Resolved Checking log for hard drive errors

umiwangu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
478
0
Malawi
My laptop froze earlier this evening. I know it was the hard drive getting stuck on something, since I could hear the sound. It must have been timing out (not sure about the technical term) on a sector (or a sector going bad).

Is there any place to check this in the log (with terminal)? I would know in Windows, but not in Mac...

Early 2011 MBP, 10.7.2, 7200 RPM 500 GB hard drive.

Thanks!

Seth
 
Last edited:

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
My laptop froze earlier this evening. I know it was the hard drive getting stuck on something, since I could hear the sound. It must have been timing out (not sure about the technical term) on a sector (or a sector going bad).
There are many possibilities other than a bad sector. If a drive is constantly active or your CPU utilization is high (possibly with increased temps and fan speed) when you're not running any major apps, check to see if Spotlight is indexing by looking at the Menu Bar icon:
(not indexing)
(indexing) (pulsing dot)​
Also, Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
 

umiwangu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
478
0
Malawi
There are many possibilities other than a bad sector. If a drive is constantly active or your CPU utilization is high (possibly with increased temps and fan speed) when you're not running any major apps, check to see if Spotlight is indexing by looking at the Menu Bar icon:
Image (not indexing)
Image (indexing) (pulsing dot)​
Also, Launch Activity Monitor and change "My Processes" at the top to "All Processes", then click on the CPU column heading once or twice, so the arrow points downward (highest values on top). Then look to see what may be consuming system resources.
I pretty much ran out of space, so yes, Spotlight was re-indexing, but for about 30 minutes (until I crashed the laptop), everything was frozen. Cmd + Alt + Esc didn't work, the Spotlight indexing icon was frozen (dot present, but no longer pulsing), the mouse moved, but nothing else. The clock was even stuck.

And when I listened to the hard drive, I could hear it making rhythmic clicking noises. I've heard hard drives trying to read bad sectors before, and it sounded the same.

So yes, there are many other possibilities, but I'm pretty sure there's a sector about to go.
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
I pretty much ran out of space, so yes, Spotlight was re-indexing, but for about 30 minutes (until I crashed the laptop), everything was frozen. Cmd + Alt + Esc didn't work, the Spotlight indexing icon was frozen (dot present, but no longer pulsing), the mouse moved, but nothing else. The clock was even stuck.

And when I listened to the hard drive, I could hear it making rhythmic clicking noises. I've heard hard drives trying to read bad sectors before, and it sounded the same.

So yes, there are many other possibilities, but I'm pretty sure there's a sector about to go.
Again, not necessarily. Spotlight consumes significant resources when indexing and can display the symptoms you described. I wouldn't worry about it unless it happens again when Spotlight isn't indexing.
 

umiwangu

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Sep 4, 2006
478
0
Malawi
Again, not necessarily. Spotlight consumes significant resources when indexing and can display the symptoms you described. I wouldn't worry about it unless it happens again when Spotlight isn't indexing.
Ok, I guess. I've had Spotlight reindex several times before, and while things have slowed down to a crawl, I had never seen it quite like this.

Back to my original question: would anything show up in the system log?
 

GGJstudios

macrumors Westmere
May 16, 2008
44,365
703
Ok, I guess. I've had Spotlight reindex several times before, and while things have slowed down to a crawl, I had never seen it quite like this.

Back to my original question: would anything show up in the system log?
You can check it for I/O errors, using Console.app.