View Full Version : Of fools & angels

5th May 2008, 12:17 PM
Maybe I'm a fool and I hope there are some angels out there who can assist me.

Firstly, assume I know nothing - actually that would be a compliment, but I may be able to follow instructions.

Now, I blythely set out to show an older friend how to use PhotoShop on his G5 iMac, running Leopard (it came installed). It looks pretty new to me - certainly it's newer than my iMac Intel (hmm, well, I think it is). Two things immediately became apparent, neither of which I could explain:

1. When I pressed the power button, the usual wall of sound came and went, an Apple logo followed along with a little 'whirly-gig' - all as I expected. But then after what seemed like quite a while, a black window appeared displaying, in a number of languages, a message which basically said it was necessary to re-start the computer. This was replaced by the icon of a folder with a question-mark on it. Following the direction to restart, the same thing happened twice more but from then on the computer ran fine - this, the owner said is normal … I don't think so.
2. When we had finished installing the Adobe Creative Suite 3, from the CD, the CD was ejected completely from the machine - it just popped right out. Had I not been warned by the computer owner that this would happen, it would have landed on the floor. My iMac doesn't do this, and I can't imagine that this is what is meant to happen.

My friend is an older man who, although quite capable in the use of computers for graphics (he worked as a commercial artist), never had to know anything about how they function - that was the IT Dept (or whatever you call it)'s job. I should add that he is also dyslexic, and although talented artistically, has difficulty working things out from written instructions. Also, although it may become necessary send the computer off to a dealer (I think it may still be under warranty), he is reluctant, as he is using the computer a great deal at the moment and its absence would be a considerable inconvenience … and at least it does still work!

As I said at the outset, I hope there are a few 'angels' fluttering about who are willing to help us sort this out. Oh, and after that I have a small issue on my own computer, but that's not causing any major headache's at the moment, so it can wait.

Happy days all

5th May 2008, 12:33 PM
The black box is a "kernel panic" which means the core operating system software locked up. This is usually due to hardware issues, but it's not unknown that a software error can cause them. For diagnosis, I usually suggest that the log in Macintosh HD -> Library -> Logs -> PanicReporter be posted here, and sometimes it will point to what went wrong.

I've known the odd G5 iMac DVD drive to spit disks out almost like a toaster. If it's not under warranty, the service fix for this wont be cheap.

5th May 2008, 02:57 PM
Aah Currawong - feathered friend indeed! Thank you. Soon after I posted, I rang to see how things were going with my friend's G5, only to find they were deteriorating. After a brief discussion, I convinced him that he didn't have to drive half-way across town to the Apple dealer from whom he first bought the computer. Shortly after that he rang back to say that a much closer dealer had been very helpful; establishing from the serial number of his computer that it was still under warranty - let's here it for extended warranties! So all is under control … yes, I reminded him to get the dealer to look at the CD/DVD 'pop-out' behaviour.

Would it be stretching this thread a bit to ask if you have some suggestions about the small issue I have? I hope not. I had recently thought my iMac Intel was pedalling a bit hard - even considering that it has only the standard RAM, and I have asked it to multi-task big time. I'd also been clearing out a clutter of unused programs, and wondered if I'd upset something. So I opened up Disk Utility and clicked on "Verify Disk". This resulted in a number of comments in red that clearly refer to matters that need repairing. However there was also a pop-up that reported "Error…failure on exit", with the nett result being that the HD volume needs repair, but the "Repair Disk" is not operable, being 'greyed out'. The items listed for repair are:
1. Incorrect number of thread records
2. Volume Bit Map needs minor repair
3. Invalid re block count
The computer still seems to run pretty well - verifying and repairing permissions seemed to pep it up a bit.

Any comments greatfully received.:o

5th May 2008, 05:50 PM
You need to start up the machine from a Mac OS X DVD, then, in one of the menu's, you'll find Disk Utility. This will be able to actually repair the problems, which it can't do while you've started up from the machine using the hard disk that has to be repaired.

You can start up the machine from an inserted CD or DVD by holding down the "C" key from the very moment you switch the machine on.

20th May 2008, 03:13 PM
Many, many thanks kind Currawong. I had completely forgotten about that little trick … it's a fault Macs have, they run so reliably one can forget what to do if anything does need remedying.:):thumbup: