Is it on the way out?

  • Posted: 03 August 2010 10:09 AM #16

    I’m now hoping to be stationary for a few weeks and in a good place for buying hardware and software for upgrading (Bangkok). I should also have enough spare time to do much of the work necessary. Have done just a little reading and discovered Apple Hardware Test. Ran the extended test and it came up OK. Laurie, or anyone else, do you think I still need to run it through Memtest or will this suffice?

    I have certainly found that OnyX does a more thorough job with permissions than Disk Utility. When OnyX fixes permissions they stay fixed, for a few weeks anyway, but with Disk Utility they need fixing again if I run it a second time.

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    Posted: 03 August 2010 03:44 PM #17

    I would definitely go for a memory test. Isolate that problem and you’ll know something. Or not!


    Laurie Fleming - the singing geek


  • Posted: 05 August 2010 02:28 AM #18

    I’ve downloaded memtest. Unfortunately, I seem to have a bit of a knowledge gap when it comes to following the instructions. I’ve sent an email to the memtest webmaster but thought I’d post this here to see what suggestions I get.

    The user guide says:  ‘I strongly recommend that this folder be dragged into the Applications folder on the boot drive.’

    There wasn’t a single folder, so I created a folder called ‘memtest’ in the applications file and saved everything that came there.

    When I rebooted in single-user mode and typed the instruction:

    >  /Applications/memtest/memtest all 3 -L <RETURN>

    the response I got was

    ?sh: /.Applications/memtest/memtest: Read-only file system

    At this point, I’m lost. Any suggestions appreciated.

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    Posted: 05 August 2010 03:19 PM #19

    Hmm. I haven’t seen that before. I’ve just started it running myself, pretty much as you did, but I didn’t reboot in single-user mode. I just opened up a Terminal window and away I went.

    Try just logging on as normal - oh hang on, I just remembered something. I’ll be back in a sec?

    ?there we go - I wouldn’t have thought this would be necessary. Before kicking off memtest in single=user mode, type this:

    /sbin/mount -wu /

    That mounts the ‘/’ (root) drive in read/write mode.

    Be very careful - don’t try doing anything else other than memtest or fsck. (The latter is the command-line version of “Repair Disk” within Disk Utility.) At this point you have complete power over your disk drive and you could cause all sorts of - umm - fun.

    fsck might be useful if you haven’t executed it via Disk Utility from your installation DVD:

    /sbin/fsck -fy

    This shouldn’t be necessary because journaling within the disk should take care of all that sort of thing, but if it does come up with some errors, do it again until the water runs clean.


    Laurie Fleming - the singing geek


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    Posted: 05 August 2010 07:15 PM #20

    Use Rember, if it is still available. Easier to use. Adds a GUI interface to memtest

  • Posted: 07 August 2010 10:38 AM #21

    Thanks for all the advice. Re Rember, apparently it only works with 10.5 on, at the moment I’m still with 10.4. Anyway, I solved the problem. I got a reply from my email to Tony Scaminaci and in one of his suggestions I noticed he didn’t start the line with ‘>’. So I ran it again without the ‘>’ and it worked. Obviously there is something about the grammar that you guys use that was unknown to me.

    My RAM is fine. So now I move onto the next step.

    I spent Friday at a Bangkok IT mall doing comparison shopping. Internal 2.5 SATA hard drives are readily available and start at 1,940 baht (US$1=32 Thai baht) for Western Digital (with advanced format drive). These were the most common. I can get a Seagate for 2,050 baht or a Hitachi with a 5-year warranty for 2,200 baht.

    I slipped up with my note taking. I was also looking at external drives because I’m also going to need one for a backup. When I wrote down Toshiba I didn’t write internal or external. And now I can’t remember which it was. The price is 2,690 baht. I’m assuming it was an internal drive and if I’m correct what I want to ask you guys is, is it worth paying the extra to get a Toshiba or is one of the other brands just as good? My mind is open. There is a Toshiba drive in this computer. Apple must use them for some reason. The first external drive I ever bought was unbranded but the drive inside is Toshiba. I bought it about six or seven years ago to back up my 30 GB iBook and it is still working (the iBook isn’t). I also have two WD backup drives, one I’ve had for a couple of years now and both of them work fine too. I’m interested in other more expert opinions.

    Next question: When I perform the operation, how important is the wrist strap? One article recommends it; the other doesn’t even mention it. None of the shops in the IT mall, including a shop selling a comprehensive range of tools, seemed to stock them. My Thai friend talked to a technician who was working on a computer. He knew what the strap was but said he never uses them. When I do the drive exchange I will be in a house with ceramic tiles on the floor that I assume are on concrete poured onto the ground. If I keep my bare feet on the floor, am I being earthed? Is that what I’m supposed to be doing?

    Final question (for now) is much the same as the earlier one. When I get this upgrade up and running, I’ll need a 500 GB backup drive. These range in price from a Samsung @ 2,580 baht, through to an Iomega @ 3,190 baht. Brands available also include Western Digital, Seagate (5 yr warranty), Buffalo (never heard of it but made in Japan) and maybe the Toshiba, if I was wrong about it being an internal drive. Iomega had three models with varying degrees of ‘shock drop’-abilty from 1 to 2 meters. I’m a traveller. Is it worth paying more for this? Or anything else? My other drives have travelled with me for some time and have, so far, survived quite well.

    Thanks once again for your patience with me and in advance for your advice.

  • Posted: 12 August 2010 12:04 AM #22

    I took the lack of response to my previous questions to say that no one had any strong objections to any of the options. I went ahead and did the job. I’m now using my Mac with a 500 GB WD internal drive, running Snow Leopard. I backup to a Toshiba external drive. And slowly I’m getting used to the new OS. Thanks to all who have contributed to giving me the confidence and knowledge to perform the operation. This has been a big saving on the cost of a new computer.

    If anyone reading this is thinking of performing a similar operation, my friend took a few photos that could be used to support the instructions mentioned in previous posts on this thread. They can be viewed here .