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Thread: cloning and possible HD problems

  1. #1
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    Default cloning and possible HD problems

    Trying to help mom with a problem. She listened to me and has painstakingly kept her system backed up to a LaCie Firewire drive.
    She has a G4 Gigabit Ethernet. We recently installed a Seri-Tek1S2 card and a Maxtor 300 SATA drive. All has been working well together with the two pre-existing WD hard drives for a month.
    Maxtor is in 3 partitions, one of which is the "boot" drive.
    Abnormal behavior earlier this week, ran disk utility to repair the boot drive, but it found errors that it couldn't fix. No problem I say, let's restore the backup clone and that's where the real problems started.
    We've been using SuperDuper because we're both running OS 10.4.1 (it's worked well and their support has been helpful as well). SuperDuper could not complete the "reverse" clone without some problem halting the process.
    We boot from Tiger CD and try using Disk Utility to Restore the clone, still no luck. Sometime we get a little progress and then system will "freeze", sometimes we get no progress and system will "freeze".
    We CAN however restore the backup clone to a completely different computer.
    We can clone the internal WD drive to the Boot Partition of the Maxtor 300. We can NOT successfully clone from the LaCie Firewire BU Clone to either the boot partition of Maxtor 300 nor to the internal WD.
    After reading your forum, I also need to mention that while the SeriTek sata card has shown up in the system profiler from day one, the maxtor drive has not, but we've successfully booted from it since the install.
    Mom is next to tears and I'm running out of ideas. Any help is appreciated!

  2. #2
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    Default

    Hi wckdkarma,

    Welcome to MacGurus.

    Sounds like you have your hands full. I only have a minute, but let's get the ball rolling....

    First impressions:

    1) If you can restore to a different Mac *and* you get random freezes, you could be looking at a hardware issue, and memory is the first place to look. Do some memory troubleshooting to see if that might be the cause.

    2) Since you have a full backup, you might try to do an Archive and Install of 10.4.1 to the current system on her machine. Some folks don't really like the Archive and Install feature, but I have found it useful at times like this in the past (FYI, A and I option will give you a new system, but save all of your Apps, users, and users settings, and put your existing system in a folder that you can look at or trash as you like).

    Not sure what to say about the FW drive hanging...could be a FW bug or need a firmware update, so it could be unrelated to your main stability issue.

    Gotta run. Good luck, and others should be along to assist getting to the bottom of this!
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  3. #3
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    Default

    unclemac,
    thanks for the response. We'll start some memory tests and see what we come up with.
    In the meantime, for clarity's sake, at the moment, there isn't a "current" system on her machine. We erased and formatted with zeroes and then tried to restore the clone (while booted from the Tiger install disk). That resulted in a system freeze.
    Since we were able to safely clone our "backup" to a totally different machine, she is now booted from her "backup" firewire drive on the G4 G.Ethernet. The "backup" drive seems stable and functioning properly, we just can't duplicate that clone onto her "boot" drive.
    I'm not familiar with the sata controller cards and such, but thought it odd that the card shows in System Profiler but the drive attached to it does not. It seems that others don't have that issue, both show in System Profiler.
    We'll keep plodding away and appreciate any and all suggestions! Thanks!

  4. #4
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    OK, gotcha. Sorry for the confusion.

    I suppose it is possible that there is an issue with the FW drive, but if you are booted to it and it is happy, then most likely not.

    Never seen the issue with SATA you describe. Have used a handful of Seristek's, and they have always been plug and play from beige G3s up to late model G4s.

    A couple things I might try just for the heck of it...

    Can you do a clean install to the Maxtor from 10.4 DVD? If yes, that would help to rule out a problem with the drive and/or controller.

    Since you can clone from the internal ATA to the SATA, what about cloning the system in question from the FW drive to the ATA, *then* clone to the SATA?

    Assuming you could do either/both of the above, I am at a loss to explain what the issue may be, but it would seem to rule out a general hardware problem.

    Just to clarify, you have pelnty of space on the SATA partition you are cloning to (in fact, most find it advantagous to give OS X plenty of room, so you should have lots of empty space on any boot drive/partition), you have erased the volume you are cloning to with 10.4 DU, repaired permissions, etc?

    While you are testing, be sure to reboot between attempts; I have found that if I ever had an error while cloning a drive, rebooting seems to help before erasing and making a second attempt.

    Trying to think of other things to check... You might dig through the console logs to see if they shed any light, sometimes they can be very helpful, although I have never checked for cloning problems.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  5. #5
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    Lightbulb

    I'm sure you are aware, but just in case, in order for a clone to boot and function, you have to turn OFF the volume's "Ignore Ownership" option found from Get Info on Volume. Otherwise, even DU Restore won't work.

    If a volume is only erased and it had OS X on it, usually (but maybe not always) the Ignore Ownership will remain off.

    Disk drives are now listed in a separate entry in Tiger, under Serial-ATA. SCSI is now Parallel SCSI.

  6. #6
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    I read that last one too many times and confused myself!
    When I get info on my system drive, I have no option regarding "ignoring ownership", but when I get info on another drive, I do have that option and it is not checked (does checking it turn it "on" or "off"???)

  7. #7
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    unclemac,
    Yes, we can do a clean install to the Maxtor from the 10.4 DVD. We tried that and then attempted to move data over via the Migration Assistant which also caused a system freeze. But the clean install was successful.

    We also tried to clone our FW "backup" to the ATA, it did not work.

    Our FW drive has approximately 50GB of used space and we're trying to clone to a drive that is a little over 80GB (both the SATA partition and the ATA partition are a little over 80GB).

    Yes, we did erase with 10.4 DU and repaired permissions.

    I'm not sure if we rebooted between tries or not, I'll add that to the mix.

    As far as the logs go, we've checked the SuperDuper! log but the log stops without any error messages as the system freezes.

    Very strange issue, it's given me quite the headache. We'll keep trying.
    thanks!

  8. #8
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    If "Ignore" is checked, then it WILL ignore ownership (and not be a bootable system).

    Until it works, don't try to migrate. I don't. I would use another program to update later, and not replace newer files.

    Migrate tries to update a lot more than just the home directory.

  9. #9
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    TZ
    We are currently starting over with the SATA "boot" drive. We're erasing with zeroes, repairing permissions, installing Tiger (with nothing but keyboard attached), and repairing permissions.
    Assuming this goes wells, what "other program" should we eventually use to transfer our backed up data (not replacing newer files) to this drive?

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