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  1. #1
    devon
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    initialize before installing os x ?
    hi everyone,

    i've been having probalems starting up for a week. every time my ibook crashed i would get the questionmark/folder flashing icon. i got error messages when i tried to boot from norton. to get onto my computer i needed to instal os x and then select the os 9 startup disc. the os9 disc doctor or whatever they call it said there was major mountcheck problems that could not be fixed.

    my files have been backed up so thats ok. my question is - now that i'm ready to instal os x 10.3, should i just instal from the discs or should i first initialize the harddrive or something like this. does the installation process clean up everything before installing or should i first do something to repair the drive? sorry about the uninformed tone. any advice would be greatly appreciated.

    thanks,
    devon armstrong

  2. #2

    rman's Avatar
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    Get disk warrior and check your disk. Once you has resolved your disk problems, then you can install. If you have a good backup of your data. I would do a clean install. Don't forget to load the OS 9 disk drivers.

    Hopefully what you are seeing is not a warning of a possible hard disk failure.
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  3. #3
    devon
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    like i said, i tried norton and couldn't boot without an error message. i also tried discwarrior and got the same error. my files, when i did get on by reinstalling X, were all there and everything worked fine until it crashed again. there must be a problem of some kind where the computer doesn't get the information it needs to startup propperly or something.

  4. #4

    immdb's Avatar
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    When you got the error message during the Norton boot process, do you think that it was it trying to mount your hard drive?

    Yes, if you initialize before installing it will clean the drive of any operating system file damage (ie., directory). If you have hard drive problems then you need to use a program like Drive 10 to identify the problems. If there are problems, Drive 10 may be able to fix them.

    At worst, you will have to replace the drive. Next to the worst is having to reformat the drive, which can take hours depending on the size of the drive.

  5. #5

    Padawan's Avatar
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    This is what I'd try/suggest:

    Boot from the OS X install CD. In the Menu bar, launch Disk Utility. Select the drive on the left, and then click on the "Erase" tab. In the Erase window, you'll see a button marked "Options". Click on this, and then select the option for "Write drive with zeros" (I don't know the exact wording, but that's close). Then click OK and erase the drive. This will take a bit of time, but your drive will be a complete clean-slate.
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  6. #6
    devon
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    so - i would know if there was unrepairable harm done to the drive if, after zeroing it and installing X from an empty drive, the same problem occured?

    or is there any other way to find out if the worst case scenario, broken drive, has happened?

    thanks for the help so far.

    devon

  7. #7

    Padawan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by devon
    so - i would know if there was unrepairable harm done to the drive if, after zeroing it and installing X from an empty drive, the same problem occured?

    or is there any other way to find out if the worst case scenario, broken drive, has happened?

    thanks for the help so far.

    devon
    Well, as others have suggested, there are some programs out there that may help "repair" a drive, but I don't have any experience with them. I'd imagine though, that if the clean-slate zeroed approach doesn't work, you're probably going to need to replace the drive.
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  8. #8

    immdb's Avatar
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    The "Zero All Data" option is a low level security technique. It won't make the drive any more useable than just doing an erase. By setting all of the bits to zero (zero all data), I guess that it would let you know if the drive has a spot that it can't write to, but it can't do anything about it.

    If a sector is bad on the drive, a program like Drive 10 can map out that sector so that the operating system doesn't see it. You would then be able to use the drive.

  9. #9

    hype.it's Avatar
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    Hey Guys... If your hard-disk is physically faulty, you can Initialize it a million times and Zero Data till the cows come home or the moon turns black, which ever happens first. There's nothing the end user can do to repair it.

    What i suggest, is take it to a Apple service centre, I assume your system is under the warrenty. They should fix it for free! Provided you've not dropped it from the 23rd floor or something silly...

    At the end of the day, if you can't boot from an Genuine copy of Norton System Works or other utility, including the Mac OS X Installer CD. Then you have a faulty Combo Drive. Again, goto the Apple Service centre, they will fix all your hardware glitches.. Ask for a full system test too if your still unhappy.

  10. #10

    hype.it's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by immdb
    The "Zero All Data" option is a low level security technique. It won't make the drive any more useable than just doing an erase. By setting all of the bits to zero (zero all data), I guess that it would let you know if the drive has a spot that it can't write to, but it can't do anything about it.

    If a sector is bad on the drive, a program like Drive 10 can map out that sector so that the operating system doesn't see it. You would then be able to use the drive.
    Actually, when you initialize a disk on a Macintosh, it's only formatting the catalog. When you 'Zero all data, it erases everything from block 0 to xxx,xxx,xxx hence it takes forever! You should try it on a 500Gb Raid! Man, i leave the machine for a week and it's just about finished.

    If you have warranty, just return the machines to apple, they'll fix it and maybe replace your drive. Has been know to happen, especially when they have a faulty batch of drives. Manufactures only test the first Drive in every 10,000 or something stupid.

  11. #11

    immdb's Avatar
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    hype.it

    To say that there isn't anything that an end user can do "if your hard-disk is physically faulty" is incorrect. A bad sector is a "physical fault."

    Evidentially, you aren't familiar with utilities that can map out bad sectors and make a faulty drive usable. (Provided that the only problem is a bad sector) It works! I've done it more than once in the past 15 years.

  12. #12

    Avalon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by immdb
    hype.it

    To say that there isn't anything that an end user can do "if your hard-disk is physically faulty" is incorrect. A bad sector is a "physical fault."

    Evidentially, you aren't familiar with utilities that can map out bad sectors and make a faulty drive usable. (Provided that the only problem is a bad sector) It works! I've done it more than once in the past 15 years.
    That's correct, but as hype.it said, if there's still warranty, the disk should be replaced by Apple. Of course bad sectors can be mapped out, but if relatively new disk already has bad sectors, I'm pretty sure it will get even more of them.

    to all:
    'zero all data' means that Disk utility will actually write 0 (zero) into every single sector of the disk...that's why it takes so long.

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