MacBook - Succession of Disk Errors - Time for a new disk?

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by McMenace, Oct 19, 2008.

  1. McMenace macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #1
    I've got a 2 year old MacBook Black. It's been fine up till a couple of weeks ago, but I've had a succession of problems with it. The only thing I've changed recently was the memory (I upgraded it to 2GB, to make it run faster with parallels), which I bought from Crucial.com, rather than Apple.

    So one day it wouldn't boot up into Windows or OS/X. I ended up erasing the lot and reinstalling. Disk Utility found an 'invalid node structure' error.

    I erased and rebuilt it... seemed fine... then one day it wouldn't boot up. I erased and rebuilt it again... it took several attempts.

    It's also had periods of running very slowly, intermittently.

    The latest problem is it's not booting up. Disk Utility on the Leopard Disk says it's got 'Invalid B-Tree Node Size'. I can't read the disk (in fact it doesn't even register in Finder) when I boot up the machine as a fire-wire drive, using my other machine (MBP) connected to it.

    So there's a problem here that the rebuild hasn't fixed. I'm guessing that the hard drive is on the way out, and the succession of issues I've had is down to that.

    I've just swapped the memory back to the original, and I've still got the same problem.

    So, before I buy a new hard drive, is there anything else you'd suggest?
     
  2. McMenace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #2
    BTW... Disk Utility can still see the drive, although it can't be seen in Finder. I read this is that the disk is still functioning in some respects, but has become corrupted (again).
     
  3. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #3
    Boot up of your OS X cd, and run disk utility there. You can't repair file system errors on the boot drive.

    Also

    Put the disk in and hold "D" it will load the diagnostics software to test the hdd
     
  4. McMenace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #4
    Disk Utility (running on the Leopard CD) says it can't verify or repair the disk.

    I'll try the diagnostics. Thanks for the tip.
     
  5. McMenace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #5
    Update:

    I gave the restart while holding down D a try, but it won't launch into diagnostics. I've tried a few times, and always end up with the dark grey screen, with the black rectangle in the middle, and the text
    "You need to restart your computer. Hold down the Power button....blah blah"


    It will launch with the leopard disc, if I start holding down C.

    I reckon it's so cream-crackered that diagnostics can't run on it, but that's just a guess.
     
  6. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #6
    You don't say how long after you added the RAM that this problem occurred but you should try pulling the RAM you added and see if that helps.

    Let this be another lesson to everyone: reinstalling OSX cures few problems, and makes others worse.
     
  7. McMenace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #7
    Did that already (swapping the RAM back), but it made no difference. I spoke to the support guy at work, who's going to have a look for me and swap the hard drive for a spare one he's got, even though it's not a work machine.

    I can see why reinstalling wouldn't solve the root cause of a hardware problem, but when the machine won't boot up, there's not much else you can do at home. Seemed to fix it at first... I guess the disk is failing progressively though.
     
  8. emt1 macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2008
    Location:
    Wisconsin
  9. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2002
    Location:
    Palookaville
    #9
    The thing to remember is that problems of this magnitude are overwhelmingly caused by hardware issues.
     
  10. toolbox macrumors 68020

    toolbox

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2007
    Location:
    Australia (WA)
    #10
    When you swapped the ram over did you clean it with isopropyl alcohol?

    Might be worth giving the sticks a clean, i have had a few macs over the last few months that would not boot because they had some "white" powder on them. ( the customer was renovating) Once the powder was cleaned worked nicely. Also if you have compressed air or air compresser, take the ram out and do some short bursts of air onto the ram slots. Just in case there is something lodged there.
     
  11. McMenace thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2008
    #11
    Both sets of memory are nice and clean.

    It's had a hard drive swapped in today - looks ok so far...
     

Share This Page