Mac Mini Crash: cause located

Windows screenshot showing Maxtor drive statsToday I spent some more time using Google to find information on why my Mac suddenly crashed. I am now 99% that the cause of this all is my Maxtor OneTouch 250GB drive, which was formatted as one big Fat32 partition (screenshot). Although I connected it to a friend’s iMac for a short period without problems, and it has worked on my Mac mini for a while, I keep finding discussions about people with crashed Macs. I have not installed the Maxtor software, so that’s not the problem.I have disconnected the Maxtor drive last Saturday, and my Mac has been up and running ever since, without problems. I can almost rule out memory related issues, because when I startup Eclipse while running iMovie, iDVD, Thunderbird, Firefox, iTunes, Clutter and TextWrangler (yes all at the same time), the system keeps on running. In fact, it is still responding to user input as if I had only one of those programs running. Only very minimal swapping with 2GB memory, and when swapping, OS X is very efficient about it.

Now, my plans are as follows:

  1. Only connect the maxtor to a PC while it is still Fat32.
  2. Share the drive on the PC, and try to empty it as much as possible (move data to Mac and the fileserver)
  3. Run Rember in single user mode for a few iterations this weekend to rule out memory problems.
  4. Decide on a filesystem to use on the Maxtor, and reformat it.
  5. Re-connect the Maxtor OneTouch to the Mac and see if the gremlin is killed.

It is very likely that the drive is going to be formatted with the “Mac Os Extended” filesystem, but I’m not sure about journalling yet. The disadvantage of all this is that the drive can not be used to transfer files between a PC and a Mac.

Still it feels funny. Some people actually can create 100GB+ Fat32 partitions they can use on their Macs. I can read and write to the drive too, but at some point my Mac decides it has been enough and kills itself (probably after finding the windows crud 😉

Sorry for the linking-frenzy, I had a lot of links I wanted to share with you.


One Response to Mac Mini Crash: cause located

  1. […] Mini Crash: Maxtor not the problem In my last post, the Maxtor OneTouch drive was the prime suspect of the spontanious crashing of the Mac. Tonight […]

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