10.5.3 and Time Machine
The latest Mac OS X update is available at a Software Update near you. Apart from fixing loads of glitches, it also messes with Time Machine; and some people, including me, have had mixed results after the update. For more details go to the discussions on Apple’s support pages.
In most cases, the drive used by Time Machine for storage refuses to mount. Various solutions are offered: a low-level reformat, turning Time Machine to a new drive and back again, and trashing Time Machine’s and other preferences. See the discussions for greater detail.
Once…Twice…Three Times Went Crazy
We updated three Macs. The first, last night, went without a hitch and has been rock-solid. The second spent a long time, perhaps three hours, being busy saving things into Time Machine. The third Mac seemed happy enough after upgrading, Time Machine worked, everything else seemed unaffected. Then it had a kernel crash.
This is a pretty rare event for Mac users, the equivalent of a Windows Blue Screen of Death so ably demonstrated by his Biliousness, here on Windows 98, here (twice) on Windows 2000, and here in 2005 while demonstrating the Xbox. Mac users, on the other hand, think of kernel crashes as traffic accidents involving a Jeep.
Getting a Good Thrashing
On restarting the Mac, the Time Machine drive would not mount yet it was obviously thrashing away at something, its little LED blinking Morse code at a terrific rate. The Mac was shut down and the Time Machine drive connected to a laptop. It refused to mount, and again the drive thrashed away at something.
Checking in Activity Monitor showed fsck_hfs was consuming a lot of processor time and had been started by root. This usually happens automatically at restart on the drive containing the system, but this is the first time we’ve seen it run automatically on another drive. The system log in Console stated there was Runtime Corruption and fsck would be forced on next mount. The drive was returned to the original Mac and left for an hour or so for fsck to do its thing. Eventually the thrashing stopped, the drive mounted, and all is well.
As far as the rest of the 10.5.3 update: no other problems have been experienced and running Repair Permissions after the update showed nothing needed fixing.
Also in This Series
- What Trick, What Device, What Starting-Hole… · May 2012
- Do Androids Dream? · April 2012
- Our Macs Are Under Attack · March 2012
- The Best and Worst Christmas Presents · February 2012
- The Best Use for a Kindle · January 2012
- It’s Got No Blinking Light · January 2012
- Box-Shifting Causes Migration · December 2011
- The Best Thing About the iPhone 4S and How to Cope in Clink · December 2011
- Death of a Salesman · November 2011
- Complete Archive