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You are here: MacNN Forums > Software - Troubleshooting and Discussion > macOS > Invalid key length : disk utility error, else seemingly fine / DW won't rebuild

Invalid key length : disk utility error, else seemingly fine / DW won't rebuild
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Litflynt912
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Mar 28, 2006, 12:07 PM
 
I hope the subject line was descriptive enough!

I run Disk Utility from time to time, as one should, and have received the following error, repeatedly:

Verifying volume “harddrivename”
Checking HFS Plus volume.
Checking Extents Overflow file.
Checking Catalog file.
Invalid key length
The volume harddrivename needs to be repaired.
Error: The underlying task reported failure on exit
1 HFS volume checked
Volume needs repair


I tried running Disk Utility from my Tiger disk, and from an externally mounted FireWire drive. Same error(s).

I tried the single user reboot Cmd-S and ran fsck -y. No apparent errors detected.

I tried running Disk Warrior from another volume. It failed to rebuild the drive.

All this running 10.4.5 on an iBook G4 800 Mhz with nothing apparently wrong.

Should I just rebuild the hard drive from an external backup and be done with it? Won't that external backup reproduce the same "invalid key length" errors?

btw I searched the Apple discussion fora and elsewhere, and in every case "Invalid key length" showed up as an error on hard drives that were not working. Mine is seemingly, otherwise fine.

inadvancethanks.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 28, 2006, 12:25 PM
 
Yes, it was.
At the very least, your filesystem is hosed. If DiskWarrior cannot rebuild it, there is little help to recover the data. Fortunately for you, you do have a backup

So I would reinstall OS X from scratch and zero the drive during installation (during the first steps, choose Disk Utility from the menu, select your drive and initialize/partition it. Then look for the Security Options (from the top of my head, the button's name is surely a bit different). Then select to overwrite your drive with zeros. This way, bad sectors will be marked as such (if there are any) and you can be sure that the filesystem is fixed.

Continue with your OS X installation and rebuild your system with your backup.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Litflynt912  (op)
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Mar 28, 2006, 01:13 PM
 
Thanks, that's what I was afraid of...

Do you think cloning the drive back to the internal hard drive (using Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner) will be sufficient, or is that Tiger re-install necessary? It seems painful to resintall every app also and re-create user directories. Or will Tiger update from an external FireWire drive the way it might if upgrading from another Mac, and copy applications, preferences, user home folders, etc. and everything else that was there? I should note the external drive itself is a cloned copy of the internal hard drive, not just a straightforward backup, which is why I was worried about re-creating the invalid key length problem. But if zeroing out the drive and running Disk Utility before restoring will take care of that, fine.

Appreciated.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 28, 2006, 02:01 PM
 
The problem with cloning a broken drive is two-fold: if the drive is broken and you are experiencing problems, in all likelihood, you will not be able to clone your drive successfully in the first place.

If you have already cloned your drive successfully (before the problems began!), you can use Migration Assistant to transfer all your data and settings after you have zeroed your drive. I would strongly advise against cloning a faulty drive.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
CharlesS
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Mar 28, 2006, 03:52 PM
 
You could clone the drive to an external if you like, but I wouldn't recommend cloning it back. Put a fresh install of Tiger on the newly reformatted disk, then pull your applications, data, etc. from the cloned backup.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
Litflynt912  (op)
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Mar 29, 2006, 11:20 AM
 
Toast on a stick.

I made a new backup, then made another. Better to be safe. Then I went to re-install Tiger.

The file errors are still there. Tiger nearly finished installing--but not quite. I can boot off either backup, but not off the iBook.

Time to call/visit Apple.

I realize my computer would have failed at some point, but perhaps I didn't need to make it fail now.
     
Litflynt912  (op)
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Mar 29, 2006, 03:37 PM
 
And then there was life.

A second re-install seems to have made the disk errors disappear. I have done a migration from an external backup and I'm now system updating from 10.4 to 10.4.5. What a slice of heaven.

I had read, somewhere, that repeated verify and repair would eventually correct errors, but not that repeated full installs would do so. Nice surprise--so far.
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 29, 2006, 04:41 PM
 
Well, the other possibility might be that there is a hardware problem. If you experience problems after a short time again, then call Apple and have 'em replace your disk.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
CharlesS
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Mar 29, 2006, 06:23 PM
 
Yeah, it does sound like you've got intermittent disk problems. I'd keep that backup of yours up to date. Don't leave un-backed up data on that hard drive in case it goes kaput sometime in the future.

Ticking sound coming from a .pkg package? Don't let the .bom go off! Inspect it first with Pacifist. Macworld - five mice!
     
OreoCookie
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Mar 29, 2006, 06:53 PM
 
Also one thing: cloning is usually not a good backup strategy, unless you do incremental backups. Do searches on this topic to understand why it is necessary to keep several backups.
I don't suffer from insanity, I enjoy every minute of it.
     
Litflynt912  (op)
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Apr 11, 2006, 01:08 PM
 
So... no problems at all since, and the drive verifies correctly every time.

I'll keep going on with incremental backups of course.
     
Detrius
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Apr 12, 2006, 02:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by OreoCookie
The problem with cloning a broken drive is two-fold: if the drive is broken and you are experiencing problems, in all likelihood, you will not be able to clone your drive successfully in the first place.

If you have already cloned your drive successfully (before the problems began!), you can use Migration Assistant to transfer all your data and settings after you have zeroed your drive. I would strongly advise against cloning a faulty drive.

No! Don't zero the drive! This will map out bad blocks if there are any (if still possible). This means that if you run a surface scan in the future, these bad blocks may not be found. Any drive that is generating new bad blocks should be replaced, especially if it has data on it that is worth backing up.

If the data isn't important, and the results of a drive failure are also not particularly important, then by all means, zero the drive. But this should never be a normal troubleshooting response.
ACSA 10.4/10.3, ACTC 10.3, ACHDS 10.3
     
   
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