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My Pismo corrupts hard drives - Mac Applications & Software

Since August 12th, my Pismo has corrupted no fewer than four hard drives. I've never heard of a piece of hardware failing like this and am wondering if this machine has simply had it and needs to be replaced or if there's anything I can do. Details: On August 12th, my Pismo crashed. After reset, it would no longer boot from my primary partition. Upon rebooting from my backup partition, the primary was not even mounting on the desktop. Two hours later the Pismo crashed again and this time the backup partition would not boot either. It smelled heavily of ...

  1. #1

    Default My Pismo corrupts hard drives

    Since August 12th, my Pismo has corrupted no fewer than four hard
    drives. I've never heard of a piece of hardware failing like this and
    am wondering if this machine has simply had it and needs to be
    replaced or if there's anything I can do. Details:

    On August 12th, my Pismo crashed. After reset, it would no longer
    boot from my primary partition. Upon rebooting from my backup
    partition, the primary was not even mounting on the desktop. Two
    hours later the Pismo crashed again and this time the backup partition
    would not boot either. It smelled heavily of hard drive failure, and
    I was very worried.

    I purchased DiskWarrior v3 and it was able to rebuild directories on
    both the partitions and salvage the files. (Huzzah!) But as I was in
    the process of backing the data up, the Firewire drive I had booted
    from also failed. Same problem; directory corruption. Now things
    started to stink a bit, but a repair from DiskWarrior kept me in the
    game and I pressed on.

    I bought a new 40Gb drive, installed it in the Pismo, and restored all
    data to it. All was well for two weeks until tonight. Bam! Same
    issue; Pismo crashes, will not reboot. DiskWarrior claims "The
    directory on 'KurtPismo' was too badly damaged and could not be
    rebuilt."

    Four partitions all gone bad in 2 weeks. Different drives, different
    installs of Jaguar. Only the CPU is common to all failures. If it's
    a bad drive controller, how did the external drive go bad (or is the
    Firewire bus controlled by the same chip?) Either way, I cannot trust
    this computer until something changes. It's an old Pismo; been in
    heavy use for over three years; I'm wondering if its time has come?

    Thanks for any thoughts,
    -Kurt
    Kurt Guest

  2. #2

    Default Re: My Pismo corrupts hard drives

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Kurt Tappe) wrote:
     

    This may be too easy of a question to ask, but have you tried a
    different hard drive cable? I dunno if a cable could cause something
    like that but AFAIK it's entirely possible.

    Doug

    --
    Doug Brown - La Grande, OR - http://www.ircandy.com/doug/
    Idiot's Guide to Mac Cases - http://www.ircandy.com/maccases/
    If you want to reply by email, remove "pleasenospam." and ".invalid"
    Doug Guest

  3. #3

    Default Re: My Pismo corrupts hard drives

    In article <google.com>,
    com (Kurt Tappe) wrote:
     

    I wouldn't guess it's the Pismo per se that's corrupting the directories,
    but rather the crashes that are doing it. Granted, the distinction is a bit
    thin in this case, but . . . any crash on any computer can corrupt a hard
    drive.

    I would turn journaling on (using Disk Utility) so that accounting data
    gets written to the disk more consistently rather than at shutdown. This
    might help in keeping the disk from getting munged as a result of a crash.

    I would completely wipe the disk and do a clean reinstall to see if that
    fixes the crashes. If you fix the crashes you might fix the directory
    corruption problem.

    That said, I suppose it's possible that it is a hardware problem, but
    that's out of my realm of expertise, as small as it is in the first place.
    It's entirely possible that it's a hardware problem causing the crashes,
    which then corrupt the disk, and/or it's possible that faulty hardware is
    directly contributing to the disk corruption. I have never heard of the
    latter, but I suppose it's possible. It could be something as simple as the
    ribbon cord that connects your hard drive to the board is ripping, or maybe
    even coming unplugged from the board. It could be something more complex.
    Maybe your fan died and the chip is overheating. Stuff like that.

    Indeed, kernel panics are often a sign of hardware problems, if that's what
    you mean by "crashes."

    If it is a piece of hardware, you could replace it fairly inexpensively if
    you did the repairs yourself (a new motherboard, for example, can be had
    for less than $200 on Ebay) and you have much more life left in the Pismo.

    I would guess that there's a lot of life left in your Pismo, if you can
    just track down the problem. If you *want* to buy a new computer, this is a
    good time to do it, I suppose (in that case sell your old Pismo to me :-)
    ); but if you can just track down the cause of the crashes you probably can
    get a couple more years out of it for relatively little money.
    sam Guest

  4. #4

    Default Re: My Pismo corrupts hard drives

    In <google.com> Kurt Tappe wrote: 

    My Pismo has not crashed in over a year. I think you should stop
    thinking about the hard drive and think about why it's crashing. Bad RAM?
    m.

    --
    matt neuburg, phd = com, http://www.tidbits.com/matt
    REALbasic: The Definitive Guide! 2nd edition!
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/0596001770/somethingsbymatt
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    matt Guest

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