TIDBITS 11/28/94 5

TIDBITS 11/28/94 5

Post by Lucia Chambe » Sun, 18 Dec 1994 22:38:00

Continued from the previous message...
scratch disk, so restoring was easy, although it also wasn't all
that fast even with Retrospect 2.1's SCSI Manager 4.3
capabilities, because I had a lot of data to restore. After
restoring, I started to poke around in some of the restored
folders since I'm paranoid, and I don't trust even well-respected
programs like Retrospect to do exactly what I want.

It was a good thing I did, since I noticed a couple of important
folders that contained different numbers of files. When I checked
them against my secondary backups on my other Macs, I discovered
that Retrospect, like all good computer programs, had done exactly
what I'd told it to do, which was not exactly what I wanted. Like
many people who use Retrospect, I suspect, I have a custom
selector that avoids backing up certain files that are pointless
to save (temporary files, automatically generated log files,
etc.). Although I did not indeed want these files backed up every
night, I did want some of them backed up once (I had failed to
turn off my custom selector on the first backup session on that
tape), and I also wanted the disk restored to exactly the same
state before my reformat process. Luckily, my secondary backups
retained those files exactly as I wanted them, so I didn't lose
anything. The m*of the story is: Be paranoid about backups,
it's safer that way.

**Installing System 7.5** -- With the entire disk back the way I
wanted it (aside from aliases and various preferences that always
get hosed in a restore process), I set about installing System
7.5. First, I installed a copy on my 20 MB test volume, since I
like being able to boot that volume with a clean System. I had no
problems with that installation, so I installed a clean copy
(reportedly a good idea with 7.5) on my main boot volume. If you
press Command-Shift-K in the main installer window, the installer
gives you the option to Install New System Folder, which then
renames your old System Folder to Previous System Folder.

In the past, I've always recommended that people install for any
Macintosh, but with System 7.5, I give up. If you select the "For
Any Macintosh" option in the installer, it installs tons of
garbage that won't even run on a specific desktop Mac, including
all sorts of PowerBook-specific extensions. Sorting through the
mess simply is no longer worth the effort (in the eventuality that
you might use your hard disk to boot another Macintosh). It's also
definitely worth customizing to avoid installing files you'll
throw out immediately anyway, such as (in my case) Easy Access.

Rebooting with that copy of System 7.5 worked fine, as I expected
it to. The next trick was to move the contents of my old System
Folder over to my new one. My standard technique is to open the
old Apple Menu Items folder and the new one, then to copy
everything from the new one into the old one, replacing anything
that should be replaced, like the old Chooser. Once the older
files have been replaced, I copy the entire contents of the old
folder back to the new one, which transfers all of my old files
back to where they'll load. I then repeat this process with all of
the folders in the System Folder and with the items in the System
Folder itself.

**Removing System 7.5** -- The theory is all fine and nice, but
the next hour of inexplicable crashes in normally stable
applications worried me. I ran conflict tests in Conflict Catcher,
but since my crashes weren't reproducible, it couldn't help. I
tried reducing the set of extensions to those I consider
necessary, such as QuicKeys and Super Boomerang, but nothing I did
made much difference. I couldn't figure out what was causing the
crashes, and since it was now closing in on midnight, I felt tired
and crabby. In a fit of pique, I decided that other than Apple
Guide (which I personally won't use much, even though I think it's
extremely cool), I had all the new System 7.5 features that I
wanted in System 7 Pro. So, in a bold move, I rebooted from my
internal drive, erased my entire boot partition, and restored the
entire silly thing from my DAT backup once again. A few small
tweaks later, and my Centris 660AV was working as I expected it
to, with no weird crashes. Life was good, and I'd only spent about
17 hours on the entire process.

**Lessons learned** -- Why am I telling you all this? Several
reasons. First, I did some things right and made some mistakes,
and I hope my experiences and techniques might be of use to
others. Second, there are times when discretion is the better part
of valor, and for me, fighting with System 7.5 was unnecessary. I
don't need the features it boasts over System 7 Pro, and I do need
to use my Macintosh, so I think I made the right decision in
immediately falling back to System 7 Pro rather than putting up
with crashes. As I upgrade my extensions and control panels, I
expect that whatever caused the crashes will go away, and at some
point, I'll try upgrading again. In contrast, Tonya's Duo 230
hasn't experienced System 7.5 crashing problems, and my SE/30
fileserver has been running System 7.5 constantly for several
months without a single unexplained crash.

Third and finally, as much as we'd like to think our beloved
Macintosh is still an elegant and simple machine without obscure
quirks and hassles, it just isn't entirely true. That's not to say
that the Macintosh still isn't the best or most elegant
microcomputer out there, but it's significantly more complex than
ever before. I fully admit that I knew what I was getting into,
Continued in the next message...
. 1st 1.11 #359 . He's got a Magnet!  Everyone BACKUP!! - Cmdr. Data
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