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Old 03-01-2010, 07:23 PM
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What happens when the startup disc of a Mac is COMPLETELY full?


Here's what I'm dealing with. I have a new Macbook Pro, running Snow Leopard, and a 320 gig hard drive. Right now, it's a very pretty, albeit frustrating, paperweight.

I'm not a computer guy. I know how to turn them on and navigate around a bit, but when it comes to tech support-y things, my brain goes ''pbbt''.

Unfortunately, sometimes the ''pbbt'' happens anyway.

So when my mac started giving me messages saying that my startup disc was almost full (though still had about 250mb left), I didn't really pay it much attention. I had loaded that baby to the max with my pics and music and I was planning a big cleaning up soon, so I figured as long as I didn't download or save anything, I'd be ok until I could clean it out. Suddenly, I got a warning that my startup disc WAS full. When I checked, I had nothing. 0Kb. Not one scrap of memory left.

Now, I know that things get stored in temp files and such and when I restart my computer, my hd capacity usually increases by about 500mb. So, instead of being a smart computer guy and immediately dealing with the lack of space, I opted for the quick fix and restarted my computer. Hey, I had things to do and no time for a big hard drive cleaning at the moment.

Apparently, this was wrong.

Now, when I boot it up, it goes through the usual progression, (chime, spinny thing, apple logo and such) but then on the blue screen that usually comes just before my desktop appears, I get that same message ''Your startup disc is full, please free space by deleting files, you wombly impossible moron etc, etc''. And that is where it remains. It never actually takes me to my desktop. It just leaves me stranded on that deserted blue-screen island with naught but the stupid warning to keep me company. I can hit the power button and get the option to shut it down or put it to sleep, but that's all I'm able to do.

I imagine the lack of space is preventing it from allowing Finder to launch, which prevents me from accessing my files, but because I can't access them, I can't free up any more space. I know I could boot from a disc, but I happen to be in London and my discs happen to be in the States. I'm also aware I can use my mac in 'target mode' wherein it becomes an external hard drive but for that, I need another mac computer and unfortunately, my girlfriend is of PC ilk.

Now, I've heard from someone who knows someone who's heard that loading up a hard drive all the way to max capacity can cause ''catastrophic data loss'' (his exact words). This, obviously, frightens the bejeezus out of me. My last backup was a few months ago, but I have added much since then that is completely irreplaceable and quite important to me. Losing it would be a very very bad thing.

So, two-part question.

1) Any mac experts know any way I can access my files so as to clear some room and restore my computer back to its glory days?

and

2) Did I just royally and irreversably fuck up my hard drive?

I posted on Mac Forums and haven't really gotten much useful advice, so once again, in Dope I trust.

Please.... help.

  #2  
Old 03-01-2010, 08:06 PM
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Do you have access to any other Mac computer and a Firewire cable? Shut down your computer, connect it directly to another Mac via Firewire, and restart it while holding down the T key on the keyboard. After a while, a big floating Firewire symbol will appear on your screen, and your Mac will appear as an external hard drive on the other computer. Then you can go in there and do some clean-up.

This might also work with a PC with a Firewire port, but I'm not sure about that.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:32 PM
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I appreciate the suggestion but unfortunately, I don't have access to another Mac. The only computer I can use is my GF's and she's all about PC. I've used the Target mode in the past to transfer data from my old mac to my new one with oustanding success, but I don't think I can do it from a PC. Moreover, hers is a little netbook and doesn't have a firewire port anyway.

I may have to bite the bullet and take it to a Mac store. I hate doing that, partially because it's a long way by tube, and partially because I spend most of the visit oscillating between the irrational excitement of wanting to buy everything there, and the seething anger towards the condesending fuck tacos who work the 'Genius Bar'.

''You mean you haven't (insert some unintelligible computer-speak)? You do know what a 'Hard drive' is, yes? Great, well that's a start''.

Me: ''I'm just gonna let you get to work. I'll be over by the iphones, taking pictures of my genitals''.

Last edited by A Spoonful of Awesome; 03-01-2010 at 08:34 PM. Reason: I like-a do... da cha-cha
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:35 PM
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There's a couple of Apple Stores in London. You might want to look up the closest one and call/go down and see if a Genius will help you (seeing as all you likely need is a Mac to plug into for five minutes). I've generally found the people who work at Apple stores to be pretty helpful and competent.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:40 PM
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You can boot into single user mode by holding down the command and S keys when you restart.

From there, you can use the rm command to delete files.
Unfortunately , you need to know what you are doing.
If you want to try it, post back.
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Old 03-01-2010, 08:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
You can boot into single user mode by holding down the command and S keys when you restart.

From there, you can use the rm command to delete files.
Unfortunately , you need to know what you are doing.
If you want to try it, post back.
I'm down to give it a try. I can follow instructions pretty well, and I'm not a complete computer doofus.

How involved are we talking? And what is the potential risk of disaster?

Obsidian Maybe the Genius Bar folks out here are better behaved, but the few encounters I've had Stateside were less than outstanding. Still, it may be worth looking into.
  #7  
Old 03-01-2010, 08:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by A Spoonful of Awesome View Post
I'm down to give it a try. I can follow instructions pretty well, and I'm not a complete computer doofus.

How involved are we talking? And what is the potential risk of disaster?

Obsidian Maybe the Genius Bar folks out here are better behaved, but the few encounters I've had Stateside were less than outstanding. Still, it may be worth looking into.
The upside: you can delete files and get your Mac working without taking it anywhere.
The downside: you can WIPE YOUR ENTIRE MACHINE with a typo.

Are you ready?

First, do you know of a single large file that you can delete (a movie, for example)? Tell me where it is.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
The upside: you can delete files and get your Mac working without taking it anywhere.
The downside: you can WIPE YOUR ENTIRE MACHINE with a typo.

Are you ready?

First, do you know of a single large file that you can delete (a movie, for example)? Tell me where it is.
Hmmm.. well, now that's actually part of the problem. The reason I just tried to restart my computer rather than go through and delete things was that I don't have any single file that is that large. All my movies are on my 1TB external drive. It's more the great collective of music and picture files (I shoot a lot in RAW format and have a deleting phobia, thus leaving an embarassing amount of pictures in the 40mb range) that has clogged up my HD. If I could see the files, I can easily determine which ones to get rid of, but I can't think of any single specific file that is particularly large, nor could I tell you the exact location.

I guess I could delete some free applicaitons like VLC, and then re-download them once I've cleaned up a bit, but IIRC, that's only about 150Mb, maybe less. I could also get rid of Quicktime for another maybe 100MB. Both are located in my 'application' folder. Maybe I can ditch Firefox as well. Same place.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:34 PM
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Quote:
The downside: you can WIPE YOUR ENTIRE MACHINE with a typo.
Although that would take a pretty big typo, something like accidentally typing "rm -r /*" instead of "rm bigfile.mpg".
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Hmmm.. well, now that's actually part of the problem. The reason I just tried to restart my computer rather than go through and delete things was that I don't have any single file that is that large. All my movies are on my 1TB external drive. It's more the great collective of music and picture files (I shoot a lot in RAW format and have a deleting phobia, thus leaving an embarassing amount of pictures in the 40mb range) that has clogged up my HD. If I could see the files, I can easily determine which ones to get rid of, but I can't think of any single specific file that is particularly large, nor could I tell you the exact location.
I presume that the external drive still has plenty of space? In that case, things get simpler, since you can just move files instead of deleting them, so you can deal with a lot of files at once and still be able to get them back if you want.

Are your photos all in your Pictures directory? We could just move the entire contents of your Pictures directory onto the external drive-- That should free up a lot.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:40 PM
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Well, VLC it is, although it's pretty puny at 50 MB or so.

Here goes:
Boot into SIngle User mode: Restart your machine, and hold the command and 'S' keys down at the same time. The machine should boot into a "terminal" screen.

In the following instructions, all commands in quotes are to be typed without the quotes, and then the return key pressed, unless I specify something else.

Type "/sbin/mount -uw /" (watch the spaces).
This makes the file system writeable.


Type "cd Ap[then hit the tab key]" This should result in the computer filling in Applications so the command will be "cd Applications"
Type "ls"
You should see a list of your applications scroll by
Assuming that VLC is there
Type "rm -r VLC.app"
Type "ls"
VLC should be gone.
Type "shutdown -r now"
Machine should reboot, with a whole 50 MB of free space. Use it wisely.

Last edited by beowulff; 03-01-2010 at 09:41 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:40 PM
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Yeah, I've been known to throw out a type or two, but I can't see myself making a gaffe like that one.

But still, even if I don't wipe out my entire system, I'd very much prefer to leave everything else (other than what I delete, of course) intact.
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Old 03-01-2010, 09:52 PM
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Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
Well, VLC it is, although it's pretty puny at 50 MB or so.

Here goes:
Boot into SIngle User mode: Restart your machine, and hold the command and 'S' keys down at the same time. The machine should boot into a "terminal" screen.

In the following instructions, all commands in quotes are to be typed without the quotes, and then the return key pressed, unless I specify something else.

Type "/sbin/mount -uw /" (watch the spaces).
This makes the file system writeable.


Type "cd Ap[then hit the tab key]" This should result in the computer filling in Applications so the command will be "cd Applications"
Type "ls"
You should see a list of your applications scroll by
Assuming that VLC is there
Type "rm -r VLC.app"
Type "ls"
VLC should be gone.
Type "shutdown -r now"
Machine should reboot, with a whole 50 MB of free space. Use it wisely.
Sounds pretty straightforward. I'm assuming I can repeat the process for Quicktime and Firefox and any other app I can remember offhand.



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
I presume that the external drive still has plenty of space? In that case, things get simpler, since you can just move files instead of deleting them, so you can deal with a lot of files at once and still be able to get them back if you want.

Are your photos all in your Pictures directory? We could just move the entire contents of your Pictures directory onto the external drive-- That should free up a lot.
This sounds a bit more efficient. So how would I go about moving files onto my external drive? I'm much more attached to my pics than my music and I'd be devestated if something went wrong, so I'd probably just move my music folder instead which would give me about 60 gigs. Then I could re-organize as needed.

By the way, thank you both for your help with this!
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:02 PM
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Yes, you can use the same commands to nuke anything you like, but 50MB should be enough to boot into the Finder, and then use the easier and safer GUI to do your cleanup.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beowulff View Post
Well, VLC it is, although it's pretty puny at 50 MB or so.

Here goes:
Boot into SIngle User mode: Restart your machine, and hold the command and 'S' keys down at the same time. The machine should boot into a "terminal" screen.

In the following instructions, all commands in quotes are to be typed without the quotes, and then the return key pressed, unless I specify something else.

Type "/sbin/mount -uw /" (watch the spaces).
This makes the file system writeable.


Type "cd Ap[then hit the tab key]" This should result in the computer filling in Applications so the command will be "cd Applications"
Type "ls"
You should see a list of your applications scroll by
Assuming that VLC is there
Type "rm -r VLC.app"
Type "ls"
VLC should be gone.
Type "shutdown -r now"
Machine should reboot, with a whole 50 MB of free space. Use it wisely.
Ok, having a few issues with this. I made it through the step to make it writable (though I got a message that said ''removed 1 orphaned / unlinked files and 0 directories... normal?)

Then I did the ''cd Ap'' (tab) and it filled it the cd applications command. All good.

But when I typed in ls (that is lower-case l not capital I, yes?), it didn't scroll a list of applications. Instead if just gave me the command '':Applications root #'' and a cursor waiting for further instructions.

Did I do something wrong?

Somewhere in my research I came accross something dealing with the fsck option. On my terminal screen, just before the instructions to make it writable, it says ''Singleuser boot -- fsck not done.'' Under that, it says ''Root device is mounted read-only''.

Then it says that

''If you want to make modications to files:
/sbin/fsck -fy
/sbin/mount -uw /''

I only did the sbin/mount command that you said. Should I also have done the fsck thing?

Last edited by A Spoonful of Awesome; 03-01-2010 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:10 PM
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Nevermind, I just had to hit ''ls'' again. Now I got the scrolling aps. On to the next step...
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:15 PM
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The fsck is just a file system check/repair. It shouldn't be necessary.
I don't know about the ls (yes, it's ell ess) issue.
Maybe I'll boot into Single user mode and try it, but I don't see why it shouldn't work.
Try just deleting the file without listing the directory first.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:17 PM
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Is there any way to list the apps by file size? I'd like to get a little bit of wiggle room, as for some reason, the HD space will suddenly drop unexpectedly and I don't want to run into the same problem while I'm searching through things to delete/move. But I don't want to bother deleting 10kb files either.

Last edited by A Spoonful of Awesome; 03-01-2010 at 10:19 PM.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:28 PM
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Ok, nuked VLC like it ain't no thang. I like this, I feel all computer tech-y now. If only the folks at the Genius Bar could see me now!

One last question: I'm trying to nuke Quicktime, but it keeps saying it doesn't exist. I typed it in just as it's listed in the apps directory (QuickTime Player.app), but it's not happening. Is there something special I need to indicate a space? Like %20 or something?
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:32 PM
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First of all ls -la (ell ess -ell a) will give you a detailed listing, including file sizes.
Secondly, to delete a file name containing a space, put the whole thing in quotes ("Quicktime Player.app").
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:43 PM
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ls -la won't help you for directories, which is what .app bundles are. You can use the du command on those.

If you're in /Applications, you can do:
Code:
du -cs * | sort -n
That will list all the folders/apps, sorted in increasing order of size (in bytes).
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:48 PM
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Cool, thanks.

ls -la did give me a detailed listing, but I can't see where it says the file size. Is there a way to scroll back up to see what each column means?

Anyway, now I got rid of Quicktime too.

Unfortunately, upon reboot, I'm getting the same error. Despite all that, my startup disc is apparently still full. I guess I need to go nuke some more files, eh?

Apparently this episode is a 'to be continued'. It's nearly 4am and I could be seriously getting close to the point where that whole rm -r/* typo could become a reality.

Thanks again.
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:56 PM
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Quote:
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ls -la won't help you for directories, which is what .app bundles are. You can use the du command on those.

If you're in /Applications, you can do:
Code:
du -cs * | sort -n
That will list all the folders/apps, sorted in increasing order of size (in bytes).
That did it. Many thanks.

Guess sleep just isn't in the cards tonight...
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Old 03-01-2010, 10:59 PM
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Deleted Skype. Rebooting now... Fingers crossed.

ETA:

Thanks guys!

Now on to ''The Big Cleanup''. Wish me luck...

Last edited by A Spoonful of Awesome; 03-01-2010 at 11:01 PM.
  #25  
Old 03-01-2010, 11:30 PM
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This program is good for showing you where all your disk space is. I don't know what the hard numbers are, but I'd keep at least 10 GB free on my Mac startup disk to keep it running smoothly. I've heard the number given as 10% of your disk space should always be free, but 30GB for you sounds like more than is necessary.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:45 PM
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Ahh, feels good to be posting from the comfort of my own computer again!

Turns out the major problem was from my 'Mail' program. It had a folder called 'Recovery'. No idea how it got there, but apparently it's been there awhile, just saving old emails that, for whatever reason, I decided not to send. This included many emails which had attachments too large to be sent and thus, weren't. Once I deleted this folder, a whopping 4 gigs suddenly reappeared!

Stupid mail.

Anyway, just downloaded OmniDiskSweeper. Far too tired to test it now, but I'll give it a shot tomorrow. I have about 5 gigs free right now and, while that's not near enough, it will at least ensure I'll be able to start up my computer in the morning.

Gah, what an aggravating night. Thank science for the Dope.
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Old 03-01-2010, 11:48 PM
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Try this: Grand Perspective.
You'll be amazed.

Last edited by beowulff; 03-01-2010 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 03-02-2010, 10:46 AM
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Try this: Grand Perspective.
You'll be amazed.
Yup. Color me amazed. This program makes my head spin... in an oddly fascinating way.
  #29  
Old 08-25-2012, 10:48 AM
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Anybody Still There?


I┤ve been having start up problems with my 2007 macbook pro (OSx 10.4.7) and I stumbled upon this thread while trying to figure it out. This seemed really helpful, and I successfully deleted Skype using the single user instructions from Beowolf thinking maybe that would do the trick for me but it didn┤t work. I┤m wondering if anyone is still on this thread to possibly help me figure out what happened to my computer??

Briefly: My computer was giving me start up disk almost full warnings about a month ago, but I bought an external harddrive and freed up a lot of space. More recently, I moved to Chile, where I┤ve been taking a lot of pictures, and probably slowly filling up my computer again - but I haven┤t been given a start up disk almost full warning again - then last night I used my computer briefly to try to check some emails, the internet wasn┤t connecting (ethernet cord, seemed to be problems with the connection in all of Punta Arenas) so I shut down my computer and went to bed. This morning I tried to turn the computer on, and it appeared to be starting up normally right through the apple window with the blue bar loading underneith it, but then stops at a blue screen, with the cursor showing, and doesn┤t go any further.

Any ideas?? I can offer more details probably but figured I┤d see if anyone replies to this before I go off typing any more...
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Old 08-25-2012, 10:56 AM
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It might have been better to start a new thread...

Anyway, there are a few things you can do:

1) Try booting with the shift key held down. This boots into "safe" mode, and might get you to the Finder.
2) Boot into single-user mode, and run FSCK, and see if there is directory corruption.
3) Find a friend with another Mac, and connect your machine to theirs with a FireWire cable, and boot your machine with the T key held down. This will mount your hard drive on their machine, and let you run something like Disk Warrior on it.
  #31  
Old 08-25-2012, 02:37 PM
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beowulff's reply is spot on. Reboot the machine in this order:

Boot it and immediately hold down the command key and the s key.

As soon as white type on a black background appears, release the Command key and s key. (All the typing you do, including the startup with the command and s keys held down is lower case.)

You're looking for the # to appear within the last line of type (I don't recall what else the last line says, but it's obvious a prompt to type in a command).

It may take a few seconds for the line of type with the # to appear; the flow of type may appear to stall before the # appears, but the type will resume its flow and the line of type with the # will appear soon after.

When the line of type with the # shows up, type (including spaces)

fsck -fy

Then hit the return key.

If, after the computer does its stuff it says "Files have been modifed, the system appears to be OK," or words to that effect, run fsck -fy again.

If all it says is "The system files appear to be OK," or words to that effect and without "Files have been modified," type "reboot" without the quotes. The machine will restart normally.
  #32  
Old 08-25-2012, 02:53 PM
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Quote:
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It might have been better to start a new thread...

Anyway, there are a few things you can do:

1) Try booting with the shift key held down. This boots into "safe" mode, and might get you to the Finder.
2) Boot into single-user mode, and run FSCK, and see if there is directory corruption.
3) Find a friend with another Mac, and connect your machine to theirs with a FireWire cable, and boot your machine with the T key held down. This will mount your hard drive on their machine, and let you run something like Disk Warrior on it.
┴wesome thanks for the tips - I just booted it up in safe mode and it got me to the finder. As far as I can tell, I have plenty of space available... but I might not be looking in the right place. When I double click on the harddrive icon, the finder window that opens says 24.2 gigabites available. I also opened system preferences - start up disk, and noticed I have two options for start up: on the harddrive or a network startup, ═┤ve never seen this window before but I have it set to start up on the harddrive - does this mean anything?

I guess now my question is, what can I do to figure out why it wasn┤t starting before, and get it to boot up in regular mode?
  #33  
Old 08-25-2012, 03:01 PM
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I have to leave the computer for a couple of hours right now, but I figue I┤d leave a few questions heres while I┤m thinking of them. My mac is from 2007 and running OS X 10.4.11, and it has been a pain not being able to sync my iPhone 4s with my iTunes, or use photo stream with iPhoto, basically just not being able to use all programs and apps that are designed for newer operating systems. Is it possible to upgrade to a new operating system with my computer? And if not, what can I do to clean it out and get it running as close to like new as possible? Anything?

Thanks very much for any ideas!
  #34  
Old 08-25-2012, 03:07 PM
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A 2007 MacBook should be able to be upgraded to 10.7, and maybe 10.8 (it depends on the exact configuration). If you do this, remember that 10.7 drops support for PPC apps (notably Quicken). Before you upgrade, make sure that none of your critical apps are PPC-only. Here is a nice article about the issue: http://tidbits.com/article/12156
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Old 12-19-2017, 12:34 AM
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I have this same issue, but can't get past the Read-only protection. HELP BEOWULFF!!!


Seeing how old this post is, I was debating whether to reply or post a new one. Happy to see that Beowulff is still active on this board because this is the best of the dozens of articles and forum posts I've read and I'm hoping you can help me out of the hole I've dug for myself. I have the same issue, but can't get the drive to mount.

when I try the /sbin/mount -uw / command, I get a lengthly slap on the wrist that ends in:
"...
mount_hfs: error on mount(): error = -1
mount_hfs: invalid argument"

I've tried to just go and delete the files with rm [/path/file]. even tried a few variants of it that I found on other message boards, but everything gets blocked with some variant of a "you can't do crap to this volume because it's read only--you stupid digital hoarder"

I can use cd and ls to navigate through the directories and see what's there, it just won't let me delete anything.

I have about the same technical ability as A Spoonful of Awesome (though not the same wit!). So I'll gladly follow any direction you can give. Waiting with bated breath...
  #36  
Old 12-19-2017, 12:43 AM
Francis Vaughan is offline
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Did you run fsck first?
That may or not may not help.

With errors, it is always important to look at the first line, not the last. That is usually where the problem lies. The last line is usually just another symptom.

You could be running into issues with the new SIP (system integrity protection) but I doubt that. You can't touch certain protected files anymore, but you should not be trying anyway.
  #37  
Old 12-19-2017, 08:25 AM
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MartyNYC -

I have (luckily for me, not so good for you) never come across this issue personally.
A quick Google search doesn't turn up anything definitive.

The problem seems to be that since you can't mount the volume as writable, you can't do anything with it. If this was happening to me, I would do the "Firewire Target Mode" thing and try to repair it remotely.
Also, DiskWarrior has been updated in the 6 years since this thread was started, and trying that would be worth a shot.

Do you have access to another, working, Mac?
  #38  
Old 12-19-2017, 04:12 PM
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More Details


Thank you both for the quick replies.

Beowulff: I have tried a Target drive/firewire hookup to my working MacBook Air - can't seem to access the drive at all that way. Might be time to try Disk Warrior, but if it's just a question of figuring out how to dele a few files, I'd rather keep the $100 in my pocket unless I know it will work for sure.

Francis Vaughan:
More details on the error code - I booted again in Single User Mode and here's what I got:
when I ran /sbin/fsck -fy (twice) it said:
...
[I know what you said about the last few lines, but everything above this was normal, e.g. **Checking catalog hierarchy.]
...
** The volume Macintosh HD appears to be OK
disk0s2: I/O error.
***** The volume was modified *****

Then I ran /sbin/mount -uw / and got:
jnl: disk0s2:: replay_journal: from 12006400 to: 14425600 (offset 0x502000)
disk0s2: I/O error.
jnl: disk0s2: update-fs-block: failed to update block 2 (ret5)
jnl: disk0s2: journal_open: Error replaying the journal!
hfs_mount: journal_open == NULL; couldn't be opened on Macintosh HD
mount_hfs: error on mount(): error = -1
mount_hfs: Invalid argument
  #39  
Old 12-19-2017, 04:41 PM
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Uh Oh.

This is very bad:
disk0s2: I/O error.

This means (99% of the time) that your hard drive has some serious failure, generally bad blocks due to a head crash.

If this was my machine, I would take the drive out, attach it to a working machine with an external SATA interface, copy what I could off of it, and then hit it with a large hammer and toss it.
  #40  
Old 12-19-2017, 08:45 PM
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Yup. Disk is failing.

Do not attempt any more repairs with it - rule 1 is that attempts to repair file systems on a failing disk only make things worse. Get the data you can off, and toss it.

As beowulf says, the easiest thing is to put the disk in an external case (dirt cheap if you don't already have one) and attach it to a working machine. A working machine could be your current Mac with a new drive and new installation of the OS (in which case Migration Assistant might be a good tool to use to get your data off.)

Good opportunity to replace the disk with a SSD anyway.

With luck you have backups - so it may be you don't actually care about the contents of the failed disk.
  #41  
Old 12-20-2017, 10:34 AM
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Thank You


Thanks so much to both of you, for all of the help. I was hoping that wasn't the case. I guess the diagnosis is clearly final, but I have a couple of additional questions if you would oblige.

(N.B.: I have no backup of the system and why I lack said backup is a whole 'nother saga of Murphy's law and drive failures that's almost comical enough to share here, but not worth it)

This is a mid-2011 Mac Mini. Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz w 4MB Ram and 2 Hard Drives - the aforementioned problem child is a 250GB SSD, and there's a 750GB HDD. The one bit of good news is that I used the SSD for the OS and applications, but kept our user files and all of our "data" on the HDD - so I was able to copy all of our photos, docs, etc. to an external drive and I can restore those.
1 - I assume I can just reinstall the OS on, and run on the 750 GB drive as a stop gap until I figure out my next move - is it that simple, or do I have to do anything else to make the HDD a "primary" drive?
2 - If the SSD drive is that fouled up, and stuck in this read-only status, how can I get files from it with an external case? (I have a SATA-to-USB adaptor somewhere and I might try it just in case there's anything worth salvaging. This would be a just-in-case measure because-as mentioned-this drive mainly had OS and apps that can be replaced, all the important data was on the 750GB HDD)
3 - Is it worth investing in a new SSD to keep the old dog running IYO?
Pros: Only cost ~$150 (plus I might as well drop another ~$100 on boosting the RAM while I'm at it)
Cons: Risk of my sausage fingers fouling something up when I go under the hood, risk of some other HW component crapping out soon
Buy new mini:
Pros: latest and greatest specs, no sausage fingers under the hood
Cons: Costs $700-$1000

Once again - my sincere gratitude for all of the help you both provided.
  #42  
Old 12-20-2017, 10:36 AM
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PS - any SSD drive recommendations if I do replace the SSD?
  #43  
Old 12-20-2017, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MartyNYC View Post
Thanks so much to both of you, for all of the help. I was hoping that wasn't the case. I guess the diagnosis is clearly final, but I have a couple of additional questions if you would oblige.

(N.B.: I have no backup of the system and why I lack said backup is a whole 'nother saga of Murphy's law and drive failures that's almost comical enough to share here, but not worth it)

This is a mid-2011 Mac Mini. Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz w 4MB Ram and 2 Hard Drives - the aforementioned problem child is a 250GB SSD, and there's a 750GB HDD. The one bit of good news is that I used the SSD for the OS and applications, but kept our user files and all of our "data" on the HDD - so I was able to copy all of our photos, docs, etc. to an external drive and I can restore those.
1 - I assume I can just reinstall the OS on, and run on the 750 GB drive as a stop gap until I figure out my next move - is it that simple, or do I have to do anything else to make the HDD a "primary" drive?
2 - If the SSD drive is that fouled up, and stuck in this read-only status, how can I get files from it with an external case? (I have a SATA-to-USB adaptor somewhere and I might try it just in case there's anything worth salvaging. This would be a just-in-case measure because-as mentioned-this drive mainly had OS and apps that can be replaced, all the important data was on the 750GB HDD)
3 - Is it worth investing in a new SSD to keep the old dog running IYO?
Pros: Only cost ~$150 (plus I might as well drop another ~$100 on boosting the RAM while I'm at it)
Cons: Risk of my sausage fingers fouling something up when I go under the hood, risk of some other HW component crapping out soon
Buy new mini:
Pros: latest and greatest specs, no sausage fingers under the hood
Cons: Costs $700-$1000

Once again - my sincere gratitude for all of the help you both provided.
Yes, you should just be able to do an OS install on the secondary drive, and then choose it as your Startup Disk.

If the file system is Mountable, you should be able to put the SSD in an external enclosure, and it will mount as read-only, and then you can do a Finder drag-copy, or use something like CopyCat X to copy the files.

SSDs are getting pretty cheap these days - if you still have use for the Mini, plop a new 500GB SSD into it for < $150.

Replacing a hard drive in that era Mini is not too difficult, just tedious.
  #44  
Old 12-20-2017, 06:43 PM
Francis Vaughan is offline
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There is nothing wrong with a Mini that old - I'm actually using a very similar one. Absolutely increase the memory. 4GB is a bit squeezy. (Indeed it isn't impossible that the low memory has contributed to your SSD's demise by forcing the system to page so much that you have worn the SSD out. Although a 250GB device one would really hope was large enough to cope with the page traffic, there could have been some pathological paging behaviour.)
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