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TOPIC: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine

Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 13 Mar 2013 15:57 #3845

I backed up my system and ran all the tests ahead of time, including Surface Scan and Volume Structures. Then optimization, but it stalled out and after 30+ hours I hit the X stop button. After that, my system was so messed up nothing could correct it. I ended up recovering from Time Machine. What did I do wrong? My system is so slow, I want to optimize it, but not go through that again.

Thanks...
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Re: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 13 Mar 2013 17:05 #3846

You did not state what volume the Macintosh was booted from when you ran the optimization. The Volume Optimization requires unmounting the volume being optimized. It is better to run the Volume Optimization while the Macintosh is booted from a hard drive volume, such as an eDrive, rather than the bootable DVD. When the Macintosh is booted from a bootable DVD, virtual memory cannot be used, and no log files can be written.

It was prudent of you to check the disk directory with the Volume Structures test, and to run the Surface Scan before attempting the optimization. In the unlikely event that unremapped bad blocks arose during the optimization, you should run that test again before making another attempt. There was nothing wrong with the approach you had. The All Messages log on the volume from which the Macintosh was booted might give useful error messages about what went wrong. The log can be read by booting from that volume and using the Console application, located in /Applications/Utilities.

Restoring the files from Time Machine has defragmented them, and the free space is probably close to being optimized now. The thread Volume Optimization Problems describes a workaround for the unusual case in which the optimization cannot proceed because the disk directory itself is fragmented.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
Last Edit: 13 Mar 2013 17:08 by micromattech3.
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Re: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 13 Mar 2013 17:28 #3847

If you do find the computer slow or practically unresponsive in the future, and you see no obvious cause in Activity Monitor (located in /applications/Utilities), use the Finder's Go to Folder feature in its Go menu to see how many virtual memory swapfiles you have and when they were created. The path to paste in the Go to Folder dialog box is:

/private/var/vm

There have been many reports in forums of what may turn out to be a problem with virtual memory (the dynamic pager) in Lion, one that leads to the accumulation of many swapfiles. I once had 19, with several created one after another. The only solution is a restart. Do not remove the swapfiles yourself, which could cause a kernel panic.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Re: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 13 Mar 2013 18:11 #3848

Thanks for the responses. My computer was very slow with my Adobe software constantly crashing before I upgraded to Lion. But as soon as I upgraded, it got way worse. I am a graphic designer so typically have lots of software open at a time. I find that now I have to restart several times a day just to keep going. I will check for the accumulation of swapfiles.

And yes, I was running the Volume Optimization from the DVD so that may have been why it stalled out.

Thanks...
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Re: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 13 Mar 2013 18:16 #3849

You are welcome, and thanks for mentioning that the disk optimizer was run from the bootable DVD.

I suggest that you make an eDrive, after making a backup of all volumes on the drive that contains the volume to be split to create the eDrive. An alternative is to put the eDrive on a USB memory stick of at least 32 GB capacity, formatted by Disk Utility to have a GUID partition map and a single Mac OS Extended (journaled) volume.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Re: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 Apr 2013 12:28 #3888

I've been using TTP for years and never had this problem until now (v 6.0.6). This has happened to me the last two times I optimized my HD. I always do it from the e-drive. Both times I had to stop the process after it stalled and then do a complete reinstall from TimeMachine. I would like to know how to avoid this happening or if it is a known bug.
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Re: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 Apr 2013 13:07 #3889

I am sorry to see that you have had this problem twice while using the disk optimizer. The only suggestions I can make are those in posting 3846 above.

If you boot from the same startup volume that was in use when the optimization stalled, and open the Console application, located in /Applications/Utilities, you can read the All Messages log. It may contain a record of an error that arose during the optimization. If the program crashed, there may be a crash log for TechTool Pro at /Library/Logs/CrashReporter or ~/Library/Logs/CrashReporter. If you find such a log, please send it to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

You should run the Surface Scan to check the drive for unremapped bad blocks.

The slow Macintosh may have been caused by having not enough free, contiguous disk space on the startup volume to allow virtual memory swapfiles to be created in one piece each. The next time you note poor performance, from the Finder's Go menu, choose Go to Folder, and paste this pathname into the dialog box:

/private/var/vm

If you have more than a few virtual memory swapfiles, you should restart the Macintosh. Do not ever remove the virtual memory swapfiles manually.

If you have a brief slowdown for no apparent reason, and then performance improves, check the All Messages log for a record that looks like this, which is apparently the record of the successful creation of a new virtual memory swapfile (this text can be scrolled horizontally):
2/6/12 10:31:22.000 PM kernel: (default pager): [KERNEL]: ps_select_segment - send HI_WAT_ALERT
2/6/12 10:31:32.000 PM kernel: (default pager): [KERNEL]: Switching ON Emergency paging segment
2/6/12 10:31:40.000 PM kernel: (default pager): [KERNEL]: System is out of paging space.
2/6/12 10:31:41.000 PM kernel: (default pager): [KERNEL]: ps_vstruct_transfer_from_segment - ABORTED
2/6/12 10:31:41.000 PM kernel: (default pager): [KERNEL]: Failed to recover emergency paging segment
2/6/12 10:31:41.000 PM kernel: macx_swapon SUCCESS

At 10:31 PM, swapfile4 was created.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
Last Edit: 06 Apr 2013 13:10 by micromattech3.
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Re: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 Apr 2013 15:30 #3890

Thank you. I will check. The problem did happen since I replaced the HD in my laptop a year ago so there could be a bad sector that is causing a problem.
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Re: Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 Apr 2013 15:44 #3891

You are welcome.

If the Surface scan test does not find unremapped bad blocks on the drive, save the results of the Surface Scan, by making a screen capture or taking a digital photograph of the screen. If a later Surface Scan tests does find unremapped bad blocks, and the drive is still under warranty, you can use the fact that unremapped bad blocks arose between the two scans as evidence that the drive should be replaced.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 May 2013 14:46 #4012

Help!!! my hard drive is gone.

I was defraging and it stalled. I stopped it and shut the computer down as I had to go. this morning only the edrive is there.

Macbook Pro 2012 running 10.8.3

I do see it on some of the dest, with a different name, but can only run the Surface scan test, not even the volume structure test. it stars and stops with an error right way
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Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 May 2013 15:05 #4013

Help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

on a 2012 macbook pro running 10.8.3

I ran all the test, except surface test, and ran all the tools. all finally ok so was running volume optimizer. it ran for a long time and then got stuck. I stopped it and turned off the computer. when I re-started it the hard drive was gone and only starts from edrive

running surface scan now, but volume structure test fails

what do I do now??
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Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 May 2013 15:30 #4014

If the disk directory cannot be repaired by the Volume Rebuild feature of TechTool Pro, or by Disk Utility, you will have to erase that one volume and restore the files from a backup.

If the Surface Scan finds unremapped bad blocks, the drive should be replaced.

Please take a look at the All Messages log while booted from the eDrive (assuming it was the startup volume in use during the optimization) and see if there are any error messages that appear relevant to the failed optimization. The All Messages log can be read using the Console application, located in /Applications/Utilities. If you find such error messages, please send them and a link to this thread to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. . Thank you.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 May 2013 16:10 #4015

Thank you

from disk utility Invalid B-tree node size
The volume could not be verified completely
updating boot support partition for the volume as required
Error: Disk utility can't repair this disk back up as many of your files as possible, reformat the disk, and restore your backed-up files

what would have caused it to stop in the first place, and what do I do now??

still running surface scan, no issues yet 40 min to go
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Optimization stalled & needed full recover from Time Machine 06 May 2013 16:44 #4016

You are welcome.

Let the Surface Scan test finish. A single unremapped bad block in the right place can make the volume unreadable.

If the Surface Scan finds "errors" (unremapped bad blocks) then they may be the reason why the optimization failed. If not, then the only clues are in the All Messages log on the eDrive, as mentioned above.

The diagnosis from Disk Utility that the B-Tree node size is invalid usually indicates severe damage to the disk directory or volume header. If the Volume Rebuild tool in TechTool Pro cannot repair the damage, then you should use Disk Utility to erase the damaged volume, and restore the files from a backup.
MicroMat Inc
Makers of TechTool
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