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Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Macintosh software/hardware discussion and troubleshooting

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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby papageno » Fri Jul 17, 2009 1:44 am

I paste this from another thread where I wrote.
The method describer below can be handy when the graphical user environment of the computer becomes unresponsible (hangs). Because OS X has built to the UNIX core, the situation where you cannot do anything with your mouse or keyboard but the UNIX core is still running is not rare. I always try this method before doing anything harsh, like pressing and holding the power button.

There is an intelligent way to handle those hangs. Of course one can press and hold the power button, that is the hard way.
When graphic environment crashes and computer keeps hanging, there is a fat chance to be able to reboot from ssh session. For that you have to keep remote login on (preferences>sharing).

I opened ssh application on my iPhone (iPhone has a connection to the LAN via Wifi). You can also use another computer (using terminal.app for example) that is on the same LAN, I just didn't want to go upstairs for that
I logged into my computer with ssh, using an account that has admin privileges (important).
I entered "sudo su" command after login to my computer. That takes you to the superuser mode.
Then I executed command "reboot". The computer rebooted. Everything works fine, including UltraLite.

The routine described anove works only if the graphic environment has crashed and the unix core is still running fine. If one gets kernel panic (I like to call it "kennel panic") then computer is entirely frozen and can be restarted only the hard way.
I have been able to restart my computer intelligently several times after the graphic environment has become unresponsive.
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby mhschmieder » Mon Nov 30, 2009 4:07 am

Here are several useful troubleshooting and performance-oriented links from a resource called The X Lab, that I found tonight by happenstance:

Performance tips: http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/performance.html

Freeing disc space: http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/freeingspace.html

Spinning beach ball: http://www.thexlab.com/faqs/sbbod.html

Also, although OWC sells memory and accessories and not Macs, they have a couple of dedicated resources for Mac tips:

Performance tips: http://macperformanceguide.com/Storage-Partitioning.html

Setting up a Mac: http://macperformanceguide.com/Mac-HowToConfigureAniMac.html

I found all of these links while searching for advice on using the internal system drive for Photoshop and iTunes.

As my next iMac will have a 1TB drive, I couldn't think of any other use for all that space, even given the 20-30% rule of free disc space.

My current iMac has a 60GB drive that is 3.5GB away from being full. Nothing can be done about it, unless I learn something new from the tips above (I keep a pretty lean machine and get to know the purpose of each file).

Nevertheless, my initial conclusion is that it is best to continue using external drives for photos and produced music, and not just for audio recording/editing/mixing/mastering and sample libraries.

I haven't had time to read everything linked above in detail yet; I just wanted to do enough research tonight to convince myself that no data should go on the system drive, so that I know better than to order the 2TB iMac.
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At least 1GB ram fore every core!

Postby Radiogal » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:42 pm

THE RAM RULE: At least 1GB RAM for every core..

This means that Macs are sold with to little RAM in the factory configuration.

Keep this in mind and add as much RAM as you can afford.
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby MIDI Life Crisis » Sat Jan 09, 2010 2:44 pm

Actually, they come with sheep now. :lol:
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby newrigel » Sat Jan 09, 2010 3:11 pm

Jim wrote:Also, I recommend Disk Warrior, for cleaning up directories. I don't know if there's a proper order for Applejack then DW, or vice-versa, as they seem to do entirely different things.

It's also good for finding .plist file corruptions too...
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby scooter » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:06 pm

Hey Steve,

You seem to know about all things Mac.
My 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Xeon Mac takes about 5 minutes to boot up.
Once it is up and going it's fine.
I'm guessing this is a little long for start up time.
What would you suggest doing to troubleshoot this?

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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby johnnytucats » Thu Mar 11, 2010 4:22 pm

scooter wrote:Hey Steve,

You seem to know about all things Mac.
My 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Xeon Mac takes about 5 minutes to boot up.
Once it is up and going it's fine.
I'm guessing this is a little long for start up time.
What would you suggest doing to troubleshoot this?

scooter


I'm not Steve, but you might start up in "verbose" mode (hold command-v when you restart) to see where it's hanging. The Mac will be starting up as usual, but you'll get to view what's usually happening behind the scenes.

Then, report back here.
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby b.g. » Fri Mar 12, 2010 10:04 am

If the long boot time happened after upgrading to Snow Leopard this may help:
viewtopic.php?f=4&t=38794&start=0

Short answer: In my case, it was fixed with latest PCI-424 drivers.
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby scooter » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:14 am

I ran Onyx about a week ago.
Installed the new MOTU drivers.
And tried the command/v trick (didn't know about that) but it's still booting up real slowly.
It gets hung up after the read out in the verbose mode so that didn't help.
I get the light blue screen for about 3 minutes then everything comes up.
I'll try some other stuff and see what happens.

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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby bayswater » Sat Mar 13, 2010 10:51 am

scooter wrote:Hey Steve,

You seem to know about all things Mac.
My 2 x 3 GHz Dual-Core Xeon Mac takes about 5 minutes to boot up.
Once it is up and going it's fine.
I'm guessing this is a little long for start up time.
What would you suggest doing to troubleshoot this?

scooter


This often happens when the Mac was shut down with servers or networked disks mounted. If these are not available when the Mac starts up again, it can spend a long time looking for them before giving up. It can also happen if your default start up volume is not available.
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby laurierobin » Sun Dec 05, 2010 12:38 pm

wow that is really generous. I am printing and keeping a copy in my desk--Thank you!
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby amplidood » Sun Jan 16, 2011 11:02 pm

As far as RAM is concerned...

The current Mac OS has a really funny way of handling memory that's been let go of by other apps. It sits in "Inactive memory", and most of the time takes *forever* to get released again. Sometimes it just won't release it at all. If you are having memory errors and what not, try this little trick.

1. Open Terminal (in your Utilities)
2. Type the word "purge" (no quotes)
3. Wait for it to finish.

Your Inactive Memory has now been converted back to Free Memory. I do this a few times a day and it's amazing that they haven't built a routine to do this automatically.
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby bayswater » Mon Jan 17, 2011 9:13 am

amplidood wrote:1. Open Terminal (in your Utilities)
2. Type the word "purge" (no quotes)
3. Wait for it to finish.

I think you need to install the OSX developer tools to get the purge command. I also recall reading that repair permissions invokes the same process (as a side effect).
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby amplidood » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:13 am

That's absolutely correct. I didn't realize it was part of the Xcode installation.... my bad. Repairing permissions does it as well, the purge command by itself is just much quicker.

I use something called NerdTool to display active data on my desktop, instead of the menu bar (which I also keep hidden). That number on the top left is my free RAM. Whenever that starts getting down in the 500MB range I run the purge command. Always brings something back.

Image
Last edited by amplidood on Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mac Troubleshooting Advice

Postby FMiguelez » Mon Jan 17, 2011 10:23 am

.

Guys, I've found contradicting information about the Repair Disk routine (fsck).

It is always said you need to either, boot from your installation DVD or in Single User mode to use it.

What I want to know is, can I simply boot from another volume (a clone of the main system in a different HD) and run it from there safely?
I read that was not recommended, but I don't see why not, and I don't think I trust the source of that info...

Thanks!
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