Monday, September 8, 2008

A Sad Tale of Woe (long and pitiful)

I've been busy for several days now . . .

There I was, sitting and playing on the computer, when my weekly message came through that it was time to back up my hard drive.

So I did.

And not five minutes later, I put my trusty cursor over an item in my menu bar and got a white drop down box with nothing in it. I waited a moment but it seemed that my computer was frozen. DRAT!

Being the good Mac girl that I am, I knew that I needed to press command option escape to quit the frozen program, which I did.


I waited a few more moments and tried again. Zip . . .

Oh well, there's always the hard restart. Now that's not something I like to do, but I know that when you are completely frozen, that is often your only course of attack, so I did the hard restart.

And finally the computer started up, but it seemed to take forever. Uh Oh, I knew something was wrong.

I checked my backup to make sure it was good, Then I unhooked my external hard drive containing the good back up and went to work.

Let me say here that while I'm no genius when it comes to computers, I've been working on one Mac or another since 1987 and have a pretty passable knowledge of troubleshooting.

So I repaired my permissions and did a restart. This time I got a strange little symbol I've never seen on a Mac before. A circle with a diagonal cross, sort of like the international No symbol. What was this!

Now it was time to pull out the big guns, so I resorted to Tech Tool Pro, my Big Gun of choice. I booted from the CD and my goodness, it said all kinds of things were wrong. How could this be? I certainly didn't know, but I set about fixing everything back to it's proper alignment.

Did I mention that this was taking HOURS???

So finally I got the machine to say that the laptop was now nice and healthy with everything like it should be.

So I rebooted. Again.

And got the dreaded international No symbol again.

Well Phooey!

I really do hate to admit that I can't fix something like this, but it seemed it was time to kick it up a notch, so I called Apple.

I explained everything to the nice little girl on the other end of the phone and she said she'd never heard of this either, but said she would ask around.

Later (not MUCH later, but long enough) she said she had talked to another tech who said it sounded like the problem was a corrupted System. I explained that I hadn't recently tried to summon Demons from the Internet, or installed any software or anything else horrible. So did she have any idea as to what might have caused it?

No, she did not, but she insisted that a clean archive and install would do the trick, and said she would wait while I did it. I told her I really wanted to get another backup if possible and that I would do as she suggested and call them back if I needed further assistance.

Now, all I had to do was find my original install discs. Have I mentioned that while I live in a mere two hundred square feet of space, I still sometimes, hard as it is to believe, misplace things.

Like my original Laptop discs.

Thus starts the great cleaning project.

You know, I look at this rig, this Cholula Red that I love, and I think, the size is just perfect, enough storage, but not too much, a place for everything and all that.

At least that's what I think till I can't find something I really, really need. Like those disks.

I proceeded to empty every single cabinet and drawer, looking in every conceivable nook and cranny. I found old chewing gum, books I've read and meant to get rid of, dirty socks, close to a hundred Cd's (I have an iPod, why am I carrying these Cd's?). The list goes on and on.

I found backup disks in seven different containers, some in the bedroom, some in the living room, some in the cab over.

What is wrong with me? Am I THAT organizationally challenged? That's a rhetorical question, no reply needed, thank you very much.

So anyway, I finally found the disks, buried in the bowels of the motor home. Did you know that motor homes have bowels? They do!

So I proceeded to do a clean install, and you know what? It still didn't work.

Long story short, I am the victim of a hard drive failure, so all my diagnostic tricks are totally worthless!

And now I have to send my poor sick lap top off to Apple to be fixed (which I could do myself, but it would void my warranty, go figure . . .)

All of this is to tell you that I'll be offline for a few days. Probably whimpering and crying, huddled in my bed, strung out from computer/internet withdrawal.

Waiting for the return of the Fed Ex man to bring me back to life.

Talk to you soon.


photowannabe said...

This isn't just a saga its a horror story. Hope all will be healed and you will be back in business soon.
I have read more blog posts about computers and cameras dying.
Its a conspiracy, I tell you...

Brenda said...

Oh My God !!!

Macs aren't supposed to do that. Just so you know something good came of it, I immediately proceeded to drag out the external harddrive and run Time Machine on mine. Thanks for the reminder, sorry it had to be so painful for you.

I also loved the description of cleaning out all the cubbies. In fact that is one of the reasons I want a LD so badly, I am sick of the clutter around the house. Maybe something good will come of this for you too...

Kate said...

Susie and Brenda,

Thanks for the sympathy, it is appreciated.

As to Macs failing, this was actually the failure of a piece of Matsushita hardware, not really Apples fault, other than their poor choice of a component.

As to cleaning out the cubbies, thats ALWAYS a good thing. We just took three big bags to the Goodwill!