Which log contains disk seek/write errors?

Sep 10, 2008
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Short version:
Out of curiosity, what log file in Mac OS X Tiger would report hard disk seek/write errors?


Long version:
I'm running Mac OS X Tiger on a PowerBook G4 12". Last night while browsing the web, the hard drive started making noises, it sort of sounded like heavy disk thrashing, like it was read/writing a lot of files. Since it was in the dead of night I figured one of the cron jobs was running, doing log rotation and what not.

Eventually the system became completely unresponsive and I had to force the machine off by holding down the power button. I tried to power it back up, but the hard drive continued making similar noises and did not make it to the login screen.

The next day I powered it on without issue and was able to log in. I ran DiskUtility and SMART status reported no problems. I ran a Verify and that reported no problems. I checked some logs, like system.log in /var/log? I can't remember if that was the exact directory. Anyway, I saw nothing in there with regards to hard disk seek errors.

Then after leaving it unattended for a few minutes the system started emitting a loud, piercing screeching noise. It seemed to be coming from the location of the hard drive. I had to power off the computer. After I tried turning it back on, it continued to make the noise.

Several hours have passed and now when turning it on, the hard drive just makes those heavy seeking noises, but doesn't proceed to login screen.

I assume the hard drive is toast, but I'm confused as to why nothing was reported either from SMART, the Verify, or system.log.

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