Disk Repair required - how worried should I be?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by Snips, Apr 17, 2012.

  1. Snips macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
    Suffolk, UK

    I have a mid-2010 Mac mini (Macmini4,1) running up-to-date Snow Leopard, with a single 320 GB hard drive.

    The machine acts as a web server and stays on 24/7 since January 2011, but sleeps when not being accessed.

    In January 2012, I happened to run verify from the Disk Utility, and it said the drive needed repairing (file and directory counts were out, iirc).

    I successfully repaired the disk, and all was well again.

    This week, I had cause to force power-off this machine using the power button, so I checked the disk again, and again it needed repairing - (file and directory counts were out by a few - <10? ).

    Again I was able to successfully repair the disk.

    I have another Mac mini (a mid-2011 model) which is always on in the same way, and an old MacBook (Core 2 Duo), both running Lion. I've run a disk check on these machines, and the disks are both fine.

    The machine is generally very stable, so I have no reason to think there's a problem other than the report by Disk Utility.

    So, my question is - is it typical to get some corruption like this (with an abrupt power-off), and of course, should be avoided, or is the corruption an indication of something more serious?

    Should I be making hasty plans for a disk swap?

    Advice appreciated.
  2. Macman45 macrumors G5


    Jul 29, 2011
    Somewhere Back In The Long Ago
    I wouldn't be too worried if I were you..Yes, a forced power off can cause a little disk corruption...I would keep any eye on that disk, say check it once a week. I doubt it's dying, but make backups more regular in case it does.
  3. Angelo95210 macrumors 6502a


    Jan 7, 2009
    Paris, France
    I had to do it once on my MBP a long time ago. The hard drive never failed since. So it might be a signal for a future drive failure, but it's not certain. Make regular backups though.
  4. Snips thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
    Suffolk, UK
    Thanks guys.

    It's covered by a multitude of back-up plans, but installing Ruby on Rails on Mac OS X (including Snow Leopard) is a shifting sand of pain these days - so I would like some advance notice for a pre-emptive disk swap :)
  5. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    You could always use this as an excuse to upgrade to an SSD:)

    I am new to Mac, so coming to you from my Windows background.

    It could be that you have some bad sectors on the drive. When you run your tool it will locate the bad sectors and move the data off of those sectors, and mark those sectors not to be written to. When I was in desktop support many years ago I found that once bad sectors start showing up it will continue to go little by little, but can last a while longer. Problem can be when the system cannot get the data from those bad sectors.

    The Mac specialists can probably help you better than I, but that is my 2 cents

    Good luck.
  6. Sirolway macrumors 6502

    Jun 13, 2009
    Or clone the disk as part of the backup so that replacing it would be a doddle & you wouldn't need to reinstall RoR ...
  7. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    A power-off could easily produce problems that Disk Repair then will fix. If you are really, really unlucky it might cause worse problems.

    Do you need to worry? No. Do you need to make sure that you have a backup? 100% absolutely yes.
  8. tshrimp macrumors 6502


    Mar 30, 2012
    Forgot to mention in my earlier post....When I was in IT I saw grown men cry (yes actually cry) when they ignored their HD warnings and lost all of their data.

    As others have stated always have a backup.
  9. Snips thread starter macrumors regular

    Jan 9, 2008
    Suffolk, UK
    Thanks for the advice folks - I really am religious regarding back-ups.

    Coincidently, in running through my back-up process one more time, I noticed a lot of stuff in Trash (although I appreciate that isn't backed-up).

    However, I couldn't empty the Trash bin and got Error -8003.

    Investigating this, I found that it is related to manually deleted Time Machine back-ups - which I did indeed see in the Trash. There were also reports that this can cause Disk Utility to report that a repair is required.

    I had to use TrashIt to empty Trash, and then I ran Disk Utility, that ran to completion, but oddly, it didn't report success or failure in the DU console.

    I rebooted, reran Disk Utility and it ran successfully, and the disk verified OK.

    So, there's a possibility this was related. I'll keep an eye on it on a weekly basis, as someone suggested.

    Thanks again.

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