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KetelOne’s Revenge

by Rob Friesel

Return from vacation to find that Malkovich decides to tank again. So soon.

AppleCare’s diagnosis? BAD HARD DRIVE.

So, like last time…:

Had Malkovich shut down for the days we were on vacation. Get home, fire it up. Log in. Let everything come up. Plug in the camera to start downloading the pics from our trip. Fire up mail. Mailboxes sync up. Go to click a message from my mom and – – EVERYTHING FREEZES. (My best guess is her email had a heavy attachment – – I think it was the video she’d showed me Saturday night.) Cmd+Option+Esc can’t Force Quit any of the apps. I can move windows around but can’t quite. Nothing responds. Refer back to last time’s troubleshooting steps

  • …hangs on the grey Apple screen…
  • won’t Cmd+S into Single User
  • unplug all peripherals, go down to the snow-white keyboard and mouse
  • still won’t Cmd+S (just hangs on the grey screen)
  • drop in the X.4 installer DVD; “C” reboot
  • Disk Utility doesn’t even see the hard drive; “C” reboot
  • System Profiler doesn’t even see the hard drive; “C” reboot
  • the X.4 Installer doesn’t see the hard drive as a volume to install onto…
  • 1-800-APL-CARE
  • walk through what we did already…
  • Zap PRAM? No. Do it now – – make any difference? No.
  • Reboot w/ “Option” held down. What do you see? The hard drive, the installer DVD, and some utility to check the system. Click the hard drive and the arrow.
  • Grey screen. No “spinning wheel”. (At least we saw the hard drive, right?)
  • “C” reboot
  • Try Disk Utility. Nothing.
  • “C” reboot.
  • “Option” reboot again.
  • This time run the hardware check utility. Here’s your case number. Call us back w/ your findings…
  • ERROR CODE 2STF/8/3: S-ATA Bus 0 - Master
  • Call back; give case number; review. Need the error code? No, that’s OK.
  • Diagnosis: bad hard drive, we’ll send out a new one post-haste.

Hooray for prompt service and sharp technical support. Boo for a bad hard drive. Fortunately I have (most) everything backed up to an external drive. So most data are not lost. Most. Hopefully not as catastrophic in the “loss” department as the last time I had to “start fresh” with that computer. But all of the sudden the litany of items that might not have gotten back up are singing their dirges in the back of my mind.

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 →

4 Responses to KetelOne’s Revenge

Eric says:

Man, I would lose my mind if I lost either of my internal HDs. I’m 90% sure I have 95% of everything important copied to external drives, but I’d go crazy wondering.

found_drama says:

Eric– yeah I THOROUGHLY re-vamped my back-up procedures after this episode. i was extra relieved with what i *did* have backed-up and extra crushed w/r/t/ what had slipped through the cracks

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