Starting over with OS X. Again....

Here what I did with my macbook last weekend.

First off, I had been trying out Nomadesk for quite a while. Nomadesk is not just an online-backup-solution. Nomadesk ensures you that your files are secure and always available to you. On your computer, on your phone or on the web (so that means on any computer in the world). And how much storage do you get? As much as you want.

Nomadesk gives new users a free 30-day trail, whilst you can use all of it?s features to the fullest extend.

(But more on Nomadesk later :-))

After having used Nomadesk for 30 days, I wanted more and subcribed for a year.

Then I started thinking about how I?d best organize my folder-structure on my mac. I?d want my portfolio on there, my documents, shoolwork and my Lightroom catalogues as well. Why not just move my entire userprofile to my Nomadesk? Sounds like a plan and a reasonable idea, yes?

I changed the parameter, clicked apply and OSX prompted me that would need to reboot for it to take effect. No problemo, did that right away. And then the fun began.

The system rebooted, everything seemed fine. I entered my password and there it was, the beachball of death (every OSX user knows what I?m talking about right now). After a minute or 2 to it prompted my the the following error: unable to log you on, an unexptected error has occured. And then it hit me.

Nomadesk mounts itself as a disk when the nomadesk-client starts. After the users logs on. So my profile was located on a drive that wasn?t available until after logon.

Going over a couple of options in my mind, I quickly realized there wasn?t much I could do (booting in safe-mode still requires a user loging on, and I didn?t have a second user on the machine). To the apple-store it was....

The Apple-Genuis at Easy-M was clueless as well. He tried running disk-utilty and repairing permission, which did nothing since there was nothing wrong with that). Through Twitter I thought of another solution: booting into single-user-mode (aka terminal) and create a new user. Then log on with that user and change my settings back. So I headed back home.

But adding a user from the command line didn?t go as planned...the system kept returning errors. 2 hours later, with still no progress. As a last resort, I headed to HCW where Manuel works. After another attempt to add a new user (which failed again), we decided that restoring from Time Machine would be my best shot. But. And here it comes again. The last Time Machine backup I had was 3 weeks old and I had made some serious changes to a couple of virtual machines in the meantime, losing those would be a disaster.

Manuel had the great idea to boot my macbook into Target-Disk mode, hooking it up to his Mac and transferring the VM?s to his machine. With those files rescued, I headed home to do the Time-machine restore.

All was looking well, until the machine rebooted. When setting up Time Machine, I had chosen to exclude the Applications folder from the backup As it turns out, not a great idea. There were no applications at all, no mail, no itunes, no safari. Just Finder.

With no apps and all my data secured, I opted to go for a clean install, rather then starting with the 3-week old backup. A week later, everything is back up and running.

The point? Think logically before changing crucial system-parameters. Lessons learned I suppose :-)