Resolved BIG problem with my Mac Pro!

pitabox987

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
44
0
Armidale, NSW
Recently my Mac Pro would not boot to Mac OS X.

When I was restarting the machine I simply got a grey screen, there it stayed until the system loaded my Bootcamp partition. (About 30 seconds)

In Bootcamp the drive would not appear, so I started up with the Snow Leopard install DVD, opened Disk Utility to inspect the drive.

The drive simply showed up as "media", unformatted, no SMART status available, 0KB disk size. :eek:

I restarted the machine again in Bootcamp, and voila there was the Mac HD! — I was then able to restart in Mac OS X.

This has happened about 4 times over the last 24 hours.

My guess is the hard drive is about to die, but I'm not sure if it could just be a software issue with Mac OS X.

I have the machine backed up with Time Machine, soon worry there, just not sure if I should replace the drive or keep working on it...

Any thoughts from anyone? Thanks.
 
Last edited:

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
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Hold down the Option and v keys when booting to get a text boot perhaps you can see an error if any happening there.
 

pitabox987

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
44
0
Armidale, NSW
Hold down the Option and v keys when booting to get a text boot perhaps you can see an error if any happening there.
Option + v keys?

Never heard of that before, not even from Apple.

Will try it when I get home, cheers. ;)

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Hold down the Option and v keys when booting to get a text boot perhaps you can see an error if any happening there.
What's it provide? Something like a diagnostic or error log?

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I've also run diagnostics with TechTool Deluxe (everything but a surface scan), no problems.

And also rebuilt the disk directory with Disk Warrior, noted some improvement.
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,980
305
Canada
Maybe the poster meant command + V when booting???
Yep brain fade there command it is for verbose or text boot.

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I have a Windows keyboard, I'll find the correct key combination, I'm looking on Apple Support for information.
Believe it would be the windows key as it gets switched on a windows keyboard with ALT being Option if my memory serves me correctly on that one this time...
 

pitabox987

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
44
0
Armidale, NSW
It's command + v for a verbose "text" boot
I've run the verbose startup, it was very quick though I'm sure I picked up errors regarding my gaming mouse, a Razer DeathAdder almond other things.

Is there a way I can save and view the verbose information so I can read it in depth?

Thanks.
 

Robert123123

macrumors newbie
Jan 3, 2014
11
0
I've run the verbose startup, it was very quick though I'm sure I picked up errors regarding my gaming mouse, a Razer DeathAdder almond other things.

Is there a way I can save and view the verbose information so I can read it in depth?

Thanks.
Launch 'console' in osx, you might see something in the messages there as well. Good luck!
 

pitabox987

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
44
0
Armidale, NSW
Launch 'console' in osx, you might see something in the messages there as well. Good luck!
Thanks, I actually did that and found the log in question, though the Mac partition is once again AWOL, so I'm guessing this could be a bad hard disk...

-

Dunno if it will help, but I noticed Bootcamp for Windows 7 wants an update (version 3.3), downloading and updating now...
 
Last edited:

Robert123123

macrumors newbie
Jan 3, 2014
11
0
Thanks, I actually did that and found the log in question, though the Mac partition is once again AWOL, so I'm guessing this could be a bad hard disk...
Something else you could try is press command (or option, sorry I don't recall) and r after a reboot, then /sbin/fchk -y, it will check the hdd. Small chance it's a bad configuration problem, though if it's a new disk, it might be wiser to ask for a replacement.
 

ender78

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2005
330
17
Install DriveDx it will tell you the status of the drive. I would replace the drive immediately if you can confirm anything like bad sectors.
 

CH12671

macrumors 6502
Dec 29, 2013
350
0
Southern US
Hold down the d key while booting and run Apple hardware test. Should tell you if something is wrong with hdd. Could be ram too. I've not seen ram do this, but bad ram can do lots of screwy things
 

pitabox987

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
44
0
Armidale, NSW
Hold down the d key while booting and run Apple hardware test. Should tell you if something is wrong with hdd. Could be ram too. I've not seen ram do this, but bad ram can do lots of screwy things
Re bad RAM, the Hynix modules that came with the machine failed a few months ago, I was thinking of running the AHT

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Install DriveDx it will tell you the status of the drive. I would replace the drive immediately if you can confirm anything like bad sectors.
Will give it a go, thanks
 

pitabox987

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
44
0
Armidale, NSW
Install DriveDx it will tell you the status of the drive. I would replace the drive immediately if you can confirm anything like bad sectors.
Thanks a lot for recommending this software!

S.M.A.R.T. Status is reporting that the drive is failing

"Drive failing with 1435 unstable sectors waiting for remapping" - with this information I'd say I'll have a new paperweight very soon.

Oh well it's backed up, hope I can get a replacement soon!

I'll leave this thread open until I have a new verified working hard drive.

Regards,

Peter.
 

ender78

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2005
330
17
Thanks a lot for recommending this software!

S.M.A.R.T. Status is reporting that the drive is failing

"Drive failing with 1435 unstable sectors waiting for remapping" - with this information I'd say I'll have a new paperweight very soon.

Oh well it's backed up, hope I can get a replacement soon!

I'll leave this thread open until I have a new verified working hard drive.

Regards,

Peter.
Software found that my raid array was bad too (both drives in raid1) we're in various states of fail. I lost a little bit of data where a few dozen files could not be read from the drives. I had no idea that this was going on, saved my arse, bought the software 20 minutes later. Drives were sadly out of warranty.
 

pitabox987

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
44
0
Armidale, NSW
Software found that my raid array was bad too (both drives in raid1) we're in various states of fail. I lost a little bit of data where a few dozen files could not be read from the drives. I had no idea that this was going on, saved my arse, bought the software 20 minutes later. Drives were sadly out of warranty.
I might see how much it costs as well! :D

Running a full surface scan with Tech Tool Deluxe, I want to see if it is consistent with DriveDX... :p

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I might see how much it costs as well! :D

Running a full surface scan with Tech Tool Deluxe, I want to see if it is consistent with DriveDX... :p
ooh, $25 for my business, very tempting - Cheers!
 

ender78

macrumors 6502
Jan 9, 2005
330
17
Hmmm, TechTool came back with 0 errors on the Mac HD... :confused:

The question is how does the OS identify the sectors marked bad? If SMART marks them bad what should Tech Tool Pro do with them? In my case, the bad sectors did lead to file corruption [in my 460GB Aperture Library]
 

MacUser2525

macrumors 68000
Mar 17, 2007
1,980
305
Canada
The question is how does the OS identify the sectors marked bad? If SMART marks them bad what should Tech Tool Pro do with them? In my case, the bad sectors did lead to file corruption [in my 460GB Aperture Library]
When sectors are marked as bad the OS never gets to see them it is a low level drive thing that marks them in the file allocation table/partition mapping. OP I think the time has come to bail on that drive and put new one in it too many strange happens going on with it.
 

pitabox987

macrumors member
Original poster
Jan 1, 2014
44
0
Armidale, NSW
When sectors are marked as bad the OS never gets to see them it is a low level drive thing that marks them in the file allocation table/partition mapping. OP I think the time has come to bail on that drive and put new one in it too many strange happens going on with it.
Put in a new Western Digital Caviar Blue about 30 minutes ago, It's the same model and capacity as my original HD. — I am performing a Time Machine restore as I type (15% complete complete),

I also installed Western Digital's Data Lifeguard for Windows on my Bootcamp partition. — I ran both a quick and extended test on the drive, the quick test failed less than a second after I started it; the extended lagged dozens of times (trying to read bad sectors is my guess...), then hung when the test had three seconds left to complete - it stuck there for ten minutes before I had to force quit it with Task Manager. - the quick test also returned an error code, which was listed as a SMART error with the drive.

I noticed that when I was swapping the faulty drive out it was about four times hotter than either of the other two drives in the machine. I also checked the age of the drive, nearly six years old, so I think a combination of heat and age may have been the cause.

Regardless, once this TM restore is finished I will verify the new HD, I doubt it will now, but if it returns the same errors I will know the problem is software (or a combination of hardware and software.)

The TM restore is humming along nice and smoothly which is a good sign... ;)
 
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