Mac people: Norton Utilities? UPDATE: iMac goes into coma.

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Jack Briggs, Jun 3, 2002.

  1. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    HTF member Pamela kindly donated me one of her Norton Utilities discs. Since my trusty lil' iMac started misbehaving again this morning, I slipped the Norton disc in pronto. I did not boot from the CD, however.

    Anyway, I ran the thing, and Disk Doctor told me I had some major errors (which he kindly fixed) and some minor errors (which he likewise fixed).

    The machine has been running smoothly ever since.

    This seems too easy. I'm not used to getting a break in life. Everything is a challenge, and there is plenty of suffering to go around. Life, in other words, is hard.

    So, did Disk Doctor make my life easier? Does my machine not have to go to the computer hospital after all? Is the little fella up for new challenges?

    Perhaps wiser minds than mine can answer.

    (The symptoms I was experiencing, btw, are the same as those I described in the earlier Mac thread that ran here a week or so ago. I still can't believe I've just gotten a break.)

    Thank you.
     
  2. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    Personally, I would have booted from the CD, since there's always the danger of corrupting something should a crash occur while you're attempting to repair system files on the startup disk. That said, there are a few times I haven't played it safe, and things still turned out okay.

    I must say, I've never known Norton to fix any hardware issues, like a dying video board. Some of Apple's recent hardware has had its share of quirks; they insist that the crackling and spontaneous degaussing in the blue-and-white 17" Studio Display is normal. Failing PRAM batteries also make Macs do strange things, but that's not something Norton can fix.

    I'm glad things have turned out well so far, though. I know you don't believe in demons, but I've seen computers do the strangest things for one day, only to be back to normal the next, and stay normal for months after that. I suspect it might be an intentional bug that just happens to manifest itself around the time of new product announcements.
     
  3. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Why, David, would a dying video board be such a slow process? Why doesn't it simply give up the ghost?

    Do you think Pamela's earlier assessment is on the money?
     
  4. Joseph S

    Joseph S Cinematographer

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    I would recommend DiskWarrior.
    http://www.alsoft.com/DiskWarrior/
    It has saved me countless hours of downtime. This program also repairs all the serious problems that no other disk utility can handle.
    Norton Systemworks 2 took out one of my disks a month ago. Disk Warrior helped me get back most of my files even though the disk was completely trashed otherwise.
     
  5. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Thanks, Joseph! Will check into this today.
     
  6. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    I also highly recommend Alsoft's DiskWarrior. With any utility program, the proof is in the pudding and I've seen DiskWarrior resurrect two completely "dead" drives that Norton wasn't even able to recognize. DiskWarrior is a must-have for any Mac owner as far as I'm concerned.
     
  7. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Michael, thanks for the vote of confidence, furthering bolstering Joseph's recommendations. Once I procure Disk Warrior, may I pepper the two of you with questions? Thanks!
     
  8. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Sure, Jack. My hourly rate is only $85/hr. [​IMG]
     
  9. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    Sounds like I'm getting the DiskWarrior.

    I've really got to avoid these threads to protect my wallet.
     
  10. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Well, my little Mac went into coma last night. Loud clicking noises, automatic shutdown. Attempts at reviving him resulted in shut downs. *cries* One of my clients is bringing by a substitute iMac this evening, which I can hold on to for as long as I want. That's a relief. But I want my little machine repaired. If, as Pamela thinks, it's a bad video board, how much $$ do you think I'm looking at? I'm taking the machine in this Saturday. $300? $400? Worse?

    Thanks.
     
  11. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    If it's worse, I'd consider upgrading to an eMac, which Apple just made available to the general public. As of this moment, it's featured front and center on their main page, and is a spectacular value. Are you getting a video signal at all? If you are, I wonder if it's something else that's gone bad, like the processor card.

    The problem with any all-in-one model that breaks is just that: it's all-in-one. The graphics chip and video memory are soldered on the logic board, necessitating a total replacement if any of the components on the board go bad. If it's out of warranty, it could be an expensive replacement even before labor costs. I'm not sure which model you have, but I've seen logic boards for the original iMacs go for over $200 used.

    Assuming that it's not your hard drive that's the problem, moving everything to a new machine might not be as difficult as it seems. You could easily pull the hard drive from your current iMac and stick it in a FireWire enclosure (which are well under $100 these days) and use it as an external drive, salvaging whatever you might need by simply copying it onto the new computer. Granted, this is a worst-case scenario, but it's another option you might need to consider.
     
  12. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Loud clicking noises don't exactly sound like a video board problem. It sounds like a more ominous hard drive problem. Ideally, the best thing would be to back up your data to an external drive. Failing that, if you'll have access to another Mac and can boot your machine from a DiskWarrior or Norton CD, you can connect both machines with a crossover cable and use File Sharing to back up your critical files to the "good" machine.
    I suppose you could also be having a power supply problem, though you usually hear a loud pop, not constant clicking. If it is the video board, I think the cards run about $70-$75, plus whatever the service center charges for labor.
    Feel free to ship the machine to Chicago and we'll take a look at it. [​IMG]
     
  13. Jack Briggs

    Jack Briggs Executive Producer

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    Thanks, guys. Got the new machine last night, and he's performing nicely even though we're low on memory.

    Yep, there are some files I want to save. I have a ton of jpeg images I don't want to have to download again.
     
  14. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    In March, my iMac 500 mhz Snow died. I took it in for diagnosis and was told that the logic board needed replacement. The total cost for this fix, including labor and tax rang up to ~$450. I never got the extended service plan, so I'm stuck with the bill.

    I'm still mulling over whether to pay and get it fixed. In the mean time, I went out and got a new, flat panel iMac. The difference between this machine and my old one is night and day. Nothing on this machine or the machine itself has locked up on me or crashed. Really learned to admire the aesthetics too.

    As far as my old mac goes, it exhibited the same symptoms like yours. Lot's of clicking sounds and eventual shutdown.
     
  15. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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  16. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Peter, it's not difficult at all once you've removed the HD from your iMac. The drive just slides into the FireWire enclosure. Close it up and voila...you have a new external drive for high speed transfer or backup. They also sell enclosures for the smaller hard drives used for laptops. The portability that they provide is awesome.
     
  17. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    As one of those hardcore PC tweakers (I don't like machines you're not supposed to open up and fiddle with! [​IMG] ), care should be taken with Apple products. Apple likes to run the processors on the hot side...substandard fans and heatsinks, coupled with inadequate ventilation in the case itself, contribute to the short lifespan of recent Apple computers. The Apple Cube was a notorious example...they literally cooked themselves to death because no fan was installed!
    So, make sure you leave plenty of open space around your new Mac, for adequate ventilation. Dust is also very bad...and if you have pets, oh boy, better keep the hairs out of the sparse ventilation slots, or your Mac is not gonna live very long.
    Good luck!
     
  18. David Lawson

    David Lawson Screenwriter

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    There's no fan because you can't boil water over G3 and G4 processors, unlike some other processors. I don't think I've ever pushed my G3 tower over 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and it's loaded (all PCI and RAM slots filled, four internal hard drives, and two internal removable drives).
    Peter, removing the hard drive from an iMac is not for the faint of heart, but it's a relatively painless procedure for any of the tower models. If you really want to look into the iMac hard drive removal, follow this link. Since your warranty is already void and you don't plan on getting it fixed, it may not matter what you do to it. [​IMG]
    Mike Breeden's Accelerate Your Mac! site has a ton of information on various Mac upgrades, including FireWire cases. The one basic requirement is to get a case with the Oxford 911 chipset, as its performance is much better than the chipset used in the early FireWire cases. They also make USB cases, but transfer rates (for the 1.1 spec) are pitiful. There's no native Mac support for the faster USB 2.0, and will most likely never be, as it's a direct (though inferior) competitor to Apple's own FireWire.
     
  19. Peter Kim

    Peter Kim Screenwriter

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    David...Bwahhahahahahahahahahah! I do appreciate the link, for no other reason then to remind me of my ineptitude when it comes to tinkering. What, then are my other options if I want to transfer all of my hard drive contents out of my dead iMac?

    BTW...about your earlier post on used logic boards - how can I get my Apple Authorized Repairman to install a used logic board? If it's cheap enough, I might try and go this route.
     
  20. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    They had to put a fan in the Apple G4 towers (but they are very quiet and the design of the ventilation is nicely thought out) when they realized that people living in the hot areas were having problems. When the ambient temperature is 90F in Florida computers have a tough time in that environment, PowerPC or not. [​IMG]
    Hard drives still run at about 45-50 degrees Celsius (or about 120+ F), so you need some kind of ventilation to keep them from heating up the rest of the computer components, including the chipset, memory, and the CPU.
    Never underestimate the need for proper cooling! Heat death affects all computers, regardless of brand! I worked with embedded systems and I've seen PowerPCs get cooked at modest temperatures and sub-100Mhz speeds (the Intel StrongARMs faired no better), so trust me when I say: The specs are wrong! [​IMG]
    Peter: How much faster is that new panel iMac over the old one? And have you had a look at the widescreen lcd Macs? Yum!
     

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