A year without Steve …………..Today.
Once again by popular demand ……it’s F R I D A Y!
One of the many readers to MacNews Blog sent me a message about their experiences with backup. I figure I would just BACKUP and let them share how the importance of BACKUP is. Remember, there are many different ways to backup and there is no one “right” way. The RIGHT way is the way that allows you to be able to restore successfully if there is a problem.
Letter from Mike G.
I thought I’d share my recent Backup related experience with you. Essentially, it involves the importance of backups and in my case an alternate backup scheme. It also relates to a lesson learned of what not to do, and the old adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”.
I’ve had many Macs over the years, but the learning process never ends. Around April I purchased a 21.5″ iMac and a LaCie External Drive for a Time Machine backup. Once I had the new iMac up and running to my satisfaction, I set up the external drive for backups. I partitioned the external into 3 volumes (ideally, I should have an extra external but don’t have the extra dough). I created a 1TB partition for Time Machine – a 100 GB partition to use for a SuperDuper backup – and the remaining partition for general storage. All was good.
At some point, since I had TechTool Pro 6, I decided to take their advice and create what they referred to as an eDrive. The eDrive was basically a small rescue, bootable, invisible partition containing the TechTool software in the event of hard drive failure. As it turns out, I suspect that the eDrive was the cause of the problem that will follow.
Earlier this week, I decided to upgrade my version of Lion from 10.7.4 to 10.7.5 using Software Update… I felt that since it had been out a week or so, that it would be a safe update. The update went smoothly, but I started to notice some oddities that were mostly related to the brightness on the Monitor. I then ran Disk Utility, and Repaired Permissions. A looooong list of monitor/display related preferences/permissions files appeared – and were supposedly Repaired. However, when running Repair Permissions repeatedly they never disappeared from the list. I didn’t want to deal with the bugs in 10.7.5 and decided to Restore back to 10.7.4 using my Time Machine backup. Though I’d never actually done it before, it seemed simple enough and would just take a little time.
I restarted (Command-R) to begin the Restore process, and chose my Time Machine backup to restore from (BTW, I did a Time Machine backup just prior to installing the 10.7.5 update). The restore process began, and was going smoothly, until it reached about 25% done – and, then it stopped with an error. Now that the iMac’s hard drive was erased, I had no choice but to try again. It stopped in the same place with the same error. I tried choosing older Time Machine backups with the same end results. After 4-5 attempts, I figured that it wasn’t going to happen. After about an hour with Apple support, I still didn’t have a concrete solution of how to retrieve my last backup. All they could do was supply a few things to try, like erasing the drive, reinstalling the Mac OS and then attempt at doing the Time Machine backups.
While nosing around in the attempts to manually erase the hard drive with Disk Utility, I noticed the “eDrive”. Because of the “eDrive” the system wouldn’t allow me to erase the hard drive (got an error). I couldn’t erase the drive or remove the eDrive. Hmmmmm.
Then I remembered the SuperDuper backup. I knew it was old (from April), and it had 10.7.3 on it – but I felt that it was worth a shot, and better than nothing. So, I restored from the SuperDuper backup. It went smoothly. I was at least back to that stage, and retrieved that OS and much of the data (though dated). Luckily, TechTool Pro 6 was there – and, upon launching it I was able to delete the “eDrive”. I believe that it was the cause of not allowing me to Restore from the Time Machine backup. Hooray. SuperDuper saved my bacon. An alternate backup scheme that ignored the eDrive when Time Machine and the OS wouldn’t.
It took quite a few hours to get my iMac back to the stage it was in just prior to the chaos. With a combination of Time Machine, fresh software updates, etc. I was able to accomplish it all. Needless to say, once I was finished, I immediately made a new Time Machine backup, backed up as much as possible on DVDs, and did a fresh SuperDuper backup.
Lessons learned or reinforced.
1. Backup, backup, backup – and with alternate schemes. Without the backups, it all would have been lost.
2. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. I’ve always implemented that mentally, but got lax this time. Lesson learned.
3. Think twice, and three times, before implementing or allowing third-party schemes (eDrive) – especially if potentially can compromise the OS.
I appreciate your comments about the importance of backing up and just felt that I should share my recent experience,
Mike Gawet ”
End of Letter-
Not even musical this week. I had a couple of my “co workers” expose me to this. If you liked Paul.
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A year without Steve …………..Today.
Remember to backup regularly and have a GREAT weekend!