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File Directory problems

Posted on 1998-11-17
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Last Modified: 2013-11-17
After a crash on my G3/266/OS8.1/256Mb RAM about a month ago, I couldn't mount the internal (start-up) drive. So I used the Norton Utilities 4.0 CD to boot up and recover the internal disk. But ever since, I have had ongoing problems with messages from NDD regarding various directory problems - missing files, leaf count incorrect, damaged resource forks, etc.  Just when I think I've got it ironed out, something else pops up! Would a clean install of the OS help, or do I need to re-initialize the disk? Help!
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Question by:jondiener
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KevSpencer earned 100 total points
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Given your description, a backup, reinitialization and clean install would be best. The disk probably has a corrupt directory and may damage files if used further.

The easiest way to do this is a second drive. The G3 has a SCSI bay where you can install a spare hard drive. Since most of us don't have a lot of these handy, use a Zip drive if you have one. If you have neither, copy critical files to a network (if you're on one). If you're at home and have nothing to back up to, sigh deeply and move on.

G3 systems have IDE drives like PCs but Apple's Drive Setup 1.6.1 and the latest Disk First Aid works fine. Download this from Apple's mirror.apple.com website. DON'T use previous versions as they may cause dangerous problems (<1% of folks have them, but it's good to be careful). Copy Drive Setup and Disk First Aid to a floppy. Have your Power Mac G3 Mac OS 8.1 CD handy and restart with it. Place the floppy in and try to fix what errors you can with Disk First Aid. Then, run Drive Setup and fully reinitialize the disk. I recommend using the low-level format option (from the Initialization Options selection in one of the menus) to ensure that you clean that disk of all that was evil. Be sure to reformat it in Mac OS Extended or you'll waste a lot of disk space.

This is pretty radical, so if you don't want to try this, at least backup then reinstall Mac OS 8.1 in a clean install to start. Good luck.  --KS
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by:jondiener
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Two issues that may or may not make a difference:
1.) The internal drive in question is an IBM SCSI 4.3Gb. But I do have an external drive I can back-up to.
2.) I have the OS 8.0 CD and a recently purchased 8.5 CD (which I haven't installed yet, due to many horror stories I've read.) I upgraded my 8.0 to 8.1 by downloading from Apple's web site, so I don't have that version available for install. Will I have any conflicts going back and installing 8.0 again? Or is it safe to install 8.5 yet? Thanks!
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So you're going to reinitialize the IBM drive? OK. If so, I would try the OS 8.5 CD to do it, but have on a floppy disk a copy of Drive Setup 1.6.1, which will initialize non-Apple drives and hopefully keep those horror stories you hear only stories and not a real-life experience. I just installed OS 8.5 to my Power Mac 6100 (with a G3 boost from Sonnet) and it works great. The main thing to remember is (1) if you can't backup, don't upgrade what you can't afford to lose, and (2) do clean installs for even upgrades when possible as you can revert easily to the old System Folder if things go sour. Moving parts from old and new System Folders is a little annoying, but a program called Clean-Install Assistant (freeware) worked great for me, although I do that sort of thing manually in my line of work, too. If you really don't want to do OS 8.5, go with OS 8.0 and add the 8.1 update from the web over it (it's not a clean install, but it should be OK). Hope that answers your comment. --KS
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