AMITIAE - Friday 19 August 2016
Cassandra: Almost Caught Out - Time Machine Rescue (again)
By Graham K. Rogers
A restart did me no good and on online search for a fix, left me no better off. With the specific System Preference unable to load and no trace of a .plist file that I would need to effect a repair, I was faced with a situation I could not fix. I decided to shortcut everything and use a Time Machine backup.
I had a backup disk at home that I had used early in the morning; and there was another in the office that had completed a backup just after I arrived - and before I started playing about - but there was another problem: the Firmware Password.
I lock up the Mac using the Firmware Password Assistant utility which is now on the Rescue partition. This is opened by starting the Mac with the Command + R keys, but that then needs the Firmware Password. For added security, I write this on paper and lock it away at home, then forget it. It doesn't help that one of the characters used is wrong (I forgot the Shift key), but when I do remember the error, I convince myself that this is just added security.
This is different from installing a Time Machine backup onto a new computer setup when the user is asked to connect a disk at an appropriate time. I had to press the Back button and connect the Thunderbolt cable. It found the disk. I highlighted it (the only one shown) and I was offered a list backups available. I chose the most recent (0845 19 Aug), pressed Go and when a time of over 3 hours was indicated, went off to do other things.
The actual time for the process was about an hour. I noticed that the lights on the disk had stopped flashing, so checked. The main login screen was available with all the accounts. When I entered my User account, there was a process of checking as software started and Little Snitch wanted me to be sure about every outgoing connection.
Aperture needed a repair: I had shut down when this was running. Mail needed to import mailboxes; and Dropbox wanted me to enter a password. The rest was close to how it had been when I started work in the office, apart from two text files. I knew they had not been backed up, but in the twilight state I had in the office, I copied the contents into email messages and later copied the text into TextWrangler.
We are now up and running again.
Graham K. Rogers teaches at the Faculty of Engineering, Mahidol University in Thailand. He wrote in the Bangkok Post, Database supplement on IT subjects. For the last seven years of Database he wrote a column on Apple and Macs. He is now continuing that in the Bangkok Post supplement, Life. He can be followed on Twitter (@extensions_th)
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