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#31447 - 10/07/14 09:55 AM External Hard Drive Doing Something?
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
One of my external hard drives, one that has backups of just my user folders from different dates, starts running now and then and is doing SOMETHING even while it should be idle.
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#31450 - 10/07/14 11:52 AM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: slolerner]
artie505 Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Try keeping Activity Monitor > % CPU open on your desktop and see if you can get a handle on which process is active when the drive spins up.

Edit: Spotlight or Time Machine?


Edited by artie505 (10/07/14 12:19 PM)
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#31452 - 10/07/14 12:34 PM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: artie505]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Not the TM drive, one of the others. I did check the log and it is finding several EOF errors that it can't fix on that drive. I don't know why it is even looking for stuff like that. Looks like I should have done a surface scan on the drive I took the info OFF OF before zero-ing out the disc and putting it back on when I was wiping all my backup drives and reformatting them. Ran Disk Utility, it's stopped doing that extra-curricular activity for now, but I'm sure the error is not fixed.
_________________________
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13"
2.4GHz, 750GB SATA HD, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.7.5
1 HDX1500 2TB Ext.HD, 2 HDX1500 1TB Ext.HD
HP Laserjet 6MP printing postscript via 10/100 Intel print server
Netgear WN2500RP Range Extender (Ira rocks!)
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router
Brother MFC-9340CDW Color Laser
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#31453 - 10/07/14 02:08 PM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: slolerner]
joemikeb Online
Moderator

Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: Fort Worth, Texas
There are lots of things that go on in background all the time including Time Machine backups and Spotlight refreshes that create disk activity. When you say
Originally Posted By: slolerner
I did check the log and it is finding several EOF errors that it can't fix on that drive
what is IT? The Log does not find anything but the task reporting the EOF errors should be indicated in the log which should give you an indication of what the extra-curricular task is.

When you ran Disk Utility, what specific function did you ask it to perform? Repair Disk? If it was Repair Disk when DU completed it should have reported what, if any errors were found and whether or not they were repaired. DU is NOT the best volume/file repair utility out there but when it does report errors it could not repair sometimes running it a second or third time can eventually effect repairs. If there are still unfixed errors you are in need of Diskwarrior, TechTool Pro, or Drive Genius. EOF errors are repairable, but you may end up with truncated files in the process.


Edited by joemikeb (10/07/14 02:10 PM)
Edit Reason: (&$% spell checker
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#31455 - 10/07/14 02:32 PM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: joemikeb]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
This is the error string I got in the console messages for the 1TB drive named "No Noodles" (and yes, the other 1TB is named "Noodles")


10/7/14 1:40:49 PM mdworker[187] FontImporter: Validation failed - "/Volumes/No Noodles/2014-0928/spin/Users/slo/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/Sent Mail 051305 to 030909.mbox/Attachments/13175/1/Berthold Script".
10/7/14 1:40:49 PM mdworker[187] FontImporter: Validation Result - "<CFArray 0x1040f0930 [0x7fff7106bee0]>{type = mutable-small, count = 1, values = (
0 : <CFString 0x1034cfb78 [0x7fff7106bee0]>{contents = "kATSFontTestSeverityFatalError"}
)}".
10/7/14 1:41:08 PM mdworker[187] FontImporter: Validation failed - "/Volumes/No Noodles/2014-0928/spin/Users/slo/Library/Mail/Mailboxes/Sent Mail 051305 to 030909.mbox/Attachments/54671/1/Berthold Script".
10/7/14 1:41:08 PM mdworker[187] FontImporter: Validation Result - "<CFArray 0x1040c3f50 [0x7fff7106bee0]>{type = mutable-small, count = 1, values = (
0 : <CFString 0x1034cfb78 [0x7fff7106bee0]>{contents = "kATSFontTestSeverityFatalError"}
)}".
10/7/14 1:44:06 PM mdworker[187] Unexpected EOF, returning last token as fallback
10/7/14 1:44:11 PM mdworker[187] Unexpected EOF, returning last token as fallback
10/7/14 1:44:11 PM mdworker[187] Unexpected EOF, returning last token as fallback
10/7/14 1:44:11 PM mDNSResponder[43] PenaltyTimeForServer: PenaltyTime negative -13274, (server penaltyTime -1198912930, timenow -1198899656) resetting the penalty
10/7/14 1:44:11 PM mdworker[187] Unexpected EOF, returning last token as fallback
10/7/14 1:44:12 PM mdworker[187] Unexpected EOF, returning last token as fallback

When I ran disk utility set to repair disk, it did not tell me it found any errors and said it was going to do something to the boot blocks. Why does 'it' (the system) care about a corrupt typeface on a backup drive? Does it cron?

Keep in mind, this was the final backup of the evil internal drive before I did a CC Clone of the drive onto an external and put the new drive in.


Edited by slolerner (10/07/14 02:43 PM)
Edit Reason: more
_________________________
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13"
2.4GHz, 750GB SATA HD, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.7.5
1 HDX1500 2TB Ext.HD, 2 HDX1500 1TB Ext.HD
HP Laserjet 6MP printing postscript via 10/100 Intel print server
Netgear WN2500RP Range Extender (Ira rocks!)
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router
Brother MFC-9340CDW Color Laser
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#31456 - 10/07/14 02:36 PM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: slolerner]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
EOF is End Of File. An EOF error happens when a program is reading a file, and tries to read beyond the end. This could mean:
  • There's something in the file (probably near the front) that says how long the file is supposed to be, and it isn't that long.
  • The file consists of blobs of information each of which says how long it's supposed to be, but one of them promises a length that's greater than what's left in the file.
  • Something early in the file says a particular piece of information begins at a particular offset, but that offset is beyond the end of the file.
  • The file should contain one of the aforementioned sizes/offsets at a fixed offset near the beginning, but it isn't even long enough for that. (An extreme case is when the file doesn't contain any data at all. Many file types specify a version number or file subtype in their first few bytes, but if a file is empty the program can't even tell what kind of file it is.)
There's no way to repair an EOF error. Either the program reading the file is buggy to think it's so long (and there's no cure for that except to stop running the buggy program), or some part of the file is truly missing. You cannot "repair" missing data into existence.

As mentioned earlier, an important clue is knowing which program is reporting the error, and which file it's having trouble with. Both of those important pieces of information should be in the error message.

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#31457 - 10/07/14 02:48 PM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: ganbustein]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
see above ^

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#31459 - 10/07/14 03:48 PM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: slolerner]
ganbustein Offline


Registered: 08/04/09
I hadn't seen the actual error messages when I posted my previous comment. I can now provide more info.

What's happening is that Spotlight is indexing the drive. The metadata that it collects from the contents of a file depends on what kind of file it is. (For example, it might collect words from a PDF file, but a PDF file contains formatting information as well as text, and it's only the text that should be indexed. EXIF data from a photograph should be extracted and saved, but there's no text, even if by some wild coincidence the binary representation of the pixels of an image happened to spell out a word.)

To support the wild range of file formats that need to be indexed, there is an MDImporter plugin for each file type. An application that has its own custom file format will typically provide its own MDImporter for that file format. This relieves Spotlight itself from the responsibility of understand every proprietary file format in the world, many of which haven't even been defined yet.

Spotlight also has to be cognizant of security. It cannot tell one user about the content of another user's files. For security purposes, it uses the following division of labor:

There is a background process called mds which runs as root and is responsible for updating the spotlight index. But root is much too powerful to be turned loose running MDImporters for file formats it doesn't understand. Can root really trust an MDImporter supplied by some random developer?

So mds spans a subprocess called mdworker. There is a copy of mdworker running as user "_spotlight". This user doesn't own any files and is not in any groups, so it can read only files that are readable by everyone. This copy of mdworker collects whatever information is publicly available and can be reported to everyone.

When mds finds a file owned by a particular user, it also spawns a copy of mdworker running as that user. That copy of mdworker collects everything that that user can see. If you look in Activity Monitor at any time, you'll often see several copies of mdworker running, each as a different user.

All copies of mdworker report what they find back to mds, which puts the data in the spotlight index, tagged with which user found it. When a user later queries Spotlight, it returns only the data that that user could have seen on their own.

Each copy of mdworker looks at every file it can read that hasn't yet been indexed, figures out what type of file it is, and invokes the appropriate MDImporter. It's up to the MDImporter to make sense of the file, and report anything interesting back to mdworker.


With that background, your error messages can be readily explained.

mds spun off mdworker. mdworker found a file "Berthold Script" buried in a "Sent Mail ..." mailbox. Apparently you had sent this file as an attachment to someone, and then backed up your Sent Mail mailbox (with its attachments) to No Noodles.

mdworker decided this attachment was a font file, and invoked an MDImporter named FontImporter to analyze it. FontImporter thinks the file is corrupted, and is generating several error messages.

An MDImporter such as FontImporter sends whatever information it gleans back to mdworker through a "pipe", which you can think of as an in-RAM file that never actually goes to disk. One process (FontImporter) writes data into one end of the pipe, another process (mdworker) reads from the other end. When FontImporter determined the file was corrupted, it abruptly stopped writing to the pipe. This confused mdworker, which thought more data would be coming down the pipe and got an EOF error trying to read it.


What it boils down to is that you have two problems. The first is that you have a corrupted font file (or a file that isn't actually a font file but mdworker thinks it is). The second is that whoever wrote the FontImporter plugin (probably Apple) didn't thoroughly test what it does when confronting a corrupted file.

The first problem can be solved by deleting the corrupted font file (or modifying it so it no longer looks like a font file).

The second problem is Apple's. You should file a bug report telling them that FontImporter does not properly recover from corrupted fonts. This is the sort of bug that Apple will likely never be aware of, and cannot fix, until someone reports it. Nor is it the sort of problem that lots of people are going to notice and report, so you should not dismiss it as Someone Else's Problemâ„¢. It really behooves you to accept the responsibility of letting them know. (www.apple.com/feedback) Include this same snippet from your Console log so they can see what's happening. You won't get any response, but by and by the problem will get fixed.

In the meantime, mds sees that the file never got indexed, so it tries again. And again. And again...

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#31463 - 10/07/14 09:37 PM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: ganbustein]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
Wow, I am really starting to understand more and more of the console. Thanks, Ganbustein. I will report the FontImporter error by sending the code I pasted above to the link you sent, but I don't know if this was fixed in a later OS, I am still using Snowy. So, if I just got rid of the attachment, it would get rid of the problem. It is just a little strange that there are five backup folders like the one that pulled this error that have the identical file, it is an email archived from prior to 2009. This corrupt one was on the 'evil' hard drive that had me running to the Apple Store, all the weird errors, so I would guess it corrupted during that time and then I backed it up before pulling the drive. That same email folder was imported when I 'paved' the new drive. Maybe it would be wise to replace that whole mail folder, since it is an archive, with one from an earlier backup, on my internal drive as well. Which begs the question: How would I know if this were happening on my internal drive? I only knew about this error because an external drive was doing extra-curricular activity.

This may be an aha moment... One of the things the computer started doing when I began my strange behavior string was a flurry of activity when I wasn't using the computer, fans running high speed when I wasn't even at the computer to the point of having to leave it turned off when not using it.


Edited by slolerner (10/07/14 09:41 PM)
Edit Reason: more
_________________________
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13"
2.4GHz, 750GB SATA HD, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.7.5
1 HDX1500 2TB Ext.HD, 2 HDX1500 1TB Ext.HD
HP Laserjet 6MP printing postscript via 10/100 Intel print server
Netgear WN2500RP Range Extender (Ira rocks!)
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router
Brother MFC-9340CDW Color Laser
iPad Air

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#31465 - 10/08/14 03:10 AM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: slolerner]
jchuzi Online


Registered: 08/04/09
Loc: New York State
I had that issue of fans running excessively and solved it by resetting SMC.
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OS 10.14.6, iMac Retina 5K 27-inch, late 2014, 3.5 GHz Intel Core i5, 1 TB fusion drive, 16 GB RAM, Epson SureColor P600, Photoshop CC, Lightroom CC, MS Office 365

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#31467 - 10/08/14 07:23 AM Re: External Hard Drive Doing Something? [Re: jchuzi]
slolerner Offline


Registered: 08/25/09
Loc: New York City
I has tried that. I'm sorry, I didn't post the link I was referring to. Here it is:

http://www.finetunedmac.com/forums/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showflat&Number=30454

Doing that, and many, many more things did not end the problem. Had to finally buy a new HD.
_________________________
Mid 2010 MacBook Pro 13"
2.4GHz, 750GB SATA HD, 8 GB RAM, OS 10.7.5
1 HDX1500 2TB Ext.HD, 2 HDX1500 1TB Ext.HD
HP Laserjet 6MP printing postscript via 10/100 Intel print server
Netgear WN2500RP Range Extender (Ira rocks!)
Linksys WRT1900AC Wireless Router
Brother MFC-9340CDW Color Laser
iPad Air

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