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Old 03-15-2009, 11:29 AM   #1
Mike
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Default Recovering from surgery

At long last I'm back in the land of the living after changing the hard drive on my 17" MacBook Pro. And I've learned a few lessons...

1. ===
Don't be put off my Apple's warning that the hard drive isn't a user-upgradable item. The hardest part is finding the instructions and a Torx T6 screwdriver. It does mean removing the battery, all the memory, the top panel with keyboard and a ribbon cable that's plugged in to the logic board and covered with sticky tape but it's no big deal.

2. ===
Don't expect to reload a complete backup using Time Machine in your own lifetime. Having installed the OS on the new drive I was given the opportunity of reloading everything from the Time Machine backup which is on a 1TB USB drive. OK, I thought, this looks easy.

Estimated time, it said: 18 hrs 29 minutes!

So we went out to a restaurant for dinner and when we got back it was still saying 18 hrs 19 minutes.

So I went to bed. In the morning it was still saying 18 hrs 29 minutes. However the progress bar had moved! By then it was showing as 10 - 15% completed.

So I gave up and went and bought a USB enclosure for the hard drive that I've taken out of the laptop. I stuck the drive in that, reformatted the new drive, reinstalled the OS and used the migration assistant to copy everything to the new drive. The total elapsed time for doing that was about 10 hours - which included the 100-mile round trip to buy the USB enclosure.

So, although Time Machine might be great for reloading a file or two it really doesn't seem cut out for heavy-duty restores.

3.===
While I was buying the SB enclosure I also picked up a 1TB Iomega network drive. I thought it would be useful to use with Time Machine (plus another backup strategy) and would save keep having to plug the USB cable into the MacBook.

I spent ages trying to get it to work before discovering that Time Machine doesn't work with network drives! TM only works with drives that are plugged in to the Mac or an Airport base station. Still there's a fix out there on the Internet - some obscure command that needs to be typed in to Terminal and suddenly Time machine decides network drives are fine. At least, it seems to be working OK and has survived a few restarts after which it's found the network drive and continued backing up.

4.===
One of the main reasons for changing the hard drive in the MacBook was to gain sufficient space to run a Windows-only application. So I started up BootCamp and used that to partition the hard drive. I got as far as the dialogue box that accepts the Windows installer disks only to discover that BootCamp requires Windows XP with at least Service Pack 2. The small print says you must NOT install anything earlier and then update it. I, of course, only have XP with SP1.

So I grabbed a demo copy of Parallels 4. Installed that and then installed XP with SP1. Everything went fine. At the moment it's installing SP3.

Parallels is taking a little getting used to. In the default viewing mode there's no Windows desktop as such. Windows applications appear in windows rather like Mac ones. They can be opened from the Mac desktop or dock. The Windows Task Bar can be set to be visible where it floats just above the dock. I thought Windows had an option of showing the Task Bar vertically but I haven't found that setting yet. I suspect that might be more convenient.

Monday and work will seem quite boring after all that.
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Old 03-15-2009, 11:54 AM   #2
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Nice write-up!

To set the Windows task bar vertically, 1) right-click on it and make sure it isn't locked; 2) grab it (on an empty bit) with your mouse, and drag it over to one side of the screen; you have to keep dragging till the mouse hits your screen edge before it will "take". Then make it wider, so you can see more text next to the window icons, and finally lock it again (if you like).

I always work with the task bar on the left - although when I was trying out Parallels (for a very short time) I put it on the right because I have the dock on the left.

Instead of Parallels, have a look at VirtualBox: Free Open Source Software. It works just fine on my MacBook, though I did a test only (installed Puppy Linux in it). I have yet to install an XP in it, but there's no reason why that wouldn't work as well as a Linux.

   
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Old 03-15-2009, 10:14 PM   #3
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There is a way to convert your SP1 cd into SP2 or SP3. Google for XP Slipstream and you'll find lots of help. But running Windows in a VM is much more congenial than alternate booting. I think Virtual Box will convert your Parallels VM into one it understands.
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Old 03-16-2009, 02:29 AM   #4
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I'm getting the hang of Parallels in its Coherence mode.

In coherence mode you can forget you're running Windows - and there's no need for the task bar. Everything seems well integrated with the Mac OS - Windows documents share folders with Mac documents, active Windows applications just join the Mac apps in the Task Bar and Windows applications can be launched from the Mac desktop or TaskBar.

Apart from all the little pop-ups from Microsoft telling that updates are available I can forget I even have Windows on this machine.

It realsy does seem much better than a dual boot system or the Windows emulators I tried in the old days. I was a bit concerned about trying Parallels 4 having read lots of negative comments on the web about its performance. I've not tried any heavy-duty stuff but so far speed seems fine.

   
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Old 03-16-2009, 11:43 AM   #5
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>> Apart from all the little pop-ups from Microsoft telling that updates are available I can forget I even have Windows on this machine.

And you can disable those if you like.

   
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Rindsberg View Post
>> Apart from all the little pop-ups from Microsoft telling that updates are available I can forget I even have Windows on this machine.

And you can disable those if you like.
Well, most of them seem to refer to security updates so I imagine I should let them show. Un less there's a way of settings Windows to automatically update itself without telling me. Would I want to do that?

   
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Old 03-17-2009, 09:42 AM   #7
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Some people swear by automatic updating. Others mistrust it. Sometimes the updates break things or add nannyish security features that make things you're used to doing stop working.

Control Panel, Automatic Updates is where you tell XP whether or not to update automatically and if so, when.

Control Panel, Security Center and click "Change the way ..." is how you set the natterosity. ;-)

Come to think of it, you can invoke Automatic Updates from the Security Center control panel, so that's the place to start.

   
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Old 03-17-2009, 12:27 PM   #8
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Steve:
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Some people swear by automatic updating. Others mistrust it. Sometimes the updates break things or add nannyish security features that make things you're used to doing stop working.
I've had an update today that made the program stop working (ZoneAlarm Pro); but it asked me whether I should instal it. I had no reason to say 'no', and it gave plausible reasons for saying 'yes'. But I would have not been in a better or worse position had the update been automatic.

   
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Old 03-17-2009, 02:39 PM   #9
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Michael,

Fine, but that's *today's* update. Past updates have had a tendency, for example, to make Outlook more difficult to use. For example, after some of them, you can no longer launch at least certain types of file attachment from OL directly but must save them to the HDD then launch them.

Some users will click on any fool thing. If you make them jump through extra hoops to do so, they'll be annoyed and impatient when they finally get a chance to click. They'll still click stuff.

How this serves the cause of "increased security" escapes me and by way of evening things out, I'll elect to escape the updates.

   
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:00 PM   #10
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Steve:
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Past updates have had a tendency, for example, to make Outlook more difficult to use
But how are you to know that? It is true that you can hold off until someone else has tried it out, but that takes far too long. As a matter of fact, my misfortune with today's ZoneAlarm Pro undate seems to be a rare one: the update I was informed about doesn't seem to be the one I received, which apparently isn't the latest one for Vista. All is well now, as I succeeded in removing ZoneAlarm Pro entirely and reinstalling the older version.

   
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