Had to force shutdown after system freeze. Any maintenance necessary upon restart?

Discussion in 'macOS' started by Libertine Lush, May 14, 2010.

  1. Libertine Lush macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I have a MBP running Snow Leopard. The keyboard and trackpad became unresponsive, even though music was still streaming through Google Chrome. So I held down the power button to force shutdown.

    When something like this occurs, is there anything that should be done upon restarting the system again? Any general maintenance, system checks, etc?

    From my experience with Windows, not infrequently after similar scenarios, forced shutdown or crash, upon restart it'll automatically go into some type of disc scan. I wonder if anything similar occurs or is necessary with OSX.

    And lastly, when the system freezes like in my instance, if that's considered a freeze even though music was streaming all the while, is holding down the power button the only resolution? Are there no other safer alternatives to attempt first?

    Thank you for any help.
  2. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    If nothing responds then holding the power button is pretty much the only option. You can just restart it as normal.
  3. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    I just wanna to be as careful as possible with such an expensive system. So I was concerned whether some system files could be corrupted in the process, since that does happen with similar scenarios in Windows, which is then fixed by Windows disc scan. Thanks for some assurance.
  4. TuffLuffJimmy macrumors G3


    Apr 6, 2007
    Portland, OR
    Next time an application hangs the system like that wait a few minutes and try to force quit the application causing the hang.

    If you want to be completely safe try repairing disk permissions with disk utility, which can be found in /Applications/Utilities.
  5. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    When it occurred, the mouse and keyboard were completely unresponsive. I could not move the mouse at all, so force quit wasn't an option.

    Disappointedly, something similar just happened again--OS mostly frozen, yet music streaming from Chrome just fine. However, this time, the mouse was responsive. But I quite not force quit via the Dock, since nothing was responding to mouse clicks.

    I did some reading on disk permissions, since you mentioned it. I understand the gist of it now. And I understand there's apparently an endless debate over it, with some people vehemently against it (http://daringfireball.net/2006/04/repair_permissions_voodoo) and some supporting it as a sort of regular maintenance.

    Then I came across this article (http://macs.about.com/od/backupsarchives/ss/diskbackup_2.htm), which says, "[to] make sure the destination disk has no errors," click on the "Verify Disk" button, also in Disk Utility. I did that and it said, "The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK." Comforting.

    So would that appear sufficient or is there still good reason to click on "Repair Disk Permissions"? My only concern is whether repairing permissions when unnecessary, if that's the case, could ever cause problems, however rare (http://www.macworld.com/article/52220-3/2006/08/repairpermissions.html#harm).

    Finally, could forced shutdowns result in slower boot times? Prior to these 2 forced shutdowns, boot time was about 33 seconds. It's now about 40 seconds.
  6. Elbert C macrumors 6502

    Mar 23, 2008
    AK, USA
    Got a USB mouse? Next time the Mac's keyboard and trackpad freezes connect the mouse to restart the Mac.
    A couple times pressing the Command + Shift + 4 keys, clicking on the desktop got my trackpad working but it froze again after a while. Try that if you don't have a USB mouse to restart the Mac from the Apple menu.
    Basic maintenance like a safe boot, then booting from the Install Disk to Repair Disk with Disk Utility and rebooting to the startup disk to run Repair Permissions wouldn't hurt after a hard shutdown.
  7. lkirkup macrumors newbie


    Mar 5, 2010
    After forcing a shutdown I always startup in Safe mode as it flushes all the caches.
    Just hold shift while starting the Mac.
    Then restart again to get back into regular mode.
  8. Libertine Lush thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Nov 23, 2009
    Wow. I would have thought a frozen mouse is a frozen mouse--whether it's internal or external. I'll surely connect a USB mouse next time to try. Thanks.

    The screenshot shortcut can sometimes resolve a keyboard/mouse freeze?

    As you both suggested, I tried the safe boot, but then boot times became really slow--not only after the first boot which I understand is normal, but even boot ups several times afterwards. Then there was a boot up where there was a very peculiar stall, the monitor was blank for a long time before the Apple logo appeared and ultimately it took maybe 1.5min.

    That had me worried, so I just went ahead with repairing permissions. I ran it from my startup disk--I don't know what would be different running it from Install Disk, but most instructions I googled said simply to run it from Disk Utility on my OS HDD, so I did that; plus, I had read the permissions list on your Startup Disk is more updated because of Apple Updates. After that, boot time appears normal again: 37 seconds, with a 5400rpm HDD, with 8 login items in my account. Sound about right?

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