View Full Version : "problem with system file" - ??

03-25-2001, 04:28 PM
i have a stock g4 400 [sawtooth] running OS 9.0.4. recently it has been acting strange [crashing in the middle of an app, or while opening one]. there doesn't seem to be any consistency [three times during quake3arena, once while opening a quicktime file, and another time while doing nothing at all]. i ran disk first aid, it said nothing was up, so i ran tech tool pro 2.5.2 and it said all was fine except there was a "problem with the system file" i asked around and nobody knows what this means or how to fix it exactly; the only suggestions have been a clean install of OS 9.0.4, or to re-initialize the disk and then do a clean install.

what would you recommend?

also would this potential problem be solved by moving to 9.1 or X? i should mention that i have ordered OS X, but if the problem isn't the OS, then what?

03-25-2001, 06:09 PM
Hey spidey,

Other utilities don't test the system against known good templates like TTP does. If it says there's a problem, chances are...there's a problem. One quick and dirty fix:

Do a clean install of only the basic system files, uncheck everything else. Then pull the new System, Finder, System Resources, and any Enabler files out of the new System folder and replace these in the old system folder that has been renamed "Old System Folder". Make sure the special icon badge reappears on the old system folder. Trash the new system folder and rename the old system folder back to "System Folder". Restart and run a good battery of utilities (DiskWarrior, TTP, Norton Utilities highly recommended).


03-25-2001, 07:43 PM
TTP 2.5.2 may not be compatible with OS 9.04; too old? The freeware TechTool 1.2.1 will analyze the 9.04 system.

03-25-2001, 08:50 PM
TechTool 1.2.1 looks like a great tip Louie--lots of functionality for the price (free, that is). Since I just blew my wad on bG3 RAM (before mag cranks the prices up again), free is all I can afford!

03-26-2001, 01:36 PM
ok, i'll do tt 1.2.1 tonight. for future reference what utilities would you recommend [disk warrior, norton, and ttp were mentioned - do the gurus prefer or endorse one or all or another?]? and what sort of maintenance schedule/regimen ought i follow?

03-26-2001, 02:44 PM
TechTool is a great little freebie that's been around for a goog while. It's great for rebuilding the desktop, Zapping PRAM. analyzing systems and cleaning floppy drives. Version 1.2.1 is good for OS 9.04 and earlier. Micromat promised an update for 9.1 but hasn't come through yet.

We all pretty much agree that Disk Warrior is a must have utility; a real life saver. It only rebuilds directories; therefore you also need NUM or TTP. There will never be agreement on those two. I personally use NUM because I'm used to it. I've had several versions of TTP and feel that a lot of it is dog and pony show, although it has its good points.

There have been several earlier threads about routine maintenance. I seldom let my machines go a month without it; sometimes a week depending on what I've been doing.

03-27-2001, 09:00 AM
i ran tt 1.2.1 and it said nothing was wrong. why then am i suddenly experiencing this odd behavior? could there be something else that would cause such a warning in ttp, but not in tt?
i am getting disk warrior, but is there merit in some other protective software i should look at that may prevent damage, or some sort of "cleaning" utility that would point out the undesirable files so that i may get rid of them? please pardon my complete ignorance on the matter, but the only computers i have used and still use other than this one were and are not my own and i didn't quite grasp the maintenance involved.

03-27-2001, 11:18 AM
spidermonkey, Louie or one of the other guys can tell you the best order to use them in, but the utilities mentioned in this thread are the standards.

DiskWarrior, as Louie mentioned, would probably get the award for the best data saviour. It will resurrect disks that no other utility will even recognize. I use it regularly, and right away if there is any strange behaviour. I also will scrutinize the heck out of whatever application was running at the time weirdness happens. The only caution I've heard of regarding DiskWarrior was, if no errors (misplaced items) are found, one should NOT rebuild the directory, although that claim has not been substantiated on this forum as of yet.

MacMikester's suggestion sounds like a work around as well. (Have to remember that one)

The other thing worth mentioning here is backups. If you always have a mirror image backup of your drive(s), it takes the fear out of a major hardware failure. If things ever get bizaare enough, you can just reformat the drive and restore the files from backup.


[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 27 March 2001).]

03-27-2001, 11:26 AM
And don't forget a good Virus Check.

I recently did four or five hours of technical debugging, only to be made aware that a strain of MBDF A/B (a virus) had hit my system folder. It didn't wreak havoc, just caused annoying crashes and hangs, so I didn't think virus immediately (actually, I didn't think virus at all, someone here did)...silly me.

[This message has been edited by chrismenke (edited 27 March 2001).]

03-27-2001, 03:19 PM
I have no idea what TTP is reporting. TT looks at the system suitcase. They are both written by the same people. There are thousands of things that can cause problems. Run Disk Warrior and NUM to see want they find.

If you have a new machine and haven't made many changes to the system, you could consider System Restore.

03-27-2001, 06:40 PM
there was a long-standing bug in some versions of TTP where it reported--guess what?--a corrupted system.

the strict answer is this: lot's of things can change your system file. TTP, by relying on a check-sum, reports stuff as a problem that is frequently entirely natural.

this bug was supposed to have been fixed, at some point....and I recall noticing that it was fixed at some point in my hacking in the basement, but I am not a religious or even regular user of TTP 2.x or 3.x, so I don't recall the specific revision number.

there are two things to do which may prove useful, I guess. You can surf the MicroMat website, or even correspond with their tech support. I wouldn't be surprised if this issue is discussed at some length on the MacFixIt bulletin board (you will just have to wade thru lots of noise to find the good stuff).

you can reinstall your system. It's a good idea to do this periodically, anyway. Just do a clean install, then manually move over the extensions and stuff you absolutely need from the old one. You can prune, get a better handle on exactly what it installed, where it is installed, and why, and old resources that may be a little ragged can get spruced up.

hope this helps?


03-27-2001, 09:47 PM
thanks for the info http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif i''l do the clean install tonight. someone at the office said i should re-initialize the disk. what is that, and what would it do?

03-28-2001, 12:48 AM
re-initialize the disk means, practically speaking, that your data is erased, which is, obviously, only an option if you don't care about everything on your drive, or you have what you KNOW to be a reliable backup.

I would think Magicians suggestion the best suggestion. Of course, he's one of the teachers, and I am only a meager student.

If a Mac starts to crash, even if it's not related to a System problem, it can, in fact, lead to resources getting corrupted in the Operating System, especially if you've crashed it repeatedly. Once there are System resources corrupted, the only thing to do, really, is a clean install.

If you do some research on the web, you should be able to find a computer terms glossary. There is a wealth of excellent information on this site. read the whole darn site. Then, read it again. In the whole learning process, things will fall into place.

And of course, if in doubt, ask your questions up here. There are some dedicated and damn decent folks who moderate this forum, and a good size chunk of members who know much about the venerable Macintosh.

Another fun axiom of computerdom...."people who don't backup at all, will someday backup always..........usually after "that horrible day". http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

Best to you S Monkey....


[This message has been edited by crazyeights (edited 28 March 2001).]

03-28-2001, 09:50 AM
did the clean install last night. seems to be fine now, but before it was also fine until it crashed. and though it does feel as if it running just a little quicker, it might be that i want it to feel that way.

thank you all very much for the help.

http://macgurus.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif pete

03-28-2001, 12:43 PM
Now run weekly maintenance with NUM, TCP, DW and keep it that way.