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sepia

my computer is dead again

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my ibook has stopped working properly. i've been having problems with random slowing and so forth for a couple of months, but every time i bring it in to a licensed mac person they just delete some files, maybe run some external disk utility, and send me off again to have the same problem repeat within weeks. not. helping. as of yesterday, i have had the following problems, described as best i can:

  • my computer will not save files correctly. if i take 180 pictures on my webcam, perhaps 20 of those will be readable. the rest cannot be opened. same if i save images from the internet. (jpeg, png)
  • even those files that show an image won't necessarily be displayed correctly. sometmes parts of multiple photographs are stuck together, with a straight break between sections. other times i end up with this little vaguely rosebud-type light shape in the center of a black backgroujnd, which shows as being roughly 180px x 100, even though the photo it is replacing is significantly larger.
  • even those files which appear to have been saved initially, oddly displayed or not, won't necessarily be openable five minutes later.
  • i've been having significantly more non-responding program errors for the past couple of months, in addition to the slowing problems. this applies mostly to audacity and the rocketfish webcam driver, but also to firefox, safari, text edit, word, i tunes, quicktime - just about everything.

there might be more that i'm forgetting. i have to be at a baby-sitting job in a couple of minutes. i'll add other stuff later, if i think of more. i am truly baffled. what the effing hell is happening with my ibook? right now it's shut down and i'm on my pos pc, and will remain on my pc until some mac person has been able to give me some satisfactory answers after the stupid holiday weekend, but i'm still kind of freaking out. i haven't made a proper backup of my files in over a month, and i stand to lose a number of important class mp3s and other more sentimental, not officially critical, stuff. if anybody can help or even just explain what the hell is going on, i'd appreciate it.

(mid-2005 ibook g4, mac osx of forgotten exact version, hard drive replaced in august 2006.)

Edited by sepia
fixed bb code

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I don't have a Mac, but it really sounds like your hard drive might be going bad (although... it's not that old).

Was that one of the models that had the bad logic board?

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Was that one of the models that had the bad logic board?

Officially (acknowledged by Apple and covered under the repair program, even out of warranty), those were only the G3-based ones from a certain time period, although unofficially some people have claimed to have similar problems with some of the G4 ones, too.

I had one of the G3 ones that had the logic board issue (which has since replaced by them with a newer G4 one that's been fine for a couple years since I got it), and it didn't do anything like that. I think that generally caused fairly consistent display problems. It's hard not to agree that the first thing that comes to mind is the hard drive being flaky. You could be really unlucky, or there could be something unusual (and hard to track down) about your computer/usage/environment/magical power exuded by your finals that's frying them.

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It supports SMART, so there will be a way to get that data somehow. Most likely it didn't get fixed right the time it was dropped before.

smartmontools is at least mostly a BSD package so at least some of it should have made it into OSX. How to get it to talk to you is another question.

Nalgas?

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Disk Utility will report whatever SMART says about a drive. In my experience, though, the vast majority of the time, SMART says that a drive is still fine until it's very obvious through other means that it's broken. Once it's nearly stopped working entirely, it'll finally say "failing". Heh.

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Guest sepia-ella not logged in

Yeah, I tried running the standard disk-checking thing before I shut down my laptop in fear. Of course, it claimed all was well. It's times like these I wish I actually knew what computers do and how. All the obsessiveness in the world doesn't help if you don't know what you're doing. ;) On the bright side, being laptop-less means I still haven't made much progress on my homework, but I *have* managed to clean/organize my entire room, right down the contents of my shelves and the arrangement of my miniscule closet. The underside of my bed is a nearly-perfect jigsaw puzzle of functionality.

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