freezing ibook G4 OSX

Discussion in 'PowerPC Macs' started by yatesk, Apr 3, 2006.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #1
    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?
     
  2. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    Location:
    Cuidad de México
    #2
  3. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #3
    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
     
  4. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2004
    #4
    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.
     
  5. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #5
    You beat me to it. ;)

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

    Eidorian

    Joined:
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    #6
    In 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.
     
  7. Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2004
    Location:
    Bergen, Norway
    #7
    16 MB...!? :eek:

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

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #8
    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.
     
  9. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #9
    I believe you should have between 6-8 GB (6,144-8,192 MB) free for virtual memory.
     
  10. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #10
    (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?
     
  11. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

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    #11
    Do an archive and install. You're not going to wipe the drive but create a new System folder.
     
  12. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #12
    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.
     
  13. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #13
    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.
     
  14. Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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  15. thread starter macrumors newbie

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    Apr 3, 2006
    #15
    Thank you. It's worth a try to reinstall the OS before I take it to get the hardware fixed, right?
     
  16. Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    #16
    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... :)
     
  17. macrumors 68000

    calebjohnston

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2006
    #17
    If the OS doesn't load, it's always worth the fun of trying to reinstall and hoping that it doesn't freeze. :).
     
  18. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    Location:
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    #18
    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?
     
  19. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #19
    Kind of like the fun of banging your head against the wall, because it feels so good when you stop?
     
  20. macrumors Penryn

    Eidorian

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2005
    Location:
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    #20
    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.
     
  21. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

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    #21
    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.)
     
  22. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2006
    #22
    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?
     
  23. Moderator emeritus

    Mitthrawnuruodo

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    Location:
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    #23
    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...
     
  24. macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    #24
    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.
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    Eniregnat

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2003
    Location:
    In your head.
    #25
    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 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.]
     

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