iBook randomly unmounts partition
I'm using an iBook G4 800MHz 12", with Tiger, with the full 1.25GB of RAM in it. I've got a 40GB hard drive in it, set up as two separate partitions. The first partition is the 'main' partition, with the system, applications, and one 'troubleshooting' user account. It's partitioned HFS+ with Journaling.
The second partition is for my user account, it's partitioned UFS, and contains my home directory. I'm not doing anything fancy on this laptop, just Safari, Mail, and Terminal.
Twice in the last 2 weeks, I've been using the laptop, then suddenly I can't launch any more programs, I can't do anything, and when I try to reboot or shutdown, it is unable to. I then force it to shut off (holding the power key for a few seconds).
When it reboots, it is unable to reboot. I have the Open Firmware option set so that it shows me all the boot up text, and everything it tries to do fails with an error 'filesystem is read only'.
The only way I can resolve this problem is to boot from the install CD, go into disk utilities, and manually mount the main partition.
In other words, the symptoms seem to indicate that while I'm using the laptop, the main (boot) partition is unmounted. Everything on the second partition is still there, the computer continues to 'work' (although there isn't much I can do). But say I already have Safari open, I can continue to use it. But if I close it, I can't reopen it.
I am going to copy Disk Utility onto the second partition so if this happens again I can try and remount the partition without the install CD.
Any ideas of what would cause it? Bad hard drive? Bad iBook? Bug in Tiger?
She who laughs last -- probably made a back-up.