On 2018-02-24 22:33 Valter Prahlad wrote:
> The OP problem is definitely NOT an HDD failure.
>
> Even if the HDD was toast, the Mac would not shutdown: it would say "I can't
> find any boot disk" - or something like that.
> And if the HDD was corrupted, the Mac would show the folder icon with a
> flashing question mark (meaning "Cannot find a valid system to boot").

HDD failures don't have to be total. Sometimes only some sectors are
corrupted and that's what makes it act up, including the possibility to
have it shut down on its own afer a certain timeout.

It must be over 20 years ago that I had a PC with Linux on it. It would
boot and error messages wouldn't stop. I rebooted and everytime the
errors and messages were different with me ending up on a usable command
prompt from time to time. It took me some hours of troubleshooting to
find that not the Linux as the operating system was acting up -- it was
the HDD, and I prooved that because one time that a bootup made it to
the command prompt I used dd to write something to the disk and I then
read it again and got astonishing results: some writes didn't work, for
others (that obviously had worked) the reads didn't work a couple of
times but worked one time or the other... It was strange but since that
time I know that HDD errors can be of such kind: different sectors were
working and not working randomly. BTW a Windows on the same HDD didn't
come this far... (BSOD, Blue Screen of Death...)

I don't know how Mac OS (the Classic one) and Mac OS X acts if it has
trouble reading data during bootup, because HDDs became more reliable
over the years and since I've started using Macs (around 2006 or so) I
didn't encounter such a situation ever again.

Cheers,
Mac User #330250

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