OSX operating system integrity check

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by rafperez, Apr 12, 2012.

  1. rafperez macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2012
    Hi fellow Mac users! I didn't know where to post this so maybe someone can help.

    I've slowly been converting from PC to Mac. The Mac is awesome and powerful when you know how to use it. I have a few laptops and recently had an issue with one, I restarted it and got a circle with a slash. After an extensive search on how to resolve, I discovered that a safe boot did the trick! Macs are mysterious to me in that I don't know why or how it was fixed. But what if it didn't? In Windows there is something that can check the OS system file integrity (sfc scannow). I want something like that for my Macs. I have found 'file' and 'HD' integrity checks, but I need OS level.

    Why must Macs be so mysterious? I want to know more about the OS and be able to tell if I'm going to have/currently having issues. Is there anything out there that I can use to do what I want? I can buy it, I don't care. This system is so cool, I want it ridiculously solid and for me, that means being able to perform OS integrity checks.

    Thanks everyone!
  2. Intell macrumors P6


    Jan 24, 2010
    Use Disk Utility to check your disk. This also checks files for corruption and other errors.
  3. rafperez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2012
    Thanks for the reply Intell,

    Is there an option to see what the Disk Utility did? An informative report? I've used that option as well as Permissions fix and Verify Disk, but I'm left wondering if it did anything. Maybe it's the Windows user in me or simply because I need to know what caused the problem, what fixed it and how do I prevent it?
  4. GGJstudios macrumors Westmere


    May 16, 2008
    Mac OS X doesn't require the same treatment as Windows. Many of the "maintenance" or "system monitoring" tasks that were appropriate in Windows are simply not needed with Mac OS X. If it has a problem, it will let you know. As far as drives, you can use Disk Utility to check those. You can also use Activity Monitor to see what's running on your Mac. The Console.app will give you a history of events that occurred, and is sometimes useful in troubleshooting.

    Some people repair, or recommend repairing permissions for situations where it isn't appropriate. Repairing permissions only addresses very specific issues. It is not a "cure all" or a general performance enhancer, and doesn't need to be done on a regular basis. It also doesn't address permissions problems with your files or 3rd party apps.

    Five Mac maintenance myths
    There are times when repairing permissions is appropriate. To do so, here are the instructions:
    If repairing permissions results in error messages, some of these messages can be ignored and should be no cause for concern.
  5. chown33 macrumors 604

    Aug 9, 2009
    Sailing beyond the sunset
    In Disk Utility's First Aid pane of, there is a "Show details" checkbox, located above and to the left of the central text box. Check it. Now when you run a Verify or Repair, it will show details.

    For reference, there is also a "Clear History" pushbutton above and right of the central text box, and several Verify and Repair pushbuttons below.
  6. rafperez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2012
    Thanks for the reply GGJ

    The console is awesome! For some reason I always thought that was another form of the Terminal. There is a lot of info there, I used the event viewer in windows a lot for troubleshooting, so this is great. Now I need to know the Mac terminology within the Console to understand what the differences between ~/Library/Logs CrashReporter and /Library/Logs Crashreporter is. Or system log vs kernel log. Or what ubiquity is.

    Thanks for the heads up chown33. I don't know how I missed the show details check box!
  7. JoshuaJ, Apr 18, 2012
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2012

    JoshuaJ macrumors newbie

    Apr 18, 2012
    Logging on a Mac mostly works through a program called Syslog, which has existed on Unix and Linux systems for decades, and which apple added a few features to for OS X. It's highly customizable, but with the default settings here's the basics:

    system.log is the main log file, and usually all you need for basic troubleshooting. It's like the Windows Application Log and most of the System Log as well. It includes:
    • All error messages or warnings from all programs.
    • All "significant conditions" - i.e. uncommon situations that aren't necessarily errors - from all programs.
    • All logs from software installers.
    • Activity of remote users on your system, if you've enabled file sharing, FTP, or the like.

    kernel.log includes all messages from the kernel, which is the most basic core part of the OS. This is useful when you want to know exactly what the system thought it was doing when it crashed. Many of the messages in this log are from while the computer is starting up, when the kernel is the only thing running.

    On a Mac or *nix machine, "~" is shorthand for your home directory. It's like %USERPROFILE% on windows. (But much easier to type!) When the kernel or some other basic system process crashes, it stores detailed info about the system at the moment of the crash in /Library/Logs/CrashReporter. But when a normal program crashes, the log goes in your user's logs folder, at ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter.

    There are various other logs in /Library/Logs or ~/Library/Logs. Many of these are from programs that don't use syslog, or they have more detailed information than what ends up in system.log.

    There are also a few logs in /var/log, which has been the default location of logs on Unix systems for decades, and apple continues to use it mostly for those parts of the system that have been adapted from Unix. You usually won't delve in here unless you're using your computer as a server, which is when the Unix internals of OS X become important.

    The only thing I know of called "Ubiquity" is an old firefox plugin. I can find nothing on my computer with that name, so I've got no idea what you're talking about :)
  8. rafperez thread starter macrumors newbie

    Apr 12, 2012
    Thanks for the reply JoshuaJ

    "...This is useful when you want to know exactly what the system thought it was doing when it crashed..."

    HA! I wish I could say that for Windows systems... "It thought it was trying to write to the correct sector, but it's delusional and was actually deleting."

    I appreciate your simple and effective explanation of both /Library/Logs. As I was looking at them and reading your description, it made sense. Where before I expanded all the entries within both and wondered what the heck I was looking at. I knew some were related to applications that I had installed and experienced errors, but it all looked like spaghetti to me.

    So now that I'm armed with a better understanding of the Console. What sites or books would you recommend I review for the "customizing" you spoke of?

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