my OS X problem

cb911

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 12, 2002
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BrisVegas, Australia
i have a problem with OS X. it keeps freezing while i'm working, so then i reboot and the flashing '?' comes up on the screen. and this means that i'm supposed to reinstall the system software, but i can be bothered with that. so i turn my TiBook off for about half an hour, then boot up again and everything is fine. and i just got another 512MB RAM, it's running a bit more smoothly now.

i think that the problem is that i've been stuffing around with lots of demo software and freeware (mostly FTP clients). i've deleted most of the ones i don't use anymore, but could they have left extensions or something on my Mac? if the program doesn't come with an unistaller, is there a utility or something that can completely get rid of the app?

anyway, it's not so bad now. i'll probably just wait until 10.2 then do a complete reinstall. that'll definitely fix everything, right?
 

mmmdreg

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Apr 14, 2002
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yeah that would be good...do you mean a reinstall as in a system install over the current one or a reformat+install? freeware/shareware can be pretty bad for your computer...I reinstalled a few months ago because I was having problemos...
 

Taft

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Jan 31, 2002
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First, extensions in OS X are far less common than under OS 9. Most programs don't use them, or keep them internal to their program structure. If you think an application put an "extension" on your computer, check the Library folders on your system. Especially /Library and {UserHome}/Library.

The problem is most likely related to something else. Like a hard drive problem or a system corruption.

You can try running fsck to repair a potential hard disk problem.

1) Restart and hold down Command-S at startup.
2) you will reach single user mode.
3) Run the following command: fsck -y
4) When the command returns, type 'reboot' to restart your machine.

Full details here:
{Article was wrong. I removed it.}

Also, have you installed any drivers on your system?? They are very big offenders.

Taft
 

Taft

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Jan 31, 2002
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To reply to the concern over shareware/freeware...

Under OS X the preferred way to release programs is to have a single application file compressed into a disk image. The applications are therefore stand alone: they don't install anything on the system besides the single file. Check it out: the new real player for OS X can be play media inside any browser, yet its only one file--an alias to the internet plug-in is put in /Library/Internet plug-ins, but the alias points at the single Real One application file.

Even those programs that use so called "extensions" are very much limited in the damage they could do. So "extesions" under OS X are a much different thing than under Classic. The exception to this are kernel extensions. The only programs that install kernel extensions are those which install "drivers" on your system.

Another exception to the "single file" rule are installers that put some kind of monitoring process on your system. Palm desktop does this (for sync-ing) as does iTunes (for lord knows what reason--maybe to "sense" an iPod being connected). My system had some flakiness because of the Palm monitor. You can chack for these kind of processes under System Preferences on the Login pane.

System hacks will alter files that existing applications use. This could cause some really large problems if it changes a file incorrect or corrupts it. Always use stuff like this at your own risk--though some of these are more reliable/reputable than others. For example Tinker Tool is a program I'd consider completely safe.

Which brings us to Preference Panes which are another type of file installed by some applications. Again, these are limited in the amount of damage they could do, but you should be aware of them. They are installed in the various Library files.

Finally, very large applications--like MS Office--will often try to share functionality between programs by putting libraries on your system. Again, these aren't extensions like under OS 9 (they can't do extreme damage to yout system) but its conceivable they'd cause a problem.

Back to my original point...most shareware/freeware will not install any rouge files on your system. Ftp clients would almost certainly not. But always beware of system/interface hacks. I use them, but they sometimes do things which are unreversable.

Just try to be aware of what a program consists of. Does the program ask you for an Administrator password?? If so its probably installing files on your system. Does the program have an installer?? It is probably installing files as well (which is good, because then it might come with an uninstaller).

With OS X you should be a bit careful...but you don't need to be nearly as careful as under OS 9 or Windows.

Taft
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
Originally posted by Taft
First, extensions in OS X are far less common than under OS 9. Most programs don't use them, or keep them internal to their program structure. If you think an application put an "extension" on your computer, check the Library folders on your system. Especially /Library and {UserHome}/Library.

The problem is most likely related to something else. Like a hard drive problem or a system corruption.

You can try running fsck to repair a potential hard disk problem.

1) Restart and hold down the 's' key at startup.
2) you will reach single user mode.
3) Run the following command: fsck -y
4) When the command returns, type 'reboot' to restart your machine.

Also, have you installed any drivers on your system?? They are very big offenders.
Keep the shock to a minimum, but I have to agree with Taft here about the fsck -y. :eek: :eek: :eek: :D It does fix issues with OS X, just be sure to run it until it comes back all good.

Which Mac are you having issues with??? Does the Mac give you any odd sounds when it's running or beeps when booting?? Have you added any hardware to it in the past few months (like memory)?? Is all the memory being addressed/used??? You could have a memory chip that just went bad on you. Are the cooling fans running properly?? Which version os OS X are you running??? If you have 10.1, is it all the way up to 10.1.5??
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 12, 2002
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BrisVegas, Australia
well i have installed another 512MB RAM on Saturday :)D :D :D ), but it has been detected and i was having problems before that anyway. so the extensions shouldn't be a problem, glad to hear that.

i have been force restarting quite a bit this last week, so i'm going to do that fsck thing. and i should do that every time i shut down improperly? anyway, sounds good so i guess it's a good habbit to get into.

which Mac am i having troubles with? it's my new TiBook, and i am running 10.1.5. after i do fsck, should i do Nortons de-frag? or will fsck do the trick?
this should help for a while, but i'm going to reformat when i install 10.2, and now that i've learn't my lesson, i won't play around with demo and freeware so much.

and should i use the command-control-Power key restart? that apple document says 'don't do it!' is it really that bad? but saying i do have to force restart because it freezes, is it good to do fsck on that reboot?

and if you shouldn't use the cmd-ctrl-power to restart, is there any alternative? what am i supposed to do if it freezes?

this is a bit off topic, but a friend had a problem with his iBook. he was using OS 9 and had to force restart. when it restarted instead of the smiling 'Mac face' at boot up, there was an icon of a folder that was broken in half. and ideas about this? i didn't see anything about this in the manual.
thanks.
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 12, 2002
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BrisVegas, Australia
i just read a knowledge base document about defragmentation. that sounds like what the problem is. on the holidays i was ripping a few DVDs and have since deleted the files. there were about 3 files, one on the HD at a time. the smallest was about 1GB and the biggest was 6GB, and now they're all deleted. i also got rid of 2GB of MP3s. looks like i'll be doing a defrag as well...
 

AlphaTech

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Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
Run the fsck -y both before and after you defrag. If you have NUM, use the very latest version, booting from a cd.

Where did you get the memory from?? Have you tried it with just one chip in to see if that is contributing to the problems or not?? Cheap memory can be recognized, but still cause issues (what is the CL rating of it??? 222, 322, etc.).
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 12, 2002
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BrisVegas, Australia
i'm having a problem with fsck. i can't even get that far. that document was for OS X Server, will it still work on OS X? i hold down the 's' key when it is starting up, but it just boots up normally.

do i have to put the OS X system CD in and then hold down 's'?

because the document is referring to OS X Server i'm just a bit confused. AlphaTech or Taft, have you used fsck? can you list all the steps you took?
thanks.
 

Taft

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Jan 31, 2002
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Originally posted by AlphaTech
Try doing the command+s on boot... hold it down as soon as you tell it to reboot and the screen goes black.
Oops, I got the info from the wrong doc.:(

Sorry, 'bout that one.

Taft
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 12, 2002
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BrisVegas, Australia
okay, i tried cmd+s and it worked fine. i've done fsck -y about 4 or 5 times now, and there is still a kind of error message. it says that a couple of files overlap or something. anyway, hasn't frozen again.
 

Geert

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May 28, 2001
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.be
reading through this thread, one question pops up.
the 'fsck -y' can that command be run even without experiencing any trouble?
 

Taft

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Jan 31, 2002
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Originally posted by Geert
reading through this thread, one question pops up.
the 'fsck -y' can that command be run even without experiencing any trouble?
Yep. Many people recommend that you run it after a power failure or improper shutdown. Or after every shutdown to "cleanup" the filesystem on a consistant basis. You have nothing to lose by running it.

Its the Unix equivalent of Disk Utility under Classic Mac OS. Run it whenever you want. I think I'll do it this morning.

Taft
 

Taft

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Jan 31, 2002
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Originally posted by Draft


What exactly does this command do?

Thanks,
Draft
For complete details, do a man on fsck. Like this:

man fsck

Basically its a disk repair utility. I'm no filesystem expert, so I can't rattle off the possible disk errors that it can repair, but the man page may be able to fill you in.

Remember everyone!!!!! If you don't know what a command line program does, do a man on the command first. The man pages will often explain things very well, but can be a bit technical (a.k.a. hard to read).

Taft
 

Draft

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2002
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Chicago, IL
Originally posted by Taft


For complete details, do a man on fsck. Like this:

man fsck

Basically its a disk repair utility. I'm no filesystem expert, so I can't rattle off the possible disk errors that it can repair, but the man page may be able to fill you in.

Remember everyone!!!!! If you don't know what a command line program does, do a man on the command first. The man pages will often explain things very well, but can be a bit technical (a.k.a. hard to read).

Taft
I would have done it myself, but I'm away from my G4 for the week. I have to put up with my girlfreind's PC until Sunday.

Draft
 

kaltsasa

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2002
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13
Kellogg IA
Convince your Girl to get an Ibook, she'll love you for it;)

I've heard from the apple tech and personal expericence that a bad ram chip will make OS X do wierd t hings, we had a new lcd imac with bad ram and it would randomly lock up, crash programs, even the infamous kernel panic. Took it to the local apple place(80 miles away lol) and they replaced the ram, and now she runs like a dream.
 

Draft

macrumors 6502
Jun 18, 2002
455
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Chicago, IL
Originally posted by kaltsasa
Convince your Girl to get an Ibook, she'll love you for it;)
I tried to convince her to get an Apple, but she's a college student on a tight budget, so she got used Dell for cheap. Oh well, maybe next time I'll be able to convince her.

Draft
 

kaltsasa

macrumors 6502a
Jan 9, 2002
584
13
Kellogg IA
As is mine, she pays 18000 a year for collage even....damn out of state tuition.....after she used my G4, there was no stopping her from getting that apple loan and an ibook 500 with cd-rw(granted thats gunna come and bite me in the ass when we get married and i have to pay off all her loans lol), now she even grumbles that its not fast enought for her....a true blue, macintosh power user. Now thats a woman.....too bad her mother isnt so easaily convinced, she likes her win 98 *ugh* compaq, too bad she has to run system works 3 times a day just for it to work.
 

cb911

macrumors 601
Original poster
Mar 12, 2002
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BrisVegas, Australia
bad RAM can do all that sort of stuff? well after i reformat and install 10.2, if there are any problems then i'll get it looked at.
 

Taft

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Jan 31, 2002
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Chicago
Originally posted by cb911
bad RAM can do all that sort of stuff? well after i reformat and install 10.2, if there are any problems then i'll get it looked at.
If you think about it, the consequences of bad RAM are not at all surprising.

When programs, files and the system software are being executed or used, they are first loaded into memory (ie into RAM). If a piece of RAM is bad, the program or file loaded into it may be garbled or corrupted.

This means that the program might perform the wrong instruction (a memory read instead of a write :eek: ) or do something very bad because of the corruption. Or maybe a file gets corrupted when its read into memory. Now it gets written back to the file system with the corruption. Maybe it doesn't cause problems the first time. But after a few times, it might make the file unreadable or cause a program using it to blow up.

And what if the kernel was loaded into memory incorrectly. Oh horror of horrors!!! :eek: :eek: :eek: The kernel has pretty much complete control over whats going on in the system. If it had a few bits that were incorrect because of bad RAM, the consequences could be devestating! Everything from improper device interaction (garbling things going to or from the filesystem), to swapping processes into and out of the bad memory could be completely screwed up!!!

Bad stuff. Memory is crucial to how computers work. Even before there were hard drives in personal computers, there was memory.

Taft
 

AlphaTech

macrumors 601
Oct 4, 2001
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Natick, MA
Hey Taft, all those reasons are very valid ones for not wait and "if there are any problems then i'll get it looked at." I have also seen different spec. memory cause issues, though not in some time (maybe because we hare removed the crappy microtech memory that came with some systems from a vendor we no longer use).

If you have two memory chips installed, one of them from Apple (only one of them with an Apple sticker on it), then pull the non-Apple memory chip and see what happens. There could be a conflict going on between the stock memory and new chip.
 

sparkleytone

macrumors 68020
Oct 28, 2001
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Greensboro, NC
i've never even HEARD of a hard freeze like you are describing in OS X. i'm 99.999% sure it must be a hardware problem, probably your RAM or a loose connection somewhere. check all your connections with all peripherals and internal hardware. see if you can get your hands on some other ram and try to reproduce the problem. also, hook yourself up to a UPS or line-conditioner (old tech i know) as voltage spikes/dips may also be a factor. i really don't believe its your software.

<edit> oh and it could be your power supply too. gotta love troubleshooting. basically the best way to go at it is finding out if there is a specific way you can reproduce the problem 100% of the time.
 

Geert

macrumors 6502a
May 28, 2001
513
0
.be
Originally posted by Taft


Yep. Many people recommend that you run it after a power failure or improper shutdown. Or after every shutdown to "cleanup" the filesystem on a consistant basis. You have nothing to lose by running it.

Its the Unix equivalent of Disk Utility under Classic Mac OS. Run it whenever you want. I think I'll do it this morning.

Taft
Thxs Taft, I think I'll run it when I'm home see what the man says, and then just run it.

Would that kinda speed up things a bit?
I mean if he cleans up, that would make it more accessible again aka faster.