Sunday, November 25, 2012

Today I was a computer genius... and then I wasn't

Today I was a computer genius. No seriously, I stopped time machine from being a little bitch, swapped out harddrives on my mac, restored the harddrive after formatting, and then successfully hooked up my wireless printer to the network, all of my computers and through air print to my iphone. Amazing. And then I tried to connect Jeremy's work laptop to the wireless printer and all hell broke loose. :-/

Okay, first things first. Time Machine. What you may, or may not know, is that time machine, by default will back up to your local drive. So if your drive is fairly full to begin with, its gonna get a very full very quickly.

Yesterday I moved 266GB of data from my external drive to my new laptop just for an hour so I could reformat the external drive. Once I was done formatting I moved the data back onto the drive and erased it from my computer (into the trash, then emptied the trash). So, you would think it was gone, but nope, every time I looked at my hardrive it said that it had 260+GB of data on it! It's a brand new drive, the only thing it had on it before the file transfer was Mac OS X and Chrome. It took me a while but I finally figured out that it had kept a local backup of that 266GB file and it was completely swamping my computer. To turn off this not so helpful feature here's what you need to do:

Launch Terminal from /Applications/Utilities
Enter the following command: sudo tmutil disablelocal
Enter the admin password when requested to disable local backups

This will also erase any local backups that may have already occurred (eventually). It took like 15 minutes for them to go away and then a few reboots, but eventually my computer was back to only 22GB full.

So I took a time machine backup to my external drive at this point so I would have something to restore to.

Next: Swapping out the harddrive in your 2012 macbook pro. I found you tube to be very useful for this. I can't find the exact video I watched but if you look up "2011 Macbook Pro Harddrive Swap" you'll find a bunch. If you have a new macbook pro you don't need to remove the battery at all, in fact, when you open it, there is a little note stating not to do this. Two things I learned, one, you'll need some very small screwdrivers (phillips head) and you'll need a T7 star driver. On the sides of the mac hard drive there are four silver screws (star heads). These hold the driver in place. You'll have to take them out and put them on your new hard drive, assuming your hard drive didn't come with them. Other than that, swapping was easy.

After swapping I started back up again, holding down the option key until I saw it jump into the "internet recovery" screen. After recovery (which took like 3 minutes) I tried restoring, but it wouldn't find my new harddrive at all. After a bit of research I realized that it was because my drive wasn't formatted (second key piece of information missing from the not-so-helpful screen) So, if this happens to you, go into disk utility and force it to "erase" the contents. When it does this, it will format the drive correctly. Shutdown and restart, holding down the option key. Once again you will have to go through the internet recovery again, only this time it will take like an hour. After that, go into 'restore from time machine backup' and you should be able to see your new hard drive.

I couldn't believe that everything worked... and it only took me like 4 hours. After getting that all up and running, I started reinstalling programs like Photoshop Express (easy) and Microsoft Office. Who would have thought that installing office would have been the most difficult part of my day. After purchasing online, and having my credit card company block the transaction due to possible fraud, I got an email telling me exactly how to download microsoft office, only never once in their email does it tell you that said "download" button will not appear until they send you a SECOND confirmation email in 2-4 hours. I spent 30 minutes looking for this stupid button and on the phone with 3 people from MS Office support before someone could tell me that I had to wait for a second email. Why the hell would that be so hard to put in the first email!

After all this, I figured I would press my luck and try to setup the new Canon Pixima MG6200 printer for wireless support. After a few issues and about 2 hours of debugging I couldn't believe that I actually got it to work. Over both my Mac's AND over air print for the iphones! It was amazing. I was feeling so satisfied... until I wasn't.

As the title states, I WAS a computer genius, but now I am not. Somewhere between all the printers and mac's being happy with each other, I had Jeremy install the printer software on his work laptop, which he uses at home quite frequently. And then all hell broke loose. Not only did that not work, it then somehow did work, and installed two copies on his computer. Then his computer just decided that it would start generating IP address conflicts with other things on the network. Now my computer and the printer are all generating IP address conflicts and the Netgear R6300 wireless router just keeps dropping out for the hell of it. Like 8 times in the last 30 minutes. Ugh. It's just too late to deal with this. Hopefully I can resolve it tomorrow.

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