Errors in filesystem continually appearing, big disc caché issue?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by lanjoe9, Sep 16, 2010.

  1. lanjoe9 macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Hi! I recently bought a hard disk drive for my macbook - specifically an internal, 500GB disk with 32 MB caché. I installed OSX without any problems, but lately I've noticed some programs start doing funky things (Finder getting stuck frequently for no reason, once even the settings panel got stuck, svn weird behaviour complaining a file is both non-existant, locked and not versioned, etc.). Just out of curiosity I tried checking the disk with the disk utility and it found filesystem errors.

    I heard some rumours a few years ago that disks with big cachés required a bit more time before shutdown to committ everything to actual disk.

    These errors and funky behaviour *seem* to appear when I reboot so I'm suspecting the rumours might be true. What do you think? Anyone out there with a big caché HDD? should I try exchanging it for one with a smaller caché or is there any setting I can access for this case? Or maybe is it simply defective?

    Thanks in advance :)
  2. Grannyville7989 macrumors 6502a


    Aug 2, 2010
    I don't know much about cache size and how it would affect performance but if you want to know if it's defective in anyway, I would reinstall OS X with a complete zero-out format just incase there anything flakey on it.
  3. gnasher729 macrumors P6


    Nov 25, 2005
    If you shut down your Macintosh by using the "Shutdown" or "Restart" menu items then everything should be fine. Unless your hard drive is broken, or doesn't work properly by design. In both cases it is the drive's fault, so you should check your warranty and demand a new one.

    If you shut down your Macintosh by pressing the power button, that might cause trouble. You should have formatted the drive as "MacOS X Journaled" or some similar name; if it is "journaled" then the OS should fix that automatically (reboot takes longer because of that), but just shutting down by pressing the power button is still only for emergencies.

    The Finder taking unexpected breaks is a good sign of hard drive failure. It means that it tries to read something from the drive and the OS has problems reading it and tries again and again. If you have just incorrect data, the Finder should notice that very quickly. So I don't think the cache size has anything to do with it, just a broken drive.

    Usual advice: You _must_ have an external drive for TimeMachine backups, otherwise any data loss is your own fault.
  4. maflynn Moderator


    Staff Member

    May 3, 2009
    What does the smart status report back (found in the disk utility)?

    Did you repair permissions/repair the disk to see if this corrects the problem.

    I'd be more apt to say there's a problem with the drive, then to blame the cache. What you report back is not normal, so checking the drive out is your first order of business.

    Actually taking a backup is your first order of business then checking the drive out.
  5. lanjoe9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Thanks for your replies!
    I'll do a few more tests and if I still have problems I'll replace the drive (I've only had it for ~ 1 week, it has a 3 year-warranty), since I do shutdown my computer "properly" (i.e. Mac menu > Shutdown... Shutdown).

    I've had some awful experiences in the past with hard drives with defective sectors, but this is behaving a bit differently since once I do the filesystem repair (be it fsck or with the install disc and disk utility) it works perfectly fine (neither tool mentions defective sectors, only some incorrect counts --can't remember the message exactly), so that's why I suspected about the caché size (I remember reading in the past that in Windows they added a 2 second delay in shutdown in '98 SE or so to compensate for bigger caché sizes -- but then again it was a long time ago. Maybe I read it wrong, maybe it doesn't apply anymore :p).

    I also have Windows 7 installed and chkdsk also found some minor filesystem errors but I can't be sure if it's because of the disk or ntfs-3g..
    Anyway thanks again :)
  6. lanjoe9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Its S.M.A.R.T. status says "Verified".

    I've repaired the filesystem twice; it works perfectly well the first boot after repairing. I'll reboot now and see if problems appear again..
  7. lanjoe9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    Here's the disk utility output.

    Verifying volume “mac”
    Performing live verification.
    Checking Journaled HFS Plus volume.
    Checking extents overflow file.
    Checking catalog file.
    Checking multi-linked files.
    Checking catalog hierarchy.
    Checking extended attributes file.
    Checking volume bitmap.
    Checking volume information.
    Invalid volume file count
    (It should be 456107 instead of 455077)
    Invalid volume directory count
    (It should be 135018 instead of 134428)
    Invalid volume free block count
    (It should be 32775317 instead of 32777909)
    Volume header needs minor repair
    The volume mac was found corrupt and needs to be repaired.
    Error: This disk needs to be repaired. Start up your computer with another disk (such as your Mac OS X installation disc), and then use Disk Utility to repair this disk.
    I'll try running fsck in single-user and rebooting again.. anyway I will probably send the drive to warranty ASAP.
  8. lanjoe9 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 16, 2010
    The filesystem still has errors even after running fsck, so I'm definitely sending it for warranty, thanks for the replies again :)

Share This Page