Apple OS X 10.5.7 overheats some Macs

Robert Black was right. OS X 10.5.7 adversely affects the internal heat management of some iMacs (and apparently also some MacBooks), causing the machines to overheat. Overheating, in turn, leads to such problems as freezes during iCal sync; freezes during iTunes sync; and the inability of attached hard drives to complete a backup.

Blah blah

I confirmed this by installing smcFanControl and watching my Mac get hotter and hotter as it tried to complete a SuperDuper backup. Disk Utility confirmed nothing was wrong with the attached drive. Swapping cables proved a faulty cable was not to blame for previous failed backups. Maddeningly, the backup got within 4GB of completion before locking up due to the overheating of my iMac.

Not every iMac or MacBook is affected. It probably varies by factory run and by model. (My MacBook Pro, for instance, is fine.) Third-party stuff and Migration vs. Tabula Rasa System Install seems to have no bearing on whether or not your Mac will choke on the update.

Since even running smcFanControl at settings recommended by Robert Black and others doesn’t cool the iMac enough to finish a backup or verify the quality of the attached drives, it may not make sense to replace my external hard drives (as new drives will likely also fail as the iMac overheats during backup).

With smcFanControl in place, I can use my iMacs but not back them up.

Apple needs to release an update that fixes the hardware problems this one created.

(And someone else needs to install it before I do.)

[tags]OSX10.5.7, bugs, Apple, Macintosh, update[/tags]

SuperDuper! Mac Backup

Even if your computer craps out, there’s no reason to lose your work. Rated five stars on VersionTracker,  SuperDuper! is the dead-simplest and most reliable backup program for Macintosh I know. With a click, it makes a fully bootable backup of your hard drive. If disaster strikes your data, or if someone steals your laptop, you can boot and restore from the cloned drive.

SuperDuper runs on Intel and Power PC Macs, and is compatible with Time Machine under Leopard. Download and use it forever for free, or buy for US $27.95 to unlock scheduling and Smart Update. (Smart Update copies only the data that has changed since your last backup, enabling you to backup your hard drive in minutes instead of hours. Which means you’ll actually get into the habit of running the backup program every day. Which means you’ll never lose your work. Best $27.95 you’ll ever spend.)

Update Jun 3, 2009

Ironically enough, this morning, a routine backup failed. SuperDuper immediately presented me with a simple “report the problem” form that included a log of everything that had happened on my system. I filled out the form and hit SEND. Within 30 minutes, I had an email from Shirt Pocket Support diagnosing the problem:

It looks like your destination volume failed during the backup. Here’s some stuff from your system log that shows the error in progress: [etc.]

There were also simple instructions on how to test (and possibly fix) my backup drive.

There was even a note about some scripting additions carried over via migration that were likely no longer working on my Intel Mac.

This is unbelievable service.

To anyone who thinks this is a paid ad, don’t be silly (or insulting). I really love this product and this company. You will, too.

[tags]superduper, backup, program, mac, macintosh, osx, os x, apple[/tags]