Your response to your computer "crashing"?

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by M2 Carbine, May 31, 2020.

  1. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    I have a 21 inch MAC desktop computer I bought from Best Buy a couple gears ago, after my three long time Windows Computers crashed.

    I have to admit the conversion to Apple was a real pain in the ass. But now I can get the MAC to do pretty much every thing I need it to do.

    Last night when I tried to turn the computer ON, the USB lights, of the several One and Two TB plug in hard drives ran (so I knew the computer had power) but nothing else appeared to work. Just a blank screen.
    I tried a number of times, switching the power ON and Off but the computer appeared to remain dead.

    This got me to thinking, "What the hell do I do now?"

    You don't realize just HOW MUCH very important stuff you have stored in the Computer, until it looks like you may have lost it.

    When I tried to turn the computer ON, a couple hours ago, it started up normally. ???
    Now I'm afraid to turn it OFF again.

    One of the 2TB USB drives I bought was intended for the "Time Machine" backup, but some time back I stopped the automatic Time Machine backup because I needed the space on the drive.

    So, if I allow the automatic Time Machine backup to automatically do it's thing,
    and if this computer does crash and I buy a new one,
    how far does this Time Machine back up drive go to restoring the new computer to the old computer settings?

    The "Time Machine" backup disk still has 400+ GB to go. :)


    .
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2020
  2. Pierre!

    Pierre! NRA Life Member

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    Backup, BACKUP, and BACKUP!!!

    I left Apple/MAC products long ago (when I wasn't being paid to support them) and I'll be zero help...

    You should grab a compatible (probably USB) Hard Drive doc and OEM Hard drive to create a recovery drive for your computer.

    On windows I use an OS drive that only holds the Operating System and installed applications. It's a small size, and recovery happens in about 45 minutes and all my applications work perfectly afterwards... I have used this to recover from Windows Update issues in the past, as well as migrating the current SSD to new computer that I build. It has worked flawlessly with the software I use.

    Data only goes on another HDD (Legacy spinning disk or SSD) called "D:" drive and is backed up in it's own routine to the external USB drive.

    Hopefully this will help you create a recovery system, and / or System Upgrade method going forward!

    :waving:
     
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  3. peng

    peng

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    Windows 10 has an intermittent issue with booting up or waking up from hibernation with black screens. Maybe Apple has the same, something to do with the computer losing it's link with the GPU. Power is on otherwise.

    You can try unplugging the monitor with power on, wait 30 seconds and plug it back in. This has always worked for me.

    Also Win10 has keyboard shortcuts for many things, to wake up the screen it's holding down Crtl/Windows key/Shift, then pressing B.

    Look for the Mac hot key shortcut, gotta be one. Good luck.
     
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  4. nerr

    nerr

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    Clonezilla: Best insurance policy is a complete hard drive backup, bit for bit, every few months to another drive (external is best). Since it's hardware bit backup, it does not care what's on the disk (mac, linux, windows 3.1..).

    Clonezilla is free so you can run it off a bootable USB and not even have to boot into the Mac's OS at all. Great for possibly preserving some data for later (can't pick individual files from it until you restore to another hard drive). Has worked great for years for me.

    Takes a long time to back it all up (USB 3.0 port and compatible device makes it lot faster than 2.0). Figure on needing space on backup disk as big as the whole drive to hold the image file it makes.

    https://clonezilla.org/downloads.php

    Also, if you can get to an Apple store, they only charge you for any parts they replace: never for labor (at least that's what it was a few years ago). You can send it to them as well, I believe, but shipping is on your dime unless under warranty or apple care. My wife has one: I'm the linux/pc/raspberry pi guy in the family.

    Good luck.
     
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  5. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Thanks fall or the advice.

    When I bought this new MAC I bought two 1 TB, and three 2TB USB drives and two of my old Windows hard drives work to store files from this MAC and my old Windows computers.
    (The several other Windows hard drives don't work on the mAC)

    So I have MANY THOUSANDS of info, picture, etc, files backed up (stuff going back 50+ years).
    And I have backups of the backups.

    But I'd be lost if I had to start from scratch with a new computer. A friend got this new MAC going when my Windows computers crashed.

    "Clonezilla" and the "Apple Store" is something I want to look into.

    Also I have to look into just how this MAC "Time Machine" backup works to "restore" a new MAC's hard drive. Best I can tell, yesterday the "Time Machine" did a "full backup" on the computer.

    Since the "shutdown" this MAC has been operating normally ????
     
    Last edited: Jun 1, 2020
  6. DAKA

    DAKA

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    Response used to be OH S**T.
    But after a few BLUE SCREENS I changed over to CHROME..and I couldn't be happier or more satisfied. That said, I only use a computer for Message boards, E-mail, on line ordering, and 'look ups"... no banking business etc....
     
  7. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    I'm afraid I use the computer for "everything" now days.

    Between such as Amazon, on line banking, etc, (being retired) I only go to town once or twice a month.
     
  8. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    I still don't know what happened Saturday but since Sunday the computer has been working normal.

    It was a wake up call though. It demonstrate that I should have a plan for when the computer really craps out.
     
  9. stonesfan99

    stonesfan99

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    I built my own Windows 10 desktop. I've done it before professionally for a few years so it doesn't worry me that something may not be set up right. I need to get that A+ cert soon too. But I gave it a good shakedown after building it. It only ever "crashed" one time because I used cheap RAM sticks when I first built it. Sent them back and got some GSkill Ripjaws (expensive but high quality) and problem went away.

    Here is the issue I have with Macs - it's a lot hard to open them up, diagnose and repair them. Apple stores I don't think know what they're doing with regards to repairs and most times just seem to want to replace it and their repair costs are unreasonable in my experience. Fixing Macs I would only go to that Louis Rossman guy that fixes Macs.
     
  10. seagravedriver

    seagravedriver

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    I have been nothing but Macs for years, though windows machines at work. I had a friend come in and we have two several terabyte back ups with a Mac mini running them, somehow. My only Mac failure was a mechanical issue with a Mac Book Pro. Back up. Always.

    I am on a 8+ year old MacBook on a daily basis.
     
  11. larry_minn

    larry_minn Silver Member Millennium Member

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    I had my windows 98 crash yrs back. I thought it was a big deal. Then I realized little on it was that important. I just thought it was.
     
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  12. unit 900

    unit 900

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    I helped a friend out on upgrading her Macbook. after a RAM and SSD upgrade, it was a simple matter to restore the machine from the fresh Time Machine backup up we made. I'm not sure why you want to go back to prior TM back ups as the latest should have everything that was on the hard drive. Good luck.
     
  13. syntaxerrorsix

    syntaxerrorsix Anti-Federalist CLM

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    I've got one USB with the latest Ubuntu and one USB with my latest automatic backup. Takes me ten minutes to do a fresh install and another thirty minutes to reload all of my files and settings. Same thing I do whenever a new LTS version comes out. Start fresh. Thankfully I've only bombed the system once and it was entirely my fault.
     
  14. oldmick

    oldmick

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    I have an iMac from around 2013. I knew it was only a matter of time before the HD went south, so I bought an external SSD with Thunderbolt.

    installed the OS to the SSD, and used time machine to move the data back to it as well.

    I also have two backup drives. I point time machine to backup one for 30 days, then switch to backup 2.

    So I have 2 backups of time machine and one has current data, the other is no more than 30 days old.

    I occasionally pick a random file from backup and restore it, just to be sure it works.

    The SSD is waaaay faster booting up and opening programs.

    I rarely turn mine off.
     
  15. bdcochran

    bdcochran

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    1. good luck to you.
    2. I am retired so I don't need the "immediate" backup.
    3. I have never figured out how to take everything - programs, bookmarks, data - copy onto a back up drive - and then download into a new computer that would be picked up in the next half hour.
    4. I do this backup and why:
    a. back up protocols and hardware are not always backwards compatible.
    I found that out when backing up photographs/videos/documents.
    I had a commercial outfit make cd backups of representative old photographs. Then I made up multiple usb key back ups. Even then, I have no idea of whether anything will be able to read the usb keys in 20 years.
    I had converted video tapes to then current backups on cds about 8 years ago. The cds could not be read today. I paid a service to do still another conversion, made copies, yatta yatta.
    b. I have a usb key on a hub. Everytime I made a change in passwords (15 printed pages), addresses, manuals, I put a duplicate copy on the usb key.
    c. I took the youtube videos of how to .... and downloaded them onto recycled harddrives.
    d. periodically, I run a copy on the bookmarks on a usb stick.
    e. periodically, I dump photos to a photoback up stick.
    f. periodically, I dump data to a backup.
    The backups are not kept near the computer and sometimes there are multiples.
    Today, I do a backup of everything.
     
  16. stonesfan99

    stonesfan99

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    Windows 10 is a royal POS but there's really nothing better unless all your programs work on Linux. Macs are decent computers if you don't mind paying for them. My experience is that they tend to "just work" even though they're wildly overpriced.
     
  17. Gauss Rifle

    Gauss Rifle

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    @M2 Carbine ,

    I do I.T. for a living and while I can't help you bring a dead Mac back to life, I can help you learn how to back up and restore your data on both operating systems as well as help you prevent, troubleshoot and fix most PC issues. I can even help you create complete clones of a pre-installed windows operating system to bring a PC back from the dead.

    I know you're invested in the Mac now but you may want to consider switching back to PC at some point.

    Reason: PCs are far easier for an end user to restore to functional status than MAC and many Mac models are built in such a way as to impede users' ability to service them. That's how they make a decent amount of of their money (after-warranty support) since no one wants to just throw away something that expensive. Apple's business model is also based around "forced obsolescence", which basically results in you spending more money than you have to have a functional computer in your home.

    It should also be noted that the two platforms don't read/write all the same file formats so if you find that certain external hard drives just stopped working or ask you to format, that's why. Don't format anything until you talk to me or someone else in the I.T. field. We can probably help you get your files back.
     
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  18. M2 Carbine

    M2 Carbine

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    Thanks Gauss Rifle.

    Since I got this MAC I bought Two 1TB USB and Three 2TB USB drives to store files, pictures, etc for backup. Also a 500 gig and 1TB Windows hard drives (that for some reason) work on the MAC.

    Pretty much I have everything duplicated 1 to 3 times (but I have to get organized).

    I also run MAC's "Time Machine", although I don't really understand how it is supposed to work.

    If this MAC crashed, mostly I wouldn't totally lose anything but I would play Hell reconstructing it again.
     
  19. thespork

    thespork

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    Time machine is a fantastic tool...

    It will get you back to the last time it ran, OS and all if you require it to.

    One thing I would suggest. Is make your time machine drive a dedicated, external drive that is used for time machine, and only time machine.

    By using a drive for time machine + other stuff, you are running the risk of corrupting the very drive you are depending on as a backup....
     
  20. Tvov

    Tvov

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    I just skimmed the thread, maybe I missed it...

    Is there a reason you haven't looked into online backup services like Carbonite? I started using it years ago (used Mozy before Carbonite bought them) after forgetting to do hard backups all the time. Now, every morning at 1am my Carbonite checks for any new info on my comp and stores it.

    I've used the recovery service a couple times when replacing computers.

    Yes, I pay for it... but as people have pointed out in this thread, you don't realize how much of your life is on these computers until they crash!

    Important note: most commercial backup services only back up data/video/pictures, NOT programs (I think due to copyright and trademark laws maybe?).

    I still try to remember to do a "big" backup at least a couple times during the year onto DVD.

    Also, things like my password list (lol, similar to bdcochran) which is 14 printed pages, I do reprint at least twice a year and keep hardcopies. My "password list" also contains things like home internet passwords and codes, domain names, IP addresses, etc. I will also email it to myself sometimes so it is available using email through my smart phone.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2020