You’ll have to be an old school gamer to get that one.

The SuperDuper backup worked as advertised, but I’m an idiot; if you don’t want boring details you can skip the rest of the post because what happened is I killed my Time Machine partition.

So, why am I an idiot. I decided that instead of simply restoring, I’d bring the laptop to work and attempt to fix it; mount it on the spare mac we use for testing and either delete cache files or reinstall the security update. Both failed, so I copied SuperDuper to the mac and proceeded to restore.

Everything booted and I was really really happy… until I looked at the cables and realised I was completely screwed.

You see, my external hard drive has 2 firewire ports (I’m sure you can see where this is going) presumably so you can daisy-chain devices. That’s what I was doing because the mac only had one FireWire port, but I forgot to unmount the drive from the mac that did the restore before booting the laptop – which dutifully mounted the drive it found on the firewire cable.

None of which would be a problem if I’d gone with the original restore method of booting the Leopard DVD and using Disk Utility to restore the backup.

My bootable backup partition survived, but Time Machine wanted to play with it’s partition that had just come back online; I stopped everything an unmounted as quick as I could (in hindsight unmounting on both machines was my mistake, I should’ve just yanked the cables), but it was too late. It started with Invalid Sibling Links (which was actually quite easy to fix, I’m not afraid of a little fsck) but after the rebuild I’m getting incorrect number of thread records which is unfortunately fatal.

What’s a geek to do? I could just wipe the drive, all it had was my Time Machine data and a few other files that I have copies of on both my second backup drive and my network storage server. But after John Gruber mentioned DiskWarrior the other day, I figured it was a useful investment to make even if it didn’t work. On a side note, I ordered it online because with the Australian dollar over 92c US the 50% markup Australians pay (not just at the Apple store, but that’s the only link I can find atm) is absolutelybeyond fathomable. Even after international shipping I’m saving $30 by ordering from Alsoft directly.

Naturally, DiskWarrior worked and the drive is back. So technically it could be thought of as a $120 mistake, but truth be told DW will probably safe my life again and at the end of the day I’m just glad I made this mistake on non-critical data. Now I know what to watch out for and it’ll never happen again.