time since I posted this thread.

I was running iTunes. My sister had just tried to connect via rendezvous.

After reboot, iTunes once again attempted to rebuild my music library, but only managed to picked up about half of my 6000 songs. Luckily, I bought a backup drive the day before, so my iTunes Music Library document was freshly backed up and I only "lost" just the songs I ripped that day.

After reboot, iTunes burped an error on syncing one of the songs to the iPod. In fact, it wouldn't even play that song without the application (not the whole OS) locking up, so after 5 minutes of pressing "Pause", I finally got it to pause long enough to get control and delete the bastard song.

So, perhaps, these lockups were merely that one corrupted song. Dunno why it would cause the whole OS to "freeze", unless it was locking up at some read-from-disk level or something.

Anyways, is there a good way to compare my iTunes music with what's in iTunes' own music directory? I think I may be missing a small number of songs. They're probably in the directory, but not in the XML.

Chip NoVaMac
Aug 1, 2004, 11:17 AM
Actually this is gonna sound kinda crazy but i got another stick of 512mb and a while back and i had the same problem. My computer kept freezing up and i was getting the gray screen. SO I swtiched around the RAM modules and started up my PB again. Since then my computer hasnt locked up or anything. Give it a try before punting.

Mainstreetmark, can you tell us about your RAM? Apple can be particular from their own website, and from the posts here.

Timelessblur
Aug 1, 2004, 02:06 PM
try backing up all your data and then reformate and do a clean install of the OS. There could be something wrong with the install of the OS it self

7on
Aug 1, 2004, 04:31 PM
lol, I generally tell iTunes to copy all my music to it's directory. Noone ever needs to view a song in the Finder. That's just ludicrous.

mainstreetmark
Aug 11, 2004, 02:18 PM
I'm using 0.5G of factory installed RAM, and an additional 0.5G of me installed ram from Apple.

I locked up again. iTunes was once again running, and once again had to re-import all it's songs. I'm getting frustrated.

I haven't tried re-seating the RAM or anything, but I did boot from a CD and verify the disk. Is there any RAM verifying tools out there?

acj
Aug 11, 2004, 02:51 PM
I don't think PC's lock up any more. I use about a dozen between work, school, and home, and not one has ever locked up. <shrug>

yellow
Aug 11, 2004, 02:59 PM
Have you attempted to repair your file system?

mainstreetmark
Aug 11, 2004, 03:06 PM
Repair Permissions, the magical snake oil of OSX? Of course.

yellow
Aug 11, 2004, 03:13 PM
Repair Permissions, the magical snake oil of OSX? Of course.

***** BZZZZZZZ *****

Repair file system != repair permissions

I'm talking fsck or Disk Repair booted from an installer CD.
Better yet, a healthy dose of DiskWarrior or TechToolPro.


And I completely agree that Reparing Permissions is snake oil. Completely.

mainstreetmark
Aug 11, 2004, 03:27 PM
Yep. Mentioned that a few posts above (even though I said "verify", I always do "repair" instead of "verify", since it takes the same amount of time)

yellow
Aug 11, 2004, 03:40 PM
Ah fudge. Sorry, I missed that. I find it quite strange that it's always happening with iTunes. Got any iTunes plug-ins?

yellow
Aug 11, 2004, 03:41 PM
Is there any RAM verifying tools out there?

Yes. Memtest (http://friskythecat.tripod.com/) is excellent. Let it run for a LONG time.

mainstreetmark
Aug 11, 2004, 03:59 PM
I think it always crashes with iTunes, due to the fact that iTunes is always running. BUT, it does usually have to rebuild itself, annoyingly.

(All my "Date Added"s are today.)

steely
Aug 11, 2004, 03:59 PM
http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=70615

Your problem seems very similar to the one I was having a little while ago, although your mouse seems to be more responsive than mine. In any case, defragging with Norton (or DiskWarrior) did the trick for me.

Also, it should be noted that booting from the OS X disk and running the AHT did nothing for me. mainstreetmark, I wasn't sure if this was what you meant by booting from a CD and verifying the disk.

mainstreetmark
Aug 11, 2004, 04:46 PM
I'll let this run longer when I leave tonight:


Memtest Version 2.95
(C) 2004 Tony Scaminaci <friskythecat@sbcglobal.net>
Version 2 (C) 1999 Charles Cazabon <memtest@discworld.dyndns.org>
Original v.1 (C) 1999 Simon Kirby <sim@stormix.com> <sim@neato.org>

Current limits:
RLIMIT_RSS 0xffffffff
RLIMIT_VMEM 0xffffffff
Raising limits...
Allocated 54185984 bytes...trying mlock...success. Starting tests...

Testing 54185984 bytes at 0x02008000 (0 bytes lost to page alignment).

Run 1:
Test 1: Stuck Address: Testing...Passed.
Test 2: Random value: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 3: XOR comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 4: SUB comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 5: MUL comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 6: DIV comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 7: OR comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 8: AND comparison: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 9: Sequential Increment: Setting...Testing...Passed.
Test 10: Solid Bits: Testing...Passed.
Test 11: Block Sequential: Testing...Passed.
Test 12: Checkerboard: Testing...Passed.
Test 13: Bit Spread: Testing...Passed.
Test 14: Bit Flip: Testing...Passed.
Test 15: Walking Ones: Testing...Passed.
Test 16: Walking Zeroes: Testing...Passed.
Run 1 completed in 352 seconds (0 tests showed errors).
munlock'ed memory.
1 runs completed. 0 errors detected. Total runtime: 352 seconds.

Exiting...

7on
Aug 11, 2004, 05:26 PM
I believe I read recently somewhere that someone had a corrupted mp3/audio file in their iTunes library that was doing this.

titaniumducky
Aug 11, 2004, 08:12 PM
I believe I read recently somewhere that someone had a corrupted mp3/audio file in their iTunes library that was doing this.

Really? That'd be a serious bug if a corrupted audio file could crash the OS.

aswitcher
Aug 11, 2004, 08:35 PM
The majority of my lockups occur when playing UT2K4 online which tends to lock if I hit two keys at once that aren't movement related or shooting. Very annoying. Option+Apple+Escape hit a HALF DOZEN TIMES gets me out...

IJ Reilly
Aug 12, 2004, 01:36 AM
Quite a bit of discussion about this issue over at Macintouch:

http://www.macintouch.com/itunes22.html#aug03

The general consensus seems to be that it's an OS bug of some sort that tends to manifest itself when iTunes is running.

mainstreetmark
Aug 16, 2004, 11:19 AM
Yeah - i got a lockup again a few minutes ago. iTunes was running.

When I rebooted, 2300 of my emails were marked as un-red.

mainstreetmark
Aug 17, 2004, 08:44 PM
Yep. Another lockup. Man, I switched back to Mac because I was tired of XP locking up.

Anyways, as usual, iTunes was running, and I'm nearly ready to blame it for these problems, because it's always happened when iTunes was running. Never when I'm watching a DVD or something. According to Menumeters, the drive is always "reading".

Yet, I've also been using dreamweaver, copying large amounts of data to external disks, ripping a DVD and running a system wide search for some file, AND using iTunes and everything is fine. I've also played the song that was playing during lockup, after rebooting. I just can't nail down the problem here.

I'm using a completely new iTunes database, so I know that the main iTunes file is probably fine, since it's not even on the same spot on the disk (heck, I have like 6 "bad" iTunes databases that it's created so far)

I'd reformat and install, but I can't locate my Panther disks, and I'd hate to move back to Jag. I'd just copy the whole install to another disk, format, and copy back, but I'd be afraid of carrying the infection back over.

It HAS to be some hardware issue, but if it was something as simple as a bad sector on the disk, I would be able to reproduce it by accessing the same file or something. I've seen external firewire drives beachball things while it spun up, indicating that the OS knows how to handle slow-loading drive data, but this freezes the whole OS. I can't do anything but listen to three seconds of music every 15 to 20 seconds.

I just don't know what to do...

yellow
Aug 17, 2004, 08:56 PM
It HAS to be some hardware issue, but if it was something as simple as a bad sector on the disk, I would be able to reproduce it by accessing the same file or something. I've seen external firewire drives beachball things while it spun up, indicating that the OS knows how to handle slow-loading drive data, but this freezes the whole OS. I can't do anything but listen to three seconds of music every 15 to 20 seconds.

I wouldn't go that far just yet. There's lots of info you still need to focus on before it's a hardware issue. It's definintly not par for the course for OSX to lock up/KP. If you think it's iTunes, what iTunes plugins or other iTunes controlling software do you have installed? Remove it. What haxies or other OS/GUI hacks do you have running? Remove them. What Startup Items are you running? Try starting up without them. Again, remove all peripherals. No mice, no FW drives, nothing. Just Powerbook. If you don't get back to basics, you'll never find the problem.

A quick solution? Create and use a new login for a while to see if it locks up on you. If not, then the problem is most likely relegated to your current user. If it still locks up/KPs, then the problem has been relegated to OS, hardware, or peripherals.

You only ran memtest for a 5 minutes. To get an accurate return, you need to run it for hours.