Saturday, June 28, 2008

two macs died in two days, nothing lost

Clustering happens, which in this case was unfortunate. First my MacBook Air got confused while I was moving files over to my new work computer. The login app was crashing on startup, looking a lot like the corrupt NetInfo DB bug discussed in several places on the web, but with 10.5 that couldn't be the problem. After wasting a couple of hours on the command line and not resolving it, I fell back to the trusty OS X archive install, where you reinstall OS X while preserving your accounts and settings. Worked like a charm and everything was fine. Huge kudos to Apple to keeping this feature solid in release after release of OS X.

This had just finished when I got a call that one of our home Macs was failing to boot and displaying a circle with a line through it. Uh-oh. After fsck and an archive install, it came back up but continued to act flakey. A bit more trouble shooting made clear that its drive is dying, although it was sort of working in target disk mode. Fortunately, Time Machine plus a Time Capsule had been doing their thing, so nothing was lost. Everything already restored to a different machine and busted machine waiting for a trip to the Apple store.

Yay, backups! One note, make sure you let Time Machine do the whole drive, not just the user's directory. If not for target disk mode working, I would have had to reinstall a ton of software.


Shakespere said...

I feel for you on the loss of your Macs. Yes, externals are a wonderful thing.

rosezinlace said...

Thank you, I have no idea what Time Machine or Time Capsule is but I will check it out now. I have an online store and will be buying a new computer with much more memory. I have been thinking about all the software I will have to reload and more. Your blog is extremely interesting as well as informative. Thanks again, donna.

gofigures said...

I have been using a protocol from screencastsonline: bootable backup (with SuperDuper) + Time Machine backup on external HD (partitioned, but isn't necessary). Test the bootable backup with target disk mode as needed. Works so slick!!

Mr. Nissan said...

Apple computers are really reliable. I wonder what happened to make them shut down