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Apple Notebooks Apple's notebook computers including MacBook Pro, MacBook, MacBook Air, PowerBook, and iBook.

Disk I/O error - General Hard Disk Slow Downs and Issues..


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sunk976
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Hello!
Im posting here out of desperation for some kind of help with my Powerbook. It is a problem that has only started to occur in the last few days. The hard disk will begin to seek more aggressively causing itunes to skip and applications to halt. The colour wheel appears whilst the disk continues to seek and then all of a sudden it will go back to working correctly. The more applications running the more frequent the slow downs. I have been watching activity monitor whilst it occurs and none of the programs are using large amounts of processor time, infact the activity monitor itself is always on top with about 10%. Activity monitor does report large amounts of disk activity. I checked console and the system logs are reporting the following:

Jun 11 20:23:13 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:45:57 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:46:38 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:48:00 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:48:42 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:49:26 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:51:38 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:52:21 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:53:03 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:53:45 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:54:27 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:55:09 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 20:55:51 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 21:36:22 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.
Jun 11 21:54:34 isunk kernel[0]: disk0s9: I/O error.

Naturally I got a bit panicky at this and decided to reboot off the install DVD and run disk utility... I ran all available first aid :doctor: procedures and the disk passed the tests.

Nothing on my system has changed, no software or hardware changes have been made.

Im totally confused by it... and any suggestions would be great! At times it makes the computer completely unusable.

Machine Name: PowerBook G4 12"
Machine Model: PowerBook6,4
CPU Type: PowerPC G4 (1.1)
Number Of CPUs: 1
CPU Speed: 1.33 GHz
L2 Cache (per CPU): 512 KB
Memory: 768 MB
Bus Speed: 167 MHz

:miner:
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Macman

 
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what os are you running? these types of errors are usually more hardware than software related, has your powerbook overheated? are you using it on a flat surface?
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sunk976
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Originally Posted by Macman
what os are you running? these types of errors are usually more hardware than software related, has your powerbook overheated? are you using it on a flat surface?
Hi Macman,
Im using OS 10.4.1.. as for overheating, it can get very hot. At the back left where the charger sits (its the 12" powerbook) it can often get almost too hot to touch.. but i feel that this is probably quite normal. The disk itself does tend to work better from cold... as it gets warmer the slow downs happen more regularly. Last night when I tried to shutdown it took ages..

One thing i have noticed is disk seems to seek with a rhythum, like the head is trying to read over certain area and has to come back over and over until it gets I/O.

My fear is that this is a hardware issue, i have tried turning off nearlly all running apps with no help. I notice that in disk utility it says its S.M.A.R.T enabled, .. so it should report if it finds a disk problem.. i would hope anyway.

Thanks for your reply.
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rman

 
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The first time that comes to be, is make sure you have a durrent back up of your system. this may be a sign of things to come. Like an impending disk failure.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!
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Macman

 
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yes, sounds like it will fail. hopefully, it is still under warranty, and like rman said, back up your system. though if it is S.M.A.R.T. disk enabled, S.M.A.R.T. disk should report any problems, have you tried the apple hardware test disc?
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sunk976
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rman
The first time that comes to be, is make sure you have a durrent back up of your system. this may be a sign of things to come. Like an impending disk failure.
I thought I would give an update of my situation now. I was worried about hardware faliure so I backed up all my files onto my server. Disk transfer was slow but I got it all off the disk.

(this could be a useful tip for people worried about their hardware)
I was advised to try the Apple hardware test found on the first disk that came with the Mac... place the disk in your drive and as your mac boots hold the option key (a.k.a the alt key) you can select to boot to a hardware test program that will run an extensive testing on your system...

I was expecting my hard disk to fail the test, but it didnt. Infact every hardware test I have run has not found any fault with the disk... so now I am just confused.

This morning I decided I would do a format and re-install of the whole lot, I made the installer write 0's to the entire disk, and it did so happily which again suggests that the disk may have been fine...

I am not in the process of adding back all my software etc... so far the disk has not had one I/O faliure.. im still cautious of it though. The thing is my warranty runs out in about 10 days so if it is hardware I need to get it sorted..

I will post back again with any more findings as this might help someone else in future.
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Sounds like you might want to extend your warranty.

Life isn't about waiting for the storm to pass, It's about learning to dance in the rain!
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sunk976
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well the system seems to have been running well since the reformat, no noticeable problems with the disk but I have just checked my logs to see if it is reporting any issues and found this:

Jun 16 16:57:52 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 16 16:58:00 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 16 17:05:05 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 16 17:05:14 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 16 17:13:08 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 16 17:13:21 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 16 17:13:40 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 16 17:24:17 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 16 17:24:33 isunk kernel[0]: disk1s0: I/O error.
Jun 17 09:32:54 localhost kernel[0]: BSD root: disk0s9, major 14, minor 9
Jun 17 09:32:55 localhost diskarbitrationd[33]: disk0s9 hfs 758A4EB5-32CD-3FD1-8B3B-912ACBE13134 Macintosh HD

The thing is it doesnt really notice this time...
Im still confused...

do you know of any other hardware testing software available?
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sunk976
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Ok forget that last post.. the I/O errors occured on my CD drive not on the hard disk... the hard disk has not yet logged an I/O error.

So it seems that it was software all along.... but which piece? the only one I think may have caused it was running mySQL but I dont really have any proof or reason for it... just a feeling.

Thanks for all ur help! :headphone
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sunk976 View Post
Ok forget that last post.. the I/O errors occured on my CD drive not on the hard disk... the hard disk has not yet logged an I/O error.

So it seems that it was software all along.... but which piece? the only one I think may have caused it was running mySQL but I dont really have any proof or reason for it... just a feeling.

Thanks for all ur help! :headphone
My G4 ibook is doing the same thing. I think it is a software issue as well. I think the system is bad and when performing tasks it make the cpu crash. I will reinstall and see if that helps.
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LarryJ

 
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I have an i/o problem but it is with certain documents (my own) which I can no longer open.
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My wife's iMac had this exact same problem. I was going to wipe the box, since I have backups for the box, but I decided to try to verify the disk using Disk Utility as mentioned earlier by sunk976. The disk was fine. I decided to repair the permissions table. There were a large number of repairs done. I rebooted the box, and I was able to log in and use the box then. I'm going to wait a few days and see if there are still issues. If there are, I'll probably re-install the OS on it (even though I really don't want to do it).
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