MB Pro, Broken restore DVDs

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catmistake's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1098

There' s a problem with (some, many of) the MacBook Pro restore disks, Apple hasn't acknowledged, but they must be aware of. I just called, and they are sending out replacements.

I discovered this after working about 30 hours setting up accounts for all my directors on my Mac Book Pro I intended to to "publish" to all the other laptops. The system was acting wonky (would only allow me to open up about 8 terminal windows, some other oddness... I was doing some weird things in the netinfo db). Rather than trying to solve the problem, I decided to just back up the whole disk to an image, then reinstall the system (Archive and install) so I'd save all the accounts and settings I'd worked so long to get the way I wanted. I'd never had a problem with this in PPC, the old system goes into a "Previous Systems" folder, a fresh system is installed, and every setting and account gets retained. Everything was going swimmingly until the last minute or so of the installation (system had been installed, but now on the second disc running the scripts installing the applications)... it just stalls... and its impossible to break out of it... Rebooting just brings back a screen requesting the second disc, you pop it in, and it stalls in the same place. I found some reports online:

http://www.macfixitforums.com/showflat.php?Cat=&Board=tiger&Number=765325&page=0&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=31&fpart=1

http://forum.osx86project.org/lofiversion/index.php/t17584.html

After attempting to solve this for a number of hours, I just gave up and figured I'd just restore the backup I made and try to troubleshoot that until I got some new replacement discs, but the problem is worse than reported: when starting up from the restore disc, and using Disk Utility to restore an image, it doesn't work (It won't let you drag anything from the left part of the window into the destination disk address field on the right... you can manually chose an image, but there's no way to get the destination disk into the field, because grab and drag is broken). I sort of panicked, but I tried one more thing, and it worked (for future reference).

I booted the MacBook Pro into FireWire Target mode, connected it to my PowerBook, and used the PPC Disk Utility to restore the disk image. I was worried that wouldn't work, but it worked nicely, and after restore, the wonkiness in that install has disappeared (go figure).

At any rate, save yourself the possibility of frustration if in the off chance you ever need to restore your system (or boot off the restore disk, and do a trial run of restore using disk utility. If you can't drag anything into the destination disk field, you've got problems), and call Apple now to get replacement restore disks for your new computer. Just give them those symptoms ("I was trying to restore my system, and it stalls in the last minute. I tried to use disk utility (booted from the restore disc) to restore my back up image, and I can't drag the destination disk into the address window on the right. I tried an erase and install, and it stalls again in the last minute. Your discs are broken, please send me some replacements. This computer cost me $xx, and a couple of DVDs will cost you pennies. Please send me some new disks, I'll gladly send the broken ones back to you"). The first tech gave me some guff... but he escalated the problem, and the system specialist was very accomodating. Better to have them replaced not knowing if they are broken or not, than to find out they don't work quite right when you need them. Apple support can be stubborn (give them a break... you know the crap they go through); just tell them what they want to hear. Good luck.

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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 67
Are the physical DVDs themsel

Are the physical DVDs themselves bad (e.g. missing data layer, scratches)? If so, some countries have laws requiring the manufacturer to replace the media. I usually make ISOs of my OS X install DVDs and write them directly to a spare iPod or external HDD for mass installs (it's much faster than a DVD).

But yes, as you stated Apple will likely replace your discs for free if you're persistent enough. Have the replacement discs solved the problem?