S.M.A.R.T. errors - need to backup before getting new HD

Discussion in 'Apple' started by raggio, Aug 26, 2006.

  1. raggio

    raggio Guest

    OK, I know this is bad. I am getting a smart error on my main HD. It
    happened a few months ago and I brought the mini to the apple store as
    it was still under warranty. When I got to the store there was no more
    error. When I got home the error was gone and did not show up again
    until today. I noticed it when I went in to repair permissions when
    trying to fix a printer driver issue.

    I am going back to the apple store asap to have a new drive ordered,
    but want to backup my stuff so I don't need to reinstall everything
    from scratch and setup users etc. Can this be done? Can I simply make
    an image of the main HD and restore it when I get the new one? If so,
    how do I do it?

    BTW, the computer is still working fine as far as I can tell, but I
    know that can change in a hurry when you have smart errors, right?

    TIA,
    John
     
    raggio, Aug 26, 2006
    #1
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  2. raggio

    Guest Guest

    get an external drive and then clone it with superduper. you should be
    doing this regularly anyway. be glad the drive is still functioning
    enough to do the backup. hopefully it will remain functional until the
    clone is done.

    depends what the error is. smart errors just means the drive is
    operating out of the manufacturer's specs. it might fail tomorrow or
    it might fail in a year or more. apple's disk utility doesn't give any
    detail as to exactly what is out of spec and by how much.
     
    Guest, Aug 26, 2006
    #2
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  3. raggio

    John R Guest

    Thanks for the reply. Well, good news bad news. I was able to create a
    DMG of my main HD using disk utility after booting off the Tiger CD.
    That's the good news. I have what I hope is a full backup of my main
    drive. All my music and photos are on an external. I also burned a copy
    of my documents folder and my address book. Though I just realized I did
    not back up my saved mails. Is there any easy way to do that? Anyway I
    hope that the dmg covers me for the entire system as it is today.

    Now the bad news. I'm posting this from a crappy old win 98 machine as my
    mini is now at the apple stor waiting to have a new drive installed. It
    will take 5-7 days since I do not have pro care. They are going to attempt
    to restore my data as well so hopefully I won't need my dmg. BTW, there
    were no smart errors when we powered it up in the store, but they will
    replace it anyway. The same thing happened a few months ago when I brought
    it in after seeing errors at my house. That time I went home w/o replacing
    it as I did not have a backup yet. Then the error went away so I forgot
    about it until I saw it again today.

    Thanks for the reply again. Is a dmg file an adequate way to image a disk
    to be used for restoring? Is it a good way to do backups in general? Does
    it include everything (hidden files, system files etc.).

    What is the best way to do backups? What shold be backed up (the entire
    system, apps, OS, data) or just data?

    TIA,
    John
     
    John R, Aug 27, 2006
    #3
  4. raggio

    TaliesinSoft Guest

    In my opinion the best way to do backups is to get a copy of SuperDuper! from
    Shirt-Pocket. You will need an external drive onto which SuperDuper! can
    place a bootable clone of your internal drive. SuperDuper! can be scheduled
    to backup at a frequency of your choice. Once the initial backup has been
    created SuperDuper! will (provided you pay the $30 fee) can update the
    backup, only making those changes necessary to bring the backup into
    synchrony with the internal drive. The time for these "smart backups" is
    typically only a matter of a few minutes. As an aside I can think of no
    application, regardless of price, that provides the quality of support given
    by Shirt-Pocket for SuperDuper!
     
    TaliesinSoft, Aug 27, 2006
    #4
  5. raggio

    Ilgaz Öcal Guest

    Without any third party software needed, you can do it via "Disk
    Utility" if you have a external drive (USB,firewire) having neccessary
    space.

    Basically you must boot from another partition/DVD and select the
    partition on drive which has Smart Problems in Disk Utility.

    Click "New" from File menu while the partition selected and you will
    see "Disk image from (device name,partition name)" and you select a
    external,free partition or disk and select "read only" as format (not
    compressed), you watch whole disk read and when it is complete, you
    select that image file you created (will show in sidebar) and click
    "Scan image for restore". It will compress it and put some data for
    software restore (ASR) purposes.

    You probably don't have external drive but in case you can borrow one
    from a friend,neighbour as whatever format it is (NTFS,FAT etc) it
    should work as long as you can create files on it.

    External drives are good for such things, I just wanted to show how
    easy "full backup" solution they provide.

    Ilgaz
     
    Ilgaz Öcal, Aug 27, 2006
    #5
  6. raggio

    Tom Stiller Guest

    I think it's easier to use Disk Utility's "Restore" option because it
    doesn't require one to startup from another disk, although that's a good
    idea.
     
    Tom Stiller, Aug 27, 2006
    #6
  7. raggio

    Hans Aberg Guest

    If you have SMART errors, then you should get a new drive, and install a
    completely new system on that one. I tried installing an OS on one such
    SMART defective drive, and it was able to knock out another internal hard
    drive, making it completely unreadable. So what you have is likely
    corrupted, even though it may look normal from the Finder.

    So just save the /Users/ data, which you can do in the Finder, probably
    first onto another hard disk, and then perhaps burn it onto optical media.
    You might want to make a copy of other selected places like /Applications/
    and /usr/local/ if you made UNIX installations, but all that stuff should
    be reinstalled to avoid problems.

    When you reinstall, if you use Mac OS X.4, you can recreate the old
    accounts completely, as they were on the old system: In the new
    installation, give the first account a unique name, such as 'admin'
    (Administrator), to have something to work from. Then copy the backup
    /Users/ accounts into /Users/ of the new installation. After that, use the
    'admin' account to create new accounts with the same short names as those
    in /Users/. For each new account you set up, you will be asked if you want
    to use the directory already there, to which you say yes.

    There is also a pricey disk recovery company:
      http://www.drivesavers.com/
    But they want you to backup the stuff before sending them the hard disk.
     
    Hans Aberg, Aug 27, 2006
    #7
  8. raggio

    Gary L. Gray Guest

    I couldn't agree more. I recommend it to everyone I know for keeping a
    bootable backup of their machine. Regarding support, they even went as
    far as to create a "custom" version SD! that allowed us to backup our
    Xserve without having to remain logged in (it wasn't a major rewrite or
    anything, but still...).

    Mighty fine software!

    All the best,
    Gary
     
    Gary L. Gray, Aug 27, 2006
    #8
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