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Question: Recovery HD, Time Machine and other conundrums

Hi all

I have MBP 17" Early 2011 on 10.13.1 (final release). Here are a few trouble spots I'm facing. Appreciate any help.

Kind Attn LaPastenague if you read this, do advise on time capsule/time machine

  • As a test, I had logged into the Guest a/c and when I 'logged off' from that, it seemed as if the Mac 'hung' with just a black screen and the mouse cursor visible and I had to force quit using the power button.
  • So obviously after that, I tried, and found that CMD+R does not take me to the recovery HD---it showed me a blank, gray (-ish?) screen with no error messages or any other indicators of any type--again force quit via the power button. I haven't tried the Safe/Verbose/single user modes yet nor with CMD+OPT+R.
  • I had tried to use an USB drive to format it as a bootable installer--cancelled that process in terminal in between, and then tried to format using DU to exfat, but that failed with some error. Now that USB drive doesn't show up in Finder at all and in DU it just lists as disk2s2 (grayed out and not mounted as per DU)
  • Time machine wasn't able to find the TC backup disk (it's my primary backup), but was able to resolve that by the time honoured 'power on, power off' mechanism! though backups are not taking place. My question however is should I backup to TC what with all that APFS/HEVC or whatever file format that seems to be wreaking havoc. On the other hand my USB 1TB WD HDD which is my secondary backup seems to be working fine with TM.
  • I had tried 'Enter Time Machine' from the TM menu item and Finder froze!! Just the SBBOD and had to force quit Finder. Why would this be so? And is there any mechanism to 'cancel' in such situations (other than force quit)

MacBook Pro (17-inch Early 2011), macOS High Sierra (10.13), Time Capsule 1 TB (1st Generation),

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Question: Recovery HD, Time Machine and other conundrums