Last Monday my Mac refused to boot up again – even in single user mode he remained in a reboot-loop. Trying to get to the data was not that easy as the hard drive was encrypted using PGP Whole Disk Encryption.
Not a problem I thought – I have a TSM backup from the Friday before and most data is in code repositories or anyway. All I really need is a presentation for Tuesday morning. So I boot up my Thinkpad, install all the Windows updates (I do not use it that often ) and start TSM.
Empty backup set.
Verify all the connection settings.
Empty backup set. No data showing up in TSM.
Starting to sweat.
Now here the story about why I love my Mac starts. I love the Mac platform because:
- I was able to create a 1:1 copy of my personal Mac on an external USB drive.
- I was able to boot from this cloned disk via USB by just holding the Option key. Just boots, all data and settings there. Try doing that with Windows
- After booting I installed PGP and mounted the internal disk. I was able to copy away all my data from the broken disk to the external drive (this includes the whole /home/mike directory and some /Applications).
- Time to reformat the whole disk and install a clean copy of Snow Leopard (finally a good reason to upgrade!).
- After booting into the clean OS all I had to do was copying (!!!) the /Applications to the appropriate folder and copying (!!!) the home directory to the right location. After logging into the newly created user account all my data was there.
- By copying the home directory everything just worked – even the WLAN connections, settings, MobileMe syncing, all just working. All I lost have been the printer settings. No need to re-install tons of applications, all just copied back – and working fine!
- Try the above on Windows!
- Now I tried something – I started TSM on the Mac and logged in – and magically all my data showed up in TSM! What? Verified on Windows – empty set. Can someone working on TSM please explain that behavior to me? Why is the TSM data only showing within the same platform?
Overall the whole work took half a day – including a clean OS update and to “migrate” all applications. Only TSM scared me a bit – so I now started to create weekly backups using Carbon Copy Cloner – which is a good thing anyway, as it is super-easy to boot the backup on another machine. And I love the Mac because it does not use a magic registry and installing applications is really simple!