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swichi293 01-28-2008 11:30 PM

Computer either possessed or creating SkyNet
 
This message is from Brian Swichkow. This message is being sent to anyone I have ever talked to about my computer issues and a few others. If anyone can figure this out or give me any hints I will be forever in your debt. If you’re getting this e-mail, it means you’re smart, so please help, seriously.

The (Short) Story:

My first computer was a 20" Intel iMac from early 2006. This was one of the white ones, the first with the Intel processor. After 15 months of owning the computer it started restarting itself at random intervals, but never when I was using it. Also, when I shut down the computer (using either the power button or Apple>Shutdown) the computer would turn itself back on at random intervals.

After using the tech support provided by AppleCare over a three month period, no solution. Apple decides to send an on-site repair tech to "fix" my computer. In this repair, he replace the logic board, power supply, power inverter, temperature sensors, and ambient light sensor.

5 days later my computer started to continue its activity of randomly restarting and powering on. I contacted Apple and the sent the same guy out to replace the same parts, but in addition the memory. The theory was that the memory had short circuited the logic board in the first computer and the second. The on-site guy replaced all the parts and when he sealed up the computer, it wouldn't power on.

The day before this had happed I had gotten the new Leopard operating system in the mail and used Time Machine to do a complete backup of my system to a 500 GB external hard drive. Thank god because this saved all of my data.

Two weeks later, Apple sent me a band new 20" Intel iMac. This was one of the newer ones with the glossy screen and the aluminum case. Apple felt bad so the gave me a complementary processor upgrade from 2.0 GHz to 2.4 GHz. Sweet right? Not really.

When I got the new computer I used the time machine portion of Leopard to restore all documents, settings, and applications from my previous computer.

Another two weeks later, the new computer started randomly restarting and powering on. I again called Apple, this time they didn't even try to troubleshoot. Apple immediately sent me a new computer, this time a 24" Intel iMac with a 2.4 Ghz processor; a little upgrade for my troubles.
Sweet right? Not really.

Two weeks later, my new computer arrived. I again used Time Machine to restore all of my documents, settings and applications. Everything was good for a while, everything functioning fine and then . . . Disaster. Almost a month and a half later, my third computer started to randomly restart and power itself on.

I called Apple and this time we started to trouble shoot. The first action the product specialist had me take was to create a secondary administrative profile to see if the activity continued. Two days later (today) I came home from class and the computer had powered itself on.

We are now back to square one.

My Setup (currently):

24" Intel iMac, 2.4 GHz processor, 2GB RAM, and a 500 GB hard drive

Externals:

Memorex 18x DVD burner - USB
Miglia TV Max+ - USB
Kensington Trackball Expert Mouse - USB
HP All-in-One Printer - USB
Small "Home" APC UPC - USB (to monitor battery status)
Western Digital 500GB HDD - Firewire

Side Notes:

- During this whole ordeal, with the first and current (third) computers, I was using my computer when I got a warning the my computer was running off my UPC. About 20 seconds later, ~20% of my battery had been drained and began to charge back up again.

- All of my external devices are new!!! The only two external devices that were hooked up to all computer from the start of this issue is the printer and the Miglia TV Max+ (I use this to watch television on my computer) At one point in time it was thought that the programming guide in the software was restarting the computer because of its settings. This has been proven untrue as I have changed the preferences in question. The computer has also restarted itself when the Miglia TV Max+ was unplugged and its EyeTV software was disabled.

- I have not scheduled power events where the computer turns on at a specific time

- The computer is NOT set to restart after power failure

- All sharing functions (remote pc) are turned completly off

Other than that, if anyone can help me please do.

At this point my computer is either possessed or trying to create SkyNet and take over the world.

ALSO, I have the log from my console for the last two times this has happened. If you e-mail me I can send them to you. In these logs you can clearly see the computer turning itself on. In the first log (all messages.log) I turned off my computer at 4:38:20PM to 4:38:22PM. The computer the powered on by itself at 7:00:17PM. At 8:03:45PM the computer went into sleep mode and at 8:25:08PM it woke up when I clicked my USB mouse, thus showing me my login screen.

On the second log (all messages2.log) I turned off the computer at 4:38:20PM to 4:38:22PM. At 7:00:22PM the computer powered itself on.

As I am writing this I just noticed a 5ms difference in the time that the computer powered on. Again, I have (and have never had) any schedules set for my computer(s) to turn on at any specific time.

Help Me,
Brian Swichkow
swichi293@gmail.com

Murlyn 01-29-2008 12:59 AM

Next time don't recover your backup.. it sounds like you might be copying over the problem each time.

MikeM 01-29-2008 01:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Murlyn (Post 582894)
Next time don't recover your backup.. it sounds like you might be copying over the problem each time.

Agreed. You either have some OS corruption that Time machine copied or one of the few Mac viruses.

Your SkyNet connent would actually be more correct then you think if it is a virus ;)

Manually backup your documents and any other important files (Don't use Time Machine in this case) and then format and re-install clean. Don't put your old stuff back on for a while (If you can) and see if it starts doing these reboots again.

Another possibility is the UPS. It does have the ability to shutdown your PC if it detects that it's running on batteries and about to die. Try running without the UPS for a while and see if that helps.

-MikeM

swichi293 01-29-2008 01:34 AM

That was my next option, I just don't know how much to back-up. Would the problem be in the library or one of my files? I don't download anything so I don't think it is in there, but manual backup is a big step to take without knowing that I am not copying the problem. This is so annoying, I have been dealing with this since August of 2007

swichi293 01-29-2008 01:39 AM

Also, I have to use this computer for school and I use it 24/7 so leaving stuff off of it isn't a possibility unless Apple sends me a forth computer that I don't have to send back for 10 days. The UPS was bought after this started, I thought it was because of minor power fluxuations in my apartment, but I have moved into a newer building so that couldn't be it. I checked the box and the UPS doesn't have the ability to turn off the computer. When the power goes out, it starts beeping, but when my iMac has been running off battery it wasn't beeping and all other electronics were fine.

MacHeadCase 01-29-2008 08:55 AM

Yeah sounds to me like you installed an app that is incompatible or causing mega corruption in the system. Or again there is something corrupted in your backed up data.

It's obviously NOT a hardware problem because it would be fixed by now with all the hardware changes Apple made, the brand new iMac, etc.

Try remembering when the Mac started having problems, what did you do right before then... There must have been a software install or you added a new peripheral or something.

You could create a new user account and see if the problem happens in there as well but if you keep reimporting the old data and that data affects the whole system, the new account will behave the same way. But it is worth a try.

Lordedmond 01-29-2008 09:57 AM

Bet its the UPS chucking spikes out , they do not produce good sine wave ( the very best ones do ) its more of a rounded square wave that could be causing PSU problems. They also produce odd order harmonics 9th these also can cause random events to happen . The OP did state the he had an event with the UPS 20% down in 20 secs is odd the UOS should do 15 mins if correctly sized . I would look else where for the problems

MacHeadCase 01-29-2008 10:27 AM

Good point. :)

swichi293 01-29-2008 12:27 PM

I bought the UPS three weeks after this started happening because I thought it was happening due to power fluxuations in my apartment (built ~1930). I have since moved into a building built in 1977 with a very updated electrical system and the new computer hasn't seen the old apartment (no short circuits).

The UPS is very small and when I bought it there was a graph on the back to show how long it would last with your computer (screen size etc) and it said a 20" LCD would last 4 minutes, I have a 24". I just looked and the UPS only has 200 Watts.

The only thing I did to my computer before this started happening (August 2007) was install EyeTV for my MigliaTV Max+. There is a setting in there that updates the tvguide every 3 hours. Below that option there is a check box that says "wake computer if necessary," that box is NOT checked. The tv thing is a hardware and software combo and the computer has done the whole power on thing with the hardware not plugged in. Do you think it could be a corrupted file from that program? Would it help to uninstall that program? That way I wouldn't have to do a manual backup if everything.

Thank you all for this help

Lordedmond 01-29-2008 12:42 PM

Well 200 va thats how they are rated is way to small your screen alone would be 200 watts at least then add the logic board you would be looking at 300 watts plus


not to teach you to suck eggs

take DC 1 Volt Amp is 1 Watt but in AC thats what you use it no longer holds true

eg watts are Volts * Amps * PF ( Power Factor )

for a computer the PF is low about 0.6 therfore your 200VA unit is only 12) watts


They sell UPS this way to make them appear larger than they are , sale pitch



you need a proper UPS say at least 1000VA ,not a battery backup unit one that can take care of brown outs , overvolts

they are not cheap


BTW I have a degree in electrical eng and looked after a large banks computer for 27 years

MacDreamy 01-29-2008 11:33 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by swichi293 (Post 583087)
I bought the UPS three weeks after this started happening because I thought it was happening due to power fluxuations in my apartment (built ~1930). I have since moved into a building built in 1977 with a very updated electrical system and the new computer hasn't seen the old apartment (no short circuits).

The UPS is very small and when I bought it there was a graph on the back to show how long it would last with your computer (screen size etc) and it said a 20" LCD would last 4 minutes, I have a 24". I just looked and the UPS only has 200 Watts.

The only thing I did to my computer before this started happening (August 2007) was install EyeTV for my MigliaTV Max+. There is a setting in there that updates the tvguide every 3 hours. Below that option there is a check box that says "wake computer if necessary," that box is NOT checked. The tv thing is a hardware and software combo and the computer has done the whole power on thing with the hardware not plugged in. Do you think it could be a corrupted file from that program? Would it help to uninstall that program? That way I wouldn't have to do a manual backup if everything.

Thank you all for this help


Hi swichi293, I may be very new to the mac world.. but i think you need to run a proper failure analysis to find out the root cause. You may want to start by eliminating components one at a time, starting with EyeTV and MigliaTV Max. Remove them from your mac and observe if the problem persist.

theonegod 01-30-2008 07:43 PM

Unplug your UPS from your USB port. It is your current problem most likely.

Mjc.americor 02-04-2008 05:01 PM

To me it sounds like that there was a OS corruption when time machine was backing up. So it might be best to save only your most precious docs and restore that external
maybe something in there was a problem

spikey011 04-28-2008 10:49 AM

Remember this call
 
heey, yea. i remember taking the call of brian... i work as an Apple Tech Support. me and a couple of my friends discussed about this issue. looks to me like the spike buster or the UPS has a problem. The mac virus is a really less possibility. a power fluctuation would basically corrupt the logic board on the machine.
Hey, remember..what has been the consistent device that you were using since your first mac. if it is the UPS, then don't hesitate to go for a new one. I would personally suggest you not to test the UPS with any other electronic device... As for the time machine. Lets not even bother to connect the time machine.
Please try to get your data from other PC's or MAC's. But till a couple of months try not to use the Time Machine or the UPS. Lets purchase a new UPS and test this.

swichi293 11-03-2008 02:26 PM

Problem Solved - Thank You All
 
So, I looked in the console log and every time the computer was restarting was because of EyeTV which is a program I used, that came with the Miglia TV hardware, to watch live TV. I did a complete format of my HDD and reinstalled everything manually, but the problem still remained. I then got so frustrated that I sold my Miglia TV device and did the same format and manual reinstall again and have not had any further issues. Apparently, the EyeTV program just kept becoming corrupted and I had to scrap the hardware and software related to it. Side Note: I know the guy I sold it to and he has had no issues.

Two months later my screen died and I had multiple dead pixels and a weird "burn mark" on the screen itself. A five minute call to Apple and they sent me another replacement. It just goes to show you, Apple is awesome. No matter how mad I get I will never hate Apple.

To the Apple Support Agent in the previous post, if you are Gilbert or Ron, thank you. You were a source of help, sanity and support - as are all AppleCare Representatives.


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