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When things go kaput

My machine at work is kaput. It froze in the middle of a security update and now it won’t load OSX. It starts to load it, but then bombs and goes to a black screen prompting me for a login and won’t accept the login/password assigned to the machine. The sys admin guy checked it out last night and says he tried everything (booting from cd and using disk utility) and the only thing left to do is wipe out the system and reinstall OSX. So I’m just waiting around for him to come over with a second hard drive in order to salvage all my data, which appears to be ok. Of course I don’t have a current backup of all my files.
This all happened yesterday afternoon and I got to go home early since there wasn’t anything I could do. I brought my iBook to work today in case the sys admin needs it to transfer stuff over from the powermac, which is what I’m using to post this entry. I am the only person in the company who has a mac!
Anyway, I know there are a number of mac users in the audience, so if you have any tips or suggestions feel free to shoot them my way and I’ll relay them to the sys admin guy (I’m not really sure if he has a lot of experience working with macs). Thanks!
The hard drive’s been taken out of the powermac and is now connected to the iBook (small grey box on the right). I can see that all my files are fine on the drive. Next step is to install a new 160 gig hard drive, reinstall OS X and use the old hard drive as a slave. Oh well, at least I got upgraded from 80 gigs to 160 gigs. 🙂

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7 Responses

  1. brent says:

    whoops! doesn’t sound good. ok, just some background. what version of the OS are you using? do you remember which security update? did you repair permissions prior to the update, and unplug all the non-essential firewire and usb wires? what hardware are you using?
    you said the machine froze during the update. that means the update was not complete. when you said it “won’t load OSX”, you mean when you tried to restart the machine?
    and the machine will not work from a bootable cd? that’s strange. is the bootable cd from apple with OSX on it? but that’s where i would start (to fix things). he may have to reinstall the OS, but he’s got to be able to run the machine from the CD.
    with some more info, i’ll try to help from this side.

  2. RichT says:

    How about a brand-spanking new 20″ iMac G5 2.1 Ghz G5…just updated today. New monitor plus new Mac = Happy Worker Josie. Hack it and span it using your current monitor.

    If I’m not mistaken, even if the permissions are off, you should still be able to boot off the CD.
    Here’s a site I check once in a while…
    They are quick to respond and very knowledgable!

    BTW… the iPod nano is awesome! 🙂

  3. Josie says:

    The system boots from the cd, verifies/repairs the disks and permissions via disk utility, but won’t load the OS when I reboot after quitting the disk utility. It starts to load the OS, the blue bar shows it’s loading, but when the bar almost gets to the end it stops and goes back to the black screen.
    Brent, I didn’t unplug anything when before running the update. Guess I’ll remember to do that next time.

  4. Josie says:

    Don’t tempt me with a new iMac, Rich! 🙂
    Glad you like your new nano ipod. I’d like to get one someday, but right now I can’t really justify buying one since I hardly ever carry around my regular iPod.

  5. brent says:

    oh good, you’re half way there. from what you described, one or more critical files were corrupted in the partial security update installation.
    since you can access the hard drive via the cd boot, you can make copies of anything critical. then follow the instructions on the url here;
    let me know if you have problems accessing the page. good luck!

  6. RichT says:

    >but right now I can’t really justify buying one
    Me neither… I still blame the good salesmanship at the Apple store.
    🙂 to have one
    🙁 when I paid my credit card bill
    >Don’t tempt me with a new iMac
    I wonder how awesome Latitude13.com looks on a new iMac. Hmmm….
    1.9/2.1 Ghz G5
    8x Dual-layer Superdrive
    iSight built-in + Mighty Mouse
    PCI-Express ATI Radeon X600 Pro or XT
    Remote Control + Front Row
    17/20″ Display
    Latitude13.com looks really, really, really awesome on a new iMac G5!!!

  7. Josie says:

    LOL Nice try, Rich! For now I’m pretty content with my little iBook. For now. But that’s probably because I’ve never been inside an Apple store (that’s probably a good thing, too!).
    But here’s something I might not be able to resist: the new iPod that plays music, photos and now VIDEO!!!! So cool!

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