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Daniel
Daniel, Mac Genius
Category: Mac
Satisfied Customers: 4756
Experience:  Apple certified on desktop and portable, help desk qualified. Have owned and used Macs since 1989.
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Having trouble with programs crashing etc. Genius bar found

Customer Question

Having trouble with programs crashing etc.
Genius bar found hundreds of corrupted strange character files in my library. After repairing the disk with two different programs, and still seeing the problems, the experienced Genius said he felt confident that the only way out was a wiping the hard drive clean. Here is what I did:
1. Backed up everything using TIme machine on external hard drive
2. Erased Macbook Pro hard drive
3. Reinstalled Snow Leopard from disk
4. Updated software using software update
5. Connected hard drive and using time machine moved everything back.

Mail crashed when it tried to reimport
Firefox crashed again etc.

Next I erased the HD again and this time set up a new user and just imported applications from Time Machine. So far so good in terms of crashes. But I need my mail my Adobe contribute connections and of course about 60 GB of old designs, data etc.

Scared to import anything more:
Scared to open some of the applications.
I keep being told that since we
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Mac
Expert:  Daniel replied 4 years ago.
Hello my name is Dan.
You backed up the corruption along with the good stuff.
You will have to pick and choose and even then it may be a battle to get it back.
I would suggest that you start with a whole new drive, install SN and get it running.
Then bring things over one by one, testing them one by one, the corrupt ones delete.
Because the corruption is mixed in the data it will be hard to eradicate, like cancer.
You will not be able to use TM for this for that reason, it is corrupt.
Sorry.
Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Dan,
Thanks for the advice. If possible, I need more detail on your suggestion. When you said start with a whole new drive were you suggesting I buy a new Internal hard drive from my computer or a new Back up drive? Wouldn't a clean erase of all data be enough? But most importantly, when you said: "Then bring things over one by one, testing them one by one, the corrupt ones delete." Is this referring to applications and data? Bring over the applications one by one? The data one by one? How would I bring over my old mail i.e. 50,000 emails? All my thousands of contacts in Address book? I guess what I am asking is How do I bring them over? They are all backed up with Time Machine. You suggested testing, I am assuming that means just use them for a period of time and see if there is a problem, yes? Also I do have mail and address book backed up on the iDisk? Thanks for clarifying your suggestions with more detail
Expert:  Daniel replied 4 years ago.
I have no idea exactly what or where the corruption is and from your description neither did the Genius.
Your existing hard drive will work OK for that wipe and install but do not restore from TM.
I suggest all new installation of all applications and fonts not included on the install discs, leave the old ones where they are.
I am not sure how to recover those addresses without recovering corruption unless you do the OS install, grab the addresses, email them to yourself or save them to another external drive, I also suggest printing them so you have a hard copy, if possible.
Do much the same with other non replaceable items. I expect that you will find problems along the way but they should be easier to handle.
Those 50,000 emails I would save for last and make sure all else is saved where it can't be corrupted.
That is my best advice from past experience with similar issues.
Another utility you may find helpful is this one Data Rescue 3
I do not know how it will work on TM if at all but that is all the life preservers I have.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.
Hi Dan,
Thanks. Just to clarify, you suggested:
"I am not sure how to recover those addresses without recovering corruption unless you do the OS install, grab the addresses, email them to yourself or save them to another external drive, I also suggest printing them so you have a hard copy, if possible.Do much the same with other non replaceable items."

When you say do the OS install that means wipe the hard drive clean and then do a fresh clean install. But whe you say grab the addresses and email them to myself, how would I do that if they are bundled into the time machine backup? That would be the same procedure I would need to follow for all non replaceable items". Lastly, I will have 50 Gigs of old files, e.g. design work from past projects that I just keep for reference but may never need again. How should I handle them, perhaps put that entire TIme Machine back up in a folder called "May be corrupted" put it on a new hard drive and only take them out one at a time if absolutley necessary? Might moving them to another clean drive, possibly "infect" that new drive? In this case perhaps I should just relegate this older external hard drive with the corrupted Time Machine as my "corrupted back up drive" and only take things out that I need? Thanks for your time.
Expert:  Daniel replied 4 years ago.
That sounds like a pretty good plan. It is unknown just what is damaged. Quite possibly the corruption will come with.
Did the Genius run Disk Warrior on the drive after it was restored?
That is my favorite utility for repairing data and directories, it has a very good track record for fixing things that seem unfixable.

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