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Desperate for simple help...
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Join Date: Jul 2003
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Jul 9, 2003, 05:49 PM
Hey all,

I'm a professional designer using a Powerbook DVI 667, and after one year of perfect flawless use, it has serioiusly started acting up since Sunday. No hardware problems found (ran diagnostic CD), and I know what I'm doing to a large degree, so all behavior seems to be a matter of software conflicts.

The problems I'm seeing are:

Computer hangs when I copy files from Firewire Ext. 120GB to internal 30 GB (intermittently)

Computer hangs after restart, after restarting from a crash (what I mean is that computer freezes, I force re-start, and computer hangs when it comes into the desktop - frozen mouse, no menu items, no HD icons - this is intermittent also, but very consistent - once out of every three or four reboots)

Computer crashes in Photoshop or InDesign 2 at random times, never longer than fifteen minutes into use.

Computer will randomly crash with "finder has unexpectedly quit" once in a while as well.

NONE of these behaviors were ever an issue before Sunday. (sigh)

ONLY changes are this: Original HD had OS X.1.5 and OS 9.2.2 installed, with about 9 GB free at the time. No Norton, no downloads, no extension confilicts prior to that day. After running into these problems, I finally decided on Tuesday (yesterday) to format, cut my losses, and get back to work by re-installing OS 9.2.2 only, and just leave OS X off, as I don't use it anyway. (waiting for Panther as I still don't own Jaguar, and don't want to spend my money twice when I feel like I shouldn't have to spend my money at all on Apple's marketing experiements and incomplete OS -- don't get me started )

Anyway, Drive Setup won't let me do a low-level format when I start up from the external FW drive (the 120 GB), so I simply initialized and created two partitions. That went fine. I then went to do it again, this time deciding to "write zeros", as it has been a year and might as well just start clean and build up from there, right? Not so great logic turns out....Powerbook crashes during the "write zeros" even. I ditch that effort, reinstall OS 9 after restarting from CD, copy over my applications, fonts, and nothing else. (I was worried that perhaps some of my preferences or extensions had been corrupted somehow, so I'll just re-enter all my serial numbers to create new preference files, and I guess re-install those apps that need an extension to run (Suitcase 10 for example).

All that to say this...computer still hangs and crashes as if it has an extension conflict. I turn off EVERY extension not needed to run my software, restart multiple times, trying different combinations, STILL crashes...but less often. Currently, I'm reformatting the internal 30 GB HD with LaCie Silver Lining, as I can't do a low level format with any of Apple's software. I then plan to reinitialize with Apple HD Setup, creating two partitions again (one 25 GB, one 5 GB (just to have another drive to start up from in emergencies)) and was wondering a few things...

Will this plan work (using LaCie's software to format via HFS+ my Apple (toshiba) internal HD?

Why couldn't I do a low level format from within Apple HD Setup?

Any ideas on anything I'm not thinking of?

Full specs of computer are Apple PB 667 DVI, with 768 MB RAM, 30 GB internal HD, Combo drive, ZERO previous problems like this, and computer has never been bumped, dropped, or anything that might cause any kind of loose connection or any other longshot issue that could play a role in deciphering this nonsense.

one off topic question: is Jaguar stable and worth the money? I am truly tempted to buy it locally and install it fresh, but I really am an OS 9 kinda-guy and want to stay that way until I get a G5 Dualie (next year probably when the rev b's are out) Plus OS 9 ha been ROCK SOLID for me until this weekend, and OS X NEVER has been in all my experimenting with it...so PLEASE someone help me get back to my "happy place"...I'm just so unhappy without it.

Thanks to all and I truly will appreciate any and all help that comes my way...


Pixel Pete
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Join Date: Jan 2001
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Jul 9, 2003, 07:11 PM
If the behavior persists across low-level re-formats, that would suggest a hardware problem. Have you installed any non-Apple RAM at any point? It could be RAM.

You also might want to zap the PRAM (restart with option+command+p+r held down until you've heard three chimes, then let go)



When a true genius appears in the world you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him. -- Jonathan Swift.
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: Denville, NJ.
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Jul 13, 2003, 11:50 AM
Perhaps this was fixed in OS 9x, but when I had Finder crashes in OS 8 my Finder had been corrupted. Reinsatlling the Finder from a copy I kept on my drive solved it until if got corrupted again. Eventually I migrated to OS 9(for a very short time) and now OS X. You might also try Alsoft's Disk Warrior.
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