Joho the Blog » Scrape the Mac down to the metal? (A litany of whines, with a backbeat of love)

Scrape the Mac down to the metal? (A litany of whines, with a backbeat of love)

Jeez my MacBook is hinky. Basically, nothing works reliably on it. I thought Leopard would fix the problems, and it has brought a little more stablility, but I can’t count on using any app without it vanishing in a puff of kernel errors. My RAM tests ok, the CPU temperature is reasonable, my permissions are good, and I’m working out of a new, clean user account. Even so, I can no longer get advanced apps like Parallels or VMWare to work, and even good ol’ Quicksilver (oh, how I love it) seems to be cross-linked with other apps, sometimes popping up when I open them. The problems do not seem to be app-specific, since even little programs will end randomly. Usually, it’s just an annoyance, but since products like Keynote are too proud to do autosaves every few minutes (on Windows, I have Powerpoint set to autosave every 4 mins), the random puff of disappearance has at times cost me work. Not to mention that in the upgrade to Leopard, GarageBand, iMovie, iPhoto and iTheRest have vanished off my hard drive. Yokes.

So, I think I’m going to back everything up yet again – I am a man of many backups, although none seem to work when I need them – and take it back down to the bare metal: reformat, reinstall, re-hope.

Even so, and I want to be clear about this, I love my MacBook with an ardor that none of the many Windows machines I’ve had has ever inspired, including the big, honking box on which I am now running Vista. Vista is crashing left and right on me in ways that a new operating system with very few programs installed (and most of them Microsoft programs at that) ought not. Plus, everything about Vista requires thought. After all these years, I’m pretty good at Windows, but I don’t want to have to think about it any more. And if I were new to computers, I think I’d find Vista incomprehensible. It’s become Unix-like, which is ironic given that Ubuntu is making Unix/Linux easier every day.

So, I think I’m going to rebuild my Mac from the ground up. Consider it an act of love. [Tags: mac vista ]

5 Responses to “Scrape the Mac down to the metal? (A litany of whines, with a backbeat of love)”

  1. Blog postings like this make me cringe. I feel your pain David.

    I get a new laptop probably way more often than I should. I’m also a little too spoiled to do the install/back-up thing myself. Even watching my expert IT guy spend a day-plus trying to get a new laptop up and running is painful enough.

    Even with your TLC, my prayers are with you :)

    Lastly, I think that your story is the real problem with technology – it’s not reliable ;) Imagine a world where you turn your laptop on like a lightswitch… and it’s all there.

    Dare to dream.

  2. Gee I wish I could get my hands on your MacBook. Pro? Probably not, but I could whip that sucker into shape anyhow. That’s what I do. That is my special (?) talent. The great grey area between the machine and the book.

    But really, it’s the hinky that has me glued here with love. I thought I was the only … oh hell, this is turning into a post. Alright, to be continued at humorlesbitch.

  3. don’t trust disk utility’s smart check, it’s good but limited and basically won’t warn you until it’s almost too late.

    try this tool out:
    http://www.volitans-software.com/Home.html

    make sure the disk is 100% OK before abusing yourself wiping the system.

  4. islamoyankee, thanks for the tip. I bought a copy of smart check and it found no problems.

    Still screwing up my courage to nuke the disk (although I’m thinking of leaving the Windows partition since that seems to be operating well on the rare occasions that I use it (mainly as a Powerpoint filter) and I really would rather not have to reinstall Windows as wel.

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