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OS X has started to forget things recently, such as WiFi passwords and iTunes information. Is this the initial stages of a hard drive failure? I've had one before on my PowerBook then 3 months later it died.

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You also may be interested in this utility: apple.com/downloads/macosx/system_disk_utilities/… –  bobo Apr 1 '11 at 21:03
    
That tool it passed and said no errors with my drive. –  Dean Apr 1 '11 at 22:04
    
I don't think it's your hard drive. Your user profile may be corrupt. Create another user and see if it does the same thing. –  user3463 Apr 1 '11 at 22:27
    
Could you add some more symptoms — like what kind of iTunes information? Preferences, something in iTunes Library? –  ؘؘؘؘ Apr 2 '11 at 17:17

5 Answers 5

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Could be, or it could be a data corruption issue unrelated to hardware failure. You could check your hard drive's SMART status in Disk Utility. That's not definitive, of course, and you should always back up your data. These days I use an online backup provider, but Time Machine is also quite good.

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Yes but where is the corrupt data coming from then if it isn't my hard drive. Possible faulty ram as another option? –  Dean Apr 1 '11 at 22:05
    
I could speculate but I chalk these things up as that sucks but it happens. In my experience, computers do get corrupted data on occasion, and I don't worry too much about it. –  emgee Apr 1 '11 at 22:40

Don't discount possible virus activity.

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Already thought of that so did a virus scan all fine. –  Dean Apr 1 '11 at 22:34
    
Eh, I guess it could be but those symptoms wouldn't indicate a virus to me. –  emgee Apr 1 '11 at 23:15
    
Has there ever really been a Mac OS X virus in the wild? I mean there have been a few proof-of-concept trojans, and a couple of other pieces of malware that didn't ever spread wide. My point is that the odds of a Mac behavior being due to any kind of malware is extremely slim. –  Spiff Apr 2 '11 at 0:43

I'm with the others in saying this isn't likely to be HDD related. Hard drive failures don't result in your system forgetting so much as your system crashing. Errors, failure to boot, not functioning at all, hard freezes, crashes, these are all signs of hard disk failures.

Missing profile information or settings is not.

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I've had a of crashes recently. Not kernel related though, itunes related. –  Dean Apr 1 '11 at 22:37
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What, an Apple program crashes on an Apple OS running on Apple hardware? Say it isn't so!!! Sorry, just had to tweak the fanboys out there. :) Yes, that's all the more evidence it is unlikely you're experiencing a hard drive failure. –  music2myear Apr 3 '11 at 2:37

Not remembering passwords could be If Mac code signing is tampered with, what might fail? - Super User.

Have you moved .apps? Some (particularly bundled) applications have serious problems with that. I've found that iTunes halts randomly, Activity Monitor crashes after starting, System Profiler won't start at all, etc.

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The problem sounds like the computer's physical brain is OK, but its "behavior" has been affected by a solvable mental problem. Like music2myear says, it's not hard drive related at all. I suspect an unlikely mac virus, some legit program applying changes on your behalf, or someone ticking on things settings that sound like stop remembering my passwords now inadvertently.

I don't have OSX, so I'm not sure if the iTunes problem is separate. You may also want to check that you're entering the same user and password and not on someone else's settings, as the computer remembers different things for different "masters"

Ensure in your Apple Menu's \ System Preferences that you didn't make a change disabling your password management tool. It's called the Apple Keychain

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This is a site for computing enthusiasts and power users. You don't need to use fuzzy metaphors like "computer's physical brain" and "mental problem". Also, remember when answering a Mac question, you're probably answering a Mac power user, who probably already knows about the Keychain (and would probably also know that it can't be disabled). –  Spiff Apr 2 '11 at 0:53
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Thanks @Spiff. Implying a PC can "forget" usually requires hand-holding answers, and I've heard not-so-poweruser antispyware sites do merge with Superuser. I saw that the OP's rep. score of ~150 isn't terribly much higher than my ~30 yesterday. My apologies for assuming too much too quickly, being a newbie myself. –  Vlueboy Apr 2 '11 at 17:44

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