After spending most of the day trying to diagnose what state my MacPro was in, and continuing to wonder how I got there, I think I may have an answer.
Long, long ago, I had a Quad G5… (ok, so it wasn’t that long ago) and I believe my 1TB drive was created/installed there first. An apparently, it wasn’t partitioned as a GUID drive, but as an Apple Partition drive. All well and good, except that you allegedly cannot boot an Intel-based Mac from it. Empirically, that doesn’t seem to be the case, as I’ve been doing it, but I think that’s why so many things have been scrambled — extended attributes on system files, zero-byte system files, and loads of other really bad things. As I said before, bad juju.
Now, I had I not skrogged the original boot drive, I’d be sitting pretty — just repartition the 1TB drive, re-clone, and I’d be set. But, sitting where I am, I figured I’d try a reinstall of Leopard over the top of my current installation, and that’s when I discovered the partitioning woes. So, with no good, usable source, and no way to reliably fix the myriad system problems I’ve introduced, I’m left with the unattractive option of doing a fresh install.
I’m not totally against fresh installs. I mean, it’s pretty easy to accumulate loads of junque installed on the OS, so freshening things ain’t a bad thing. I’d just rather do it under better circumstances. I’ve been carrying a lot of these apps, data and stuff around ever since my first iMac G5 about four years ago. Badly quoting Adama from the series finale of Battlestar Galactica, “Don’t underestimate the power of a clean start.” I’ve gotta agree.
So tonight, it’s a clone back to the original boot drive. Tomorrow, I’ll entertain myself with a fresh install, and then begin to re-install my power apps — Lightroom, Photoshop, etc. — after letting the crazy machine do a boatload of updates.
Hopefully, I’ve learned a few things. This recovery? It’ll be fun. Really.