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  1. #1

    Rod's Avatar
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    Disaster and recovery: Why CCC didn’t work for me. (Rant)
    A day ago I suffered a disaster on my 2015 13” MBPr.
    My device froze while running Disk Utility First Aid. This was unusual and paradoxical because it had just completed it’s task of “repairing” my SSD, declaring that the Macintosh HD appeared to be okay.

    I used the keyboard command to restart, logged in, and checked for Malware using DetectX, all was apparently clear, started OnyX Maintainence and the screen went black. I then see a notification to say, “Your computer restarted because of a problem,” and that if I do nothing it will reboot.

    After reboot everything started to slow down. I attempted to reboot into the recovery partition and after a few tries was successful but alarm bells were ringing. I ran Disk Utility First Aid again and found multiple instances of “Warnings” in the progress report. Halfway through the process the device froze again. WTF, I thought, isn’t the Recovery Partition isolated from the rest of the system?
    Okay I will boot from my CCC clone (which I had updated the day before) I thought.
    After taking an age to boot and of course being a clone starting up all my Startup Items like Drop Box Setup, none of which I wanted of course and various other Menu items. I would quit one and another would startup, frustrating but it is a clone, I eventually got to Carbon Copy which had been trying to launch since startup and it promptly offered to step me through the process of restoring my Macintosh HD. How did it know? Anyway it creates a task called Restore Macintosh HD and I duly run it after reading the instructions in Advanced.
    It failed about 40min into the process and the screen froze again, this time I had to shut down and reboot because Restart failed to do anything after a 15min hang.
    Now I was alarmed, it looked like, and was eventually confirmed, that the CCC clone had the same problem as the Macintosh HD.
    I did manage to repair the OS on the CCC drive surprisingly, using Internet Recovery but despite erasing the Macintosh HD I was still unable to restore the Mac HD using CCC.
    The whole fact finding, trial and error process was laborious, frustrating and has taken since yesterday afternoon to resolve. Much of that time waiting for simple processes to complete, like 15min just changing the Startup Disk to CCC clone in System Preferences. Painful, now I know why techs get paid so well.
    How did I resolve it?
    With a High Sierra installer on a USB thumb drive created more than a year ago.
    Booted the MBP from it, erased the remnants of the failed CCC restore attempts from the Macintosh HD using the included Disk Utility and installed HS.
    From there downloaded macOS Mojave then very importantly I created a new bootable USB installer for Mojave (something I should have done originally) using the appropriate version of Diskmaker X.
    So, I now have a clean instal of Mojave, with the CCC drive connected I am dragging an dropping my documents, photo libraries, music etc across to the Mac HD, so far all appears fine and good.
    I will download new copies of the apps I want, I have found this to be less problematic in the long run. I simply use the clone as a list.
    So, I was saved an expensive trip to a service centre by a bootable USB thumb drive Mac OS installer.
    This in no way devalues a clone as a backup. I would be lost without the stored copies of many of my documents and files. The point is it may not be the best way of or certainly the only way of backing up your OS. I did think that the Recovery Partition was untouchable but obviously not and I had thought that if my Mac HD developed a serious problem I would know it before inadvertently passing it onto the clone as I only backup the clone weekly, wrong again.
    Lastly, an up to date Time Machine backup would have been very handy at this point but I have neglected that for about 6 months lulled into a false sense of security by my previously always reliable clone.





    Sent from my iPad using Mac-Forums
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  2. #2

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Sorry to hear about your issues Rod. Glad you're back up and running. I had a similar issue with my 2008 MacBook Pro that's taken the last two days to resolve.

    A few months ago I followed some directions from the internet to put Mojave on the MacBook Pro. I know it's unsupported but that was the point of the directions. The process worked when I did an upgrade install, so later I tried a clean install of Mojave. That didn't work for some reason: The result being the the system wouldn't boot.

    A few days ago I decided to fix that issue so I could run a few 32-bit apps that won't run under Catalina. These apps aren't likely be updated but I don't use them often so the MacBook is a great way to run them. No problem I've got a drive with an El Capitan install right. Wrong!!! After some digging, I found the drive only to discover that the drive, which I thought was a straight clone, was indeed El Capitan but the drive was formatted as APFS! That was useless for my purposes.

    I guess the moral of both out stories is always check the clones.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  3. #3

    IWT's Avatar
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    Rod

    I’m really upset that you’ve had this terrible experience. And Sly, your story is not so clever either.

    The lesson I’ve learnt is that the Recovery Partition is not as as protected as we assumed.

    The second point in this disaster litany is that there is still, very much, a place for Time Machine.

    I, like you guys, use both CCC and SD! as backups ( why both is a longer story); but I still have two Time Machine backups because I’ve always felt that was the de rigeur backup despite its limitations.

    There’s a place for both, but we shouldn’t downplay Time Machine.

    I’m truly sorry for your misfortunes, Rod and Sly. Oh, and yes, having a bootable USB installer is a godsend.

    Ian
    Ian

  4. #4

    chscag's Avatar
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    I hope that you didn't just put some bandaids on your machine instead of resolving the actual problem. I would be very suspicious of the SSD failing like that along with the Recovery partition. It sure sounds like the SSD is acting up. Especially since CCC also failed - and that's a good clue.

    I have used CCC to restore from on numerous times and it always offers to step you through the process. CCC has built in detection and knows when you're booted from the clone.

    Anyway, if I were you, I would keep a very close eye on your machine and make sure that you have a recovery plan that secures your data and apps.

  5. #5

    Rod's Avatar
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    Yes, point well taken Charlie. As soon as I can drag the essentials off my CCC clone I will erase it and create a brand new clone of the current system. In addition I have a new Time Machine backup running now and as stated I created a bootable Mojave USB thumb drive installer first thing before installing the OS.
    Thanks, Ian an Sly for your support as always it's just nice to be able to share these experiences with people who understand and can relate.
    I suppose the lessons learned here are USB thumb drive installers are a very valuable addition to the backup arsenal, clones are not the last word in backup and recovery and macOS Recovery Partitions are not bullet proof.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  6. #6

    RavingMac's Avatar
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    Thanks for the story, Rod. Glad it all worked out in the end.

    I gave up on TimeMachine years ago, but you, Ian and Sly make a good case for using it. And, I agree with Charlie on the SSD.
    I generally keep a minimum of 2 CCC clones, but I haven’t been as diligent with backups lately. My newest clone is probably 2 months old, and that is too old.
    In my defense, with moving and all, I really don’t have many (if any) critical files that have changed since then, that aren’t on my icloud drive. Still, your testimony tells me I need to do better . . .
    I've always wanted to be smart, handsome and modest. But, I guess I'll have to be satisfied with two out of three . . .

  7. #7

    Rod's Avatar
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    One last and very important point on recovery. I password manager is one of the best tools you can have. Files, documents and data are one thing but when it comes to recovering from a crash like this where your primary backup is lost as well a password manager is invaluable. I use Enpass which backs up to iCloud so I only needed to download the app and type in my master password in order to access all those third party app user names, passwords and registration keys.
    Believe me I have done this process without a password manager and it takes forever to obtain, retrieve or reset all of these. This time the process was smooth, simple and much, much faster.
    I suggest everyone add this feature to their arsenal of recovery tools, you'll be glad you did one day.
    I used to be conceited but now I'm perfect.

  8. #8

    Slydude's Avatar
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    Good point Rod. I have a folder with a bunch of these codes which is backed up in more than one place. I never thought of using a password manager for that.

    I know at least one person who kept that kind of info on her phone in an encrypted file.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

  9. #9

    chscag's Avatar
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    Here's the best place to keep all those passwords and codes:

    Little Black Book.jpg


  10. #10

    dtravis7's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by chscag View Post
    Here's the best place to keep all those passwords and codes:

    Little Black Book.jpg

    I have a bible that looks like that except it does not say little black book on it! . Grin

    On a sort of funny note, I have a friend who had such a book and put all his passwords in it. Issue is he kept misplacing the book and a few times could never find it!
    Last edited by dtravis7; 07-14-2019 at 02:01 AM.

  11. #11

    Slydude's Avatar
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    @Charlie,

    We better hope SWMBO doesn't mistake that book of yours for a different Kind of little black book. Otherwise, somebody might have some explaining to do.
    “Hard work beats talent when talent fails to work hard.”
    Kevin Durant

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