I had a problem the other day that I've never encountered. Previous to the problem, things were running great. Just the occasional quit out of Netscape or iCab.
First, the system. iMac 266, running OS9, 160MB of RAM.
I booted up and froze at the Happy Mac screen. No flashing folder or anything (so it wasn't lack of startup disk), but no drive thrashing at all. It was like this for 20 minutes (since I booted and went on to do something else, not noticing). Tried restarting with all devices and networks disconnected ('cept for keyboard and mouse), with same results.
Booting off of CD worked, and I was able to access everything on my drive. I should mention that I have my drive partitioned (since I had to reformat a while back because of something wrong with the system, I made a small (700MB) partition for system folder stuff). I was able to access all files on both partitions with no problems. So I did a clean install of a base OS9 system. Same problem.
After a while of cursing and trying different things, I thought to try copying the new clean system to the second partition and boot off of it. Beauty. It worked. So I dragged my regular system over, and it was able to get past the Happy Mac, but then I got an error that it couldn't boot off of a system that wasn't on the drive on which it was installed (I figured the base system was missing whatever component kept track of that, and so worked).
I had long ago run Disk First Aid and Norton, zapped the PRAM, rebuilt the desktops, and so forth, so I just did an "Erase Disk" and tried to put the old system back on it. Got the same "can't boot" error, so I put the clean system. Booted fine, so I copied over practically everything. I figured the file that kept track of what drive it was on was either the Finder, the System Suitcase, the MacOS ROM, or the System Resources. Probably one of the last two. So I kept those alone and have been having no problems since.
Does anyone have any ideas what could have caused that and what I could do to prevent it happening again? A month or so ago I installed Kaleidoscope 2.2 (which I've since disabled) so I could use that nice Aqua theme, but other than that and that Audio update, I haven't done anything system-wise to it for a while. Would partitioning it have caused it, even tho' that was months and months ago? If so, ironic that that's the cause, since the fact that it /was/ partitioned made it MUCH easier to restore my old system. I just found it so odd that it didn't seem to be able to read the disk well enough to get even a fresh system off of it, but that all the files were fine and I was able to access it when I booted from CD or the other partition.
Ruined my Saturday night, but I was at least thankful that Mac is set up in such a way to allow me to get my old setup back through a relatively painless procedure.
[This message has been edited by P7A77 (edited 02-28-2000).]