Crashing issue reappears in Mavericks

Discussion in 'OS X Mavericks (10.9)' started by garirry, Feb 14, 2015.

  1. garirry, Feb 14, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    garirry macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #1
    I recently installed Mavericks on my main computer, after seeing problems with Yosemite, mainly that one problem when the system stops functioning and shows the spinning beach ball, while giving me no control of my computer whatsoever. Well... it's back, even after downgrading. I'm super-stressed trying to figure out what on earth is happening. Luckily, sometimes, I still succeed in booting the system for a whole day.

    My first idea was that there is some sort of virus. I noticed that when it crashed the first time, it was while copying my Music folder (since I did not have a 10.9 TM backup). It happened again, while copying that same folder, but I noticed that it was while there was about 26GB of data copied, so I suspected that there was a file which does that. I decided to import all of my media from iTunes, and the system crashed while copying a certain Apple podcast. I decided to delete that file, it worked fine for a day, and... it now crashes every 10 minutes.

    This leads me to a second idea: it's a hard drive issue. If you remember my "I'M MAD I CANT INSTALL MAVERICKS ANGRY FACE" topic, you know that I had trouble formatting the drive and everyone told me that my HDD is dying. Well, I think they were right. When (on Yosemite) I tried to partition the drive, the system crashed and would never boot again (although the files stayed intact). After downgrading, today, I tried doing a Verify Disk on my partition, following by a beautiful (not) crash. Now, I can't use the system at all since it boots up ready to crash.

    Anyone has suggestions? If someone courageous enough wants to test the suspicious file, PM me. Someone PLEASE reply, I'm not writing this for nothing.
     
  2. chrfr macrumors 603

    Joined:
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    #2
    You have disk problems. Check the drive for corruption with Disk Utility, and also listen when it stops copying to determine if you hear a repeating clicking or other mechanical noise. If the drive has a hardware issue it may not successfully finish verifying the file system or it may not report that the file system is damaged.
     
  3. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #3
    I did both a Verify Disk and Repair Disk (I'm pretty sure though that it does the same). It says that both my partitions are OK. I tried listening to my hard drive, and I heard no crackling nor mechanical noises.
     
  4. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #4
  5. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #5
    If you cannot successfully reformat the disk, you must replace it. Disks are far less valuable than your data, and you should not wait to replace a disk that doesn't quite work right. It will fail soon.
     
  6. garirry, Feb 14, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #6
    So, I sometimes manage to work on my computer about 30 minutes before it crashes. Here is what I noticed:
    1-There appears to be no pattern whatsoever. Sometimes it crashes right after booting, sometimes it crashes after 30 minutes of use, sometimes I can use my computer the whole day without crashes.
    2-Only certain processes keep working while crashed. A few times it crashed while I was playing a game. If I was pressing a key, then the key input would be "stuck", and anything I press else is ignored. However, the game still works, the music plays, and there are no graphical glitches or any form of lag. I have tried opening the Force Quit window in advance so I could restart Finder as soon as it kills itself, but it's hopeless because the system crashed already and I can't do anything. Strangely, I can sometimes use my mouse to switch between fullscreen apps, and if the system is crashed but doesn't show it, pressing the top menu bar or the dock will freeze both of them and the system will fully crash. It once crashed while I was using Chrome, I clicked on "Chrome" in the top menu bar, it worked, but it froze as soon as I moved the mouse to the apple logo.

    And for those who don't understand, by "crashing", the system essentially freezes, I lose total control of my computer, and the spinning beach ball appears forever. I will wait a few hours or a day before ordering the hard drive, just to see what other people think of the issue.

    EDIT: Oh yeah, in response to chrfr, I won't format it yet because I didn't even have the chance to set up a Time Machine backup before it started crashing again, but I will set it up if it is necessary. I do fear though that my hard drive can fully die before everything is backed up. I have managed to modify partitions and stuff while on the SL boot disc, so there isn't any problem with that.
     
  7. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #7
    My take on this:
    If you suspect your hard drive (and with your previous history - you should! ) then you shouldn't need to wait for some (unspecified) number of supporting posts - just replace the hard drive, and be done with it.
     
  8. garirry, Feb 14, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 14, 2015

    garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #8
    I suppose you're right. I'll order the hard drive after a little bit more of investigation on the issue, and I still need to find out how to open my mac. I have a Late-2009 iMac, so I need to use suction cups, so I need to find them cheap and at the same time that don't take years to ship to me. I heard that you can just open the mac using tape, but I'm not exactly sure if that's a good choice.

    EDIT: I noticed something. The system often crashes when Parallels is running. However, I know that it crashed even before Parallels was running. I suspect that there are multiple causes of problems tied to the same problem, which is most likely my hard drive.
     
  9. DeltaMac macrumors 604

    DeltaMac

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    #9
    Most go for the iFixit repair guides. Here's the one for the Late 2009 21.5-inch iMac. https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+21.5-Inch+EMC+2308+Hard+Drive+Replacement/1766
    If yours is the 27-inch, that's a different guide - https://www.ifixit.com/Guide/iMac+Intel+27-Inch+EMC+2309+and+2374+Hard+Drive+Replacement/1634

    Yes, I've heard of using tape, but it's important to remember that the glass panel is incredibly fragile when it is not in place on the front. It's non-tempered glass, and can shatter into many sharp splinters if you are not extremely cautious. The suction cups will help hold it securely as you remove it. Some folks use the kind of suction cups used to provide a hook or hanger from kitchen supply shops, or even craft shops. I have also found some in a larger tool store, that work very nicely.
     
  10. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 601

    Mr. Retrofire

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    #10
    Can you give us the last 20-30 lines from your kernel.log file (via Console)?
     
  11. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #11
    How do I do that? I can't find the kernel.log file anywhere in the list and I know nothing about Console.
     
  12. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #12
    UPDATE: I ordered the hard drive I mentioned. Unfortunately, it's now 5$ more expensive since I waited too long. However, the more I use my computer, the more I see how the problem is related to a potential hard drive failure. I noticed that Parallels running is one of the causes of my system crashing every two minutes. I haven't used it since a few days, and although I am kinda suffering without it, at least the system works fine and hasn't crashed once. Now, I decided to format my backup drive and create a new system backup on it. While the system was backing up, it crashed probably five times already. Luckily, when I force shut down my Mac, the backup continues from where it last stopped. That just pretty much confirms that it is a hard drive issue.

    I yet have to order the suction cups, but I'll do it as soon as possible. I will update you guys on the situation in a couple of days once I will get the hard drive inside my computer.
     
  13. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #13
    You got VERY lucky. In the future, if you have a suspected disk problem, don't ever format your only backup. There's the strong likelihood that the backup will become the ONLY copy of your data.
     
  14. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #14
    I'll take that in mind. The system crashes from time to time when trying to do a backup. Right now, it seems that there is maybe one file the hard drive just can't copy. I think if it continues I'm just gonna boot of a different partition and do a clone of my partition onto my backup drive.
     
  15. chrfr macrumors 603

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    #15
    You need to get your files off this disk, immediately.
    Don't clone your partition to the backup drive as doing so will once again erase all of your files that are already on the backup disk.
    At this point, you should manually copy your most important files first, then work through and get the less important files. Omit the one file that will not copy. That file is lost now.
     
  16. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #16
    Alright, so, a little bump here.

    I finally got the suction cups to open my display and change my hard drive. It was painful, but successful, except that I couldn't connect the temp check cable to the new hard drive (the connector was different), so my HDD fan was EXTREMELY noisy, although I manually slowed it down using a software. Now, there's no problem.

    I did manage to back my hard disk up using a cloning software, everything went smooth, although I had to boot from my laptop's hard drive to do so, since copying my hard drive while being booted on it caused it to crash every five seconds. Some files also refused to copy completely. Also, it appears that some files were indeed corrupted, one of them being a system file, (com.apple.something), although the system worked fine without it, so if I see problems, I'll reinstall the OS. My Parallels file also got corrupted, but I managed to find a copy from the Yosemite partition on my hard drive. So, overall, everything's fine, I had no issue running Parallels on the new HDD, it hasn't crashed yet, and I did my first complete TM backup without any issue whatsoever.

    Now I'm poor and moneyless though after spending money on the hard drive. Not sure what to do with that failing 3TB hard drive though, it's difficult to throw it away. Thanks for your help, everyone!
     
  17. grahamperrin macrumors 601

    grahamperrin

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    #17
    On systems such as Mavericks, that file is no longer used.

    What do you mean by 'crash'?

    (OS X can not crash that frequently.)
     
  18. garirry thread starter macrumors 68000

    garirry

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    #18
    The problem stated in my first post. Essentially, whenever I'm doing something intensive on my old hard drive (like copying files or running my VM), the hard drive apparently "gives up" and nothing on my mac will load and I will see the spinning beach ball forever until I restart. I'm pretty certain it's my hard drive causing this and not the OS.
     
  19. ZVH macrumors 6502

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    Apr 14, 2012
    #19
    I do beta testing for Scannerz (http://scsc-online.com/Scannerz.html). That sounds like it could be most anything, the HD, a logic board failure, or a bad I/O cable.

    The way to test if it's the hard drive without getting a product like Scannerz is to create another boot drive using either an external drive or a USB stick big enough to hold the OS and install the OS on that. Boot off of that and unmount the internal HD, and if the problems continue it's probably the logic board. If the problems disappear, then you will need to get something like Scannerz because it can do interface tests on the unit and tell you if it's specific to the I/O path or it's the drive. You will need to create a Phoenix Boot Volume to test this properly, if needed. That's not an option in this case, that's a must.

    Personally, from what you've said I would think your drive is locking up periodically or the logic board has problems. I hate to tell you this but if a drive is periodically locking up or has a cable is bad, the problems don't go away on reboot. A locking up hard drive doesn't correct itself on reboot. That sounds to me like it's the logic board. Scannerz can test that too. Using a Phoenix boot volume, put it into system bus/memory testing. If the system locks up or beach balls, the logic board has problems.
     

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