or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › General › Genius Bar › Crashed in OSX
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Crashed in OSX

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I just bought a new iMac, which is also my first experience with OSX. All in all, I love it. But...

After having it for about a week, somehow I hurt the system, and got the awful blinking question mark in the disk when I tried to start up. It's being repaired at TechServe in New York, but I'm hoping someone out there will have insight into what I did that was wrong, so I don't repeat my mistake.

In the days prior to the crash, I had installed various OSX and system 9 applications: OSX--Microsoft Office, Stuffit, MacLink, Virex, iPhoto, Palm. System 9--Quark, Photoshop.

All was going very well.

Then I installed a program needed to upload photo's into my Palm, which is called MGI Photo Suite. I installed it into the System 9 applications folder.

Right after that is when the system went down.

Any thoughts from anyone on why? Also, just before the crash, I had tried to print a photo from iPhoto to my printer, which never made it there, and never even showed up in the queue.

Much thanks for any insight.
post #2 of 13
Hey there,

When you get the blinking question mark, that means that the computer can no longer find the system software it uses to start up (the OS). If you're running only OS 9, you can reinstall the original CD and boot up from it by holding down the "C" key during startup, I believe. I haven't had this problem with OS X, so I'm not sure if the same thing applies with the OS X CD. It probably does. Once you do this, you can reinstall the system software (a clean install is recommended in this case).

Your problem is not based on hardware... unless something's wrong with your hard drive. If it's a newer Mac, however, a bad hard drive probably isn't the problem. It sounds like something you installed hosed your system.

I suggest shelling out about $50 or so for a good Mac book, preferably one with a good troubleshooting section. A simple book will often help you out better than any utilities software ever could.
post #3 of 13
When you did the install, did you boot in the OS X or OS 9 environment? And were you installing OS 9 or OS X drivers? I've had major problems trying to install OS 9 drivers without first booting into OS 9, as opposed to booting into OS X and then launching OS 9.

I learned this leason when I installed OS 9 drivers after booting into OS X, figuring that the iMac would realize this and simply start up OS 9 for the install and away we'd go. The end result was a clicking disk and a flashing question mark. I eventually had the Apple Store Genius Bar repair things for me.
20" iMac G5, 2 GB Ram, OS X 10.4.11, .Mac
Reply
20" iMac G5, 2 GB Ram, OS X 10.4.11, .Mac
Reply
post #4 of 13
Speaking of Genius Bars, moving...
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
"...within intervention's distance of the embassy." - CvB

Original music:
The Mayflies - Black earth Americana. Now on iTMS!
Becca Sutlive - Iowa Fried Rock 'n Roll - now on iTMS!
Reply
post #5 of 13
Hey, I'v had the same thing happen to me about 5 times, one thing which you might not have to do is reinstall the operating system. The five times this has happended to me my operating system header was corrupted or not where it was supposed to be. Try booting up from your os 9 disc, then go to Disk first aid. Open that, press verify, and if anything is marked in red, press repair. Should work, has worked for me and other's.
Ah yes, now I can breath!

Reply
Ah yes, now I can breath!

Reply
post #6 of 13
Good morning all.

I have had the dreaded "I don't know what I am doing" complex from Mac OSX (blank screen, revesed lettering, blinking question mark, broken mac)

What I have learned is to always have at least two partitions on my system. One for OS9 and one for OS 10. If OS 10 goes down, which happens infrequently for me, now that I know it sometimes will hang, frozen, for ten minutes or so, (while it calculates the money in Steve's bank account) bfore going back to normal.

If OS 10 screws up, I place the OS9 disk in the drive, boot with the CD (because the machine is not smart enought to recognize OS9 without you telling it to restart into it) and select the OS9 partition as my startup partition.

When it restarts, if I see the OSX drive, I can delete the system and library folders (If you cannot see them, use Gregs Browser, which allows you to see invisible files) Be prepared to witness your computer deleting up to 20,000 files, as some of the OSX files are really, really small. I have tried to reinstall OSX directly overtop, but it sometimes has trouble... (I reinstalled it three times yesterday, and each time it gave me the 'panic we are hanging here' message)

If I cannot see the OSX partition, I restart with the OSX cd in the drive, and when the installer comes up, select file - run disk utility. Choose the affected disk and repair the partition. When this is done, don't install the new system until you have restrted in 9 and deleted the system and library folders (Don't touch the user folder... this has all your preferences for the different programs. I have never had a problem with this folder in the past.

Once those two folders are deleted, then I restart with the cd and install OS 10. Then installer update... then security update... then OS10.1.3 update...

In some cases, when this does not work, I have had to install OSX on the OS9 partition, and restrt into that to do all the necessary updates to the other partition. A word of warning, however. If you try to delete the affected files on the OSX partitjion, while working in OSX on the other partition, you may not have the appropriate administrator privaledges to change the system folder on any hard drive.

I shudder to think of how complicated this appears to people who bought the Mac because it was supposed to be easier than a PC to use and operate.

nosarious
Design is good for the soul
Reply
Design is good for the soul
Reply
post #7 of 13
post #8 of 13
I agree it seems like overkill, but I don't think a person should have to rely on third party utilities to fix something. In the most recent case, I started my machine and it failed to start. Not having a second partition to play with meant I would have had to reformat, as the cd was unable to repair the hard drive with a simple reinstall of the system software (when rebooted, it would give me the panic message) I should point out that nothing had been done to the system within the last week, and the most recent thing was installing bubble trouble... hardly a calamitous installation.

I would prefer in the future that Apple allow a clean installation of the system software, which would first delete the system folder, and library folder, and install the new software. In my case it was not until I was able to delete these two folders that the problem was repaired. It would have been especially nice if one could do something with the hard drive besides just installing the software when booting from the installation cd. In my mind that is a serious oversight as it does not allow you to do anything but install the software.

Granted, third party stuff may have fixed the prolem, but I was hardly going to go buy something to do it. And you shouldn't have to rely on this stuff when the solution is something apple could do so easy. (allo9w you to access the hard drive from the installation cd...)

Of course, just my two cents... but it has saved me a lot of headaches (and time) in the past.
Design is good for the soul
Reply
Design is good for the soul
Reply
post #9 of 13
post #10 of 13
I think AirSluf is being a bit smug, I've had a few horrendous problems with OSX- like my hard drive disappearing and refusing to start-up, though Disk Utility could see it it couldn't repair it .Apple tech supports advice was to run disk warrior which didn't help either, their final 'help' was to advise I re-inialised the drive, which I had to do. Losing lots of stuff. Not good. I still get funny beeps, that spinning bloody disk, the odd broken mac on start-up etc. I think Apple should release iFix, a proper heavyweight system and disk utilty so that the thousands of pounds/dollars we pay them has built in support.

"Wankers talking about other wankers and wanking." XamaX

I'll never get back the time i just wasted reading that post." Miami Craig
" It's like you've achieved some kind of irrelevance zen, or...

Reply

"Wankers talking about other wankers and wanking." XamaX

I'll never get back the time i just wasted reading that post." Miami Craig
" It's like you've achieved some kind of irrelevance zen, or...

Reply
post #11 of 13
post #12 of 13
Sorry Airsluf you wern't being smug, your post made grim reading, what version of Norton were you using, is there an OSX version yet? I've bought Drive 10 as insurance for the next time my machine goes mad, can't be long now. Any response to my iFix float?

"Wankers talking about other wankers and wanking." XamaX

I'll never get back the time i just wasted reading that post." Miami Craig
" It's like you've achieved some kind of irrelevance zen, or...

Reply

"Wankers talking about other wankers and wanking." XamaX

I'll never get back the time i just wasted reading that post." Miami Craig
" It's like you've achieved some kind of irrelevance zen, or...

Reply
post #13 of 13
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Genius Bar
AppleInsider › Forums › General › Genius Bar › Crashed in OSX