View Full Version : Late to the Snow Leopard Party, Snow Leopard Tips

07-11-2010, 10:36 AM
So I sat on a Snow Leopard DVD since it came out till a few days ago. I thought I would share some issues I ran into and overcome. I waited for many reasons, wanted to be sure it worked well with Wife's Rapid Weaver and Web sites, too little time to test and restore...

Then a few days I ago I woke up to a Smart Reporter Warning on my Macbook http://www.corecode.at/smartreporter/

The Smart Reporter feature is built into every modern drive but Apple only makes the information available from Disk Utility, no alert. The above software will place a drive status menu item near the Help Menu and also Bring an Alert message up on the screen if there is a failure.

Having been warned of impending doom, I bought a new larger drive (500GB) and restored from a Backup and installed Snow Leopard. Could have also done a Virgin Install and used migration assistant. In fact I tried that first, but flaky Snow Leopard Media from Apple nixed that (that Apple Store replaced free (for some reason upgrade worked, even with flaky media).

**** In any case I noticed some anomalies after the install, some Web sites, HTML emails, and some Apple Install updates Had weird Font issues with @/As instead of words.

Suspecting Font management issues, I ran Font Book. SL version of Font book has things moved around a bit. There was I believe a new Validate option, which scans all the fonts for problems and I then deleted a few dozen fatal error fonts. This did not resolve all the issue *** The all important Resolve Duplicates menu Item was moved to the Gear menu in Font Book. ***Doing Resolve conflicts quickly tamed all problems. SL Is great, fast for me.

*** I strongly urge all folk to visit Font Book, especially SL upgraders. Many a weird problem can be font related. **** I also Urge everyone to install Smart Reporter software. I did a little research if your curious at least according to a Smart Reporter wiki I found google reports drives that give a Smart Reporter error are ***39 times*** more likely to fail completely then one that has not.

I would not risk my data no matter how often I back up, not even with all the separate physical copies I keep.

07-11-2010, 12:29 PM
I like SmartReporter very much. One example why is that Seagate immediately accepted a SmartReporter problem report as cause for replacing a drive under warranty. With The Other OS, Seagate will make the owner of a failing drive run various DOS-booted apps & their cousins on the suspect drive first. These apps are HIGHLY tedious to run on Macs, and it can't be done by someone with my skills.

But, Anthlover, if you regard your data so highly, do you not do multiple backups of different sorts?

I use Time Machine, which is probably better for people with less labile data, but I also and often use Carbon Copy Cloner (by habit -- Super Duper also is well reputed), so I have a recent non-iterative complete backup.

I wonder why you did not boot to the Snow Leopard disk, open Utilities>Disk Utility and use ASR to restore from a Time Machine backup, or boot from some "utility" installation of OS X on a thumb drive or removable volume that would let you run Carbon Copy Cloner, or Super Duper, or something like that.

You are of course correct that problems with fonts can cause many semi-elusive problems to occur. I had two and only two Cocoa apps that crashed unpredictably in Tiger until evil fonts were searched out and terminated with extreme prejudice. It was good to be reminded.

07-11-2010, 03:17 PM
I Currently use Superduper locally semi-weekly, and Crash Plan daily (my data does not change that often at this point in my life) I do have 6 separate backups up sets (3 Physical Drives, Crash plan, two of the drives have multiple partitions giving me more snapshots). At some point I might get an a couple raid arrays from OWC.

I have in the past used TM with my Extreme but had one of two partitions that had its TM sparse bundle have corruption decided to go with Crash plan instead for the daily and more incremental roll back capability, not to mention off site.

At the time of the Alert I made a decision both out of curiosity and not recovering a few things from Crash Plan to make one last from Scratch Superduper based clone to one of my back up drives with a spare couple of partitions (from the ailing drive). This was successful.

Yes I have saved off the log entry for Western Digital Scorpio Blue 320 for warranty purposes as there is about a year left on its 3 year warranty. Will see how they behave. Amazing that drive was $109 two years ago, $49 now. The 500 Seagate Momentous I replaced it with was $87. Could have gone cheaper or Faster, local immediate availability drove me toward the 5400 rpm 8MB cache vs. a 7200 16MB cache. The density increase seems to have made the drive faster regardless. Higher RPM and heat sometimes make for shorter life anyway.

07-27-2010, 06:18 PM
Just an update. Apple did replace the Snow DVD for free now it starts with 10.6.3 in stead of Zero before updates. The new Disk allowed me to do the install from scratch instead of upgrade by 10.5.8.

I had noticed some anomalies still prior to the from scratch install. An occasional freeze and I still found at least one Web site that had a font issue **prior to the reinstall aka daringfireball.

On this pass I did use the migration assistant and let it move all but the system preferences.

Ideally I would have just moved my user data manually or automatically and reinstalled
applications from scratch. Big PIA but best way to avoid issues.

One thing I did notice before I ran system updates from 10.6.3 to 10.6.4 and all things since is that Itunes would crash and not run. I think that is because newest Itunes was not compatible with 10.6.3. After the updates no issues.