Saturday, October 02, 2010

Some Mac Consulting Today

This morning I went over to a client's home to do some work on his Macs.

He has an older Intel iMac which was still running OS 10.4 Tiger.  He was without a backup system for it, so the last time I was there I recommended he upgrade it to OS 10.6 Snow Leopard and getting a USB hard disk to setup as a Time Machine drive.

The first thing I did after arriving was to connect the Western Digital Elements 640 GB USB drive, copy over the Documents, Desktop, Pictures, and iTunes folders.  (It's a bad idea to upgrade an OS without first backing up all of your data.  Upgrades often go awry.)  Once everything copied over, which took about 40 minutes, I popped in the Snow Leopard disk and rebooted into the OS X installer.

After about 45 minutes the iMac was upgraded to OS 10.6.3, so I then ran Software Update and grabbed the 10.6.4 update, along with several other updates.  This took another 20 minutes or so.

With that squared away I reconnected the WD hard disk and configured Time Machine to use it as a backup disk.

While the iMac was getting backed up before the upgrade I took a look at his Mac Mini.

The Mini had been setup to do Time Machine backups to a Western Digital My Book external drive via FireWire 800.  It looks like the drive is toast, since when I was there a couple weeks ago I'd reformatted it.  Time Machine worked OK for about 4 days then started failing.  Today, it kept crashing the Finder when I connected it.  I even connected it to my MacBook Pro and reformatted it, but it still gave errors.  He's going to try to return it and get another USB or FireWire disk.

Finally, while there I also installed a hand-me-up 8 GB iPod Touch from his daughter to the Mini, and upgraded the firmware from 3.x to 4.1.

Not a bad way to spend a few hours and make some extra money.

1 comment:

bcl said...

Typically I'll do a backup to a 2nd external drive and leave that in the safe instead of immediately using it for Time Machine -- sometimes problems don't show immediately.

I've found that my stack of 'old' 100G EIDE drives and a USB adapter are handy for this.