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Unusual mac behavior - help!

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Unusual mac behavior - help!

Postby jhain » Thu Mar 01, 2007 7:12 pm

I've got an old powermac that periodically does a very unusual thing. It will be working fine and then the screen goes blank for a second and then comes right back on. It doesn't go through its startup routine. The desktop just comes back but all applications (and unsaved work) are gone..

Any ideas?
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Postby ShaneDog » Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:01 pm

Are you running OS X?
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Postby nevermore » Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:05 pm

Get a PC.
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Postby jhain » Thu Mar 01, 2007 8:06 pm

ShaneDog wrote:Are you running OS X?

Yes.
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Postby nickled&dimed » Thu Mar 01, 2007 11:18 pm

is the monitor separate from the cpu?
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Postby ShaneDog » Fri Mar 02, 2007 12:09 am

This is just a guess. I'm not all that familiar with OS X but since it's BSD-based it shares some common architecture with other operating systems I'm familiar with.

The window manager might be crashing. When this happens, the OS probably restarts the window manager but any applications with open windows become detached and so they may still be running in the background but you just can't see any windows from them.
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Postby jhain » Fri Mar 02, 2007 11:26 am

nickled&dimed wrote:is the monitor separate from the cpu?

Yes.

ShaneDog wrote:The window manager might be crashing. When this happens, the OS probably restarts the window manager but any applications with open windows become detached and so they may still be running in the background but you just can't see any windows from them.


I'm pretty sure the aps are no longer running because they are not shown as running in the dock and if I re-start one, it will go through its start-up.

It does seem like it is something like that, though. Someone in there is just dropping the ball.
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Postby nickled&dimed » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:15 pm

there are a couple things I would do. The first time anything weird happens i go to applications/utilities/disk utility and repair permissions on your hd. then check applications/system preferences/software updates to see if it's something you failed to update. If you do update, and it's major, repair permissions again.

This is a fine thing to do no matter what the problem is. But next I would go to applications/utilities/console and read the log right after a crash. This will have some good clues.
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Postby jhain » Thu Mar 22, 2007 12:29 pm

nickled&dimed wrote:there are a couple things I would do. The first time anything weird happens i go to applications/utilities/disk utility and repair permissions on your hd. then check applications/system preferences/software updates to see if it's something you failed to update. If you do update, and it's major, repair permissions again.

This is a fine thing to do no matter what the problem is. But next I would go to applications/utilities/console and read the log right after a crash. This will have some good clues.


Thanks for your advice. I finally had a chance to fire it up and try your suggestions.

There were a bunch of permissions that did need repair and a couple minor seeming software updates.

When I attempted to open the 'console' I got this error:
Mac OS X Version 10.2.8 (Build 6R73)
file not in an order that can be processed (local relocation entries out of place): ./Applications/iTunes.app/Contents/MacOS/iTunes

But, so far I haven't needed it since it hasn't crashed.. So, maybe (I"m crossing my fingers) the permissions were the issue.

Thanks!
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Postby nickled&dimed » Fri Mar 23, 2007 1:28 am

I'm glad that helped. You should always do it both before and after any major software update, or massive scooting around of files. That's uh, a technical term.

weird that console won't open, and weirder that it cites itunes as part of the problem. My mothers imac was acting crazy last year, and when i looked closer someone had been scootching files all over the place, libraries and preferences in weird spots, all of the apps in side of one users folder, wot the hell? So I started up a casual conversation with my nephew, who, as it turns out, correctly guessed 'nana's' password. and apparently just started rearranging all the virtual furniture for the hell of it. Mom chortled, but my eyes narrowed as i stared the little fucker down. I didn't like his sneaky ass guessing, and cavalier attitude about the poor mac's innards. I always thought he'd go to prison, but i didn't think it would be for white collar crime, frankly.

Oh yes. Your problem. get info on the console program;. (select it and hit apple 'i'). see what version it is, and then see if there is a newer or even current version on the apple site - support>downloads. Do you still have the disks that came with it? you mmight want to think about reinstalling the OS. If you do, I advise the archive and install option.
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Postby tibor » Fri Mar 23, 2007 8:40 am

10.2 was pretty flaky to begin with. If there's any way you can move to 10.3, you may want to consider that. Get it cheap on ebay, or from someone you know. I've heard of problems with 10.4 on really old machines, plus I think you can only get 10.4 on DVD.
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Postby Chuck_Schick » Fri Mar 23, 2007 9:32 am

nickled&dimed wrote:I'm glad that helped. You should always do it both before and after any major software update, or massive scooting around of files.

Huh?

So much for "so user-friendly a hydrocephalic child can do it," I guess.
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Postby nickled&dimed » Fri Mar 23, 2007 6:01 pm

Chuck_Schick wrote:Huh?

So much for "so user-friendly a hydrocephalic child can do it," I guess.

software updates, like xp, just show up and tell you that you need them. say "okay". if they look big, click "disk utility" and "repair permissions".

my child could do it. and while she's not hydrocephalic, I'm not exactly grooming myself to be the valedictorian's parent.
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