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Twenty steps to help diagnose and fix system issues
Authored by: kmt on Jan 12, '04 01:38:13PM

This hint is similar to an OS X Troubleshooting List I've been posting, in various forms, to the Apple Discussion Forums for the last 9 months.
General OS X Troubleshooting List. Originally targeted at Jaguar, this list can also be applied to dealing with Panther. The idea is to clear any common software/hardware issues first, before concluding that there is a distinct processor and/or motherboard malady.

Level One - Simple
• repair permissions (Disk Utility/Disk First Aid)
• check the filesystem (Disk Warrior for OS X)
• create a new (testing only) user account, and see if the problem persists there...if not, the problem is with damaged preferences. Use Jaguar/Panther Cache Cleaner...see
• remove any StartupItems in /Library/StartupItems/
• unplug all USB, FireWire devices except Apple mouse, connected directly to the computer
• clear system & user caches (Jaguar/Panther Cache Cleaner, Cocktail, etc.)
• zap PRAM (See for how-to on your particular machine - do not over use this tactic )

Level Two - Extended
• remove any 3rd party or questionable quality RAM (Samsung and Micron are trusted)
• reseat all PCI cards & cable connectors where possible (don't forget the cables for the optical drives)
• remove 3rd Party PCI cards
• reinstall the latest combo updater (Jaguar) and repair permissions again
• remove any Extensions from /Library/Extensions/
• remove 3rd party Extensions from /System/Library/Extensions
• check the hard drive for bad blocks (Disk Warrior, Drive Ten)
• run the Apple hardware diagnostic CD that came with your computer
• reset PMU (See for how-to on your particular machine)
• perform an OS X 'archive and install'
• reinstall the system from scratch
• contact Apple and plan to take the machine in or have it returned for service

Keep notes as you go. This will allow you to answer questions when you talk to Apple as a final effort towards resolution. Be firm and be nice, but make it Apple's problem. Take down the names of everyone you speak to, and work up through the chain of command until you locate someone with the authority to deal with your issue.

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Twenty steps to help diagnose and fix system issues
Authored by: petey on Jan 12, '04 08:55:46PM


My original list was even closer to your list than this one is. You can see the progress at the Mac OS X Hints Forum link at the bottom of the article.

I went through two evolutions that might be of interest:

- Using SafeBoot as an diagnostic step up the tree allows you eliminate a bunch of items on your list.

- Since PRAM is a subset of NVRAM, resetting the NVRAM is a more comprehensive step.

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Twenty steps to help diagnose and fix system issues
Authored by: granmar on Jan 15, '04 04:38:19PM

I'd like to add this

I run using Panther 10.3.2 (G4 500/1Gb Server & G3 500/500Mb PowerBook with many external FireWire drives and Belkin 2.4 Ghz wi-fi network.


I have Systemworks 2 Norton Utils loaded on separate partitions under Jaguar 10.2.8 and have downloaded Symantec's latest "updates for NU" (December 22nd 2003)


This will allow Disk Doctor to fix probably all the problems that Disk Utility could not. Don't be afraid to run Disk Doctor many times until "No Problems Found" is shown. Only when you are satisfied, reboot in Panther and proceed to open Disk Utility and RE-ENABLE JOURNALING.

Happy Problem-free computing! Like me! Hope it helps


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