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Thursday, November 6, 2014

A Time Machine'tastrophe

You may have noticed lately there haven't been a whole lot of pictures on my blog. Well, this post is all about why. It's full of angst but it's not a pity party. It's so you never make the same mistake I made when it comes to backing up Time Machine on your Mac if you have a Mac.

Here's what's been going on in my world. If I told you every detail you'd tear out your hair and run screaming for the hills or want to hug me and say "Hang in there, you'll make it through this."

(BTW I'll add photos when I figure out how to use the new Adobe Photoshop I may or may not have successfully installed today.)

A few weeks ago I took my computer to an Apple Genius Bar to drop it off to be serviced. The screen display was separating from the casing of one of the bottom corners when the lid was closed. Not a huge deal but I hadn't closed the laptop in months because every time I did it made the problem worse. So, following ArtPrize I thought I'd finally take it in to be fixed. I was told to back up because my hard drive would be replaced in the process.

Now, let me say there are ways in which I'm geeky, but this was not one of them. I did what I was told to do. I went and bought an external hard drive. I plugged it in, I ran Time Machine, then I scheduled my drop off appointment.

When I got to the store I asked my Genius if there was any way to see if the hard drive had backed up properly? I wasn't sure it had so I brought it with me in case there was a way to see. His reply, with a shrug of his shoulders, was "Not really." I asked "So you just hope for the best?" To which he replied "Yes." I was told it would take 3-5 days and someone would contact me when my computer came back.

They did call within 5 days. "Great" I thought to myself. I went and picked up my computer and brought it home. That's when I realized I had no idea how to get the data from the hard drive back into the computer. A call to Apple and 30 minutes of being on hold was all it took to get going. Once the reinstallation ran I was stoked. Until I noticed all of the grey question marks in my dock. "Hmmmmmmmmmm, that's not good" I thought to myself.

Before realizing why the applications hadn't been backed up I tried to trouble shoot. I got on Google. I read forums. I ran migration assistant. I called Apple and was again on hold forever then on the phone so long we finally had to give up because I had an appointment I couldn't miss. The person there offered to schedule a call back for me, then discovered their system was down. I considered having my mom send the other back up I'd made of my computer in June and had left with her in case anything had happened to my computer while I was on the road on my way to Michigan.

And then, by chance, I discovered what went wrong.

Long story short, years ago when my hubby had set up Time Machine to run at the house he had deselected backing up my applications. I'm told that's normal, that people often do that to save back up time and storage space. But, I didn't know that. And it wasn't visible when I'd launched the Time Machine icon on my desktop. What I did realize later was that when I asked the Genius at the store if there was a way to tell if the computer had backed up properly he could have simply launched Time Machine, clicked on the "Options" button, and we would have seen right there and then that none of the applications had been backed up. I blame him. My friend Dana said it's as much my fault because it's my computer but I disagree. I told Dana I am not the expert. The Genius was the expert I was paying hundreds of dollars to to fix my computer. That I asked him point blank and he either didn't want to or didn't know to check the Time Machine Preference options was (imo) his responsibility as said expert.

So, after a lot of wasted time digging through boxes of my stuff I found most of my installation cd's. Some worked but others didn't on my current OS. Most critically I needed my Adobe suite of programs like Photoshop and Dreamweaver, which is why my posts the past few days have been lacking in photos. I decided to make the leap to the new-to-me option by Adobe, their Creative Cloud which is where you pay a monthly fee to license their programs. If nothing else it keeps you up to date and would give me the additional program "Lightroom" which I think I'm going to need moving forward when I create my product lines from the images of my origami artwork. So, I called Adobe and signed up. Happy ending? Noooooooooooooooooo. . . Silly me.

Turns out my OS was old. Too old to run Creative Cloud. I was four OS's behind still running Snow Leopard. So I had to install OS X Yosemite. It took days. It wasn't like I could just hit the download and install links, I had to waste a day on a failed attempt then learn the difference between memory and storage and figure out what I was short on then make room. I also had to figure out how to find my activity viewer. Each of theses tasks took at least an hour or many hours. I kept telling myself it was all for the best. Soon I would be current and I'd stay current and this would never happen again. So, my second attempt to install Yosemite worked.

It was time to install my Creative Cloud programs. This was well over a week after picking up my like-new computer from Apple. Had I known then what I know now I would have opened a bottle of wine and put a straw in it at this point.

I am now 48 hours into trying to get the programs I purchased onto my computer. After downloading and installing the Adobe desktop app, nothing worked. Surprise. Ugh. I got on Adobe chat this morning and was instructed to de-install everything that had been installed. This took another huge chunk of time. We then reinstalled the program at which point chat disconnected us and I was on my own again. I waited for the installation to complete and same thing. Nothing. This time I called in by phone. The technician said he would be able to get the programs on my computer in 10 minutes. I think it was closer to an hour and ultimately he had to take control of my computer using remote access to get things to work.

All told it took hours and roughly 30 steps between the chat and phone interactions to get things running. Currently two programs have made it onto my computer so far but they are taking a ridiculously long time to download.

I haven't even tried to launch them. I don't think I can handle the frustration if they don't work. I'll wait for tomorrow to do that. Wish me luck. I think I'm going to need it. If the programs don't work someone is going to have to talk me out of putting my laptop under the tire of my car and running over it. That's how frustrated I've been the past couple of weeks. If I do run over my computer I'll take a picture of it but I won't be able to post it here because the very act will mean my Photoshop is still not up and running.

The moral of this story is if I never post another photo you'll know why :P Oh, and make sure your Time Machine is set to back up everything. Especially your apps or you'll be playing the same ugly, seemingly never-ending game of outdated technology dominos I've been forced to play for the past two weeks.

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