iBook-10.3.8 unstable!

Discussion in 'Mac OS X 10.3 (Panther) Discussion' started by wjones, Feb 22, 2005.

  1. wjones macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #1
    I've been very pleased with my 15" powerbook... I've had it for 6 months now- and it's been flawless. So much so- that I've convinced 4 of my friends to get Macs :) Unfortunately one of my friends who got an iBook on my suggestion is having big problems all of a sudden. As far as I can tell.. his issues started about the time of the 10.3.8 update.. but I'm not completely sure.

    His computer boots up fine, and seems to run fine for a while... but then gets boged down and programs crash left and right... Word crashes... iTunes... Mail...Firefox...etc.. the computer has "rebooted" on it's own several times. Generally not healthy.

    I've run the cron jobs... repaired disk permissions... and--cleared the cache with ONYX. I also reran the 10.3.8 upgrade using the 100MB combo download. none of which helped.

    I've also tried updating the prebinding in ONYX... but it fails- and gives me this:

    I'm the resident computer guy 'round here, but have never had to deal with OSX problems! What else can I do to repair this thing? I'd love to be able to fix this computer problems without a reinstall... that's what I have to do with all the XP machines I work on .. not with OSX! Right? If I boot from the OSX CD can I "repair" the OS instalation? Someone please restore my faith in this wonderful OS!

    Thanks-
    -Walton
     
  2. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #2
    OK - obvious stuff first

    has he got extra RAM installed? If yes, take it out and see if the problems still happen Does he have enough memory to have countless intensive apps open? If he's trying to run Photoshop/Dreamweaver and iMovie on 256MB, an iBook might not be too happy.

    Has he got any devices attached - USB modems/scanners/external HDs

    If he logs in as a new user, do the problems still happen? Is the problem in his account or in the system?

    If you try all these and things are still screwed, you may have to reinstall the system. It's very easy to do an Archive and Install on OS X and takes 1 to 2 hours depending on the size of the HD
     
  3. wjones thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #3
    Thanks for the reply!

    He only has the 256M in the iBook... but it's worked fine for him before. It might have slowed down before when he had a bunch of things running, but never did programs crash and the computer reboot on its own. He doesn't do much with it... firefox- mail- ichat- word- itunes- iphoto. That's about all he runs. But starting last week.. the system went from running fine for him.. to being unstable.. it seems that "something" happened. I was thinking that the prebinding not being able to complete might be a clue to what that "something" was.

    He has no external devices other than his digital camera..

    I haven't tried anything with different users- I'll try that next.

    I might end up having to do an archive and install.. but I was hoping to find and fix the problem. I'm sure I'll be plesantly surprized with how easy the archive and install goes.. (will I need to archive to an external drive?) I was hoping to use this opertunity to learn more about fixing OSX!

    -Walton
     
  4. Passante macrumors 6502a

    Passante

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2004
    Location:
    on the sofa
    #4
    Try running "Activity Monitor" to see what is running on the computer. Let us now what you see.
     
  5. wjones thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #5
    Keep in mind that the machine runs fine for a while.. and then seems to "become unstable". When it's running poorly.. it's difficult to get to the activity monitor-

    I was able to look in there while it was doing ok--and I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. In fact the CPU usage seemed low and the memory (as little as there is).. didn't seem to be filled up too bad. Are there some system logs that might provide hints to the cause of the problem?

    Next time I get my paws on his machine.. I'll get a list of everything and post it ... thanks!

    -Walton
     
  6. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #6
    I had a very recent back up on an external drive in any case. It's always worth making sure that he's got a copy of his User file just in case something goes wrong.

    In an archive and install OS X keeps the User Files intact (including Applications) and reinstalls the system. Occasionally there are problems with not being able to open apps but that can be to do with them expecting a later version of the OS than shipped with the Mac (10.3.8 rather than 10.3.4 etc) so re-update to previous OS version before you start reinstalling apps. You end up with an archive of the previous system file on the HD which you can't boot from. Once everything appears to be working properly, you can safely delete that to reclaim the disc space.
     
  7. wjones thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #7
    What next?

    I finally got the iBook in my hands... and here's what I did.

    I first ran the hardware test.. and everything passed.

    Then I planned on backing up everything to a firewire drive (just in case)
    and then doing an archive and install...

    Unfortunately, I couldn't copy his iTunes folder to the drive. In fact, everytime I looked inside that folder I get a perm. beachball- frozen.. and I couldn't force quit.
    I tried making an archive of the folder.... no go.
    I tried copying it from terminal... no go.
    I saw that when it tries to copy that it hangs on 1 file... so I searched for it in finder and it froze the machine.
    I then deleted the file from within iTunes.. but it still froze the computer when I looked in the iTunes folder.


    So, I figured that I could use iPodRip to recover his tunes from his iPod... so I did the archive and reinstall anyway.

    Before running it.. I ran repair permissions and repair disk from the install CD.

    It reinstalled successfully- and the computer booted up ok..with his settings intact.

    unfortunately it just froze when I tried to look into the iTunes folder.

    ????????!

    -Walton
     
  8. Applespider macrumors G4

    Applespider

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Location:
    looking through rose-tinted spectacles...
    #8
    Sounds very odd and seems like there's a definite problem with that music file. You might be able trying to delete it from Terminal but I'm not sure what that command would be.

    Did you try going in as a new User (without access to shared music) and trying iTunes from there? And if OK, giving access to the music, and seeing what happens?

    I also wonder whether downloading iTunes separately from the Apple site and re-installing just that might do any good?

    Remember an Archive and Restore will have kept all his user settings/files, and if that's where the problem lay, the problem will still be there. It might be worth using iPodrip to get all his music backed up (and checking it's all there) - then trashing the iTunes folder completely and dragging in all files other than the one you previously identified the problem with.
     
  9. wjones thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2004
    #9
    Fixed ... thanks!

    The final step to the cursed iBook's cleansing has been completed...

    After deleteing the iTunes folder... and iTunes- and then reinstalling it and ripping his music from his iPod, things seem to be back to normal.

    That... as well as the archive and install seemed to clean up things.

    I and the iBook owner thank you for your time, talent, and typing.

    -Walton
     

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