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repair (2)

by Rob Friesel

UPDATE on yesterday’s post. The compiled notes:

  • …not sure how it started but: published a poster-size thumbnail set to PDF – – and iPhoto went “pinwheel” – – and then when I tried to Cmd+Option+Esc my way out of it, Finder pinwheeled as well; Malkovich went totally unresponsive so I did a hard reboot w/ the power switch
  • Malkovich wouldn’t come back up (hung on the grey Apple screen)
  • tried to Cmd+S into Single-User Mode but it wouldn’t go (hung on grey Apple screen)
  • unplugged all the peripherals (stripped it down to the white factory keyboard and mouse)
  • still wouldn’t boot (hung on grey Apple screen)
  • Cmd+S’d into SU mode but the keyboard went unresponsive (couldn’t enter text)
  • dropped the install X.4 install DVD into the drive and rebooted+C off the DVD
  • ran Disk Utility > Repair Permissions; got stick w/ the progress bar approx. 75% of the way through
  • reboot+C off the DVD
  • ran Disk Utility > Repair Disk; failed (said something about “the underlying task failed” after three tries)
  • ran Disk Utility > Repair Disk; failed (said something about “the underlying task failed”)
  • ran Disk Utility > Repair Disk; claimed success
  • told it to reboot off the HD volume but it hung (again) on the grey Apple screen
  • reboot+C off the DVD
  • Disk Utility > Verify Disk; claimed to all look OK
  • reboot off the HD into Single User mode
  • # fsck -fy (said everything came out OK)
  • reboot off the HD volume (hung on the grey Apple screen for about an hour)
  • re-installed w/ Archive & Install option
  • OS X reinstall worked (but shouldn’t have had to resort to that!)


  • minor: lost User Account login pictures
  • major: lost MySQL install & all DBs
  • moderate: lost Tomcat install
  • minor: PHP had to be re-enabled
  • major: iTunes Library got corrupt? lost?
    • the Library file was still there and the music was all still in Shared
    • …but iTunes didn’t see any of it…
    • …copied the Library file over from another user account but lost some playcounts etc.
  • moderate: had to reinstall Xcode tools
  • minor: had to reinstall iTunes Applescripts
  • moderate: had to reinstall iTunes visualizer plug-ins


  • all user account data were still intact
  • did NOT need to re-install all my apps
  • did NOT need to re-install fink

About Rob Friesel

Software engineer by day, science fiction writer by night. Author of The PhantomJS Cookbook and a short story in Please Do Not Remove. View all posts by Rob Friesel →

3 Responses to repair (2)

Anonymous says:

I do believe that you, officially, have the worst luck with computers. You really must emit a magnetic field.

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