Linc, this looks like the kind of information I need. I have an external drive and the automatic back-up is set-up, but since I've been working away from that external hard-drive the back up hasn't been done for a couple of months (mea maxima culpa). So I'll have to follow your Utility Disc back up process.
One concern, besides the feeling that long processes like this always lead me into black holes, is that my Time Machine back up has always worked automatically. I think it has been set to back up only what has been changed. The back up drive is vastly larger than the data on my Mac, but I'm not sure that what I do with the Utility disc will work with the Tiime Machine set-up. Though thinking this anxioius line of thought through, it shouldn't matter. If I overwrite everything on the time macine with everything on my Mac, then I should be OK.
So, after restarting this nasty old XP to be sure it is running properly (or as close as it can to proper), I'll embark. I'll keep people posted on my progress, or lack there of. My problems began because some idiot employer showed interest in me and wanted me to meet using at&t Connect. The demon keeping employers away did all they could to prevent this. After wriggling out of every check that at&t connect the demon took its rage out on the Mac. Next it will attack the PC.
If I overwrite everything on the time macine with everything on my Mac, then I should be OK.
Absolutely do not do that. You don't know what's on your startup volume now. The drive may have malfunctioned and your data could be corrupt. Don't overwrite any existing backup. Make a new backup to a different external drive. You need at least two backups anyway to be safe, even if nothing is wrong.
"Absolutely do not do that." Right, that would be bad, promise not to. I'm doing a New Image of the Macintosh HD and copying it to a custom Backup folder on that external drive.
I have no periphials, so the diagnostic steps for ruling those out were not run, thoug I did test start-up without the power cord (just in case).
I had trouble finding the instructions for back-up. If you use this text again, replace
'..follow the instructions in the support article linked below, under “Instructions for backing up to an external hard disk via Disk Utility.”
with, "Follow the instructions for back-up in this article. Once in the article, scroll to the heading, 'IInstructions for backing up to an external hard disk via Disk Utility,' and click to expand."
The back-up instructions could be more explicit (I had trouble understanding where to indicate source and destination: The label "Where" could apply to either (I know, most people would get this much easier, but I was born to help people like myself).
If anyone wants to try backing up a troubled drive using Disk Utility, check the following clarification on source/destination designations.
Once in Disk Utility,
- Select the source drive (e.g., Macintosh HD in the folder panel on the left).
- Click the New Image icon on the menu bar.
- Enter a distictive name (e.g., BackUP_##_##_##).
- In the Where field, indicate the destination drive/folder.
I varified that my disk had a few errors, and repaired them. Then I varified that the permissions were messed up. I spend hours attempting to repair them, and the utility claimed they were repaired. I then tried to start-up: still no-joy.
I went back to the utility and performed the repair permissions again, but this time I noted some of the permissions errors. After failure and retry I confirmed that the permissions repair was pulling up the same errors and this means that the repair process just isn't working. So now, I'm thinking I need to insert the Snow Leapard installation disk and repair that system.
Despite being an instrutional designer (could you tell?) I never followr instructons, so I skipped past the reset NVRAM step. I will try that next, and if that doesn't work, it seems all that is left is to restore the Snow Lepard system and try again with the Mountain Lion Installation (can't wait).
If this seems like the best plan, do you think I should download the Mountain Lion upgrade files again (e.g., in case corruption during download was the problem)?