I thought things were bad last night, but they got significantly worse today. I decided to restart the PowerBook this morning to get MySQL to auto-start itself again (since I couldn’t remember the ‘mysql’ user password and was too lazy to reset it) – bad move.
When the PowerBook came back, it was acting similar to the Quad. Unresponsive, spinning beach balls, no load on the system – just no response. Also, constant quiet disk activity. I had to hard boot it a couple of times because it became totally unresponsive, and after the 2nd or 3rd time it wouldn’t boot up anymore.
Booting into single user mode and repairing the disk brought it back, but it’s not fully back up to speed yet. It’s still hanging and spinning at times, and taking forever to do things that normally only take a few instants (it took about 30-45 seconds to select a name in the buddy list in Adium).
If you said this sounds like a virus, I might have to agree with you. I’m installing the latest system updates right now (10.4.4), in the hopes that different = better. We shall see.
I can’t believe my Windows laptop is now my reliable machine.
While all this was going on, I tried to get the Quad working again too. The prognosis here is not any better – the disk is corrupted and likely beyond repair. Apple’s Disk Utility said “no can do”, and I’m trying Alsoft’s Disk Warrior now – without many expectations.
Naturally, my vaunted backup system has been offline since about Dec 10th as I intend to transition it to the Mac mini. Fortunately, that only translates to about 2-3 weeks of development time on the Quad as I was travelling so much. I was able to boot from the clone I made and copy over the handful of files I’d generated since then that weren’t under source control.
I believe I’ll need to reformat the Quad disks and repopulate them with the clone from early Dec., then restore the recovered files by hand. I’ve *got* to get that backup system online again.
So I’ve got a potential resolution (though not a good one) for the Quad issues, but no idea what to do about the PowerBook. Has anyone heard about a virus or rootkit going around for OS X?
Oh, and I found out I’ve got to call DirecTV to get the TiVo replaced… can’t wait for that one.
The powerbook-symptoms you describe sound eerily familiar. Spinning beachballs in random intervals without any load on the cpu, this ended with a complete harddisk failure in my case. The really annoying thing was that i couldn’t convince the service people that something was seriously wrong with my ibook and the random beachballery continued for two or three weeks, getting worse and worse until the hdd finally failed beyond rescue.
You described it perfectly – no CPU load, network load or IO load – but the dang beach ball keeps coming around. If that is the case (and I don’t doubt it is), then all three of my current problems are hard drive issues. Ain’t it grand?
Alex. For a user with multiple computers I can recommend Foldershare enough. It’s now free since it was aqcuired by Microsoft a few months ago. Set it up on each computer and set up your documents directory as a library and your files will replicate real time over IP. You can work from any computer with updated files and if one fails you have all of your data on the others.
I already use SVN for this (which tracks revisions as well). Plus, some stuff (like several gigs of digital photos) is kind of rough to be transferring over the network.
What does your system.log say?
The Quad is reformatted and cloned over. I’ll check on the PowerBook next time I boot it up.
Anything in particular I should be looking for?