Involuntary reboot log #8

You could argue that this one is my fault but I like to blame it on the Mac OS X dependence on NetInfo for user information.

I was trying to find out why another machine on my local network was continuously hammering my machine with packets. Well, not exactly hammering but generating a steady 5 to 10 kilobytes of traffic per second. It was as though my machine was being used as a gateway.

So I tried to rule things out one by one. Internet connection sharing was turned off. I wasn’t running Tor or Privoxy. I ended up quitting basically everything and the traffic continued. I then tried to block the offending IP address using ipfw and the traffic still continued.

sudo ipfw add deny ip from to any
sudo ipfw add deny ip from any to

I have no idea why this didn’t work but I continued to see TCP traffic. Variations on these rules didn’t seem to work either. I then committed the mistake that required the reboot:

sudo ipfw add deny all from any to any

That stopped the traffic all right but it stopped everything else, including NetInfo lookups, and that meant that the following didn’t work:

sudo ipfw delete 100

Nothing sudo worked because it couldn’t look up my credentials and complained that user ID 501 didn’t exist in /etc/passwd. So I tried to reboot and Mac OS X decided to hang forever at the blue screen, requiring a hard reset. Sigh…

Right now performing my customary boot-from-DVD and repair with Disk First Aid trick… One of the drives claims to need minor repair. Another hour down the gurgler…

Involuntary reboot stats to date

  • Operating system version: 10.4.9
  • Kernel panics: 6
  • Hard resets: 2
  • Total failures: 8
  • Start of recording keeping: 21 May 2006
  • Total days to date: 303 days
  • Average time between failures: 37 days
  • Uptime at moment of failure(s): Several days

As per usual I used the interactive Ruby interpreter, irb, to do the date calculations for me:

require 'date' -, 5, 21)
303 / 7