G4 MDD Freezing in OSX Unless Permissions are Repaired Every bootup

Discussion in 'Mac Apps and Mac App Store' started by jabber, Oct 17, 2003.

  1. jabber macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2003

    I'm a recent PC defector trying to switch to a mac, and purchased a refurbed G4 MDD single from Apple a couple of weeks ago.

    I've been having consistent freezing problems in OSX unless I repair permissions on every bootup. I've consistently verified if I reboot normally and just try and use Finder, Safari, etc.. it will freeze up (no mouse, not a kernel panic, just freezes) within 1-10 min. If it boots and sits idle, it won't freeze, but as soon as I start doing anything it will freeze.

    If I however run repair permissions (either from command line or from DiskUtil GUI) as soon as I boot, I will be able to use OSX no problem unless it freezes before diskUtil finished repairing permissions.

    I've re-installed, run the hardware test, and have the problems in .2, .6 and .8.

    Another possible related problem, is that I was under the impression I can boot-up in single user mode, fsck the HDD, remount it RW, then run "diskUtil repairPermissions /". When I do this, I get a message about "DiskArb" can't be activated. I've searched forums, Google, and Deja for info on DiskArb, and can't find squat.

    Although I'm new to Apple and OSX, I'm very proficient in FreeBSD and UNIX in general.

    Can anyone give me suggestions on what else I may be able to do to troubleshoot?

    I apologize if this isn't the right forum, as I have suspected memory, but it seems to be related to OSX since it has never froze when I booted off of a CD.

    Thanks in advance.

    - Stevan
  2. keithcobbett macrumors member

    Jan 6, 2002
    Hillsborough, NH
    I personally would replace the memory modules in the machine and then attempt a complete reformat and reinstall of the OS. If this does not fix the problem, replace the HDD and do the same. If this does not work, you may have a bigger problem with maybe the Cache memory or the Processor itself. Try these in that order.
  3. junior macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2003
    Before you start buying all sorts of things, call Apple. If you've only just bought it from them and you're getting this problem, you have every right to get a replacement or get a part of the Mac that's causing the problem (HD? Memory?) replaced.
    By the way, have you purchased and installed any RAM since you bought your Mac? Although in my experience you tend to get a Kernel Panic when there's something wrong with the memory.
  4. fraeone macrumors regular


    Sep 26, 2003
    Seattle, WA
    Yeah junior is right. You just bought it, don't replace anything.

    Your G4 is still very much under warranty from Apple, and if there is something wrong with it, they're obligated to either a) fix the broken part or b) replace the whole thing.
  5. jabber thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2003
    Everyone - thanks for your help and feedback.

    FWIW, the CPU in this computer died day 1, and Apple already replaced it under warranty (didn't even turn on, no boot chime, etc..). Since there is a new CPU, if it is a hardware problem I'm suspecting memory, hdd (seems like a longshot), or motherboard.

    As I'm very experienced in FreeBSD, I've seen similar hard freezes due to memory problems. Yesterday I tried a friends 512M module in the powermac, and it also froze within 5 min - so thats out. Motherboard is my supect now, as I've never seen a HDD error manifest itself like this?

    I'm going to try wiping and installing, but how do I "really" format the drive. Everytime I've installed OSX and even select "format the drive", it only seems to take less than 5min which is probably a quick format or something similar. Really formatting a ~60GB drive in either FreeBSD or Windows takes at least 30-45min. I've heard of "zeroing the drive" on some mac forums which I assume is probably similar, but not sure how to do this.

    Bottom line is, this computer is appearing to be a lemon so if the last attempt at wiping and re-installing doesn't fix anything, I'll have to demand a replacement from Apple. That seems to be the consensus and ultimately a I agree. I'm honestly switching from PCs so I don't have to troubleshoot stupid computer problems like this, so hopefully my experiences with Apple products will improve.

    I really appreciate everyones responses and feedback!

    - Stevan
  6. junior macrumors 6502a


    Mar 25, 2003

    Once you restart off the install CD-ROM, go to the top left hand side of the screen and choose disk utility. You can then choose to zero format your drive. Once that's down, exit disk utility and install. I've heard from someone that zero formatting the hard disk shortens the life span of the drive itself. I wonder if this is true?
  7. benixau macrumors 65816


    Oct 9, 2002
    Sydney, Australia
    oh i wonder - if you change every bit in every platter to zero then yeah - you are going to use a fair bit of its 'life' up.
  8. jabber thread starter macrumors newbie

    Oct 17, 2003
    Well reduced life or not, zeroing the drive appears to have cleared up my freezing problem.

    I have to admit I'm quite surprised HDD problems would manifest in hard freezing of the machine. I can only suspect that maybe the swap file/partition was on some bad sectors or some other bizarre set of events, as the problems seemed to be memory/load related.

    After I zero'd the drive, I did a clean OSX 10.2.3 install and have had no problems since. I had reinstalled before (clean/wipe) and the problem persisted, so the solution does seem to be related to the zeroing of the drive.

    Thanks for everyones help. Hopefully this thread will help someone in the future with a similar problem.

    - Stevan

Share This Page