Do I need to worry about software damage from hard resets?

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by LincolnsiPod, Aug 16, 2011.

  1. LincolnsiPod macrumors 6502

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    Nov 20, 2009
    #1
    I've had to hard reset my MacBook Pro (mid 2010) several times due to a Lion related issue where it freezes at the login screen (beach ball of death.) Since then I've had to hard reset my MBP a few times, and I'm concerned that this may be doing damage or corrupting the software.

    Is there any way to check to ensure nothing has been harmed from all the resets, or a utility I can use to help repair any damage if needed? Or am I needlessly worrying about this too much?
     
  2. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

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    Aug 1, 2011
    #2
    Haha, oh boy, this forum can be hilarious sometimes.

    No, it's not possible for hardware to corrupt software. In order to corrupt software one needs access to the source.
     
  3. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #3
    I'm used to working on Windows, so this is something I wanted to be sure about considering you can corrupt a Windows installation just by looking at it the wrong way.

    I googled on this and read the following on an eHow (yeah I know, not the best source, but still, this is why I ask:)

    That's why I wanted to find out for sure from the hardcore users here, I've never had to hard reset my MacBook before Lion, and was worried doing that may have botched up the registry or startup items or indexing files or some damned thing.

    I'm getting too old for this. :D
     
  4. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

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    #4
    In no circumstance can hardware corrupt software.

    Worst case scenario is you can find some inherent flaws in software when you force hardware to do certain things.

    But regardless of platform (Windows, Mac, Linux), hardware cannot corrupt software. It's not possible for hardware to change the source and consequently change the intended behavior of software.
     
  5. bb426 macrumors 6502

    bb426

    Joined:
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    #5
    True.

    But in any case, if something is not saved (i.e. documents, installations, downloads, etc), hard resets can cause files to not finish writing to the hard drive, thus "corrupting" the download since it wasn't completely saved to the disk. Journaling helps prevent these problems.

    Unlike Windows where anything could happen.

    And also OS X does not have a registry, which seems to be the death of Windows.
     
  6. Adamantoise macrumors 6502a

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    #6
    But files are not software.
     
  7. sjinsjca macrumors 68000

    sjinsjca

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    #7

    Totally off-base.

    If your hard disk is in the process of writing something important such as a parameter or configuration file, or something REALLY important such as a file-system housekeeping file, a sudden loss of power can indeed hose that software or worse. Fortunately, it doesn't always happen, but it's possible.

    But I'm more concerned about the repeated freezes you describe. Not normal. Perhaps today's 10.7.1 update will help, but I suspect you'd benefit from reinstalling Lion. I did so a couple days ago and did not lose any software, preferences or files. (But, back up first anyway!)
     
  8. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #8
    Yeah it's the topic of a few threads over at the Apple support forums, and seems to largely affect MacBooks from the 2010 refresh. Basically what happens is at the login screen, if you don't log in with your password fast enough, the beach ball of death occurs, and it simply circles indefinitely and the MacBook becomes unresponsive. It won't even go into sleep mode at this point if you close the lid. The only way to get past it is to do a hard reset.

    I assume that since this freeze occurs prior to logging in, that there's been no file activity that could have negatively been impacted by these hard resets, but I'm not sure, which is why I'm asking around about this.

    BTW, the only workaround to stop this freeze according to consensus is to disable automatic graphic switching. It's very annoying because I hardly have anything installed on my MBP beyond the native apps, except for a Twitter app, Firefox and Adium.

    I'm downloading 10.7.1 now and hoping that will resolve the issue.
     
  9. bb426 macrumors 6502

    bb426

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    #9
    Software is made of files...........
     
  10. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #10
    Are we really going to nitpick this?

    Obviously you can't just turn a computer off, amirite? It's gotta go through a shutdown process, because if it don't, bad sh&* happens, a fact that was drilled into me by an irate computer science professor after she saw me merrily flip the off switch of a Win95 machine instead of clicking the shut down button, way back in the day.

    The hard reset means I'm not shutting my MBP off properly either, so naturally, I'm inclined to think because I'm doing this, bad sh&* is happening.
     
  11. bb426 macrumors 6502

    bb426

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    #11
    Well there are new software and hardware capabilities that help common users combat data loss such as Journaling and other built in protection (and the fact that the software and hardware is much more reliable).. so merely flipping a switch on todays computers is likely to do close to nothing to your files and software, unless you are having a bad luck streak.

    Shutting down properly is always the way to go. That's why there is a "Shut Down" option in the Apple menu. Nobody will advocate using the power button to shut off your computer unless it's necessary.

    What happens when your brain hits the power button because of getting knocked out or something? You're likely to experience some memory loss, but you're not going to forget everything.
     
  12. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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    #12
    True, that's why I was concerned with all these hard resets I've had to keep doing because of the freezes.

    New update didn't help at all either. Sigh. Only choice now is to either disable automatic graphic switching or downgrade back to Snow Leopard.
     
  13. bb426 macrumors 6502

    bb426

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    #13
    What troubleshooting steps have you done so far?

    Here's my list that fixes tons of problems:

    Restart
    Repair Permissions (Disk Utility)
    Verify Startup Volume (Disk Utility)
    Reset SMC and PRAM/NVRAM:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht3964
    http://support.apple.com/kb/ht1379

    If none of those work, continue.



    Download a free utility called Ice Clean:

    http://www.macdentro.com/MacDentro/Home_files/IceClean348.zip

    Launch it. Click "Maintenance" on the menu bar, then "All Tasks Reboot"
    It will run through all the tasks and reboot. (The app only has a spinning wheel in lower right corner to view progress, so you'll know when it's done when it restarts your Mac).

    If still doesn't work:

    Launch Ice Clean.

    Click "Cleanup" on the Menu bar, go down to "Remove System Caches" and remove both "Root" and "User" individually, one after the other (you need your admin password). Do not reboot when it asks.

    Go back to "Cleanup" and click "Clean Font Caches". Do not reboot.

    Go back to "Cleanup", go down to "Deep System Cleanup", and click "Remove All Files". This will take a while. You won't know when it's done, so keep an eye on the spinning wheel on the lower right corner. When it's done spinning, restart your Mac.

    Try that. Clearing caches is one of the things that is good at solving problems. However, it should not be a maintenance task. Caches are made to speed up your computer, and continuously clearing them unnecessarily will do you no good. So only do this if you are seeing freeze ups, hangs and other problems. If you are still seeing these problems after doing these steps, you may have another problem (App incompatibility, corrupted system files, bad hardware, etc) that these steps won't fix.

    Once your Mac restarts after clearing the caches, IT WILL BE SLOW because your system is rebuilding these cache files. Once they are all rebuilt and your Mac has gone through a couple of restarts and the such, it'll be running at top speed.
     
  14. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 20, 2009
    #14
    Thanks for these suggestions, going to go through them all and see if it improves things. The Apples threads semed to indicate that this is specifically a Lion bug, but I haven't done any Mac cleaning for a while, so this is as good a time as any. :D
     
  15. res1233 macrumors 65816

    res1233

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    #15
    Or you can reinstall Lion as was suggested earlier... Use the recovery partition.
     
  16. bb426 macrumors 6502

    bb426

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    #16
    Yes... I second this, especially if it continues to not work.

    It will not overwrite your documents, just the system files. Everything should be the same. Just make sure to check for updates afterwards.
     
  17. iammike1 macrumors 6502a

    iammike1

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    Location:
    Columbia MD
    #17
    I can't facepalm hard enough on this.

    Lets break it down. Software --> Files --> 1's and 0's

    By damaging 1's and 0's you can damage the data, aka files, which is part of software.
     
  18. LincolnsiPod thread starter macrumors 6502

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    Nov 20, 2009
    #18
    I'm doing that tonight. I tried everything short of installing Ice Clean and the freezes still occur. It feels like this is a video driver issue that was introduced with Lion, since disabling automatic graphic switching stops the freezes, but maybe a reinstall will help. If not I could also use automatic login (login without password input) so it boots into the desktop before it has a chance to freeze up.
     

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