Help! Relinking corrupt etc, var, tmp, and mach leads to OS reinstall

Discussion in 'Apple' started by Allomorph, Apr 12, 2009.

  1. Allomorph

    Allomorph Guest

    What would make etc, var, tmp, and mach link to garbage? I've had this
    happen a couple of times recently in 10.3.9; fixing them with ln -s to
    link to the right places allows startup to continue, but (in verbose
    mode) it never completes: I get "/etc/rc: line 286: 128 Hangup
    SystemStarter -gr ${VerboseFlag} ${SafeBoot}", some stalling, and then
    the last message is "IP firewall loaded". Safe Boot with the Shift key
    never gets past the Apple logo screen; in single-user mode I checked
    /var/log/system.log and it ends with "SystemStarter: Waiting for
    Printing Services".

    Is there any way to recover from whatever's going on here and prevent
    it? Disk Utility and Disk Warrior don't help, not even by repairing
    permissions. Each time I've given in and reinstalled the OS and
    recommended software updates; could one of the Java or security updates
    do this? Is there something I should check in my Users folder? I
    don't have any user-specific startup items.
     
    Allomorph, Apr 12, 2009
    #1
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  2. Allomorph

    billy Guest

    I use 10.3.9 heavily but I've never seen this happen. What kind of apps
    are you running? Are you changing the OS as installed in any way? Here
    is what the computer I'm on now looks like -

    $ ls -alP
    total 30913
    drwxrwxr-t 45 root admin 1530 9 Apr 12:16 .
    drwxrwxr-t 45 root admin 1530 9 Apr 12:16 ..
    -rw-r--r-- 1 billy admin 15364 9 Apr 14:08 .DS_Store
    drwx------ 2 root admin 68 6 Aug 2006 .Spotlight-V100
    d-wx-wx-wt 3 root admin 102 6 Aug 2006 .Trashes
    -r--r--r-- 1 root wheel 156 12 Sep 2003 .hidden
    -rw------- 1 root admin 262144 26 Feb 16:19 .hotfiles.btree
    dr--r--r-- 2 root wheel 320 8 Apr 15:26 .vol
    drwxrwxr-x 168 root admin 5712 8 Apr 11:38 Applications
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root admin 30720 7 Apr 13:55 Desktop DB
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root admin 124802 7 Apr 13:12 Desktop DF
    drwxr-xr-x 2 billy unknown 68 8 Apr 2008 Desktop Folder
    drwxrwxr-x 16 root admin 544 8 Apr 2008 Developer
    drwxrwxr-x 43 root admin 1462 13 Sep 2008 Library
    drwxr-xr-x 1 root wheel 512 12 Apr 08:44 Network
    drwxr-xr-x 5 root wheel 170 28 Sep 2008 System
    drwxr-xr-x 2 billy unknown 68 8 Jul 2006 TheFindByContentFolder
    drwxr-xr-x 4 billy unknown 136 25 Jun 2006 TheVolumeSettingsFolder
    drwxr-xr-x 2 billy unknown 68 25 Jun 2006 Trash
    -rw-r--r-- 1 billy admin 0 11 Apr 13:38 User Guides And Information
    drwxrwxr-t 6 root admin 204 25 Jun 2006 Users
    drwxrwxrwt 10 root admin 340 8 Apr 19:49 Volumes
    drwxr-xr-x 4 root admin 136 25 Jun 2006 automount
    drwxr-xr-x 35 root wheel 1190 18 Nov 2007 bin
    drwxrwxr-t 2 root admin 68 12 Sep 2003 cores
    dr-xr-xr-x 2 root wheel 512 8 Apr 15:26 dev
    lrwxr-xr-x 1 root admin 11 25 Jun 2006 etc -> private/etc
    drwxrwxr-x 4 root admin 136 17 Jan 21:24 lbackup
    lrwxr-xr-x 1 root admin 9 8 Apr 15:26 mach -> /mach.sym
    -r--r--r-- 1 root admin 571184 8 Apr 15:26 mach.sym
    -rw-r--r-- 1 root wheel 3872560 30 Mar 2005 mach_kernel
    drwxr-xr-x 6 root wheel 204 8 Apr 15:26 private
    drwxr-xr-x 62 root wheel 2108 18 Nov 2007 sbin
    drwxrwxrwx 11 root admin 374 12 Apr 03:01 tmp
    drwxr-xr-x 12 root wheel 408 17 Jan 21:24 usr
    lrwxr-xr-x 1 root admin 11 25 Jun 2006 var -> private/var

    Billy Y..
     
    billy, Apr 12, 2009
    #2
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  3. Allomorph

    Allomorph Guest

    I've run it for a while too and this is new to me. The problem started
    happening when my main drive began to click under stress and I figured
    it would be safer to install fresh on the 500 GB slave drive. I
    recently installed Camino 1.6.7, but other than that I'm hardly getting
    to use it without it screwing up. I've found that several links in
    directories in /System/Library/Frameworks also get corrupted. After
    reinstalling a basic system three times today and letting it create new
    user accounts, I don't know what else to do; the last time I only
    updated with the 10.3.9 combined update, and the new system was
    corrupted again on restart.
     
    Allomorph, Apr 12, 2009
    #3
  4. Allomorph

    billy Guest

    It might be related to the size of the drive. There used to be a 128GB
    limit on the computers. I don't recall with what models that went away.
    How big was the disk that died? You could try partitioning the 500GB
    disk, although the size limit was for an entire device. I'd zero it out,
    too (an init option in Disk Utility), even though that takes a while.
    Is the main drive still in the computer and getting mounted? I would
    physically remove it, just to be sure it's not affecting anything else.

    Billy Y..
     
    billy, Apr 12, 2009
    #4
  5. Allomorph

    Allomorph Guest

    I'm not sure the disk size is part of the problem, as it's in a
    Quicksilver 2002 and even OS 9.2.2 recognizes the 500 GB drive. For
    now I've gone back to a minimal system on the formerly clickety 80 GB
    drive; I'll wait until it fails permanently, then I'll physically
    remove it before reinstalling. Thanks for your responses.
     
    Allomorph, Apr 20, 2009
    #5
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