** Slow Mac... DW4 reports malfunctions

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by soliton, May 14, 2010.

  1. soliton macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2010
    Hi everyone,

    I'm hoping someone can answer my questions. Here's my story.

    (Stats: Original Quad Core Mac (2 x 2.66 Intel Xeon) - 9 GB RAM - SL 10.6.3)

    My Mac has been running very, very slowly lately. Spinning beach ball for 45 seconds for no reason and then everything will happen at once. Copying a 25 MB file can take 1 minute. Starting up used to take 25 seconds, now it's 4 minutes. It seems to come and go a bit.

    I've been using Macs for 15 years and I did everything I could think of. Disc Utility. Observing Activity Monitor. Trashing prefs. Zapped PRAM. One of those helped a little, because it's not as bad but still slow at times. * One thing to note, I made a new account. It was really fast. Just like a new install.

    I booted up from DiskWarrior4, when checking my main startup disk, there were around 50 something "disk malfunctions" and I could not replace the directory. The only option it gave was to back stuff up. But on the contrary, DW4 hardware test said that it's SMART status was OK / verified.

    MY OPTIONS… What should I do?

    1) Backup everything, but do nothing and hope it speeds up. (It's getting a little better since I cleaned it out) I use Pro Tools and Logic and it would take a long time to reinstall everything.

    2) Back up everything, erase the hard drive, and reinstall the OS **on this same drive.** I'm actually broke right now and do not want to buy another hard drive. Would this be stupid because DW4 reported a hardware error and I'd just be getting in the same mess down the road?

    3) Back up everything, buy a new hard drive, start clean. This is probably the safest option, but I really only want to re install everything if I have absolutely have to.

    Is there any chance that DW is reporting incorrectly, that it isn't a hardware error? It's a new-ish Seagate Barracuda 500GB, 7000 RPM.

    Would do you think?
    Anything I'm missing?

    Thank you very much.
  2. 666sheep macrumors 68040


    Dec 7, 2009
    I'd go for option 3 only. Drive is under warranty? If so, RMA it and get new one.
    If it will completely fail someday, it could be too late for data recovery and it could cost you more than few hours of reinstalling everything.
  3. Makosuke macrumors 603

    Aug 15, 2001
    The Cool Part of CA, USA
    Not familiar with that particular DW error, but it sounds more like directory corruption than hardware failure to me. Note that until you've ruled out software corruption most drive manufacturers won't RMA you a new one.

    Either way, though, option #3 isn't that bad if you clone to the new drive or (probably a better idea) clone to a second drive, install OSX on either the new drive or wiped and reformatted old one (this would be the best way to test if it's a hardware failure), then use the migration assistant to move your users and apps over. That generally gets you pretty much back to where you started with a clean OS install, unless something in an app was actually corrupted (in which case you should get an error while cloning).

    Note that if the errors DW was giving you had to do with bad sectors on the hard drive then it probably IS dying. You should get the same complaints running the full hardware scan on the hardware test disc that came with your Mac in that case.
  4. soliton thread starter macrumors newbie

    May 14, 2010
    Thanks for the replies. I'm writing this message from another computer right now (uh oh)

    I popped in my original snow leopard disc and tried to repair the hard drive from there. Disk Utility told me in a red font: invalid node tree - cannot repair, backup and erase this disk. And then it took the name of the disk "Hard Drive" and changed it to some generic thing like "disc02." It wasn't an option in Start Up disc anymore, Sh*t... Thanks Disk Utility. I started up from DiskWarrior, it wouldn't even show up there now. Luckily I backed up most of my stuff when I could.

    So now I'm in the process of backing up my 2nd internal HD onto an external Lacie, so I can erase that and reformat it as GUID-whatever so I can install a new OS on it. Then take out the broken HD and hopefully RMA it. Seagate's website says it's under warranty so hopefully they believe me and don't send it back. Their SeaTools utility app is Windows only.

    Thankfully diskwarrior has that copy option so I can move stuff around.

    What a headache. Am I missing anything?

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