Category: Mac OS X

Seagate Firewire Drive Problem

Apple Disk UtilityRecently, I had the opportunity to diagnose a problem with an external Firewire drive and Mac OS X. The drive would no longer mount on the OS X desktop and the only place you could see it (other than Terminal) was in Disk Utility. If you ran Disk Utility – Verify or Repair, the message: invalid content in journal would appear. The fix to make it mountable again was to do the following in Terminal.

The first command gives you a list of all drives and in the right most column, you will need to identify what the Identifier Name is for your volume. Once you have that, run the second command and substitue the IDENTIFIER_NAME with the correct Identifier Name for your volume.

diskutil list
/System/Library/Filesystems/hfs.fs/hfs.util -N /dev/IDENTIFIER_NAME

Example: disk0s2

If it successful, this will mark the disk as no longer Journal, so you can now shutdown the Firewire drive and then unplug it. Wait a minute or so and then start it back up and plug it back into the Macintosh and then you should be able to see the drive mount again.

This allowed me to mount the drive again, but I believe there is still a problem with this drive, so my recommendation was to backyp the drive right away and then reformat it and exchange it for a new drive. I am not sure if the problems with the 1.5TB Seagate drives in RAID configuration apply to other Seagate drives as this one was a 1TB drive, but you never know.

Filed under: Mac OS X

Eudora on Mac OS X 10.5

Eudora OS X IconI spent last week upgrading to Mac OS X 10.5 Leopard. I chose to do a clean install, and so the installation went as smoothly as can be hoped for. Once I manually copied back some of my old settings and reinstalled some of my third party apps, I ended up having a few minor problems. The worst of it was with Eudora 6.2.4, which is the email client I have been using for over ten years. It is has hard for me to say goodbye to Eudora. After all this time the email client just feels comfortable to me and though I have tried Thunderbird, I found it lacking. I thought several times of switching to Apple Mail or PowerMail, but Eudora’s multiple personalities and inboxes were hard to let go. Apparently I am not alone in my Eudora issues with OS X 10.5, there are a few discussions on Apple’s Support Forums about multiple the dreaded beach ball problem and Eudora freezing for no apparent reason. The initial fix is to click on the Window Menu and choose Settings – Getting Attention and change your Sounds from the Eudora defaults to a standard system alert sound. This helps but did not quite fix the problem. Here is a list of other workarounds that seem to have fixed all of my Eudora crashes:

  • Settings – Getting Attention: Uncheck Play a sound.
  • Settings – Spell Checking: Check Spelling – Only when requested and select Never make suggestions.
  • Settings – Mood Watch: uncheck Enable Mood Watch
  • Settings – Hosts: Check DNS load balancing.

After implementing all of these, Eudora launches and displays email without any beach ball cursors or crashes.

Related Links:

In the ‘Sounds’ section, for both ‘New mail sound’ and ‘Attention sound’, select a sound OTHER than one that has ‘Eudora’ in its name (ie. NOT ‘Eudora Attention’, ‘Eudora New Mail’ nor ‘Eudora Short Warning’)

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Useful OS X Terminal Commands

As usual, last Sunday night, my Powerbook decided to come down with a really strange problem. It slowed to a crawl and for a moment I thought my hard drive was dying a slow death. However Disk Utility, showed no problems at all, so I was a bit puzzled by the problem. Eventually after deleting cache files with Cache Out X and rebuilding Prebindings and Spotlight databases, everything was back to normal. Apparantly it does not matter if I run Windows or OS X, I still end up doing computer maintenance at late hours of the night, when I could be sleeping.

I found these terminal commands handy. Unlike third party utilities, you can run these on any up-to-date OS X system.

To update Prebindings manually:

sudo update_prebinding -root / -force

To delete the Spotlight database from the boot volume:

sudo mdutil -E /

To run Software Update from terminal:

softwareupdate -l

To install Software Updates found:

sudo softwareupdate -i -a

Notes: Prebindings usually do not have to be redone, as OS X does this automatically, but if you are having a strange problem; rebuilding might help. Deleting the Spotlight database forces OS X to rebuild it right away, so it is best to let the computer sit overnight while it indexes the vloume. Spotlight is a feature of Mac OS X 10.4. For Software Update, terminal will not prompt for restart, so you must remember to do this after the updates are installed.

To Disable DMG File Verification:

defaults write skip-verify true

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