Having some HD probs with my friends iMac

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Blue Velvet, Apr 1, 2006.

  1. Blue Velvet Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004
    Just got off the phone with her right now... she said 'it's doing it again'.

    A few weeks ago she calls me and says her Intel 17" iMac (OS 10.4.5) is running slow so I go over there a couple of days ago and it's taking about 5 minutes to boot.

    Finder is running extremely slowly — the thing is virtually unusable — so I back everything up with an external firewire drive and attempt an archive and install which fails because of disk errors.

    I then run Disk Utility from the install disks and it says 'invalid node structure' even though the disk is S.M.A.R.T.-verified... So I reformat the drive (not with zeroes or random etc.) and do a clean install which then runs beautifully.

    I then reinstall all her apps and move her data back on from the external HD which I then leave with her running a daily backup script in case things go bad again... which they now have after about 5 days of running perfectly.

    Does this recurring 'invalid node structure' problem sound like a faulty HD or is it potentially something more serious? It's still under guarantee so it's going back to the shop regardless but I haven't come across something like this before so thought I'd ask the wise ones here for their opinions.

  2. PlaceofDis macrumors Core

    Jan 6, 2004
    i'm not sure what the invalid node thing is.

    but it does sound like a bad hard drive. seems you wiped it, and it cleaned it off, you reinstalled, and the good sectors of the drive allow it to run fine, but as soon as it starts reading and writing to the corrupt of faulty sectors of the disk problems arise. at least thats my take on it.
  3. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    I'd take the safe route and have them swap the drive. My 17" G4 iMac has been acting up in the same manner (though more on a once every 2 months basis) for the past year, but I run nightly backups and it takes about an hour to recover from the failure.

    On mine, I can tell it's coming and generally get to it before there's a problem because it will start "skipping" during a read and take a while to open something.

    I suppose I should just swap out the HD, but so far the backup process has kept me going okay and I haven't lost anything.
  4. iGary Guest


    May 26, 2004
    Randy's House
    Lazy Ass™. :D
  5. emw macrumors G4


    Aug 2, 2004
    Yeah, butt it's a Nice Lazy Ass™. Besides, it takes a lot of effort to avoid doing work.
  6. Blue Velvet thread starter Moderator emeritus

    Jul 4, 2004

    I thought as much but wasn't sure how to phrase it. It's going back on Tuesday which is a complete nuisance for my friend who has college assignments due... hope it's not away for too long.

    Thanks guys.

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