12" powerbook: grinding to a halt!

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by mrjamin, Jan 5, 2005.

  1. macrumors 65816

    mrjamin

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    Strongbadia
    #1
    Evening all,

    Something is seriously up with my PowerBook, and it keeps on happening!

    Basically, about 6 weeks ago the harddisk started making noises (nothing out of the ordinary, just HDD activity noise) roughly twice a second, and everything was dog slow! So anyway, I repaired permissions, repaired the disk (couple of minor problems, mainly just down to incomplete torrents), didn't fix it. So, reset the PRAM. Still no joy. Did a format & clean install, which then froze part way through. Not so great. Tried again, and seemed to work fine. Within a couple of days, same old problem with the excessive harddisk activity, loooong boot times, and being really slow once it has booted. Hardware test shows nothing wrong, and reseting the PRAM hasn't helped. So, did another format/clean install. All went fine, but then got a kernel panic on first boot. Wouldn't boot up again. Another format & clean install and it was all working again. Lo and behold, few days later and the harddisk is permenantly active, slow as anything - same as before.

    Any hints as to what the problem could be? Next course of action? Am still in warranty so worst case scenario, it'll have to go back to apple!

    Thanks in advance chaps, you haven't failed me yet...

    MrJ
     
  2. macrumors 65816

    Darwin

    Joined:
    Jun 2, 2003
    Location:
    round the corner
    #2
    This might be a problem with the hard disk, if you are hearing a loud noise coming from it

    I say this because my PowerBook has just recently had its drive replaced, I noticed that the hard drive was making more noise than normal and seemed to be writing every second or so, then the slow performance came and at times it was hard to boot back in OS X after a restart, not only hard but I could leave it on all night and it would still be loading the next morning with no noticable progress

    Backup your stuff right away, im betting that it is the hard drive since i've just experienced the same problems
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2004
    #3
    Run the activity monitor and see what process is taking up all your cpu.

    I had a similiar thing happen when I was running 10.3.6. Hard drive started making clicking noises, powerbook ground to a halt and after I rebooted I got a kernel panic. It hasnt happened again so I dont know what the cause was.
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2004
    Location:
    C-ville, VA
    #4
    I agree with Darwin, this sounds like a HD problem. I had something similar start happening on my old Linux box right before my Maxtor gave out.

    Have you tried booting into single-user mode and running fsck? Sometimes it can give you a warning if something is going bad with your HD. I got lucky this way with the aforementioned Maxtor.

    Good luck and make some backups,
    Jim

    Edit : Just in case you don't know what I am talking about above, here is a howto: http://homepage.mac.com/geerlingguy/mac_support/mac_help/pages/9-fsck_su_disk_repair.html

    It's for Jaguar but still applies to Panther.
     
  5. macrumors 6502a

    Kingsnapped

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2003
    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    #5
    Does it happen, by chance, when you're editing video?

    I've had the same problem, but it would happen because of a single frame of video. Once I reached it, PB would freeze while the harddrive goes "munch munch munch munch" for a few worthless minutes.

    When I started editing on an external drive, no more problems. Not much of a fix, but I haven't had problems since.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    jackieonasses

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2004
    Location:
    the great OKLAHOMA....
    #6
    Funny thing. Mine at been doing that lately. It makes that noise - then quits and works normally. I am awfully sure it is the harddrive.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 65816

    mrjamin

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    Strongbadia
    #7
    Yep! It was the harddrive.

    Weirdly, Disk Utility wouldn't report the S.M.A.R.T status, so I found some third party app that reads the S.M.A.R.T status straight from the harddrive, not what OSX was reporting (it seems that on powerbooks, OSX won't read S.M.A.R.T data at all, so it reports a blanket 'verified' - most hard disk utility software will just take what OSX says as gospel, instead of checking the drive itself).

    Have booked it in for a repair with Apple, will take 4 weeks :eek: Warranty expires in 2, that was a close one!

    Thanks guys,

    MrJ
     
  8. macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    Which app did you use? My PB HD makes a few odd noises at times and I'd like to check it before my warranty runs out in a few weeks
     
  9. mpw
    Guest

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2004
    #9

    My 3year old G3 iBook did almost exactly this which prompted me to go out and buy a external Maxtor and back up my files for the first time ever in 12 years of home computing! A couple of days later the iBooks HDD crapped out.
    On the upside that prompted me to get my present iMac G5. I must get round to having a go at fitting a new HDD to sell the G3 and buy more goodies for the iMac.
    I'd back your data up NOW it took eight attempts to fully back up my data from the failing iBook.
     
  10. macrumors 65816

    aussie_geek

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2004
    Location:
    Sydney Australia
    #10
    I'm not sure what app mrjamin used but i just had a look through VersionTracker and found this app that seems to do what you are looking for.

    I just checked my PowerBook drive (not that I suspect that there is a problem with it) and it checked out ok :cool:. There are a few options in it to warn you when / if a HD is about to fail.

    Hope this helps.

    aussie_geek
     
  11. thread starter macrumors 65816

    mrjamin

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    Strongbadia
    #11
    smartreporter doesn't work on powerbooks as it takes the S.M.A.R.T data from OSX, not the drive itself.

    I used DiskGuardian

    AppleSpider: check your PM's, sent you a message.
     
  12. thread starter macrumors 65816

    mrjamin

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2003
    Location:
    Strongbadia
    #12
    My entire home folder gets backed up on to my Linux server daily via rsync :)
     

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