[Mac OS X Filter] Slouching towards disk repair
September 11, 2010 6:08 PM Subscribe
My Macbook Pro (Mac OS X, v. 10.5.8) began operating v e r y slowly, with Firefox (v. 3.6.9) running. Help me solve this mystery, and figure out how to repair my disk without having to pay Big Store.
posted by simulacra to computers & internet (24 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Help me save my computer since I have no computer repair budget!
I vaguely remember people encouraging me to upgrade my operating system, but...
The "riveting" narrative:
Using the Firefox browser on my MBP, I suddenly found it responding very slowly - and my cursor's response was also lagging. With many tabs open, and unable to close the Firefox browser using Command+Q, I force quit Firefox, and thought perhaps someone was hacking my computer. (My paranoid reasoning: Why else would it run so slowly while I'm only using Firefox?) This led me to turn off my airport and close my computer, making it go to sleep. I re-opened the computer, logged back in, and closed out all programs except Disk Utility.
Running Disk Utility:
In Disk Utility, I run "Verify Disk" for the first time since January (or possibly earlier this past spring), and two main errors show up in the detailed log:
1) "Incorrect number of thread records" (in the Catalog file)
2) "Invalid volume file count" (in the Catalog hierarchy)
Ergo, "Filesystem verify or repair failed" message. I have no idea what the logged errors mean, except maybe that the computer is unhappy that the numbers are not aligning.
Attempting to Verify Disk Permissions:
Next, I click on "Verify Disk Permissions", which also fails. Three times.
I try to verify disk permissions and verify the disk generally several times, with the same end-result errors. There are missing thread records, differing permissions, and many Warnings, like:
* "Warning: SUID file _____ has been modified [by whom?!?] and will not be repaired"; and
* "ACL found but not expected on _____"
I have no idea what ACL, permissions and their differences, or SUID files stands for.
And, full disclosure, but for a while (since winter or spring of 2009?), I would shut down my computer, with all programs and applications closed out, and upon re-start found either one or sometimes two "Recovered files" folder(s) in my trash bin. Before shutting down, I always make sure my trash folder is emptied, so I noticed that something would appear when I'd start up the computer.
Most of the time it was empty, but sometimes and more recently I noticed that it would have "plug tmp" files listed as recovered files. My friend advised me to run Disk Utility since "that's not good," and I did, but the disk verified fine (this past winter), so I just thought my computer was...quirky but fine.
Basically, is this a big problem? (e.g. is my computer about to kick up daisies?)
What's causing this? (Okay, this may be beyond the scope of AskMetaFilter)
Relatedly, what would cause a computer's inability to repair itself?
How did my files get modified?
Do I have to go to the Apple/other repair store?
Will my computer die on me soon?
If everything else is fine, can I just ignore this or is this Really Important to fix?
I bought this refurbished MBP "new" from Apple in 2008, and it has always run very well. My two-year Apple service care plan (not exact name) is probably expired by now, and unfortunately my original start-up disks that came with the MBP are in storage very far from where I live.
Thanks very much for any help or insight into this!