Fixing corrupt Time Machine Sparsebundles

I use Time Machine on my MacBooks as part of my backup plan. However, it backs up over the wireless network to an external USB drive on my Mac Pro, and¬†occasionally¬†there are problems. A couple times now, I’ve gotten an error where Time Machine says it cannot back up because the drive is read only. When you look through the logs, you see that the drive is read only because the sparsebundle is corrupt.

I tried running Disk Utility on the image, but it fails out with an “Invalid Sibling” error. Upon further research, I found this:

Here’s an overview of the steps:

Turn off Time Machine!

Next, you must attach the sparsebundle without mounting it.

hdiutil attach -nomount -readwrite Bhaal_0011247e3338.sparsebundle

This process took quite awhile for my 200GB image. Next, We need to run fsck_hfs on the sparsebundle. You will want to replace “disk1s2” with the disk number in the result of hdiutil.

fsck_hfs -rf /dev/disk1s2

Now, fsck_hfs took FOREVER. Literally around 24 hours. But, when all was said and done, it all worked again, and it sure beat having to start the backup over on my MacBook.

Moving to Mac: SVN, Finale

So, after struggling with all other SVN clients, I’ve settled on a commercial product, Syncro SVN Client. It’s no TortoiseSVN, but it’s got all of the major SVN functionality, it works, and it’s stable. Combine that with the light bit of stuff that I do via Subclipse, and I’ve got all the SVN goodness I need to get along.

I’m still holding out hope for a TortiseSVN port, though.

Moving to Mac: VPN

Before I had my Macs, I used the Microsoft VPN on one of my Windows servers to give myself access to the home network while on the road. It worked smoothly, and required little setup on the client machines.

While trying to eliminate physical machines in my house, one of the boxes set to get the axe was this Windows box. But how would I connect remotely?

Well, the answer, it turned out, took less than a half-hour to set up. I use IPCop for my firewalls (have for years, probably won’t switch to anything else, ever), and it turns out that someone has an OpenVPN plug-in for IPCop called ZERINA. A quick install and setup of ZERINA and I was ready to get my Mac connected. Then, I found a neat tool called Tunnelbick that provides a GUI for OpenVPN connections on the Mac. I found these instructions (scroll down to “MACINTOSH OSX:”) for setting it up with ZERINA, and they worked like a charm. After a quick run to McDonald’s a couple days later for their free WiFi via AT&T, I confirmed that everything was up, running, and working like a charm.

Moving to Mac: Keeping in touch with Windows

Ok, so I’m not 100% off of Windows, nor will I ever be. Unfortunately, some projects (even personal ones) require that I use SQL Server, and most require testing in IE. Combine that with the facts that I don’t consider myself a *NIX expert quite yet, and that I’ve already invested thousands in Windows hardware, and I’ll probably be running Windows servers for at least a few years to come.

So, how do I cope? First off, I have to sing the praises of VMWare Fusion. I’ve used Parallels, but was never really pleased with it. Yeah, it ran Windows, but it didn’t do it with much style. Once I compared the feature sets, VMWare came out to be a clear winner to me. It supports things that Parallels doesn’t, like guest OS support for multiple CPU’s, 64 bit, and (least importantly) limited support for DirectX 9.

How do I use it? Well, I’ve got a few VM’s set up on my Mac Pro… The first one is actually the VM that points to the BootCamp partition. That VM is for testing IE 7 and Vista, and general Windows computing. When in BootCamp, it’s for the rare gaming session. The next one is a XP Pro/IE 6 testing environment. It’s off a vast majority of the time, though. The last VM is a 2003 Server, running SQL Server and it’s tools. It stays on all the time, since it’s literally a server machine. It replaced a 6-year-old Celeron box that was just eating up electricity.

Also, I’m still finding that I need files off of my old Windows boxen, and OS X’s support of Windows networking fixes a vast majority of that. Sometimes I just need to look something up on my old computer or manage one of my servers, and luckily, Microsoft was kind enough to release the Remote Desktop Client for OS X. The interface for actually establishing connections isn’t quite as slick as it’s Windows counterpart (I wish it just kept a history of previous sessions), but otherwise it’s identical.

So, between Remote Desktop and virtual machines, I’m covered. Hopefully, though, I’ll be able to wean myself off of Windows completely with these tools, like a smoker and nicotine patches.

Moving to Mac: Keeping in touch with Windows, followup

So, it turns out that Amazon’s got a great deal on VMWare Fusion… $35 after rebate:

Also, two different readers (I have 2 readers?) pointed out a better RDP client, Chord. It’s still a Terminal Services/Remote Desktop client, but with such obvious features as multiple and saved sessions, and the ability to change the screen resolution by just resizing the window. I think this is going to replace Microsoft’s client for me.