My Thanks to Frank Eleveld for starting this task.... and motivating me to get the thing
up and running... Several members probably deserve credit for instigating this... it's
been asked for since about day one of V3... hey, look, it took less than 2 years....
This thread will be a locked reference thread, if you wish to submit material for
inclusion, please contact one of the Mac forum moderators (Currently myself and James
Lehmann) who'll then tack it on to the end... Mac
Maintenance Tips and Tricks.
Mac OS X applications store data about what users have
which rights in files, which may become corrupt over time and use. Corrupt preference
files can cause system instability, cause software to operate incorrectly due to altered
(incorrect) access rights permissions, as well as cause random strange behaviour.
Frequently checking preferences is highly recommended to keep your system running
Preferences are repaired using Disk Utility; navigate to
'Applications', 'Utilities', 'Disk Utility', and choose the first tab 'First Aid'. Select
the drive (not the volume name) and choose 'Repair permissions' to proceed. Repairing
permissions is a fully automatic process and it doesn't require user intervention.
Note that what can and cannot be done this way has changed with successive versions of
OSX. OSX.1 could not repair the start up drive without starting from the original
installation disk... OS10.4 apparently can... BUT it's still recommended that you
try this when problem permissions are persistently refusing to be fixedDelete cache files
Removing cache files once or twice a month should help
keeping OS X operating fast. Large and/or corrupt cache files will make the system
unresponsive and cause anomalies.Delete old log files
clutter hard disk space - removing old logs will help keeping your data up to date and
manageable, although it's worth keeping some crash logs if you're having regular trouble
with your system... Checking hard drive condition
Utility (Applications, Utilities, Disk Utility), and click on the drive label (not the
volume name). In the lower part of the windows, you'll see the disk description, the
connection buss, the connection ID, and to the right of this, 'S.M.A.R.T. Status'. If this
reads 'Verified', then everything is in order. If there's no 'S.M.A.R.T. Status' listed,
your Mac doesn't have S.M.A.R.T. enabled drives. If you see 'S.M.A.R.T. Status', but
without the phrase 'Verified', back up your data immediately as it's possible that the
drive is likely to fail soon.Defragmenting data
If you've enabled
'Disk Journalling', OS X will perform disk defragmentation to some degree. If you're
working with large files, you may find the amount of defragmentation unsufficient, in
which case you can use utilities like TechTool Pro.Software
are various tools for performing system maintenance. One of my personal favourites is
YASU, an accronym of Yet Another System Utility. It's freeware and it consists of nothing
more than a number of Unix scripts, performing essential maintenance. It's quite compact
in size - in fact, it's as small as maintenance utilities get.Linkshttp://www.macattorney.com/ts.htmlhttp://www.applelinks.com/index.php/more/built_in_os_x_disk_file_system_ma
or all or none of the above may have been sourced from the following resource. : Mac
World; 24 January 2005 - prevent Mac disasters
additional notes..... Additional Drive Recovery Tools
Once in a while you may find that a drive decides not to play nicely with the rest
of the system, maybe it's on it's way out, maybe it's been accidentally corrupted, maybe
it just don;t like Mondays... the following is a short list of Disk recovery tools that
have been found useful....
Good for rebuilding corrupted
Volumes , where it's damage to the volume header or structure that's at fault...
Slightly more robust , but less user friendly... Disk/Volume
Carbon Copy Cloner,
more useful than most people
In a worst case scenario, this is useful only
if you can identify large files , it , in common with several others of it's type, tends
to retrieve lost data simply as 001.aif , 002.aif, - 4589.aif etc etc
which if you
just lost several terabytes of sample library,. is bugger all use... but on the other
hand, if you just lost the printed mix of a 2 hour movie, it's reasonably handy ....
IF you do have a corrupted volume or Data loss issue, then
most critically of all NEVER EVER try to recover on to the same drive, or indeed save or
write or initialise anything on or with that drive... Writing ANY new data to the drive,
even just a new Volume label, runs the risk of overwriting the pre-existing data you want
The upshot of this is that effectively, if you have such a
problem, either you need another drive of the same size or larger to hand, or you'll need
to buy one.... Resetting NV-RAM
Remember back in "The
good old days" of OS9??
Restting P-Ram (Physical Ram) was a staple diet
tool for getting recalcitrant machines to play nice... well, sadly it's still the
case... although much less often...
if you have a mac falling over regualrly,
even when not in use... it's possible some Sysytem or hardware reference that's stored in
RAM may be corrupt... so you reset them...
how to do it??
there's a few ways... including the age old Key combos during start up, but on the later
Macs the most reliable method is via the open Firmware route..
Restart your mac
, holding the power button continuously , first you'll hear a long tone, then a grey
screen will appear with a bit of bumpf then a prompt...
at the prompt type
(not including the quotation marks) "reset-nvram" and hit return.
then at the next
prompt after this is done, type "reset-all"
(you could just type "mac-boot" to
restart the machine into OSX... but it's not required if using the "reset-all" command,
it's a bit "belt and braces" but it works.. )
the Mac will then restart and
boot up as normal, although there may be a few odd moments as screens reset their
resolution and so on...
if this fails to make any difference to your
problem, and nothing above does either then.... Hardware Checks
Every new Mac is supplied with a Hardware test Disk, specific to that model...
if you experience a fault that seems un-resolvable by the usual methods or
repairing permissions and resetting NV-RAM (AKA P-RAM) , dig this out and run the
extended tests... this can take a while, especially for those of us with 8-16Gb of RAM
in dual or Quad G5
but it is usually fairly thorough in identifying hardware
specific faults that will require a component replacement . provided it's not an
intermittent fault.... Firewire Drive Issues
claims by apple and others, for Firewire being robust and hotswappable... it's best NOT to
1) OSX throws a wobbler if you unplug a mounted drive without
ejecting it from the desktop... and in unfortunate cases, this can result in corrupted
volume headers and data loss. ALWAYS eject first....
2) it's possible,
although fairly rare, for the firewire chipsets in both the machine and the external drive
, to get fried....it seems especially if a device is buss powered... so the cautionary
approach, only connecting drives with the machine powered down is advisable.... with non
buss powered drives, it seems okay to disconnect while the Mac is powered, provided the
drive has been properly ejected in the OSX Desktop... as long as you power down the drive
before disconnecting the cable... Since a lot of us rely on Firewire to an ever
increasing degree , it's worth taking the care...
3) Firewire hubs.
not all created equal, and some Firewire devices simply will not play nicely with them...
even when they're plugged in to a different port and not via the hub...
fairly sure that someone somewhere will have collated a list of what hub devices play
nicely with fussy firewire client devices.. ( note, Firewire DSP and audio interfaces
are seemingly MUCH more prone to this than Drives ) but I haven't as yet... so try
googling the model you're considering before buying it....
(It's worth noting
that FW800 and FW400 on the G5 machines actually share a buss, stupid but true.,.. so yes,
having a hub on the FW800 can and sometimes does affect a "non hub friendly" device on the
4) Firewire cables.
Are NOT indestructible, but are generally
really very fragile... stand on one, and it could well now have impaired operational
performance... place a chair or desk leg on one and it's very likely to be in Dodo
territory.... DEAD... or worse... certain fault conditions could even damage the
chipset in the machine.... OUCH!
Look after them!
That's all for the
minute... I have other fish to fry....
if you don't know who i am, i aint gonna tell you.