This is my first coffee break in quite a while and before you chide me it’s a decaf coffee break at the local Starbucks. It’s good to sit in here for a bit and see what moves me. Today is going much better than last night as my MobileTechRoundup buds will no doubt attest. See last night the three of us sat down in our respective time zones to record a new episode of the podcast as we usually do. All three of us record the podcast on our respective MacBook Pros and usually everything goes hunky dory. I’m afraid that wasn’t the case last night and my co-hosts are probably not very happy with me right now. Of course, it’s not my fault. :)
About halfway through recording our 30 minute show my MBP hung up, Imean it would do some minor things but all running programs were lockedup tight. I couldn’t even force quit them, they wouldn’t go away.This sad state of affairs left us with a worthless half an episodebecause since the Mac was hung up I couldn’t even recover what hadrecorded to that point. Talk about a wasted session, sorry guys.
I had to power off to recover and when the MacBook Pro went to restartI got the dreaded "three beeps of RAM death" indication and the bootprocess halted. This set me back a bit as it’s the same initial errorI got before my hard drive died and was replaced. This didn’t seemlikely to me since the drive was brand new but there I was. Alldressed up and nowhere to take a dead Mac. Ouch.
I finally got the MBP to start up by disconnecting all peripherals andtrying again and again until finally it booted up normally. Once I hada working system I installed TechTool Deluxe (TTD) that came with theAppleCare extended warranty I had just received that very day. This isa good diagnostic utility and is the same one used by Genius Paulduring my recent visit to the Apple Store. TTD had determined backthen that my old drive was failing the tests and Paul had to replacethe drive because TTD couldn’t repair the errors detected, a sure signof a bad drive he told me. Last night I ran the full suite of testsexpecting the RAM to show errors because that’s what the three beeps atboot time means and it couldn’t be the hard drive again. To my surprise everything passed the tests withflying colors except the volume structure on the new hard drive. Itwas flagged with errors and TTD offered to repair them if it could.
I of course told it to feel free to correct the problem although with asinking feeling in my stomach since this was a drive that was justreplaced a week ago. TTD did its thing for a bit and then informed meit had repaired all of the errors in the volume structure, althoughthese errors could be a sign of bad things to come. I havesubsequently booted the MBP a few times to see if it would fail andsince the disk repair it has worked fine with no further problems.Granted it’s been less than a day but so far so good so my fingers arecrossed. This situation has me thinking some scary thoughts about TimeMachine though. I use it to back up the internal system disk and afterApple replaced my old dead drive they returned the system with justLeopard pre-installed just like a new unit from the factory. Theinitial boot of the MBP with the new drive gave me the option torestore the Time Machine backup on the external drive used for thebackups and I did that. I restored everything, settings, users, dataand programs at that time and my MBP came up exactly like it was beforethe drive was replaced. What I hadn’t counted on was finding similardisk errors on this new drive so soon after having it installed so nowI am wondering- did Time Machine restore everything including the diskerrors? It doesn’t seem possible but I have to wonder at this point.