Severe problem with Mac OS - hardly anything is working

Discussion in 'macOS' started by noetus, Jul 21, 2008.

  1. noetus macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    New York Cirty
    #1
    After a nasty crash of VMware's Fusion while copying files across the network (crashed both the VM and the Mac OS host, had to hold down power button to reboot) I have the following issues:

    Mac OS starts, but although I can select folders, I can't open any. The right-click menu selection comes up, but can't open folders.

    I cannot start any programs in the Dock. Clicking on a program icon highlights the icon briefly, nothing happens.

    The menubar is unresponsive. I cannot select anything, including the System shutdown. If I press the power button briefly, the system shutdown/logout/restart dialog box appears, but I can't select anything. I can only hold down the power button to kill the power. But the startup 'boing' seems to have gone altogether.

    Booting into safe mode does not help (it just takes a lot longer to boot). Sometimes on booting I get the error "The application Dock quit unexpectedly" but I can't click any of the choices (Ignore, Report or Relaunch) it's as if there is no keyboard or mouse input (though there is still in some other contexts).

    The right-click on the mouse is about the only thing that seems to work, but I can't do much with that. If I select 'Open' on a program icon or folder, nothing happens. I can use the tab key to move around the various desktop items, but can't open anything.

    I tried booting on a Firewire Disk and repairing the startup disk. Took over an hour and didn't make any difference. Safe Mode still doesn't make any difference.

    Now the 'biong' on startup seems to have disappeared.

    Something very bad seems to have happened but I don't know what it is. Fortunately I can still boot up on a Firewire disk (it's a clone of my OS at an earlier stage) and I can access my files that way.
     
  2. edesignuk Moderator emeritus

    edesignuk

    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2002
    Location:
    London, England
    #2
    I know you said you repaired the disk, but did you try repairing the permissions? If permissions have got fudged it could cause problems such as this I'd imagine.
     
  3. noetus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    New York Cirty
    #3
    Yes, I repaired permissions using Disk Utility from booting on another volume - that's what I meant by repairing disk (I couldn't actually do the repair disk task because it complained it couldn't unmount the disk).

    My startup chime is back.

    Incidentally, coming from many years of Windows use (now coming up to about a year on the Mac) I have to say that Mac OS has been at least as bad as Windows insofar as system crashes causing knock-on problems. In fact I would say Mac OS is worse - if I have to cut the power by holding the power button, I fear greater and more problematic consequences (such as the problem I'm now having) than when I do it with Windows. The worst that usually happens under Windows is that chkdsk gets run and usually nothing happens - Windows just starts again and carries on. Mac OS seems less robust in this regard. In my experience.
     
  4. RevK macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 26, 2004
    #4
    Sounds like your HDD is failing. You should boot into Target Disk Mode and use another computer to make sure you have a good backup of everything on your machine. If you need anything or any help, just post back.
     
  5. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #5
    I was told very emphatically by a 2nd-level CS agent with Apple that when repairing permissions, you have to do it from the main drive (not while booted to another disk). I'd never heard that before, but it does make some sense (permissions should be set based on what is installed in the OS, so you'd need to be in that OS to read it properly). But I don't really know. Wouldn't hurt to try.
     
  6. Consultant macrumors G5

    Consultant

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2007
    #6
    Your harddrive is probably failing. Does it make any unusual noise?
     
  7. noetus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    New York Cirty
    #7
    Why does it appear that my hard drive is failing? I don't see any specific evidence of that. Could someone please explain why that is the likely problem? Please note that there are no noises or unusual issues with the hard drive, and a permissions repair completed successfully.
     
  8. noetus thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Sep 3, 2007
    Location:
    New York Cirty
    #8
    Repairing permissions from the OS install with the problem is out of the question at the moment - I can't do anything, not run any programs, or perform any task.
     
  9. atlanticza macrumors 6502a

    atlanticza

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
    Location:
    Cape Town
    #9
    There comes a time in every OS's (be it Mac or MS) life that a format and reinstall is necessary.. unless of course the HD is failing.
     

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