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Old 03-15-2009, 10:29 AM   #1
Mike's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Llanwrtyd Wells
Posts: 1,450
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.

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.

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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