Trying to help a friend with this error

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Frisco, Apr 28, 2005.

  1. Frisco macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Utopia
    #1
    Hey! I am trying to help my friend with this error

    Here is what he says:

    "I have a problem! Updated to 10.3.9 last night and ever since my ibook stalls on startup! (infinite spinning wheel). I do not know what went wrong but it seems a little strange that suddenly my ibook is in control!!

    The only solution i can think of, is to reinstall macOSx from fresh. But, I do not have anything backed up!! There is only 435mb free on hdd, so i cannot reinstall.

    If I could access the hdd, there would be no problem freeing up space. I can access all startup commands. Is there anyway of deleting files/freeing space from hdd at this stage????

    I also ran the startup in Verbose mode (cmd V) and it gave the following crash reporter messages:

    (-------
    *....
    *Launching Crash Reporter
    *Date... com.apple.securityserver: database /var/db/codeEquivalenceDatebase opened Read Only (R/W failed error 30)
    *Date... com.apple.securityserver: error writing Entropy file /var/db/system EntropyCode cannot create /var/run/sys
    *Date... com.apple.securityserver: Entering Service
    -------)

    Any ideas? I already had him repair his disk in Disk Utility booting off the cd and had him boot up in Safe Mode, but to no avail.
     
  2. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #2
    Have you tried booting the computer in firewire target mode? You'd need another Mac and a firewire cable to do it (search help for instrux). Then you could transfer files to the other mac.

    Sounds like the lack of free HD space is contributing to the problem. Macs need at least 1 GB of free space to operate well.
     
  3. robbieduncan Moderator emeritus

    robbieduncan

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2002
    Location:
    London
    #3
    Does he have access to another Mac? If so start the iBook in target disk mode and back up everything to the second Mac. Then re-install/start messing around.
     
  4. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #4
    Yes, <500 MB free is not a good thing! :eek: Is it possible to delete some things that can easily recovered (i.e. not your documents, etc), while the computer is booted in *single user mode*? I don't remember exactly what, besides fsck, you can do in that mode, but its pretty likely to successfully boot in that mode, compared to the other options....
     
  5. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #5
    Could he boot up from the OSX install CD he got with the iBook and run Disk Utility (press 'C' when starting up to boot from a CD, or 'T' to boot as a target disk for another Mac)?

    Use DU to run Repair Permissions and to Repair Disk and see if that helps.

    While you're in there, you could try to whack a few unnecessary files to free up some space.
     
  6. Frisco thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Utopia
    #6
    Thanks for the tips guys!
    Here's what he says "I have tried all of your tips to no avail. The disk is read-only. So although the system hangs, i can still view the files but not really do anything! I have tried 'single user mode' and everything else possible to run from installation disk. The trouble is all that I would like to do is free up some space on the hard drive and re-install 'archieve & install'"

    He doesn't have another computer off hand--the Target Disk mode was a great idea however!

    Thanks
     
  7. mkrishnan Moderator emeritus

    mkrishnan

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2004
    Location:
    Grand Rapids, MI, USA
    #7
    If there is an Apple store nearby, I bet the geniuses would help him use one of their computers to run his computer as a target disk, especially if he came at a quiet time of the day. I forgot that Single User mounts the disk read-only (oops :rolleyes:) because fsck can make changes to it. But I think enabling fsck to do its work is a big part of *why* its read-only in single user mode. :(
     
  8. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #8
    What kind of computer does he have? if it's a powermac, he could order a new hard drive (sounds like he needs one), then install the new os on that drive and try to use it to recover data from the other drive. He could do this with a laptop, but he'd also need to buy a Firewire enclosure for the drive.

    All of this is advisable anyway, since he should have BACKUPS of all his important files.

    edit: oops. Now I see that it's an iBook. Still doable, but a major PITA.
     
  9. Frisco thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Utopia
    #9
    What about Disk Warrior? Should I tell him to pick up a copy. To me it sounds like he has directory damage?
     
  10. wordmunger macrumors 603

    wordmunger

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2003
    Location:
    North Carolina
    #10
    I've never used Disk Warrior, but here's another idea -- another longshot. Does he have an iPod? I've heard of people setting up iPods as bootable HDs. He could install Jaguar on the iPod and use it as his startup drive.
     
  11. emw macrumors G4

    emw

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2004
    #11
    This may be a good idea if you have enough spare space on the iPod to copy his stuff to, as well as install the system (and you have Jaguar disks).

    I purchased Disk Warrior when I was having a similar issue with my iMac, and it wasn't particularly useful. Luckily, I was able to boot the iMac in target disk mode with my PowerBook and back stuff up, reformat, and re-install the OS.

    I think you're best bet is to get a large external drive, install the OS on that, back everything up, then format and re-install on the iBook. If your friend is struggling that much with drive space, another HD is going to be a big help anyway.
     
  12. Frisco thread starter macrumors 68020

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2002
    Location:
    Utopia
    #12
    Yeah you're right--he needs the space anyway. That's what I just told him to do--get an external drive.

    Thanks for the help everyone!

    Frisco
     

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