70gb of data vanished, leaving 1.4gb on HD

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Earendil, Dec 27, 2006.

  1. Earendil macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #1
    Last night, all but a few crumbs of data vanished from my internal HD. What I want to know is why, and how I can prevent this in the future.

    Here is the lead up to it, as all great mysteries have a back story.

    1. A few weeks ago my internal 80gb internal HD died. I had a backup on an external 160gb that was a month old, and so used psync to gather only the data that was different between the two drives. It was a good thing I did that, the internal 80gb was fried within a few hours of operation.

    2. I ran off the 160gb external for 2 weeks, until the new internal arrived. However it appeared as though psync didn't make a perfect duplicate of the OS, since it would hang on boot. It recognized the external as an OSX bootable, it just wouldn't make it to the login screen. So I whipped out the tiger CD, did an archive and install on the external, updated the entire system back up to current, and transfered my old user folder back in using help from this thread.

    I then used CCC to copy my external backup to the new 120gb internal drive.

    3. All went dandy, for about a week, then odd ball things started happening once every couple days.

    First, All unopened applications would suddenly not launch. The system lost all application icons. All currently running applications worked "fine". However I didn't test this state for longer than a couple minutes. I restarted and everything returned to normal. Ran disk utility for the fun of it (found nothing).

    Second, Found corrupted songs. Clipped songs, songs morphed together. It seems to only be about .5% of my library, thank goodness, but still discouraging.

    Third and final, Last night I had the applications not starting bug again, but this time when I restarted I got a symbol on the screen prior to the OS load that was a circle with a slash through it (classic "do not enter", or "denied" symbol).

    Booting off my external and looking at the drive with disk utility revealed the drive had 1.4gb of data on it (and was not seen as bootable), when it had about 70gb (of 120gb) on it before.

    Now I can understand some corrupted files. But the OS should have been intact, right? What kind of corruption could possibly have happened?

    In any case my external is backed up to a week ago, so I'm okay... I think. I'm worried that the backup may its self be corrupted. I can't risk losing all my data. I could use any advise that would guide to a safer operating experience...

    Currently I've reinstalled Tiger on the internal and am about to bring it up to date... What to do with the data on the external?
    Thanks all!!
    ~Tyler


    ps, sorry about the soap opera :)
     
  2. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #2
    You've left me hanging here, its like a mini soap opera!
     
  3. cbrain macrumors 65816

    cbrain

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Location:
    North-East, UK
  4. Spanky Deluxe macrumors 601

    Spanky Deluxe

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2005
    Location:
    London, UK
    #4
    Good idea. You might also want to reinstall the main drive with tiger and then gradually copy data back onto it from the external drive. I.e. first copy your documents and then see how it goes. Then copy your music and see how it goes. You might be able to spot a problem area this way. Also when you're copying your data back onto the main drive are you copying over the applications from your previous install? If yes then I'd suggest not doing so and simply installing the software as if from new.
     
  5. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #5
    What kind of Hardware tests? The drive is passing the S.M.A.R.T. test... though my trust in that thing is pretty minimal as my failed drive passed that right until the second it croaked...

    I could try the gradual data copy... my only issue with this is if the Data on my external is also somewhat corrupt. I don't want to start up off my external and have it read 1.4gb before I get everything copied over to the internal. Of course I don't want to play hot-potato with my Data between drives either...

    A corrupted app or two wouldn't cause all applications to suddenly cease to lunch, would it? This goes against my knowledge of data and computers...
    I'm thinking Hardware or OS, but I'm certainly no expert.

    Thanks for all the advice! Some more specifics on the "hardware test" would be appreciated.

    ~Tyler
     
  6. cbrain macrumors 65816

    cbrain

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2006
    Location:
    North-East, UK
    #6
    I mean Apple Hardware Test. Insert Mac OSX Install Disc 1 and hold down alt (I think it's alt) while your machine is booting up. Select "Apple Hardware Test".

    I'm not entirely sure that's correct as I have only just my first mac, I recomend you get some conformation on what I have suggested is entirely correct.

    Good Luck!
     
  7. EGT macrumors 68000

    EGT

    Joined:
    Sep 4, 2003
    #7
    Hmm, I've had the problem with the strange application icons as well. I posted about it two or three times but no one knew what was up. It is weird, the apps all work fine, it's just the icons be frecked. Restarting, running disk utility and some maintenance apps clears it sometimes but not always.

    When you say about your backup being corrupt, you've got me thinking, could this be why I've experienced similar problems as well?

    My 80gb Powerbook (exact same spec as yours... hmmm?) drive died this time last year and I restored EVERYTHING from a backup of which was made just minutes before it died. I'm not sure though, my system hasn't always been as flaky as it has these past few months, it's unlikely it could have lasted this long without something more obvious happening. Please, someone reassure me with this. It couldn't have survived this long without major problems, right? RIGHT? (Paranoia kicks in. :p )

    Anyway, first off, get as much of your data onto DVDs if you haven't already done so. I wouldn't trust having all my data on one drive. You should be doing this with important stuff every now and again anyway and storing it somewhere safe. It's a bit tedious with the Powerbooks' "Super" Drive but still needs to be done.

    If you already have data stored to DVDs from before the internal started crapping out, you might need to go back to those in case anything is truly fried on your external but before that, try transferring to the fresh install internal. Once it's up-to-date and ready to go, start adding stuff gradually as already mentioned. I would start fresh with dodgy stuff like applications. Too many preference files, library stuff etc. that could be out of sorts.

    I'm curious about your iTunes library. How large is it and how did you first notice the dodgy songs? It's just that I've noticed clipped songs on my iPod but they play fine in iTunes. (Paranoia again) The start/stop times are correct and nothing seems amiss. Maybe it is something to do with the error (-48) bug that is plaguing a lot of users.

    Seriously, songs morphed together? :eek:

    *Starts up backup drive*
     
  8. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #8
    Okay, so I may have found a clue. After the migration of all my data (yeah, trying this approach first), and subsequent updating of the system (love the office T1), I found a few apps that would not start. These apps don't have icons, and are 96k in size. When trying to start them they claim to possibly be corrupted. However I noticed it was all the apps in a particular folder. On my backup drive all those files are fine, intact, and launch.
    On a hunch I checked the permissions on the folder and found it is set to "Write Only". Well that'll do it :rolleyes:

    I'm wondering how much of my original problem could have been effected by randomly having folder permissions set to either write only or read only. Or no access at all. However it is strange that this is happening for no apparent reason while operating the machine in a normal fashion. This also does not explain (I don't think) suddenly losing all but 1/40 of my data...

    Running hardware test next... However it looks like the best method here is to run it in loop mode(which I wasn't aware of) which will be done tonight.

    Cheers guys, and I'll keep you posted!
     
  9. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #9
    iTunes library is in the 40gig department (so even 0.5% corrupted is a lot of work), so it's not too surprising that some of the corrupt data would reside in my library. And yes, clipped together, cut off, etc. Haven't found one yet where the start of the song is off though...

    I don't see file permissions or a corrupt OS causing this on the fly on a new disk. I haven't had the time to check my backup library to see if the corruption is there, but I'm guessing it is, and happened on the last backup from the failing drive...

    I'm starting to think I need 3 solid backup machines, and alternate them every month just in case my last backup is corrupted because the drive was failing before I knew it...
     
  10. ITASOR macrumors 601

    ITASOR

    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2005
    Location:
    Oneida, NY
    #10
    I don't know if this will help, but after like restoring from a backup or copying a large amount of files/apps onto your internal drive, you should repair permissions on the drive with Disk Utility. This could possibly solve a lot of problems.
     
  11. Earendil thread starter macrumors 68000

    Earendil

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2003
    Location:
    Washington
    #11
    I should have mentioned that I did this. It didn't solve/prevent anything :(

    Thanks for the help though.
     

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