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Thread: MacOS X Startup Issues

  1. #1
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    Hey guys,

    Just got home from school for the holidays. My dad has a Dual-500 G4 that he bought from a friend that he hasnt used since he got it. I think they did a clean install of 10.2.5 at the time, plus some applications. I ran system update and installed everything that wasnt current. On the first try it installed Quicktime, iTunes, iMovie, etc, etc, but said it encountered problems with installation of the 10.2.8 combined update, so i 'made it inactive' via one of the menu options, and let it install everything else. After restarting, i ran software update again and tried the 10.2.8 installation again. It seemed to take less time, so I assume it continued from whatever it had downloaded previously. After the install, when I reset the computer, it goes through the startup process...grey screen with apple, then the Starting OS X screen. The last thing it says it is "Loading IP Firewall Extension" or in some cases "Starting Timed Execution Services" immediately followed by a brief "Startup Complete". After that though, there is just a blank blue screen. No log in screen. I can move the cursor around, but cant get any further response. This is my first time running OS X, so I havent any idea how to trouble shoot, and I might not be able to as I dont have a system disc at the moment (I dont think it made it though my parents move), although after Christmas I will have a copy of 10.3 included with my new laptop.

    Your help would me hugely appreciated.

    Bat

    If I wanted your input on this project, I'd cut out your entrails and divine the future from your liver. - DigitalMuse

  2. #2
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    maybe I should have posted this in the OS X Questions section. missed that. sorry guys.

    If I wanted your input on this project, I'd cut out your entrails and divine the future from your liver. - DigitalMuse

  3. #3
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    10.2.8 was 'nasty' for lots of people, so you aren't alone ;(

    I know it was covered in depth on MacIntouch and MacFixit.com though once articles get archived on MacFixit they are only available for so long before you need to register ($19/yr?)

    You're system, DP500, was ONE of those hit the hardest, too

    Would be nice to get your feet wet with OS X in the meantime I know - and maybe a copy of OS X: The Missing Manual (Panther Edition) wouldn't hurt.

    Apple is very clear that one copy per machine or you need a Family Pack. I'd say grab a copy of 10.3 $99, MacIntouch link. Real improvement over Jaguar.

    I prefer the stand-alone combined updaters rather than download/install method. 10.2.8 weighs in at ~100MB. Can be rerun any number of times. Just need to do a couple things:

    Boot into OS 9 and run Disk Warrior AFTER clearing out what was in the process of being installed and downloaded. One place to look is in the System/Library/Receipts. Look for anything changed at the time you hard rebooted.

    Hum... before doing that you can also boot with the Command + S key held down, gets you into "Single User Mode" and from there run "/sbin/fsck -y" as many times as you need until it shows no new errors found. After that type "reboot" followed by holding down the SHIFT KEY. That puts you into "SAFE MODE" and will check the filesystem again, will disable some extensions, and will bypass anything in the "StartupItems" folder as well. Release once the "wheel" symbol shows. Then hold down again if you want to disable launching anything that is in the "LOGIN ITEMS" (there may not be any).

    But if this doesn't work, Disk Warrior may. Or Norton. If you don't have any 3rd party utility, one of those two or MicroMat's TechTool Pro 4 need to go on your "wish list" as well. (book, CD, utility). Might as well wish for a new disk drive too! think we need one? And maybe FW drive (so we can backup and share with laptop when that comes in, along with using FireWire Target Disk Mode; or, FireWire IP. Okay, and add a router/switch to your wish list as well.

    Gads! I think that's enough for now!

  4. #4
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    Bat,

    ?Hey, who cares where it gets posted? Works well enough here.

    ?Try a Open Firmware reset and see if it gets fixed. Hold the Command+Option+O+F keys during startup. Then at the '>' prompt type:

    ?<reset-nvram
    Return
    ?>set-defaults
    Return
    ?>reset-all
    Return and your computer will restart. You may need to hold the Option key when it restarts if the Os isn't on the first partition of the Master drive.

    Rick

    Quis Custodiet Custodes Ipsos?

  5. #5
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    thanks guys, but no dice. I logged in as single user and did the fsck thing. it only modified the disc the first time. starting up in safe mode still gives me the blank blue screen. i also reset the open firmware, to no avail.

    i dont think there is anything one the computer that is important, and my dad is selling it to another guy since he doesnt ever use it, and I wont after I go back to california. but I should atleast have it running before I go. theres no reason not to just do a clean install as far as I can tell. will probably save me a migraine. im not stoked to buy an OS for a machine we are about to get rid of though.

    Oh, and if I am going to buy one of TTP, Norton, or Disk Warrior, is there a clear preference on which to go with? What are the advantages/disadvantages?

  6. #6
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    TechTool Pro 4 just came out. Has a lot of bells and whistles and a link to a good review in the OS X General: Disk Utilities thread. Disk Warrior is good. Norton NSW 3.0, seems like it is finally safe to use. the Missing Manual are excellent for anyone new to OS X or Macs. I would think you can get back the $99 for OS X 10.3 with the sale - hard to sell a machine w/o at least the OS though, yes?

    Sorry nothing worked. 10.2.8 really caused everyone a lot of migraines! - and grief.

  7. #7
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    Ouch! This happened to me once, and I gave up and did an Archive and Install.

    But I now know there's something else you can do to figure out what's causing this before resorting to those drastic measures.

    Startup again in single-user mode. Do the 'fsck -y' and 'mount -uw /' thing.

    Now take a look at your system.log and see if you can gleen info as to cause. You can open it in single user mode in one of the text editors, e.g. pico. So for example after doing 'fsck -y' and 'mount -uw /', enter the following:

    pico /var/log/system.log

    That will open the system.log in the text editor pico. You can use the cursor arrow keys to scroll. The most recent entries are at the bottom, so you'll need to scroll down to the bottom. Note the system.log will be recording some things while you've just started up in single-user mode, so you'll need to look above those to locate the startup stall -- date and time can be a big help here.

    In the past, I've seen someone catch a problem with USB audio, which required tossing a Preference at the /Library/Preferences. So perhaps you'll catch a break and get some info about the process that's causing the stall.

  8. #8
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    How about leaving things at X.2.6 and not worry about 10.3 yet - Will the computer work with 10.2.6? But then the same problem you have no install disk to get started. Does 10.2.8 have an uninstall? Apple has the updaters.

    Randy

  9. #9
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    ok, did that. this time running fsck claimed to changed some minor bitmap stuff, but never seemed to accomplish anything-outputting the same text like 6 times in a row. anyway, i checked the sytem.log. i dont know enough about unix to understand alot of what it was telling me, but what stood out as significant was:

    blah blah blah crashdump: Crash report written to
    /Library/Log/CrashReporter/loginwindow.crash.log

    so i checked the loginwindow.crash.log file. this is what the last entry says (most entries were similar)

    *********

    Date/Time: 2003-12-15 11:10:01 -0900
    OS Version: 10.2 (Build 6C115)
    Host: xxxxxxx.local.

    Command: loginwindow
    PID: 531

    Exception: EXC_Breakpoint (0x0006)
    Code[0]: 0x00000001Code[1]: 0x8fe01220

    Thread 0 Crashed:
    #0 0x8fe01220 in halt
    #1 0x8fe074b0 in check_image
    #2 0x8fe039e4 in map_library_image
    #3 0x8fe03170 in load_library_image
    #4 0x8fe060d4 in load_images_libraries
    #5 0x8fe05ac8 in load_dependant_libraries
    #6 0x8fe02694 in load_executable_image
    #7 0x8fe013b0 in _dyld_init

    PPC Thread State:
    &lt;lots of memory locations that I can type here if they are actually useful&gt;

    ----
    so, i think its crashing when it tries to load the login window. most of rest of this doesnt seem that useful to me. i notice the build number of the OS Version is the same as some crash reports that precede the 10.2.8 install. i dont know if that is relevant. i have no idea what i could to to address this problem.

    If I wanted your input on this project, I'd cut out your entrails and divine the future from your liver. - DigitalMuse

  10. #10
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    You need to keep doing 'fsck -y' until you get that the HD appears OK (of whatever it says). If fsck can't repair the disk then might need to bring in something a bit more heavy duty.

    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>so, i think its crashing when it tries to load the login window.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>If that's right then you might try trashing or (at least renaming) the .plist for the login window:

    cd /Library/Preferences
    rm -i com.apple.loginwindow.plist

    That's to delete the com.apple.loginwindow.plist. I stuck the interactive flag (-i) in there for safety. You'll get prompted whether you want to delete. 'y' for 'yes'; 'n' for 'no'. You'll need to press 'return' after either of those.

  11. #11
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    yeah, i would gladly go back to 10.2.whatever, but I dont have anything to install it with at the moment. the guy that sold us the computer lives a ways a way, but I need to go get the box from him anyway so we can ship the computer. so hopefully i can get something to install then.

    if there is some uninstall option, somebody yell.

    -----

    Update: while poking around the directories I hapened upon Norton Utilities, which I hadnt realized was installed. I dont have a norton cd to boot from, but does norton have any utilities i can run from the prompt that could be useful?

  12. #12
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    god i hate man pages. so com.apple.loginwindow.plist is a read only file, thus preventing its deletion. i have super user access, but cant remember how to use chmod to do anything, and the man pages assume alot more unix proficiency than ive got.

    If I wanted your input on this project, I'd cut out your entrails and divine the future from your liver. - DigitalMuse

  13. #13
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    Norton can be anywhere from hazardous to the health of your system (and the cause of problems) to okay IF it is the latest NSW 3.0 (NUM 9?).

    OS 9 is your best and safest bet if you can.

  14. #14
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>so com.apple.loginwindow.plist is a read only file, thus preventing its deletion.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>AFter you did 'fsck -y', did you follow that 'mount -uw /' (as mentioned right before you get the command line prompt)?

    I think you need that before you can make modifications, e.g. deletions.

    Double-check the syntax on what I wrote -- I'm going from memory.

  15. #15
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by eric47:
    AFter you did 'fsck -y', did you follow that 'mount -uw /'
    ...
    Double-check the syntax on what I wrote -- I'm going from memory.<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    Yep, did all that. Tried it again just to make sure. And the syntax is correct. It asks if i want to delete, i hit y, return, and then it says "Read-only file system". Maybe since no amount of fscking seems to achieve the bitmap bliss the system is hoping for, it refuses to give write privilidges?

    If I wanted your input on this project, I'd cut out your entrails and divine the future from your liver. - DigitalMuse

  16. #16
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Maybe since no amount of fscking seems to achieve the bitmap bliss the system is hoping for, it refuses to give write privilidges?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I'm beginning to think that may have something to do with.

    I just restarted in single-user mode. I got that same 'read only filesystem' when I didn't use 'mount -uw /'. Once I did enter, then I was able to make modifications -- delete files.

    I suppose you could try using the full path /sbin/mount -uw /. But I suspect you may have already done that.

    It might be time to break out a more heavy duty disk utility to try repair that damage.

  17. #17
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    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Originally posted by eric47:
    <BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Maybe since no amount of fscking seems to achieve the bitmap bliss the system is hoping for, it refuses to give write privilidges?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>I'm beginning to think that may have something to do with.

    <HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

    No, you see, the real problem is that I am an idiot. I have been typing

    mount -uw

    instead of

    mount -uw /

    anyway. after deleting the pref file, it still crashes. unless someone has sudden inspiration, im thinking clean install is the answer.

    If I wanted your input on this project, I'd cut out your entrails and divine the future from your liver. - DigitalMuse

  18. #18
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    i got a copy of 10.3 and attempted (three times) a clean install. I also tried zeroing the hard drive. It choked at about the same spot in the progress bar on all attmpts, so the hard drive apparently has issues. im NOT particularly interested in buying a new drive for this machine, since its already sold. will have to talk to my dad about how he wants to handle it....but thats not all!

    i also obtained and ran the Apple Hardware Test. and the MEMORY IS BAD! or atleast some of it is. i was directed to write down the following error code, hopefully some of you can tell me what it means

    mem_/2/4

    im guessing thats saying one or more of the sticks in memory slots 2 and 4 are defective. I will swap the sticks around tomorrow to see how that affects the test..see if its a particular stick, or 2 of them, or whatever.

    So, does someone know of a clever way of isolating the bad block on the drive, so i can creat some partitions around it and leave the defective blocks unallocated? That way I could atleast have a working machine that isnt going to have unpredictable write erors at unexpected times. I still dont currently have access to much in the way of diagnostic utilities. no Norton, TTP, or DiskWarrior. i might get one though. im currently leaning towards TTP.

    If I wanted your input on this project, I'd cut out your entrails and divine the future from your liver. - DigitalMuse

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