MacFixIt Answers is a feature where we answer questions e-mailed to us by readers. This week, we have questions correcting crashes with applications, addressing bad blocks on hard drives, and methods for reinstalling a corrupt Apple-supplied driver.
Questions: Applications crashing or hanging
MacFixIt reader "Dakota" asks:
I have a G5 Imac, OSX 10.4.11. Just upgraded to safari 4.05. It freezes because I selected the option for it to automatically reload last pages open. How can I deselect this option if it is frozen whenever I start it up?
MacFixIt reader "Dorothy" asks:
My iPhoto keeps quitting unexpectedly as does re-launch...how can I overcome this?
One way around this is to remove the Safari preferences file that is holding the settings. [For Safari,] try removing the file "com.apple.Safari.plist" from the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder, and then relaunching Safari. [For iPhoto,] try removing the files "com.apple.iPhoto.plist" and "com.apple.iPhoto.LSSharedFileList.plist" from the /username/Library/Preferences/ folder, and then try relaunching iPhoto. Hopefully there is just a problem with these preference files that is preventing iPhoto from launching; however, there may be problems with the library file as well, in which case you would be best off by rebuilding it.
Question: Bad Blocks on hard drives
MacFixIt reader "Sers" asks:
I have one bad block on my relatively new (less than a year) MacBook Pro. I have a backup, but no other computer to test it and make sure that it will be sufficient to restore my data. Is is really necessary, for one bad block on the hard drive (discovered using the TechTool Prol Surface Scan Test) to reformat the whole drive? And what do I do to make sure that the backup I have (SuperDuper!) will actually work, as I don't have another computer to test it with? What should I do. There is a lot of work data on my computer that I need...
Generally one bad block is not an issue. The drive should have a number of unused "Spare" blocks that will be remapped to be used in place of the bad one, which the hard drive will flag to ensure it is not used. Formatting will not fix the bad block, but instead just keep it flagged as a bad one and built a volume off the remaining good ones. Do keep checking your drive, however, because if it is going bad you may see more and more bad blocks appear over time. Make sure you also keep regular backups of your files as well, which is the best safeguard while you are monitoring your drive.
For the most part, you should be perfectly fine. A bad block is like a dead pixel on the screen where the display will still be perfectly fine in all other respects, except that in the case of bad blocks you have spares that can be used.
Question: Reinstalling an Apple-supplied driver
MacFixIt reader "Thierry" asks:
I read your article about those annoying freeze after 10.6.3 update and it seems to be a multitouch trackpad driver issue as I found that in my kernel.log :
Apr 2 10:20:46 thierry kernel: AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::validateChecksum - 18-byte packet checksum is incorrect (expected 0x315, checksum bytes were 0xcef)
Apr 2 13:55:38 thierry kernel: AppleUSBMultitouchDriver::_deviceGetReport - DeviceRequest returned error 0xe00002ed (interface 0, reportID 0x0)
Apr 2 13:55:38 thierry kernel: AppleUSBMultitouchDebug: _deviceGetReport returned an error in configurePower
Since I use an external USB mouse, I can use my system without freeze but sometimes, keyboard typing is a little slow. I have reset the system's PRAM without succes and I do not think that deleting preferences can solve this issue. Where can we find original apple 10.6.2 multitouch driver?
The driver has definitely been modified or corrupted so it is not functioning properly. The checksum errors are enough to indicate that. You should be able to find the multitouch driver on the 10.6.0 installation DVD, which is in the /System/Library/Extensions/ folder. Use the program "Pacifist" to open the DVD installer file and locate and install the driver. Optionally, you can try reapplying the latest 10.6.3 "Combo" updater or using "Pacifist" to extract and reinstall the driver itself from the combo updater. I am not certain if it contains an update to the driver, but expect it might since the driver got corrupted after you updated. Regardless of how you install the driver, be sure to run a full permissions fix on the drive after you reinstall.