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  • rangies Level 1 (0 points)
    Whenever I try to back up the OS to the external drive, it tells me I can't. So, I'm trying to put the files from the external drive onto a disk and onto the iBook as backup, delete the HD, and reformat, and put on the new OS (Tiger) for an external backup. At this point, I'm having trouble putting any backup files onto DVD via iBook - whether I drag/drop, make archive, or copy/paste, or duplicate, I get only aliases on the disk. I saw in one post that once I burn, the aliases actually burn with real files in them, but that wasn't true. I had aliases on the disk that burned as aliases, and nothing was in them when I tried to re-open. Oddly, the CSR on AppleCare that fielded my call with this issue couldn't answer that question OR how to name my unnamed disk on the desktop. I was put on hold for 37 minutes and 11 seconds while he "went to check on it", and was disconnected at that point. He shoudln't be an Apple employee if he doesn't know how to do something as simple as rename a disk in Tiger. I found THAT solution on the discussion boards. This alias issue is more cumbersome. Any ideas?
  • Freddie L. Level 3 (710 points)
    What type of files are you trying to backup. Program files or Document type files? Have you tried backing up to a CD? I have not seen this problem before, but if you can give me some specific files that are doing this and there extension I can see if I can recreate the problem at home.
  • rangies Level 1 (0 points)
    I'm trying to back up document files (photos, iTunes, etc.) to a DVD-R which I purchased at the Apple store. I'm also having trouble trying to backup my system on the external hard drive. Using disk utility, I'm trying to do a "restore" function with my install disk onto the external HD. It takes a long time and appears to be working, and then I get an "error code (5)", whatever that is, saying that the files cannot be installed. Worked fine on the install of my iBook! AppleCare yesterday afternoon had told me to back it up by booting from the install disk and doing an install, and that didn't work either.
  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 (22,065 points)
    Dear rangies, please be careful. You are confusing installing the system and backing up. There is no way in the world to back anything up by booting from the OS X install disc and installing the system. You can do an archive install of the system, but that is not in any way the same as backing up.

    Backing up means making a copy of all your files so that if something goes wrong you will still have them.

    The closest thing to a backup in installing is doing an archive install, which only means that your old system files are saved so that you can extract anything you need. However, it does not copy your documents or programs, and if something goes badly wrong in an archive install and you wind up having to do an erase install. you will lose your documents,so you should still back them up before doing an archive install, too.

    EDIT Incidentally, if you have used disk utility to make a copy of your system and you successfully 'restore' that to your external drive, you will overwrite whatever is on it now, so that's probably not what you want to do.

    Does your ibook have firewire?
  • rangies Level 1 (0 points)
    Yes, the new iBook has firewire, up to 400 Mb/sec. What exactly is firewire?

    When people in the discussion boards say that they often run their computers from an external hard drive (some have even said their hard drives became corrupted, so they boot from the external HD every time and use the system just like it was the actual computer without replacing the corrupted HD), what does that mean? It gave me hope that if I can install my system disks onto the external, then I wouldn't have to replace the corrupted HD on my iMac and it would work just like it used to work. What's the real story?

    That is my only motive for wanting to install the system on the external HD.

    Thanks for all of your help. Hope you had a great busiest day of the year musically!

  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 (22,065 points)
    Thanks for your kind wishes, rangies. How much stuff do you have on the imac, and how much free space on the ibook? If you have enough room on the ibook, there's a way to copy the files directly from your imac to your ibook and burn them to CDs (or DVDs if the ibook has a superdrive) there.

    Open a finder window (click on the desktop and press command+N) on each computer, and tell me what it says at the bottom of the window. On my G5 imac, for instance, it says "229 items, 197.61GB available.)

    EDIT I think you said earlier that you are also using your external drive with your pc, didn't you? If so, it won't be formatted in a way that will let you install the mac operating system, so let's ignore that for right now.
  • Freddie L. Level 3 (710 points)
    Firewire is another type of interface that a computer uses to send and receive information. It is highspeed compared to a usb port. The best way to connect your external hard drive is through firewire.
  • rangies Level 1 (0 points)

    The iMac says it has 44.48 GB available (I deleted everything and reinstalled the system recently), and the iBook says it has 13.26 GB available (I already put all of my old iMac files on it, including biggies like movies, photos, and music) and the iBook does have a superdrive.

    Now, when I tried to just drag and drop my whole "Old iMac Files" folder and burn it to DVD, nothing that copied was openable on the iMac. It created aliases instead of real files, and made them Retrospect Express files instead of iDVD, iPhoto, etc. When I tried to open them through Retrospect Express (BTW, try saying the name of that software out loud - I found, on a call to Apple Care, that it's impossible to pronounce without inverting syllables - surprised the name made it through a corporate marketing department!), it said that the supporting file folders couldn't be found.

    Now, I opened iPhoto on iBook, dragged and dropped all of the photos there, and am currently using the Burn to Disk function through iPhoto to create a backup. The end result I'm hoping for is to backup everything in duplicate (on the iBook and on a DVD), then to reformat/erase the external HD so that I can install the OSX disks on the external HD.

    I had partitioned the External HD in two 20 GB sections: one intended for iMac, one for PC. However, it wasn't readable by the PC so the second partition is PC in name only. I'm going to now use the two partitions one for iMac, one for iBook, and put the OS's for each on each of the two partitions. My hope is that I can boot from/work from the external HD with each computer. If this works, I won't have to replace the HD on iMac, and the iBook is ready in case of disaster after the warranty expires.

    AppleCare seems to think this won't work, that the install disks will not read all of the files onto the external HD, and in a pinch I may have wasted my time. I'm willing to try, because the posts on the discussion boards seem to imply that it works. People out there say they use their external HDs exclusively after corrupting their HDs like I did on iMac, and have no problems.

    Before I dare delete/reformat the external, I have to make sure that my files are on iBook and burned to DVD. I think I've figured it out with the photos, but I'm not seeing export functions in all of the applications for which I have files on that HD. They may never make more than aliases.

    Once the OSs are loaded onto the external HD, I plan to move the old iMac files back onto the external, and clear out my iBook HD of these files. I don't want to use up all of my iBook space in the first week I own it! I'll copy them into the external, hopefully have backup DVDs, then I don't need them on iBook.

    Does this sound reasonable?
  • Ronda Wilson Level 8 (41,220 points)
    The easiest and (in my opinion) best way to do a backup and be able to start up from the external drive, is to use a third-party software solution like SuperDuper in order to make a bootable clone of your system on your external FireWire drive.
  • rangies Level 1 (0 points)
  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 (22,065 points)
    Before you try to install any operating systems, rangies, how does the external drive connect to your computers? If it's a USB drive, you can't boot from it.
  • Barbara Brundage Level 7 (22,065 points)
    Also, if you only backed up aliases, you did not back up your files. This is very important and it's the first thing we need to solve. You do not need to be using iphoto and so on to burn the files once they are on the ibook. The first thing to do is tell us exactly what your external hard drive is and how it connects to your macs.
  • rangies Level 1 (0 points)
    My external HD is a Maxtor One Touch. It connects with USB. I didn't know USB wouldn't work. Can a firewire plug from my iBook work with the Maxtor in its USB port? If I borrow the wire and put the USB end into the maxtor and the firewire end into the iBook, perhaps I have a shot? If so, would I just need to go about the install of my system disks by restarting, holding down the option key, and selecting the maxtor as my destination?
  • rangies Level 1 (0 points)
    Forget my last idea - the firewire plug doesn't have a male part which fits into the Maxtor. Do firewire plugs come in different shapes? The one I have looks like it attaches to a camera or something. It's a tiny plug, kindof "M" shaped on top and flat across the bottom.
  • Garrett Morris Level 1 (15 points)
    I have a strawberry imac 266 which i have had since 1998? i think. it ran 24/7 with seti@home plus everything else. I now have an Imac 17 1ghz flatpanel I call "r2-g4". I have had it since feb 2002. Neither one has had any kind of trouble. I have read in these forums about bad ram craching the cpu. Also as others have stated here the hard drive could be failing. Any thing made by man can and will fail at some time. I don't see a need to by a new one. A new drive will cost about $1 per gb and can be installed by you. I upgraded both of my internal drives by following the instructions I downloaded from someplace, I think it was If you have extra ram installed try pulling the one in the external slot. If the trouble still exists then i would by a bigger/faster drive. If you are short on funds (who isn't?), you could FRANKENSTEIN your imac with the external drive, booting off of and running on that.
    good luck...