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Crashing iMac returns
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:23 am    Post subject: Crashing iMac returns Reply with quote

Back in March / April I updating my iMac to 10.6.3 at which point it started to randomly crash. I suspected it was the 10.6.3 update, so I wiped my system and reinstalled a retail copy of Snow Leopard, followed by Combo updates to bring it back to 10.6.2 and all has been fine since.

Last week I got a stupid problem with webpages auto scrolling, they would just start moving down a line at a time, like I was pressing the down arrow. A few seconds later it would move another line and so on. I also noticed finder doing the same, basically anything with a scroll bar would start to scroll as I moused over it. Reboots and logging in to other accounts still gave the same problem.

I repaired permissions and ran all the maintenance scripts and also decided to update to 10.6.4 to see if that sorted it. It didn't, but I quickly found the culprit. I have a Shuttle Xpress hooked up to my iMac and its sat on top of an external DVDRW behind my monitor, something had fallen on it and was pressing some of the buttons Embarassed

So I now have 10.6.4 installed and the annoying random crashing bug has returned Twisted Evil The iMac's apple care ran out the day I did it as well just to make matters worse.

I've tried checking the logs that I know about but I can't put my finger on whats causing the problem. 10.6.2 doesn't cause it though which is weird. Annoyingly the only way to recover from the crash is to power the system off which is only going to make things worse Sad

Anyone have any pointers on places to look that I might have missed ?
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This is where I mentioned the crashing problem last time

see here

its 3 posts from the bottom of the page.
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 5:44 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I can't re-create your problems Cypher (I'm still using 10.5.8 ), but your post did remind me of an article I read just the other day that also reported long-term and ongoing problems with 10.6: http://theappleblog.com/2010/08/10/snow-leopard-this-cat-has-fleas/
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 6:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

10.6.3 and 10.6.4 have run fine on my MacBook Pro and Mac Mini, which was partly why I decided to take the plunge and update to 10.6.4 but something on this iMac definitely disagrees with it.

I do have a lot more apps and hardware on the iMac as its my main machine. I guess it may be something hooked up to it, or installed on it, thats causing the conflict with the OS but weirdly 10.6.2 is not effected.
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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I had regular freezes/beachball/crashes on 10.6.4 to the point I was doing a hard reset 1-2 times a day. I tracked it down to a bad LaCie external FW HD. Maybe a external USB/FW component?
I would run memest in single user mode for 2-3 hours and see if your RAM is faulty.
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Last edited by TonyMontana on Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:17 am; edited 1 time in total
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyMontana wrote:
I tracked it down to a bad LaCie external FW HD.

Was it just a simple process of elimination that identified the drive, Tony?
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TonyMontana
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

JohnnyBoy wrote:
TonyMontana wrote:
I tracked it down to a bad LaCie external FW HD.

Was it just a simple process of elimination that identified the drive, Tony?
Yeah I had suspected that the drive was having mounting issues. Wether it was from a faulty file system or what I don't know. I tried every software repair known to man. I pulled it and put it in a different enclosure and the problem was solved.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cypher,

I might have the Apple Service Diagnostic disc for that model laying around. I'll check tonight when I get home from work.
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyMontana wrote:
I pulled it and put it in a different enclosure and the problem was solved.

Wow. It's a good job that you had the smarts to see the drive and the enclosure as two separate sources of potential trouble. Cool
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

[quote="TonyMontana"]I had regular freezes/beachball/crashes on 10.6.4 to the point I was doing a hard reset 1-2 times a day. I tracked it down to a bad LaCie external FW HD. Maybe a external USB/FW component?...../quote]

LaCie FW external? just wondering which model? was it gray upright in metal case, I believe d2 quadra model? That one, (older model) died on me completely. Later on I took a peek inside and found cold solder on pc board. Opened second one and sure enough it was close to fail as well.

I am still using a bunch of LaCie 2.5" rugged drives and I liked them a lot. Just recently got another LaCie 3.5" 1Tb FW Quadra and 1Tb Grand USB model. Hopefully they wont have a problems...
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JohnnyBoy
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Cypher, did you ever get to the bottom of these crashes?
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

no, they are so random its hard to find what the cause is.

I got a hardware test app (TechTools Deluxe) with my Applecare disk so I've run that several times and it passes without any issues.

It didn't crash at all yesterday and only once right at boot up on Thursday, than ok the rest of the day.

I've also used Onyx to run all the maintenance scripts and to repair permissions.

I'll see how it goes but 10.6.2 will be going back on if it continues.
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 5:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

TonyMontana wrote:
I had regular freezes/beachball/crashes on 10.6.4 to the point I was doing a hard reset 1-2 times a day. I tracked it down to a bad LaCie external FW HD. Maybe a external USB/FW component?


I've had quit a few issues with Firewire and USB so it could be. Two external firewire drives have died on this system and

I also had a load of intermittent USB issues which I put down to a dodgy USB hub. Things have been ok since I changed it but I may have the old one still plugged in under my desk.

TonyMontana wrote:
I would run memest in single user mode for 2-3 hours and see if your RAM is faulty.


Yes good idea, I will do

I have run the checks that come with TechTools Deluxe (applecare disk) but that only runs fairly briefly checks on everything. Its passed every time though
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Sun Jan 23, 2011 10:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Guys,

I thought I'd pop in to post an update on this for any others suffering the same problems.



The recent 10.6.6 update brought back the random crashes and I decided enough was enough and it was time to go back to 10.6.2, however 10.6.6 when it crashed seem to always mess up the video which gave me an idea it might be video related. I've been searching this fault for months now and never found any thing of help.

However if 10.6.2 was ok maybe the video drivers from that release might fix the random crashes. I googled and found others who had had the same idea. One guy on the Apple forums had even specified the 3 files you needed from the 10.6.2 installation.

ATI2600Controller.kext
ATIFramebuffer.kext
ATIsupport.kext

as mine was a slightly older iMac with an ATI Radeon HD2400 I grabbed the ATI2400Controller.kext instead.

These files can be found in /System/Library/Extensions

To get the files from 10.6.2 I installed Snow Leopard 10.6.0 to a spare HDD so I didn't mess up my existing 10.6.6 install. Once installed I booted from it and then updated to 10.6.2 combo update. Then I grabbed the three files and copied them over to my desktop on the 10.6.6 install.

I also downloaded an app called "Kext Helper Tool" from http://cheetha.net/ which is used to install the drivers
I rebooted into my 10.6.6 install and ran the "kext helper tool" it was then just a matter of dragging in the required 3 files from the desktop, typing my password and clicking the button Easy Install followed by a Reboot.

Its been four days since I did this and I've not had a crash or freeze since. I would normally have at least 3 freezes a night and sometimes many more.

Credit to KrzysiuTurek over on the Apple forums who pointed out the required video files and the method to install them. His full explanation is here about 7 posts down on page 21.
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Cypher
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well it's been just over a week now and my system has been 100% stable, not a single issue to report. Replacing the three ATI files seems to have done the trick  Cool
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