iBook-10.3.8 unstable!

wjones

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2004
34
0
I've been very pleased with my 15" powerbook... I've had it for 6 months now- and it's been flawless. So much so- that I've convinced 4 of my friends to get Macs :) Unfortunately one of my friends who got an iBook on my suggestion is having big problems all of a sudden. As far as I can tell.. his issues started about the time of the 10.3.8 update.. but I'm not completely sure.

His computer boots up fine, and seems to run fine for a while... but then gets boged down and programs crash left and right... Word crashes... iTunes... Mail...Firefox...etc.. the computer has "rebooted" on it's own several times. Generally not healthy.

I've run the cron jobs... repaired disk permissions... and--cleared the cache with ONYX. I also reran the 10.3.8 upgrade using the 100MB combo download. none of which helped.

I've also tried updating the prebinding in ONYX... but it fails- and gives me this:
2005-02-22 09:20:09.590 update_prebinding[1264] Start of update_prebinding
2005-02-22 09:20:09.595 update_prebinding[1264] Start of search for binaries in packages...
2005-02-22 09:20:09.596 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (0/1 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:10.476 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (1/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:10.539 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (2/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:10.588 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (3/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:10.700 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (4/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:11.107 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (5/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:11.244 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (6/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:12.306 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (7/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:13.095 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (8/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:13.794 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (9/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:13.839 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (10/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:14.523 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (11/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:14.924 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (12/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:15.292 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (13/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:17.578 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (14/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:24.261 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (15/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:24.721 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (16/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:25.130 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (17/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:25.623 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (18/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:25.678 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (19/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:26.152 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (20/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:26.549 update_prebinding[1264] Discover library dependencies (21/76 complete)
2005-02-22 09:20:26.933 update_preb

I'm the resident computer guy 'round here, but have never had to deal with OSX problems! What else can I do to repair this thing? I'd love to be able to fix this computer problems without a reinstall... that's what I have to do with all the XP machines I work on .. not with OSX! Right? If I boot from the OSX CD can I "repair" the OS instalation? Someone please restore my faith in this wonderful OS!

Thanks-
-Walton
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
OK - obvious stuff first

has he got extra RAM installed? If yes, take it out and see if the problems still happen Does he have enough memory to have countless intensive apps open? If he's trying to run Photoshop/Dreamweaver and iMovie on 256MB, an iBook might not be too happy.

Has he got any devices attached - USB modems/scanners/external HDs

If he logs in as a new user, do the problems still happen? Is the problem in his account or in the system?

If you try all these and things are still screwed, you may have to reinstall the system. It's very easy to do an Archive and Install on OS X and takes 1 to 2 hours depending on the size of the HD
 

wjones

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2004
34
0
Thanks for the reply!

He only has the 256M in the iBook... but it's worked fine for him before. It might have slowed down before when he had a bunch of things running, but never did programs crash and the computer reboot on its own. He doesn't do much with it... firefox- mail- ichat- word- itunes- iphoto. That's about all he runs. But starting last week.. the system went from running fine for him.. to being unstable.. it seems that "something" happened. I was thinking that the prebinding not being able to complete might be a clue to what that "something" was.

He has no external devices other than his digital camera..

I haven't tried anything with different users- I'll try that next.

I might end up having to do an archive and install.. but I was hoping to find and fix the problem. I'm sure I'll be plesantly surprized with how easy the archive and install goes.. (will I need to archive to an external drive?) I was hoping to use this opertunity to learn more about fixing OSX!

-Walton
 

Passante

macrumors 6502a
Apr 16, 2004
860
0
on the sofa
wjones said:
Thanks for the reply!

He only has the 256M in the iBook... but it's worked fine for him before. It might have slowed down before when he had a bunch of things running, but never did programs crash and the computer reboot on its own. He doesn't do much with it... firefox- mail- ichat- word- itunes- iphoto. That's about all he runs. But starting last week.. the system went from running fine for him.. to being unstable.. it seems that "something" happened. I was thinking that the prebinding not being able to complete might be a clue to what that "something" was.

He has no external devices other than his digital camera..

I haven't tried anything with different users- I'll try that next.

I might end up having to do an archive and install.. but I was hoping to find and fix the problem. I'm sure I'll be plesantly surprized with how easy the archive and install goes.. (will I need to archive to an external drive?) I was hoping to use this opertunity to learn more about fixing OSX!

-Walton
Try running "Activity Monitor" to see what is running on the computer. Let us now what you see.
 

wjones

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2004
34
0
Keep in mind that the machine runs fine for a while.. and then seems to "become unstable". When it's running poorly.. it's difficult to get to the activity monitor-

I was able to look in there while it was doing ok--and I didn't see anything out of the ordinary. In fact the CPU usage seemed low and the memory (as little as there is).. didn't seem to be filled up too bad. Are there some system logs that might provide hints to the cause of the problem?

Next time I get my paws on his machine.. I'll get a list of everything and post it ... thanks!

-Walton
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
wjones said:
I might end up having to do an archive and install.. but I was hoping to find and fix the problem. I'm sure I'll be plesantly surprized with how easy the archive and install goes.. (will I need to archive to an external drive?)
I had a very recent back up on an external drive in any case. It's always worth making sure that he's got a copy of his User file just in case something goes wrong.

In an archive and install OS X keeps the User Files intact (including Applications) and reinstalls the system. Occasionally there are problems with not being able to open apps but that can be to do with them expecting a later version of the OS than shipped with the Mac (10.3.8 rather than 10.3.4 etc) so re-update to previous OS version before you start reinstalling apps. You end up with an archive of the previous system file on the HD which you can't boot from. Once everything appears to be working properly, you can safely delete that to reclaim the disc space.
 

wjones

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2004
34
0
What next?

I finally got the iBook in my hands... and here's what I did.

I first ran the hardware test.. and everything passed.

Then I planned on backing up everything to a firewire drive (just in case)
and then doing an archive and install...

Unfortunately, I couldn't copy his iTunes folder to the drive. In fact, everytime I looked inside that folder I get a perm. beachball- frozen.. and I couldn't force quit.
I tried making an archive of the folder.... no go.
I tried copying it from terminal... no go.
I saw that when it tries to copy that it hangs on 1 file... so I searched for it in finder and it froze the machine.
I then deleted the file from within iTunes.. but it still froze the computer when I looked in the iTunes folder.


So, I figured that I could use iPodRip to recover his tunes from his iPod... so I did the archive and reinstall anyway.

Before running it.. I ran repair permissions and repair disk from the install CD.

It reinstalled successfully- and the computer booted up ok..with his settings intact.

unfortunately it just froze when I tried to look into the iTunes folder.

????????!

-Walton
 

Applespider

macrumors G4
Sounds very odd and seems like there's a definite problem with that music file. You might be able trying to delete it from Terminal but I'm not sure what that command would be.

Did you try going in as a new User (without access to shared music) and trying iTunes from there? And if OK, giving access to the music, and seeing what happens?

I also wonder whether downloading iTunes separately from the Apple site and re-installing just that might do any good?

Remember an Archive and Restore will have kept all his user settings/files, and if that's where the problem lay, the problem will still be there. It might be worth using iPodrip to get all his music backed up (and checking it's all there) - then trashing the iTunes folder completely and dragging in all files other than the one you previously identified the problem with.
 

wjones

macrumors member
Original poster
Oct 25, 2004
34
0
Fixed ... thanks!

The final step to the cursed iBook's cleansing has been completed...

After deleteing the iTunes folder... and iTunes- and then reinstalling it and ripping his music from his iPod, things seem to be back to normal.

That... as well as the archive and install seemed to clean up things.

I and the iBook owner thank you for your time, talent, and typing.

-Walton
 
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