Resolved MBP (2010) Won't do anything I write in this "title" box

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by Meldar, Sep 15, 2011.

  1. Meldar, Sep 15, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 22, 2011

    Meldar macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    pocket of liberalism in farm country
    #1
    Please read my most recent post at the bottom!

    Didn't want to make a new thread.


    Boy do I have a doozy for you!

    Some background: I'm employed as a computer technician. Not a professional, exactly, but I do get paid to fix computers, primarily Macs, on a college campus. Most students here have Mac laptops.

    So, naturally, I decided to take my own MacBook Pro in to run some preventative maintenance and diagnostics on it. I ran TechTool Pro 6 practically overnight to find out if there's anything wrong with the directory structures or the drive itself.

    I don't actually know if it found anything, since the tests were cancelled. Now, the disk won't mount.

    This is what happens all the time now:

    [​IMG]

    When I start the machine, it goes to the Apple logo screen with the progress wheel for a minute or so. Then I get a crossed-out circle (with the progress wheel) indefinitely.

    Initially, I freaked out, since this usually indicates a serious problem with the drive normally necessitating a complete reinstall.

    However, I found a temporary workaround by booting to our external FireWire drive running the exact same Snow Leopard.

    Through this, I ran a ton of diagnostics through Disk Utility (which kept saying my hard drive is fine) and Tech Tool Pro 6 (which either says it's fine or does not list it at all).

    I then got out our DiskWarrior disk, ran it, and rebuilt the directory entirely through that. Now all of a sudden it mounts. Hooray! It's fixed!

    Of course the next thing I do is restart the machine and try to boot normally. Same thing happens with the crossed-out circle.

    I won't bore you with repetition. Basically, the only way to get my boot volume to mount is to rebuild it with DiskWarrior EVERY SINGLE TIME.

    Oh, and when I dismounted it through Drive Genius to run another test, it gave me this upon completion:

    [​IMG]

    And of course, Drive Genius' own Verify tool subsequently comes back with nothing. It appears to be OK. But I am fairly positive it's not!

    Seriously, I'm at a loss. This came out of nowhere and I don't quite know what to make of it.

    I have repaired permissions and directory structure ad nauseam, just so you know.

    What should I do?

    I'm open to any suggestions or thoughts. If there's honestly no way to fix it then I shall obtain an external drive large enough to clone my HD and nuke+pave after that. What a drag.

    Thanks in advance for whatever advice you can offer!
     
  2. snaky69 macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    #2
    Your hard drive is most likely going out. Your "repairing" is robbing you of the last cycles it has in its life, perhaps you might want to mount it using another computer and external drive and pull out important files, then buy a new one?
     
  3. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    pocket of liberalism in farm country
    #3
    That's what I thought. :(

    Well then I'll have to remember not to buy WD in the future, because this has given me nothing but trouble the short time I've had it. Luckily it's under warranty.

    As I write this it's copying as much as it can. I'll just cobble together enough for a terabyte or two external and clone the whole thing later.

    Thanks.
     
  4. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #4
    Maybe the GPT is corrupt? It's just like how MBR used to be corrupt in PCs.
    Use the following terminal command:
    See if that mounts the drive.
    If it works, backup ASAP and repair disk.
     
  5. nelz886 macrumors member

    nelz886

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #5
    You may need to replace the internal hard drive cable.
     
  6. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #6
    Not a hardware issue, since he can boot off of the drive using DiskWarrior.
     
  7. nelz886 macrumors member

    nelz886

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #7
    Not necessarily.
    1) The prohibitory sign is usually an indication that device drivers or requisite system files failed to load or be recognized.
    2) The drive intermittently mounted, then didn't show up at all.
    3) DiskWarrior is able to repair and replace the directory successfully.

    @Meldar
    Download and run SMART Utility on your HDD to verify the SMART status.
     
  8. Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #8
    What I was referring to was "You may need to replace the internal hard drive cable." which is not true, because if that was the case, then the data would be completely inaccessible.
    1. The OP should be able to recognize the kind of noises considered abnormal.
    2. DiskWarrior is able to repair the damage done. If this was a hardware issue, then the damage would be more permanent. Simple software (DiskWarrior) would not be able to repair it.
    3. Moreover, if this was a failing drive, much more data would be corrupt and lost then a couple of kexts.
    4. A failing drive would most likely be failed to be recognized by the EFI itself. When holding option at boot, the internal drive would not be one of the boot devices, if this was a drive failure.
    5. Drive failures are more abrupt. It does not take its time.

    @OP, to clarify what's actually going on when the spinner of death happens, try booting into verbose mode by holding ⌘V. Screenshot with a camera would be nice.
     
  9. nelz886 macrumors member

    nelz886

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    Location:
    New Jersey
    #9
    You could be right. However, the mid-2010 MacBook Pro has a known issue with the ****** hdd data cable made by Foxconn, intermittently not being recognized is good indication. Just sayin.
     
  10. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    pocket of liberalism in farm country
    #10
    Here, photos.

    no boot
    [​IMG]

    all this in verbose mode, indefinitely
    [​IMG]

    detail (sorry, SLRs don't necessarily like glossy computer screens)
    [​IMG]

    Luckily I'm able to free up enough space on a work HDD to image my entire disk. Recommend starting over, anyone? Or is it nearly a definite that I need a new drive?

    I'm not adverse to the latter. After all it's got a 5-year warranty, far as I know. I just want to be absolutely sure I'm not wasting my time. In all honesty my co-workers, supervisor and I (we're students, so not Apple certified mind you) have no idea what this is! Never seen a "drive failure" like this.

    Apparently it's so strange that MacRumors is arguing (somewhat) on my thread. Really, it's not that huge of a deal, since my data's still there. I just don't want to re-use dead or defective hardware.

    Like for instance if the HDD cable is dead. What do I do about that? The nearest Apple store is, well, not near at all.

    ----------

    also, I still have yet to do anything to the SMC (and don't plan to)

    Perhaps I'll later try booting into SUM and running through fsck, though something tells me it'll give the same exact messages as every single other verification tool in my arsenal thus far. :|
     
  11. Prodo123, Sep 16, 2011
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2011

    Prodo123 macrumors 68020

    Prodo123

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2010
    #11
    Luckily, this is a somewhat common issue. This is a B-tree node error, caused by the corruption of directory files. The best way would be to back up to an external drive via Time Machine and nuke the drive, since DiskWarrior is failing.
    http://ask.metafilter.com/168024/Strange-OSX-Crash
    Thankfully, it reads the boot kexts fine, which means that this is not a hard drive failure. :)

    We argue over disk-related threads, especially since 90% of them are from abusing the laptop and crashing the hard drive :p
     
  12. kbfr08 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2007
    #12
    I'd second the nuke and reinstall option. If that doesn't work, buy a new drive, it's not worth the hassle given drive prices. However, if you have access to a PC with MHDD then you can probably save the drive, and run some low level diagnostics and repairs on it, including rebuilding the drive block by block.
     
  13. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    pocket of liberalism in farm country
    #13
    Thanks prodo. Nuke+pave was definitely an idea but it's not how I want to spend my weekend. Thankfully I've done it before, so it'll work out okay.

    As of now, I've backed up nearly everything. I'm just gonna image the entire disk, too, to make sure I don't leave behind any important appdata.

    Oddly, last September in fact, I had an (uncannily similar) incident with this same exact hard drive and a corrupt directory (under 10.5.8) only then, it was SO bad that the thing would boot and then turn off in a minute.

    Dunno why it keeps happening to me, but thanks for telling me what's up! B-tree errors, eh. Why'd it consistently pass validation?

    kbfr08 thanks for the idea - looks like it runs from DOS on a floppy and doesn't support USB. My HDD would have to be connected via USB since my SATA 2.5-3.5" adapter is a hundred miles away.

    Honestly, I'm fine just reinstalling. However, MHDD is a good tool to know about for the occasional student who brings in a "dead" Windows machine. :)
     
  14. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    pocket of liberalism in farm country
    #14
    Huh. So, prodo, that "strange OSX crash" thread you linked - it seems to infer that DiskWarrior will fix it every time.

    In my case, it is fixing it, a lot, since it seems to revert to old b-tree sizes upon reboot!!

    Why on earth is that? I'd really rather not reformat, since at the moment I can't anyway. I have ~450GB on this drive and actually don't have access to a drive big enough to image the disk or make an exhaustive backup. 'Course I realize that now...
     
  15. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    pocket of liberalism in farm country
    #15
    Yeah fsck was a total no-go. Couldn't even boot into SUM. At startup I held cmd+S and it went to the same screen verbose mode gave me:

    hfs_mountroot failed 5
    cannot mount root errno=19

    Now we're back at prohibitory circle again after rebuilding the directory through DiskWarrior 3 more times. The last time was after a complete verification of the 19M files on my disk. Each time the directory graph read as having 71, 105, then 75 files out of order.

    So DiskWarrior fails to live up to its creed: "DiskWarrior cures those cryptic errors reported by Disk Utility: Messages from your Mac such as "Invalid node structure" and "Keys out of order" may seem mysterious or even scary but DiskWarrior fixes these problems and many, many more."

    Glad I'm the one to figure that out right when the program needs to do what we bought it to do. It's as though DiskWarrior is putting duct tape over a hole in a screen door and something in OSX just rips it back off every time I try to boot it. I thought DiskWarrior would put in an entirely new door.

    To clarify, the only reason I keep trying to rebuild my apparently-corrupt directory is that I still lack a properly-formatted drive big enough to image my disk and do a complete backup.

    So, til Monday then, it would seem.
     
  16. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    pocket of liberalism in farm country
    #16
    NEW PROBLEMS

    Now my HDD is completely blank and formatted as MacOS Extended (Journaled).

    When I put in the install DVD for Snow Leopard (I refuse to use Lion) it goes to the grayish-blue Apple screen and there is no spinning tick wheel or anything.

    The DVD spins up and is listed as a boot option. After a few minutes it stops whirring and it's just the Apple screen.

    I'm at a total loss. I'm actually starting to feel like formatting my HDD (after a complete and successful backup) was not the right course of action.

    However, this is the same machine that would boot to a FireWire drive.

    Later today I'll try with my Snow Leopard DVD, which is exactly the same as this one, which we use in the office to reinstall on other Macs...it has never given us problems and will boot/mount just fine in every other machine.

    I'm getting so frustrated with this. The nearest Apple store is a hudred miles away and I really don't feel like a road trip for this!
     
  17. Meldar thread starter macrumors regular

    Meldar

    Joined:
    May 3, 2008
    Location:
    pocket of liberalism in farm country
    #17
    Got my own install DVD and it's working fine. Why it has to be a specific disk I don't know, but this doesn't bode well for any potential customers who need a reinstall on their 15.4" MBP, as it appears that our house disk doesn't work for that!

    Good news is it's installing. We'll see how this goes.
     

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