No, really, there is no disk.
January 26, 2012 8:39 PM   Subscribe

I have a new Macbook running Lion- 15", 2.2 Ghz i7, with 16 GB of RAM and a 240 GB SSD. It's fancy, and crazy-fast. Except for the constant crashes. Any idea as to why it might be thinking I am improperly ejecting disks when there is no disk attached?

After being on for a while, it will throw up an error message that I have not ejected a disk properly, like when you pull a flash drive without ejecting it- except there is no disk or drive attached. Once that happens, two processes, notifyd and syslogd, start and begin consuming all the system resources they can. Since notifyd passes messages between programs and syslogd writes things to the logs, it isn't long before everything is completely frozen and I have to do a hard reset link to picture of activity monitor and error meesage

This is a work machine, and it initially had symantec endpoint protection on it that was being annoying, but I figured out how to remove it (the IT folks in my office have to install it, but understand that it will come off so the developers can do their jobs). The problem occurred with and without SEP.

There isn't much in the logs, and almost nothing right around the time that it crashes- which kind of makes sense if syslogd is hanging. Is this some sort of hardware failure, maybe? PRAM and SMC reset, along with verifying and repairing disk permissions didn't help. Both the RAM and SSD are aftermarket, but compatible(from Crucial and OWC, respectively). I haven't been able to run apple hardware test, since it can't get to the internet-based AHT server on my work network. I have an appointment with the Genius bar tomorrow, but I was wondering if the Hive has any ideas before I go.
posted by rockindata to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
 
It sounds like you should take it back to your IT department, since you have one, before you take it to the genius bar...in part because taking it to the genius bar might be against your company IT policy (ie putting a work machine in the hands of a non-employee.)
posted by davejay at 8:48 PM on January 26, 2012


This sounds like a hardware issue, but if you have an external drive, putting a fresh copy of OS X on that external drive and booting from it would confirm the problem. That is, if you see the same symptoms when booted off the external drive, then you're more than likely dealing with a hardware issue, one resolved through the Genius Bar/Apple Store. If you don't see the same symptoms, the problem might be fixed by a clean install of OS X.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:48 PM on January 26, 2012


Any possibility the SATA connector isn't fully seated? Or that the SSD itself is bad? I have nearly the same machine: 15" 2.3GHz i7, 16GB, 60GB SSD + 250GB HD (in the CDROM bay). It works great, but I did have trouble with the SSD at first: I wanted to put it in the CDROM bay, but it would only work reliably in the main bay so I had to put the spinning disk in the CDROM adapter.

Or, as BP says, you can try installing Lion to an external drive, or put the original HD back in and see if that works.
posted by spacewrench at 8:51 PM on January 26, 2012


I, too, suspect the SSD. This seems a bit reminiscent of the mysterious "delayed write failure" weirdness I've experienced on Win machines with SSDs that seem to just partially disappear from time to time.
posted by bz at 8:59 PM on January 26, 2012


Smells like logic board, my MBP with that nearly same config would fail spontaneously. They swapped the logic board, went away entirely.
posted by iamabot at 9:07 PM on January 26, 2012


Almost certainly a hardware fault. Given it's a work machine, don't futz around with it, just get them to fix it.
posted by rodgerd at 10:57 PM on January 26, 2012


I'd follow the Apple Hardware Test instructions and see if anything is a smoking gun (or motherboard).
posted by Mad_Carew at 12:20 AM on January 27, 2012


I've found that if the cursor moves, but nothing else responds. It's a good indicator that the boot device is failing (also explains the lack of log files).

If possible try running off an external drive maybe?
posted by Packed Lunch at 12:44 AM on January 27, 2012


...it initially had symantec endpoint protection on it that was being annoying, but I figured out how to remove it...

This may be where the problem exists.

Put it back in the hands of your IT people. This is a work machine. It's their problem to fix, not yours.
posted by Thorzdad at 6:51 AM on January 27, 2012


Response by poster: OK, Now I'm running off of the original HD in a FW 800 enclosure that has a cloned version of the OS on it. We shall see if the problem crops up now. If so, I will be calling OWC. Doing a fresh install of Lion is an option, but rather annoying, since it makes doing work rather hard.

Regarding the IT folks here at work. I work in a small, semi-independent development shop in a Large Government Institution. The IT folks in the Large Government Institution are windows-only, except for the initial set-up of the mac. They don't want to see it after that. The version of SEP that was installed was not even Lion-compatible, which is one of the main reasons I took it off. Individual users taking macs to the Genius Bar is standard operating procedure here. Fortunately, you can easily get Genius bar appointments at our local Apple Store.

I've found that if the cursor moves, but nothing else responds. It's a good indicator that the boot device is failing (also explains the lack of log files). Good to know.
posted by rockindata at 7:18 AM on January 27, 2012


I too agree that is sounds like the boot device is failing, or the connector. The trial with the external drive will at least rule those two things in or out.
posted by gjc at 2:43 PM on January 27, 2012


Did you, in fact, fully delete SEP? If one of those off apps that tosses all sorts of garbage in various places in the system, there could still be some stray item trying to interact with the OS and causing havoc.
posted by Thorzdad at 9:15 AM on January 29, 2012


Response by poster: turned out to be a double failure- things are now happy, but it required a replacement of both the SSD AND the logic board, which makes me wonder if there were mistakes made that messed something up on initial installation of the ssd.
posted by rockindata at 4:02 PM on February 19, 2012


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