[X Newbies] blue screen infinity

Florin Alexander Neumann alexn at ica.net
Tue Oct 21 09:23:07 PDT 2003

On Tuesday, Oct 21, 2003, at 00:44 Canada/Eastern, John Lowther wrote:

> [...] I've booted from the OSX CD and run the disk utility.  While at 
> first, it recognized my hard drive, the 'G3' is now grey instead of 
> black. like it was initially.  When a verification is done on the 
> drive, the program says that 'G3' needs to be repaired.  I've asked it 
> to repair, and it's still grey, and when a verification is redone, it 
> still says that 'G3' needs to be repaired.  In addition, a red message 
> comes up in the dialog box for both 'disk' commands-- "Keys out of 
> order."

"Keys out of order" is an HFS+ error message. It indicates catalogue 
corruption -- the database that keeps track of files on the hard disk 
is damaged and the OS can't find crucial files.


(1) Boot in single-user mode and run fsck repeatedly (cf. Pogue, D. 
[2002] "Mac OS X: The Missing Manual (Second Edition)", O'Reilly & 
Associates, Sebastopol, CA: pp. 646-648). If it doesn't work --

(2) Boot off an alternate drive (e.g., CD-ROM) and run Disk Utility 
until it gives a clean bill of health. If it doesn't work --

(3) Get DiskWarrior. Boot off the DiskWarrior CD, and run DiskWarrior. 
If it doesn't work --

(4) Boot off the OS X CD. Reinitialize (i.e., completely erase) the 
drive. Install OS X and restore your files from the backup. If 
reinitializing doesn't work --

(5) Replace the hard disk with a new one. You should be able to get a 
new hard disk for USD80.00 or even less.


IMHO, fixing computer problems doesn't require more than average 
intelligence and a high-school education. It does, however, require a 
highly methodical approach, patience, a willingness to plod and take 
copious notes, and great attention to detail.

In your case, it's not a question of intelligence or ability to follow 
directions (btw, who am I talking to, John or Tracey?) -- but it is a 
question of being methodical and very careful with details. Don't think 
"computer wizard" -- think "boring accountant". You thought you'd been 
"pretty specific". Actually, nothing of the sort.

- What does "working on my blue power mac G3" tell about your hardware?
- What version of the OS are you using?
- What does "Once, I got to the black screen for Unix communications" 
mean -- that you booted successfully in Single User Mode?
- What does "tried to run the fsck that's the Unix version of Disk 
Utility, but that didn't work out" mean? You couldn't run fsck? You did 
run fsck, but it couldn't fix the problem? You did run fsck, it 
reported the problem fixed, but when you restarted you ran into the 
same issue?
- What does "While at first, it recognized my hard drive, the 'G3' is 
now grey instead of black" mean? What is 'G3'? Your hard disk? What is 
now grey instead of black?

This is how an accountant might have reported a situation like yours.

Hardware: Blue & White PowerMac G3/400MHz Rev. 2, 512MB RAM, 18GB IBM 
Deskstar IDE hard drive (no partitions), Matsushita CD-ROM and Iomega 
Zip 100 drives (came with the Mac), ATI Rage 128 video card, Apple 56k 
int'l modem, Apple ADB mouse and Extended Keyboard II.

Software: Mac OS 9.2.2, Mac OS X 10.2.6.

Problem: Under OS X, we tried to install scanner software to use in 
Classic. The installer, which ran in Classic, crashed repeatedly, so we 
rebooted the Mac. It froze at the blue screen after loading the system. 
We rebooted it repeatedly, but it always froze at that point.

What we tried: Tried to boot in OS 9. Doesn't work. Tried to boot in 
Safe Mode. It froze at the same point. Tried to boot in Single User 
Mode. It froze at the "Singleuser mode -- fsck not done" line. Booted 
off the OS X CD and ran Disk Utility to repair the internal drive. It 
reported finding "keys out of order" and not being able to repair it.


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