Tiger, Firewire Hard Drives, malfunctioning internal drives, and a whole lot of hell

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Jalexster, Mar 25, 2005.

  1. Jalexster macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    Ok, let me explain my situation. My iBook (12-inch 800Mhz G4, 348MB RAM, 40GB HDD, AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, Combo Drive), has a problem with it. Very, very occasionally, my iBook's internal drive goes AWOL. This usually happens randomly, while the iBook is on, and has been left for a prolonged period of time. Mac OS X is unable to read from or write to the drive, so it freezes. The iBook cannot boot from the drive. When I put the installer disc in, it doesn't detect any hard drives installed, and the Hardware Test Disc just gives me an error when trying to scan Storage in it's tests.

    Anyway, the problem tends to go away if I unplug everything from my iBook remove the battery, and leave it for a few hours. Because the drive (or drive controller, something like that), is randomly malfunctioning, I don't want to install Tiger on it. Instead, I'd rather install Tiger on an external Firewire hard drive, and just copy across my files and such manually. No automated wizards or anything. I'll copy my stuff from the internal drive to the external drive with Tiger myself, once Tiger is installed.

    Now, I foresee the following problems with this setup (Tiger on external drive):

    • FileVault is turned on, on my Panther installation, and I can't turn it off (It says that an error has occurred, and filevault will remain on, at around the 90% mark when I try to turn filevault off)
    • I have heard that external Firewire drives can have problems with Mac OS X (although I head LaCie drives are ok)

    I can see a solution to the first problem. Instead of booting to Tiger and copying the files from the internal drive, just boot into Panther and use it to copy the files from FileVault to Tiger. Or, when I boot into Tiger and try to access my FileVault, will I be given a password prompt, where I can then just enter my password or FileVault master password to access my files?

    As for the second problem, is it true about there being no problems with LaCie drives, and can someone tell me some brands which don't have problems?

    By the way, I don't take my iBook out of the house, so having it tethered to a Firewire drive isn't a problem. Also, using a Firewire drive gives me another advantage; if I ever get a Mac mini, I will have a nice fast external drive to use with it, instead of a slow internal drive.

    Any tips or suggestions? Will my idea even work at all?
  2. varmit macrumors 68000


    Aug 5, 2003
    Mac OS X is messed up. Back up important info. (Firewire drives had problems at the beginning of Panther, I believe most have been solved with the manufactures updating their firmware for the drive) Then Reninstall OS X. If problems continue with the CD rom drive, you probably have broken CD drive, Logic board, or possible bad third party ram.

    Oh yeah, don't turn on Filevault unless you absolutly need too. Its still buggy, as you have found out.

    And about Tiger, its still about 3 weeks away at the least, fix what you have now, then worry about Tiger when it comes.
  3. Jalexster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    I'm not going to fix what I have now. I can't reinstall, because I have nothing to back up onto. If I am going to buy an external drive, I may as well install Tiger on it, and then copy the files I need over to it, alongside Tiger. That way, if my internal drive fails completely, all I will have lost is an out of date OS X installation. Not much to cry about.

    I'm also not installing 10.3.9 until I have everything transfered to Tiger, so that way, if 10.3.9 breaks something, I'll be ok.
  4. Jalexster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    I'm thinking of getting this external drive:
    Is anyone familiar with this drive?

    City-Software has it in (At the sydney store, but I think I could order it) for AUD$326, which is cheaper than I expected. Especially for a 250GB drive. Certainly an improvement over my iBook's 40GB HDD.
  5. Bear macrumors G3

    Jul 23, 2002
    Sol III - Terra
    This is what I would suggest doing:
    1. Start backing up important data to CD-Rs (Try to back up all your data)
    2. Get a firewire drive and copy all your data to that
    3. Get your iBook fixed, especially if it still has any warranty left. You don't know what is wrong and you don't know when it will finally die all the way.
  6. Jalexster thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Jun 8, 2004
    Right, now Panther has deleted:

    All my bookmarks
    Portions of my Finder and Safari settings (Not all of them)
    The contents of all my keychains
    All my iCal data
    All my Address Book data

    Bookmarks, iCal data, and my Address Book were recovered from .Mac. I have repaired all my other settings. As for my keycains, well I just have to reenter my passwords for Adium, eMail, SMB servers and web sites. No problem.

    The sooner Tiger gets here, the better. I'm going with my external drive idea.

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