iMac - Bad HD or Memory?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by Lava Lamp Freak, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. Lava Lamp Freak macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #1
    I've been having a lot of slow downs and beach balls lately. World of Warcraft over the last few days has become mostly unplayable. A couple nights ago it froze for 4 minutes. I started thinking there was something wrong with my hard drive. I have two backup drives that were cloned with Super Duper, but I was afraid to update them if there was something wrong. So, I just decided to copy the files that I know have changed. It was then that I started experiencing a new problem. These folders that were a 200MB-1GB in size stalled at 70MB each time and sat there for several minutes before slowly finishing copying to my thumb drive. As a test, I also tried copying the files from one location on the drive to another and again the same slow copy happened and each time stalled at around 70MB.

    Disk Utility said everything is fine. Apple's Hardware Test said everything is fine. So, I booted from one of my cloned drive and I left TechTool Pro running surface scan overnight, and it found no bad blocks. However, console recorded dozens of hard drive errors. I also the 90 minute memory test and the video card test as well and no problems were found. One thing to note is that everthing works fine while booted from the cloned drive. Even file copies on the internal drive complete just fine. I tried copies from the internal to external and internal to internal. No stalls -- it copies as expected.

    I checked my console this morning and noticed two errors repeatedly showing up with sender as kernel. disk0: I/O error and disk0s3: ioctl('

    Does this look like a bad drive or some other hardware problem? I've made an appointment with an Apple Genius to look at it today, but I wonder of he'll be able to help me since all of the tests pass.
     
  2. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
  3. i.shaun macrumors 6502a

    i.shaun

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Location:
    Canada
    #3
    yeah I/O errors are hard drive related, the In/Out of data on the drive. If there are errors than it has trouble reading or writing data due to bad sectors or something.


    It would be wise to back up all important files now, the disk may fail completely in the near future.
     
  4. Lava Lamp Freak thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #4
    The I/O errors means that there are problems reading/writting to the hard drive. There are other reasons than a bad hard drive that can result in that.

    An Archive & Install did not help at all.

    I keep two bootable cloned backups, two weeks apart in age. I did have a Time Machine backing up to a third drive daily but sold it a couple weeks ago because I'm going to buy a Time Capsule.

    The service guy at my local Apple Authorized store told me that if the TechTool Pro surface scan said no bad blocks, and the memory test was negative for issues, then those parts are fine. It could be software or other internal hardware. He told me to do a fresh install of the OS and if that doesn't work to bring it in tomorrow and he would look at it. I wasn't fast enough in making an appointment at the Apple Store. They are booked up until Thursday afternoon.

    I'll update here what I find out. I'm on my 2.0 MacBook now which is performing great.
     
  5. Lava Lamp Freak thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #5
    I did a fresh install and everything seemed fine. Got almost all of my files copied over, which are about 100GB worth. With 19 minutes left the computer froze. I had the console opened so I could see it at all times, and the last entry was an I/O error. I left it for about 20 minutes with the hope it would finish. I manually powered it off and now it no longer even boot. When I booted from my backup clone it doesn't even sees a drive in the system. Disk Utility nor TechTool Pro can see it. The funny thing is the Apple Hardware Test still passes with no problems! I was finally able to boot the OSX installer -- at first it would just pop out the disk and flash a folder with a question mark. But Disk Utility there shows no internal drive either.

    More bad news is Disk Utility finds on my MacBook finds one of my backup drives bad but it can't repair it. I assume it is because the backup copied over corrupted files. I'm scared to even mess with it. I have two backup drives and only one of them shows the error. But the one with the error is the latest backup.
     
  6. BlueRevolution macrumors 603

    BlueRevolution

    Joined:
    Jul 26, 2004
    Location:
    Montreal, QC
    #6
    No. Copying a file from a corrupted disk won't damage the target disk; it'll just write gibberish to the drive.

    Sorry I can't be more help. It's much more satisfying to say what the problem is rather than what it isn't.
     
  7. Lava Lamp Freak thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #7
    The exact error on my backup drive is "Incorrect number of file hard links".

    Someone else had the problem and posted a screenshot. This is the exact same message I received. I don't think my backup drive is bad, I just think files in the backup are screwed up.

    http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?t=460549

    Disk Utility repaired the links problem.
     
  8. geoffreak macrumors 68020

    geoffreak

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2008
    #8
    Data periodically corrupts on a hard drive, nothing you can do about it, and it looks like some data was corrupted. Restoring from a backup will only bring the problem back after you reinstall the OS. You can copy all the data except from the area of the drive where the problem appears.
     
  9. Lava Lamp Freak thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #9
    The tech said no problems were found. He said there was a blinking folder icon when he first powered it up but by holding down the option key it showed the drive and after that he was able to boot into it. He ran hardware tests for two days and every single one passed. I told him I had repeated Disk I/O errors in the console and he said he believed me but was unable to duplicate it therefore unable to do anything for me. I guess if it comes back up I'll take it to the Apple Store next time.
     
  10. Lava Lamp Freak thread starter macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2006
    #10
    I took it to the Apple Store and they only had it for 1 day. The hard drive and power supply were replaced and everything is running great now. I found out that the other Mac dealer only ran stress tests on the CPU. Disk Utility was the only test ran on the hard drive.
     

Share This Page