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You are here: MacNN Forums > Enthusiast Zone > Classic Macs and Mac OS > Shutdown stutter

Shutdown stutter
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Jun 5, 2000, 05:43 PM
This is a nagging problem that I have on my G3/233 DT running MacOS 8.1 And.... I seem to remember seeing something about it in the past, but for the life of me I can not find it mentioned anymore. Much less find an answer.
What happens is this:
I go to turn off the computer, I select Shut Down from the file menu (or hit the power button on the keyboard). Then the computer chugs for a second, the screen flashes and nothing else happens. There are now 2 or 3 folders in the trash - "Items rescued from MacHD" -- no content. If I repeat the Shut Down, it is GENERALLY successful. But on very rare occasions the process repeats. It does not happen every time - perhaps every 3rd or 4th time, although it does appear to be happening more often (or I am more aggrevated now). I think it happens more often the longer the computer has been turned on. I have not noticed any link to a particular program or extention ( I THINK I have even had it happen when experimenting with all extensions off).
Disk Firstaid and NDD have been run without making a difference.
Any suggestions or definite answers?
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: California
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Jun 5, 2000, 07:41 PM
Standard first steps: Trash the finder & system preferences.

Next, use Techtool (free) to trash the famous invisible Desktop files. This does a better job than just rebuilding the desktop files manually.

If those steps don't work (even with extensions off), use Techtool to zap the PRAM. You will end up resetting a lot of preferences afterwards.

More unusual possibilities...

You might have some funny files (such as locked files) in the invisible Temporary Items folder. Files that are locked here should cause the same "rescued items" to show up in your trash every time you start up. You can see the contents of this folder by dragging your boot drive icon onto any open Netscape window. Write down the names of any locked files, then find them with Sherlock. Sherlock has a menu command to move a found file to the trash.
Note that you can bookmark the Temporary Items folder for later reference.

It might also be useful to trash the invisible Shutdown Check file. This file normally has a zero length, but if it had become locked, the shutdown process might get strange. The Finder expects to delete this file during a normal shutdown. If it were locked and could not be deleted, your Mac would go through the "your mac didn't shut down properly" stuff _every_ time you boot up.

Look inside the Shutdown Items folder. Has this been happening since April 01? The Startup Items folder is a more traditional target, but Shutdown Items could work also. Note that really nasty tricks might involve slipping an invisible app into the Shutdown Items folder. That would require ResEdit or other utility to change.
Quicker solution: Try dragging the Shutdown Items folder onto the desktop before shutting down.

Concerning what you recall reading, many forum threads have covered iMac shutdown problems, most centering around USB issues. That hardly seems to apply in your case. No iMac, (presumably) no USB.

If none of these ideas work, try a clean install of the OS if you have the free hard drive space.

[edited: note to self: think more about a post before rather than after ...]

[This message has been edited by reader50 (edited 06-06-2000).]
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Jun 6, 2000, 04:39 AM
Update: I got curious about Shutdown Check, so I locked it & rebooted. As expected, this brings up the unwelcome startup message "...did not shut down properly..." on restart, but caused no problems on shutdown. Since a failure to delete didn't cause a problem here, it should not affect locked items in the Temporary Items folder either.

I'm running out of ideas. Anyone else?
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Jun 14, 2000, 02:08 PM
Dear reader50

I remember this problem really bugging me when OS 8 & 8.1 were out...and even a little with 8.5.1 as well. OhcrapI'mramblingagain.
I'm a subscriber to the Mac-Managers mail list, and pretty much packrat the answers. (And I cheated on a test in college too, so there.) The following was the posted summary. it might help you. Let me know how it goes, OK?

Subject: [MM] SUMMARY: Shutdowns and Reboots

Original Post:

>Mac Managers,
'SNIP' }-)
> Although not serious, this problem has prompted questions. I noticed
>that in System 8.x, every once in a while I try and shutdown/restart and
>the computer will quit all apps as if it is going to restart and then just
>sits there. If I go to the restart again it will do it the second time.
> I have noticed that it takes longer for a restart (maybe due to extra
>checking of System Resources) before it will shut down but some Macs
>periodically will not shutdown on first try. Has anyone seen this symptom?
>I have only noticed it on a wide variety of PowerMacs running System 8 and
>didn't see this symptom with previous Systems.
>Will Summarize.

Well, it looks like a widespread problem. Most people who responded said
they get the same symptoms but have dismissed it as a fluke in the system
or a corrupted file or an invisible app that won't quit.

Several people indicated that this is a well known bug in System 8.1. One
person said they walked away and came back 15 min later and it did reboot
finally. What's interesting is this symptom appears to happen after an
application crashes.

There were a few suggestions to fixing this problem.

1.) Do a force quit on the finder.

2.) Remove ObjectSupportLib from Extensions folder

3.) Run MacOS Purge before shutting down

4.) Run an Applescript named "Double ShutDown Fixer". Put this Applescript
into your "Shutdown Items" and the problem will go away.

Since I do not want to email the Applescript to potentially thousands of
users, you may create your own Applescript to do the trick. The complete
text is below.

tell application "Finder"

repeat with x in list folder temporary items folder

set y to (temporary items folder as text) & x
delete folder y

end repeat
empty trash

end tell


I haven't tested making my own Applescript so if you create your own script
and it doesn't work, email me and i will foward a copy to you.

Thanks to everyone who replied. Special thanks to Rob Gordon who was the
only one who had the Applescript and emailed it to me.

Travis Morgan
Interim Computer Resource Specialist
Marine Physical Laboratory

"Security is mostly a superstition. It does not exist in
nature... Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."
Helen Keller
"An expert is one who knows some of the worst mistakes
which can be made in his subject and how to avoid them."
Niels Bohr

[This message has been edited by wlonh (edited 06-16-2000).]
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Jun 14, 2000, 02:13 PM
ooop. Forgot to clean up Travis' info at the end of that post.
there. that should fix things.
(ahem...sorry travis.)
Join Date: Jun 2000
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Jun 14, 2000, 03:13 PM
This problem with background apps not quitting & hanging the shutdown process has been turning up in other threads since I made my posts here. Another possibility that has come up: Use Disk First Aid to "repair" the boot volume. You can abort the repair right after it starts.

As a first step in repairing, DFA does a fairly complete job of shutting down all running applications. When DFA is finished, or if you abort it, only the Finder is restarted.

Trying to quit after this could work much better. But we will have to wait on feedback from someone who is having this problem. I have yet to see it on my G4/OS 9.0.4 system.

[This message has been edited by reader50 (edited 06-16-2000).]
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