Sunday, February 5, 2012

10.7.3 Update Results

Lion Update

Well, I did the update to Lion 10.7.3, and I see no change in performance or features. The update included a jump to Safari 5.1.3, which did NOT fix the problem it has been having with pages not responding, and requiring a forced reload of all open pages.

Obviously Apple knew about the problem or they wouldn't have included the dialog box, which did not exist (or at least, was never invoked) in 5.0.5 and before.

Biggest fail, however, is with SuperDuper. It cannot copy a specific invisible folder called /.MobileBackups, which exists at the top level of the hard drive. It fails with a Type 8 due to error 28: No space left on device. This is actually not true; the target drive has three times as much free space as the source drive it is copying.

I sent the report to Shirt Pocket Software, publisher of SD, and maybe they will have a response next week. You who use SD, be sure to click the Send to Shirt Pocket button at the bottom of the report, which you see by choosing the Show Log item in the Window menu, any time your backup fails.

That .MobileBackups folder exists to save older versions of files like TimeMachine does, but it works when the T-M backup drive is not present. I can't blame this on 10.7.3 because it appeared when backing up the 10.7.2 Lion disk before I ran the updater.

I went through half an afternoon trying to clear out that folder, too. First, it's invisible so I have to run the widget "Hidden Files" in order to have the Finder show all invisible files and folder. Then, when I could see it, that folder had a NoEntry icon on it, which told me I could not open the folder because I didn't have enough privileges.

Root User did not help

Okay, I have to get those privileges, so I enable Root User on my Mac and log in as that. This lets me open things not available to a simple Administrator, but lo, the Hidden Files widget cannot be installed and run in Root. So off to Google I go to find the Terminal commands that will enable hidden files. That works. However, when I open the now-readable .MobileBackups folder, I see the items that are causing the problems (as well as wasting 4 gigs of drive space) but it won't let me delete them! Even as root! I am truly playing in a sandbox that Apple does not want anyone to play in.

The failure was caused by some Safari files. After banging around a bit I was finally able to make them go away and lo, the SuperDuper backup works. I return to normal user mode and run the backup so I can load the 10.7.3 update.

When all this was finished, I plugged in a larger hard drive, one big enough that I could partition it to support both Time Machine and SuperDuper backups. Set to run that night, I wake up to a SD failure again, with the same error message pointing to the same /MobileBackups folder, but with a different file in it: the 10.7.3 Combo Update!

This is where I gave up and am waiting to hear from Shirt Pocket.


I got a short answer from Shirt Pocket just now: It seems the only workaround is to turn TimeMachine OFF (in System Preferences, Time Machine) for 10 minutes before running SuperDuper. I wrote back and answered if this is something that can be fixed in the next SD update. Will post when I hear back.

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