MacBook Pro Logic Board change causes Time Machine problems
My Twitter followers and denizens of Milliways will know that my MacBook Pro died while I was at my sister's on Friday. There was no video from either the built-in display or via the external DVI port and the machine would alternate between failing the POST and booting successfully with no video.
Fortunately, there are two Apple Stores on the way home from Maidstone - at Bluewater and Lakeside - so I dropped in to the Bluewater one, only to discover that it would take them two weeks to replace the logic board. They suggested I go to the Regent Street store the following day, but as I was going past Lakeside anyway, I tried there. Their estimate was 3-5 days, so I left the machine with them. It was indeed 3 days - on Monday evening, their website confirmed that my laptop was ready for collection.
I went down to pick it up this morning, having booked an appointment to see a "Genius" so I could get them to take a look at the optical drive. It took them another couple of hours to swap that, so I went and had a coffee and then came back to play with the various shiny toys in the Apple Store while I waited.
On getting the machine home, I discovered that as the internal ethernet port is built in to the logic board, the machine's MAC address had changed. I quickly updated the dhcpd.conf on my server and then discovered that this also prevented Time Machine from using my existing backup.
A bit of googling revealed a Mac OS X Hints post on the subject, but having followed those instructions I discovered that it was still creating a brand new backup.
At this point, I thought I'd give Apple phone support a try and called the number for the Lakeside Apple Store. Unsurprisingly, when I'd fought my way through the IVR system, I was put through to Bombay Bob (as one of my customers always refers to Indian tech support). I explained the problem and he kept not listening to me, telling me on several occasions to configure "Time Capsule" (the Apple proprietary wireless NAS), which I don't have.
Eventually, after over 10 minutes of being utterly useless, he put me on hold. After five minutes of hold music, I got "The other person has cleared" as he hung up.
Fortunately, after a few more minutes looking at the problem, I was able to solve it myself, but I am very unimpressed with Apple's phone support. It's a good job their in-store support is rather better.
The problem was that I had missed the third step of the process:
$ sudo xattr -w com.apple.backupd.BackupMachineAddress 00:1a:2b:3c:4f:56 Backups.backupdb/MyMac
because Safari 4 didn't render it. I've submitted a bug to Apple.
[ Entry posted at: Tue Feb 24 19:34:43 2009 | 0 comment(s)... | Cat: Geeky ]