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Invalid PEOF problem

A Mac is crashing frequently.  Disk First Aid reports an invalid PEOF on a system file (a preferences file that I can afford to lose and/or restore from tape), but all of the postings I can find seem to indicate that this is a much more serious problem that cannot be ignored or repaired.

My first thought was to just rename the existing file to a bogus name, and then restore a valid copy of the file and go on my merry way.

Why is this a bad plan (if it is), or better yet, are there any solutions that do not involve reformatting the hard drive?
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guyking
Asked:
guyking
1 Solution
 
weedCommented:
Grab yourself a copy of Norton Disk Doctor or Tech Tool Pro. Theyll do a much better job of fixing problems than disk first aid. If the file is unrepairable itll make an alias to it in a specified location. You can then follow the alias and delete the file.
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CocoaNewbOnOSXCommented:
It's not a bad idea to rename or even just move the file. Most sys/apps will re-create the file anyways.

If it's still crashing after a move/delete, then using weed's comments and reformating and reinstalling would probably be a good idea.
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guykingAuthor Commented:
Norton Disk Doctor couldn't fix the problem, and I found other references to the fact that once you have an invalid PEOF, you need to reformat the hard drive.

So, I bought another drive, installed it as a slave, and booted a backup program (Retrospect) to duplicate the drive, simply skipping the one file that had the error.

Reboot, rebuild the desktop, and everything is working again, plus I have 20gig extra space, and the drive was only $40.

As for the comment about rename/moving/deleting the file (particularly deleting), I was concerned that if another file ended up on that bad piece of disk, that I would be in much worse shape.

I guess the point is that my original question was if there was a way to avoid reformatting the drive.  The answer, I believe, is no.  Since I felt that CocoaNewbOnOSX's idea is actually risky, I'll give the points to weed and thanks to all.
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NascaracsanCommented:
Using Norton 6.0 I had similar problem and as a last resort, I opted to rebuild directory from Norton Volume recovery menu. Norton is not that bad,  it fixed problems that disk warrior couldnt.  Make sure you do the extra search it asks for...it will research your hd and it collects
ALOT more files than it previous stated.  Volume recovery has always worked for me.
GL
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