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Strange problem
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Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: zurich, switzerland
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Feb 29, 2004, 07:01 PM
Hi, I have a 667MHz TiPB with 10.3.2 on it and recently a strnage problem has started up: Usually after a period of work the HD will start rattling, literally, for some seconds, and during this time the spinning beach ball appears and the system freezes up for the period of time that the HD is rattling or making noises of some kind of activity. Around this time the disk also sometimes makes a strange loud click sound as well.

At first I thought the problem had to do with safari, as it seemed to happen most often when Safari was running, but then slowly seemed to be happening more and more often, for instance when I right click on a folder on the dock the disk will start rattling, indicating some kind of activity, and nothing will happen until the disk activity stops, usually around 5 to 10 seconds, but sometimes as much as 30. I can move the mouse during this time but nothing else. Sometimes the disk activity happens when I'm not even doing anything.

I first cleared Safari's cache to no avail, assuming it was a Safari problem. Then I killed the Canon scanner daemon that was running wild since my scanner isn't always attached, also to no avail. I then looked at the activity monitor (after having tried to see what was running with top and ps when the disk was doing it's thing) but saw no obvious thing. I have 1GB of RAM and a 30GB disk with the fist partition being just over 10GB , hfs+ and journaled. The activity monitor indicated that the VM size was around 2.8GB, even though the swap file itself is of course much smaller. I had had around 3.8GB of space left on the drive.

Finally I used disk utility to create an image of the first partition on an external drive and then tried to restore from that but it would not run saying that there was an error (-1) while copying. Then I used carbon copy cloner to copy the partition over to another drive, wipe the original partition and then use ccc to put everything back.

The disk rattling activity seems to be a little better, but I assume it will get worse again.

So my questions are:
1.Has anybody experienced something similar?
2.Is this indicative of a broken hard drive?
3.I felt that the proble started after I installed the latest security patch, which, in its description said something about changing diskarbitrator daemon, and I wonder if that is the cause of the problem.

Any ideas anyone?
weird wabbit
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Join Date: May 2001
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Feb 29, 2004, 07:17 PM
Sounds pretty much like a broken hard drive to me. The other symptoms like beach ball appearing are just caused by that when it tries to read data again and again.

That it can't copy data from it proves it too. You will most likely be able to spot one or more files with bad sectors if you try copying them manually. Back up what you have as fast as you can and look for a new drive.

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Join Date: Jan 2000
Location: Columbus, OH
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Feb 29, 2004, 08:15 PM
The noise you are describing is indicative of a hardware problem. I would backup anything important immediately. Then take that Mac in for service.

Good luck!
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