New PowerBook that crashes occasionally

Discussion in 'Macintosh Computers' started by kubark42, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. kubark42 macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2005
    I just took the plunge and bought myself a PowerBook. Aside from some abysmally stupid design decisions (no being able to natively play oggs in iTunes, or natively watch my compressed movies in QuickTime. Not having (finding easily?) the choice to sort folders such that everything is in alphabetical order, except that folders come first.), I'm quite content. I've figured most everything out, and my "switching jitters" are almost over. It really is a fantastic platform, and I can't imagine ever regretting the switch. Except...

    I've had the computer crash twice in the 4 days I've owned it. Basically, it gets to a state where nothing really works right anymore and I feel the need to reboot (Although I fully admit that this is just perhaps a windows reaction. If someone knows a better way to return the computer to a state where everything just works, let me know). Both times it's crashed, it's been while trying to shut the computer down. I just get a nice blue screen with a spinning cursor (that looks an awful lot like the Macromedia icon). This goes on as long as I'm willing to wait, until I force the laptop to turn off by holding down the power button. On reboot, everything's fine and normal, and the computer runs normally again.

    Now, a little background: I've installed a fair number of, well, hacker programs. For example, KisMAC, X11, Gimp, OggDrop, MPlayer OSX 2, Adium, Skype, NeoOffice, Firefox, and Thunderbird. So I completely accept that something I've installed is causing some issues. But I cannot for the life of me figure out which could be causing all these problems.

    Another thing that's really driving me batty is that the Disk Utility refuses to erase my CD-RW. It just gives me an error. Which is absolutely bonkers, because I can't imagine what could stop an Apple from erasing a CD-RW, when a Windows machine has no problem.

    When I get Tiger from my student ADC membership, should I just erase everything and restart? (When Apple installs an OS, do they play the same nasty tricks that PC manufactures do? That is to say, not giving the CDs with all the original software? I discovered QuickBooks NUE, and I really, really think it's fantastic. It fills a need I never knew I had and I'm scared that if I format/reinstall that I will lose this program.) In fact, since I need to install Gentoo Linux on the machine, and I noticed that the entire HD is already partitioned, wouldn't I need to repartition and reformat anyway?

    Thanks for any help/suggestions you might have.
  2. Pismo macrumors 6502


    Apr 30, 2002
    You can try an assortment of tests and repairs that should improve your situation. First, boot off the restore DVD by holding down the alt/option key. There should be three buttons that come up after a few seconds. You want to click on the Hardware Test button. Follow the directions and run the extended test. This is a good wawy to test RAM. If something is wrong, it'll tell you.

    Next, you can reboot and hold down the Command (Apple) key and the S key. You should see a black screen and a bunch of text. When you get to the prompt, type fsck-f and press enter. This will check and repair any disk abnormalities. Run this until all errors (if any) are fixed. When that''s done, type reboot to restart.

    When you've restarted, open Disk Utility and repair permissions. When that is done, you can open up the terminal and type these in one at a time:

    sudo periodic daily
    sudo periodic weekly
    sudo periodic monthly

    Wait for each to finish before you go on to the next. These (I believe) clears out cache files and junk.

    Finally, in the terminal you can type sudo update_prebinding -root / -force
    This will update prebindings and should speed things up. When everything is done, reboot. Hope this helps. These tips are posted in other forums so look around if you need more info.
  3. kubark42 thread starter macrumors member

    Mar 17, 2005
    Hey, thanks for the tips. I'm new to the whole Mac experience, but I use Linux professionally, so browsing through the forums is a pretty standard experience. However, to be honest, the whole reason I bought a Mac is because I'm so frustrated with forums and secret hidden answers to all my questions. Thanks for taking the time to respond.
  4. Passante macrumors 6502a


    Apr 16, 2004
    on the sofa
    Keep activity monitor open (look in utilities folder). When you machine gets slow apple-tab to activity monitor and you will be able to see what is consuming cpu resources and what has hung on your lap top.

    Good luck
  5. EGT macrumors 68000


    Sep 4, 2003
    What a helpful and informative reply! :)

    This will come in handy for me and i'm sure, for many others!


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