Diskless Macbook Pro

2008/06/09

So, I have positive proof that the file system crash of last week was not a software problem in Leopard, but indeed caused by hardware failure. After restoring system from Time Machine, things looked pretty good – everything seemed to work. I was able to re-render the screencasts I have lost – I mean I have lost converted AVI files and MP4 files, not the “source” MOV files. I worked on Mac over Saturday and Sunday. Because my Time machine does not backup virtual machine images, I had even whopping 65 GB of free space :-). I saw a bit more of beachballs, but I thought (wishful thinking) it is because Spotlight is busy rebuilding index …

In some moment of bliss I have asked my son to get and build for me 250 GB external FireWire disk with this beautiful enclosure and on Sunday evening, I tried for the first time wonderful program Carbon Copy Cloner that duplicated the harddrive to external one, promising bootability.

On Monday morning, at customer location I tried to copy VMWare image from network. System froze with beachball and had to be powered off. Same result for the second and third attempt … with only difference that it did not boot back and hard disk started to make that weird clicking sound.

I brought it to Apple service center which confirmed the problem, took out the disk, ordered replacement part and asked me to come back tomorrow. That would cause a problem, as I am attending few meetings in Montreal in next 2 days and need my notebook with me and in working condition.

Fortunately, the bootable external drive trick worked perfectly. After power on, I need to hold Option key and select the external disk – and everything works just fine. I am actually typing this on my Macbook Pro :-). No observable difference in speed, the only annoyance is that I cannot really use notebook in train or anywhere where there is no power supply for the drive.

I am still amazed how flexible is the Mac hardware and how capable is the firmware. Being many years Windows user, before this, an idea of cloning disks and booting notebook from external hard disk seemed pretty far fetched. As they say in Germany – man lernt nie aus ….

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Fix for iDVD 08 crash after the start

2008/05/15

Today I tried for the first time the iDVD 08 with intention to create DVD version of the screencast – just to find out that the application dies right after the start. From the error report (thanks for that) the problem was in missing dependency Oxygene framework – a module similar to Windows DLL. Here is the error message:


Link (dyld) error: 

Library not loaded: @executable_path/../Frameworks/Oxygene.framework/Versions/A/Oxygene
Referenced from: /Applications/iDVD.app/Contents/MacOS/iDVD
Reason: image not found 

The solutions described in the Apple discussion groups revolved around using shareware tool Pacifist – something I did not like particularly. The plain reinstallation of the DVD did not help either.

What worked for me and solved the problem was complete removal of iDVD and subsequential reinstall. I used AppZapper to remove the application, but it also can be done manually by deleting the application bundle from /Applications, removing all iDVD receipts from /Library/Receipts and all content from ~/Library/iDVD and ~/Library/Preferences (which is in a nutshell all AppZapper did).

Right after removal, insert Installation disk 1, select Install Bundled Software Only, press Customize and uncheck everything except iDVD. The program starts fine after installation finishes.

One more minor hickup after reinstall was that the Theme introduction would not play in preview – all the application showed was black screen with background music. This was resolved by selecting ‘Check for updates’ and allowing installation of the update. Afterwards, I was able to start working in my first DVD :-).