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Apple fixings

Posted on Thursday, September 11th, 2008 under Life | No comments

More of a self-reminder than anything else, here are two recent Apple MacBook issues and their respective solutions:

Josh VanTassel’s MacBook

  • Issue: When attempting to boot up, after the initial gray screen, a black screen with the message “Error : non-system disk. Press any key to reboot.” appears and will not go away without a force-reboot.
  • Resolution: Resetting the PRAM or SMC did nothing. After several attempts to start up from a backup Tiger CD failed, I was able to successfully start up from an actual Leopard CD. I could not re-install the system using that disc, since the MacBook was (at the last time of working properly) running 10.4 Tiger. What I could do was manual set the default “Startup Disk” to the correct 10.4 Tiger installation. After doing so and rebooting, the machine turned on with no problems. To ensure a complete repair, I ran Software Update and Cocktail.
  • Probable Cause: Josh had previously asked a friend to set up BootCamp on his system (including partitioning his drive). Somehow the MacBook had become confused about which volume to start to and simply kept attempting to start from the empty Windows-formatted partition.

h4. Jodie Cortez's MacBook
  • Issue: For several months, Jodie's MacBook has been having intermittent and consistent Wi-Fi issues. Webpages load crazy slow, if at all; streaming movies stutter and eventually stop entirely; and after resetting the local Airport base station or the MacBook's Networking settings, the MacBook gets full signal for several minutes then immediately drops to 2 bars and below.
  • Resolution: After having the Apple Store Genius Bar replace the Airport card, performing an "Archive and Install" and still not find the problem, the issue was eventually resolved by performing a complete "Erase and Install" of Leopard 10.5 (backing up all of the important data through Time Machine first, of course). The important part: After re-doing the system, I did NOT install the 10.5.2, 10.5.3 or the 10.5.4 updates. When I did initially, the problem returned and I had to re-re-install the entire system.
  • Probable Cause: It seems that there is an issue with 10.5.2 (and possibly beyond) that causes the wireless slowdown on the MacBook model. I am unsure of exactly why or which models it effects, but this is most definitely the issue. I am able to install all of the other Apple updates and not encounter the problem

Time Machine Drive Transfer

  • Issue: I have a new 1TB external hard-drive and I want to transfer my current Time Machine backups from an older 500GB drive.
  • Resolution: Several online articles (including Apple's, I believe) suggested using Disk Utility to handle this. After one failed attempt (which took like 6 hours to near-completion and then fail), I instead used the third-party tool SuperDuper, which worked amazingly ... though it did take more than 9 hours to transfer the data.

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