noted for future reference

I installed a 200-lumen battery-powered dark-and-motion sensor spotlight with a 20 second cycle under the carport on Viv’s driver side. It’s all plastic, so we’ll see how it fare amidst the elements. I note the install date here via this post so that I will have a sense of how long both it and the 3 D-cells it uses last.

A deep draught

John Seabrook, Behind the Cellar Door, The New Yorker, January 23, 2017

I enjoyed this very much, as it refracted some aspects of my father’s relationship with wine, and my own, back to me.

In particular, parts of this passage:

The heavy door swung open, drawing the cool air of the cellar behind it. The viny scent of wine, cut with the stringent reek of strong alcohol, enveloped us. It was pitch black within, and, in the moment it took my father to find the light switch, I imagined a demon rat rushing past us and disappearing into some other part of the house.

Then the lights blazed up on a square room, about fifteen feet per side, filled from floor to ceiling with wine and liquor, resting in sturdy wooden bins stacked four high, stained dark brown and built around three sides of the room, along with a two-sided row of bins in the middle, forming two bays. It was like stepping into King Tut’s tomb.

My father began making wine before I was born and, I presume, collecting it as well. Seabrook’s family experiences with his father’s cellar are on a grander scale than that I share with my father, but that line about the scent chimes with early childhood for me, and by the time I was 16 or so my father built a special room in our basement dedcated to his wine collection, walls lined with bins, a table and notebooks there for recordkeeping, smells and all.

New friends

A few months ago I met our backside neighbors, the tenants of our other backside neighbor. He’s from Paris via Beijing, and she’s from Russia and the Ukraine via Moldova, Romania and Beijing. We like them very much and first fed them here in early autumn, spontaneously one Sunday evening when he’d dropped by to introduce himself.

They had us over last weekend for dinner and it was loads of fun, staying up talking and drinking wine until 2 am, getting to know each other better. He’s an aerospace guy at Boeing, ex-Airbus,  but frustrated by the salaryman aspect of the work. She won a scholarship to a university of Chinese traditional medicine in Beijing at 19 and spent 12 years there, completing her studies.

Our buddy Joe, who spent 8 years in Taiwan and China and married a Taiwanese lady there, invited us over for dinner on Saturday night. Joe and Lilian have a large extended social circle of Chinese and Taiwanese people that live in Seattle, many of whom are in international marriages, and it seemed obvious to me I should try to get our neighbors included in the invitation. In the end, he went, she didn’t, and a good time was had by all. Joe and Jason and I played some music together for the first time in more than a year and it wasn’t terrible and it was fun. Our neighbor kept shooting video with his phone, probably gawking at the Americanness of it all, in the midst of all the baiju and Chinese food.

So far so good

After some instensive digging around various Subaru fora and borrowing an OBDC II code reader from a friend, I still don’t have a good read on the car. The code reader did not show any codes recorded, which seems odd, but whatever.

Fora posts describe my car’s symptoms in similar cars but not the ’99 Forester. The consensus appears to be that transient loss of power accompanied by a front end shimmy is a cylinder misfire, likely due to a bad plug, a bad wire to the plug, or imminent failure of other associated parts. Which, great. Except I have actually experienced this and had all that both replaced and serviced within the last 3k. Furthermore, the shimmy I was experiencing was much less intense than that I had when the cap was failing. 

So possibly that indicates incomplete chamber combustion rather than total non-combustion?

Another possibility, which seems somewhat more likely as it has a possible causal tie to the recent oil change, is that Carter overfilled the oil reservoir. A few posts here and there (interestingly, the most informative one was from a Seattle-area owner who had taken his Outback to “the dealer,” presumably Carter, for an oil change) indicated that oil overflow into parts of the engine that did not need it could lead to power loss, and that this overflow could occur if the oil reservoir was overfilled. The dip stick is said to have fill marks for hot and for cold weather, the cold weather mark indicating a greater acceptable quantity of oil. 

Persons discussing this issue and possibility indicated that burning oil, blue smoke, would be expected to accompany the issue. No smoke has been noted. However, when I checked the oil level this morning it clearly exceeded the highest fill dot level. So presumably they did overfill the car. However others also note that moderate overfills are used in some situations to provide a safety buffer for a car in extreme situations, and this past three weeks might kinda qualify from a temperature perspective, so who knows.

The car had two runs today, each about three miles, and no shimmy or loss of power was resultant.

UPDATE: After subsequent power loss and a diagnostic visit to Scanwest on Greenwood, it was suggested that the ignition coil might be failing. The replacement was within warranty horizon, so I toot it to the initial shop that replaced it, Maddy’s on Aurora, and they verified the issue and replaced the coil without incident.

’99 Subaru Forester L, loss of power while driving

This last post to subaruforester.org concerns a current, ongoing issue that is unresolved at the moment. There has been no uptake on the forum and I presume this reflects the age of the car and declining consumer-use deployment of the car model.
The prior posts were regarding issues that developed on the car, respectively, at about 168k and about 173k. The car now has a mileage of about 176k. In addition there were some major service events to the car that I had not posted to the forums which I do note here.

After Scanwest did such a great and reasonably-priced job with the alternator replacement I had them do the 180k service on the car at 175k, and at some point either before or after the alternator replacement but after AWD did the seals I had a cylinder lose pressure while driving on Aurora directly across from the indie shop Maddy’s Automotive. I was able to drive the bucking vehicle onto their lot and they fixed the valve overnight. I will be digging out paperwork on that job shortly and will provide more detail on it when I have the info in front of me.

Overall the car is aging gracefully and as can be seen we only put about 1000-1500 miles on it annually. It even passed emissions inspection this most recent time right off the bat for the first time since we have owned it.

On Monday I took it to Carter for an oil change, fluid topoff and an eyeball once-over. They did not report any leaks or oddities, as expected.

Today as I executed a lane change into the clear left turn lane on Aurora in preparation for leaving the arterial the car suddenly lost power for a moment or two and dropped in speed unexpectedly. Traffic was light and I was able to get into the turn lane by gunning the engine after which normal feel returned to the car. The loss of power was fleeting but it felt somewhat as if one of the wheels had lost traction, I think the front right wheel. However it was very brief and felt more like the engine had lost compression for a moment. There was no concurrent shimmy or bucking, which I did experience with the bad valve.

I didn’t think anything of it and went about my errands. About an hour later another errand came up and I hopped in the car. The total mileage for the trip was to be about a mile. I had gotten only about 300 yards from my house when a slight shimmy was felt when the car went into idle as I slowed for a stop sign and awaited the car ahead.

As I pulled into traffic, I felt the car responding sluggishly and responded by gunning the engine. At this time I noticed the check engine light illuminate and then intermittently illuminate and turn off. In general, gunning the engine spiked the rpms for a moment and then the car would respond normally for a bit before losing power again. Eventually this evened out and the check engine light stayed off and I made it to my destination with no further difficulty, although the car feels reduced in power and still has a new, slight vibration in idle.

Obviously, the place to start is at the dealer, since this issue seems like it could be from a loose hose. I wanted to drop this out here in case anyone else has any possible thoughts or concerns about a possible more serious issue. I have not looked under the hood yet, as I had some scheduled activities that could not be moved around and wanted to write all of this up first.

I’ll follow up with more info on that Maddy’s valve job and with whatever I learn from looking around the engine.

UPDATE

Visual inspection under the hood did not identify a loose connection, darn it.

Additionally, I was incorrect in specifying that I had a bad valve. The issue was a bad ignition point, one of the spark plugs was not firing. Maddy’s replaced the coil pack, ignition wire set, plugs and fuel filter. I think this was prior to the new alternator going in. That ran about $450 total.

I also have had one other major service event on the car I missed above not previously covered in other posts here. In December 2015 we had a very short, quite harsh cold snap that dropped temperatures rapidly from the 50s into the single digits and in the cold morning my radiator failed. I noticed it as soon as I returned from the drive and was able to drive it in to Carter and get it done in a day for about $500.

After talking to Carter on the phone, an unsatisfactory interaction in which the person I was speaking with seemed defensive and harried, they suggested taking it in to them to get a diagnostic code read, as the Check Engine light had illuminated. They noted that if they cold not attribute the engine fault to the oil change work performed last Monday, the diagnostic check would run about $120.

In looking into the way the car stores error codes, it became clear that a code reader was a trivially inexpensive piece of consumer car gear, starting at about $20 on Amazon, and so I think it may be wise to obtain on a fiend has one and is bringing it for me to borrow tonight, but either way I think the correct course of action is to perform a code read myself and examine the error to determine if it is attributable or not to the oil change. It does seem unlikely that a simple oil change would be performed in such a manner as to cause a loss-of-power issue but on the other hand, Carter was the last pair of hands under the hood.

 

 

 

 

’99 Subaru Forester L issues, electrical problems

In 2014, I again posted to subaruforester.org concerning maintenance issues with the Forester. Here’s my local repost.

Summary: intermittent failure to charge battery accompanied by in-use electrical intermittency resolved by alternator replacement

After getting the seals done at AWD, I mostly took the car to the much closer Suburb Service in Shoreline and they have done some minor parts work, such as a headlamp and most recently a front axle. No issues with the quality and pricing of their work but their shop prefers an early-morning check-in and drop-off which just doesn’t work with my schedule.

Over the past year or so the car has exhibited occasional electrical issues, observable primarily when the car fails to start in the morning after being driven, with no apparent weather dependency at first. I replaced the battery about a year ago in an attempt to address this issue, which seemed to work for a while.

Then, as this summer (2014) has brought months of record setting traffic problems to the Seattle area, on several occasions I have found myself in stop-and-go traffic for several hours. On the first of the occasions, the day that a fatality accident closed Aurora southbound, I noticed some dash lights flickering when the car was idling. the flickering seemed to coincide with the engine running slightly rough on idle. the flickering also affected the a/c and the radio, which emitted static as the flickering was observed. given that traffic was not moving I thought, ‘huh,’ and without thinking about what i was doing, turned the car off.

Bad move, as the car would not restart. the starter turned over a couple of times but after that was flat. I was able to push the car into a parking spot which was right next to the place the car died, thankfully, and settled down to wait for the engine to cool down.

After about 30 minutes, I could touch the engine block with my finger and tried to restart the car. nothing. Then I realized i had a jump box with me and tried that. The car started immediately. I realized i was in the window at the end of the day to leave the car parked until my event was over, paid for parking, and came back to the car several hours later. the car needed the jump box again, but started fine and ran well all the way home. the next day it did not need a jump.

Over the next few warm days I drove it I experimented with the electrical load and determined that the a/c was most likely to produce the dash flicker and drained battery. I never took careful note of which dash lights were flickering except for the ‘A.T. OIL TEMP’ light.

I had a different ship than the one that suggested the battery replacement examine the car’s electrical performance and harness and as the first shop has found they reported the car as sound.

Finally, I made an appointment to get the car examined after I had determined that the a/c would drive reproducibility in the issue at Greenwood’s Scanwest, a mixed SSAB / Subaru shop.

They immediately diagnosed it as the alternator and performed the replacement with a rebuild, which has resolved the issue.

I’m happy with the resolution here and feel that Scanwest did great. They also replaced the shifter bulb for parts only, no labor; performed the diagnosis for free; and did this as a walkin overnight. so, great job.

The only thing I’m still puzzling over is this: ever since we bought the car at 70k, the transmission has always been hesitant to engage. As the car aged, it became even slower to engage, and developed a notable, distinct ‘CLUNK’ as the gearing set.

Now with the new alternator, the transmission’s hesitation HAS VANISHED. No hesitation. No ‘CLUNK’. The transmission operates as, I guess, automatic transmissions are supposed to operate, although as this is my first non-stick, I actually don’t know what to expect.

So here’s my question: how can changing the alternator have affected the performance of a mechanical part like that? Does the alternator play a documented part in the transmission? If so, why on earth didn’t a single experienced Subaru mechanic notice that issue and observe that the alternator might be the issue?

If it’s not the case that the alternator has a known role in transmission performance, should I ask the shop if they went above and beyond and turned a bolt or something in the transmission along the way? It’s definitely not on the statement I have in hand. Anyway, I’m definitely not complaining, just pleased and mystified.

There were no responses to the post. I no longer notice any difference in the transmission shifting behavior. The transmission is notable slow in going into reverse. I assume this is a symptom of wear in the transmission.

Subaru Forester L issues, seals

In 2011 I posted to the forums at subaruforester.org seeking guidance on getting the car’s seals redone, a typical midlife expense for Subarus. As part of my ongoing attempts to recapture miscellaneous posts I have contributed elsewhere on the internet I am posting my content from that thread here. I will follow up with the some procedure for the other two threads I have posted in that locale.

I have an automatic 1999 Forester L, 169k, cosmetically pretty good in and out.

However, the car has the following issues:

  • Oil leak
  • Strange engine sound, clicky
  • Hesitation in shifting
  • Measurable head gasket leak

I have two repair estimates in hand for the seal-related issues only, no transmission work, at 4k and 5.5k, each approaching the resale value of the car in good working order.

A quick spin thru CL shows non-running 99s on offer at 1.6-2k. This car still runs, but it will fail. I am having a hard time figuring out a fair resale value.

I also have a cosmetically rough, mechanically sound ’93 Camry SE manual v6, 107k. It is hard to find sale examples for this car but given the dings and scrapes I would guess the car would be fairly offered at 1.5 to 1.7k.

I would prefer to just keep the Camry and drive it to the bitter end, but my household has a nonnegotiable need for a hauler/ snow car.

If I could get the seals fixed for 2k I would do that and sell the Camry, but that seems unlikely. I am not a mechanic and can’t do any work on either car.

This community might be able to help me decide if the 4-5k estimates are market or inflated for the vehicle, and to help me set a proper resale offer price for the Forester, as well as thought on disclosures of the extant issues.

I am emphatically not looking for a new car or even a low-mile used car; any replacement car needs to come in at 5k so that the whole operation is a wash. I am sure folks here have faced this dilemma with regard to 98-99 foresters hundreds of times in the past. What should I do?

Posters on the thread criticized both the scoping and cost quotes from Carter and suggested getting it examined and estimated by All Wheel Drive on the Eastside, which is what I did. They suggested getting the seals done and quoted it at $2.3k. The work came in at $2.6. Additionally, the next time I brought it in to a shop, they noticed a minor issue with the install on one of the seals, and I took it back to AWD, who repaired the problem without any complaint or argument.

Alerts

Viv asked me to look into the Diabetes Sentry, a $500 FDA-approved non-invasive perspiration-based wristband glucometer intended for night wear by diabetics and oriented to catching nighttime lows and highs, so I am gathering links in this post. This technology has been in development for years and has always proven challenging to implement, the ideal end-deployment scenario being that diabetics could wear a non-invasive continuous-monitoring glucometer and that device would then feed adjustment data to an automated invasive (or implanted, eventually) insulin pump, establishing what would effectively be a replacement for the diabetic’s damaged organs.

Links:

University of Florida Clinical Trial, 2014. Clinical Evaluation of a Non-Invasive Hypoglycemia Detector in a Glycogen Storage Disease Population “The device often failed to detect hypoglycemic episodes in glycogen storage disease patients and the rate of false positive alarms was high.” 

Bummer.

Journal of Diabetes Science and Technology, September 2015. Hypo- and Hyperglycemic Alarms – Devices and Algorithms. Daniel Howsmon, BS and B. Wayne Bequette, PhD. 

Article includes noninvasive and invasive monitoring devices and concentrates on invasive continuous glucose monitoring technology as demonstrably most effective, noting an approximate 1-in-3 false positive rate over several noninvasive devices. I did not note if the article cites the UofF study linked above, whose results are in line with the studies of other, older noninvasive monitors cited. The article does note that trial users of earlier systems did not want to stop using them despite the rate of false positives and cites “quality of life,” presumably deriving from the better-safe-than-sorry thesis combined with the diabetic user’s response to the alarm, which would require awakening and testing prior to adjusting insulin dosages.

This is interesting from another perspective in that it is well established that a key to long term healthy adjustment to living with diabetes is frequency of testing. Presumably the false overnight alarms drive up frequency of testing and therefore increase the diabetic’s data set, resulting in better glucose control. This is a powerful argument in favor of the device.

Health Central, Will the Diabetes Sentry Prevent Hypos?, David Mendosa, November 2013. 

A consumer-oriented review in which the writer obtains an early review unit and enlists the help of an insulin-dependent diabetic friend to assess the device’s performance. Interestingly, the writer notes that the Diabetes Sentry does not use the infrared perspiration analysis that other similar devices such as the GlucoWatch did in the past, but rather uses changes in skin temperature and skin humidity to invoke its alert. Mendosa’s user reported both false positives and failed detection, in one case citing a low that reached 40 without triggering an alarm. The user also appeared to be primarily testing the device in daytime and active conditions, which is not necessarily our visualized use case. The article also notes that the Diabetes Sentry is the second to-market iteration of the device, the prior incarnation having been marketed as the Sleep Sentry apparently under the mistaken impression by the manufacturer that the device had recieved FDA approval, which it had not.

All together, I would say that while $500 seems expensive for a device whose primary benefit appears to be increasing randomized overnight blood-sugar testing and insulin dosage adjustment – a result which could be obtained by setting randomized alarms on one’s cell phone or digital information device such as an Apple Watch or other fitness band – if Viv remains inclined to this purchase after understanding the projected limitations of the device, I am in favor of the pirchase simply because it has the potential to increase overnight testing frequency.

Tone

For many years I have run an antiquated virtual answering machine on one of my Macs using the long-unsupported and discontinued Parliant PhoneValet software and dongle combo. Sometime about midyear I noticed that the software was no longer picking up and doing the various things it was supposed to, such as presenting a phone tree to callers and forwarding messages via email and calling our cell phones and so forth.

After some troubleshooting I concluded that my housewide move to OS X 10.x Yosemite around June had finally done in the software. I have a very elderly pre-Intel Mini that I keep around as a print server for some older printers and figured at some point I would move the dongle and software to that machine, still a possibility.

However, at some point well after that, date uncertain, I noticed that there had been no messages left on the traditional handset-base answering machine either, which seemed strange, especially in an election year. Sometime around then, my parents mentioned in a conversation that they had tried to call our land line but been unable to leave a message.

I thought that was strange, so I called the number from my cell. It rang in the handset but not in the hardware attached to the line, even though our DSL was working fine. When I picked up the landline handset, there was no dial tone.

After looking into it, I concluded that the likely course of events was that our cat had knocked a handset off a cradle at some point and we had not noticed it until after the emergency tone had been cut off and the POTS voice line disabled, probably in telco software, and would likely need to be reinitialized. I did not expect that there was a hardware or wiring issue because our DSL service remained fine.

We traveled a great deal in the second half of the year, on the road an average of a week a month through November, and that, plus the definite bonus of not even receiving any of the electioneering robo calls that plague election years, meant that I was in no hurry to get the line back up at all. 

Yesterday I finally filed a ticket and CenturyLink sent a truck. The technician was friendly and informative and although surprised to hear that the DSL remained functional and concurring that the infrastructure was likely fine, determined that his best reccomendation was to replace the line-drop to the node. 

So now we have landline POTS again for the first time in at least six months. Minutes after the hookup, we received our first call, from a scammy travel-offer telemarketer! We had qualified for a week of free travel, food, and lodging in Florida!

Hunh.

We really did not miss the line at all. I suppose I should look into seeing if we can keep just the DSL portion of the service and cut our rates by about $25. I’d like to keep the number, though. I wonder, can I port it to a virtual service or VOIP that would enable screening and phone tree forwarding for, oh, $5 or so? I sure wouldn’t be interested in paying any more than half the current cost and honestly any more than five bucks doesn’t generate enough savings annually to motivate me at all.

The Hard Drive Shuffle

On December 23, the boot drive in my MBP failed and I had to interweave backups and recovery and troubleshooting through the additional activities of the holidays. As I usually do when experiencing hardware issues, I journaled it. However, for reasons unknown even to me, I kept the journal on Facebook rather than here. 

Today, with the removal of the failing drive and its’ replacement with a 1TB SSD, I am done with the portion of tasks associated with resolving this issue that have to do with physically troubleshooting and replacing hard drives. There is a longer-term set of tasks upcoming involving the machine-by-machine deployment of outboard backup volumes, signaling the definitive end of my five years of desultory seeking to create a LAN-based backup system, but that’s a series of blog posts for another day.

Here’s all the stuff I posted on Facebook regarding this issue from December 23, 2016 until today, January 3, 2017. I have removed posts that were from friends and observers here; they can still be seen on the original FB thread.

 


 

December 23, 2016 at 12:38am ·

Arrgh, the boot volume on my MPB failed! The data I need, all my working files, are safely mirrored and I can just go work on one of my other machines, but geez, I won’t have time to fix the damn thing until next week!
December 23, 2016 at 9:17am
I was awakened this morning by my parents urgently calling to ask if I could locate some financial information, one of their HDs having failed, I think, although it was somewhat hard to follow their explanation of the issue.

December 23, 2016 at 12:00pm
I was able to mount the MPB as an external drive and am now ‘imaging’* the data over to another outboard. Roughly 600gb to sling, running at 16gb/hr give or take. The process ought to complete in 37 hours or so. Aargh.I cloned a 1TB SSD to a 2TB last night, coincidentally. A mere 12 hour process with today’s blazing transfer speeds. At least we don’t have to sit with the damn machine rotating floppies or swapping DVDs out any more.Oh, wait, hold on: SuperDuper just choked! Damn data integrity shinola!

*not actual, you know, bitwise imaging

December 23, 2016 at 12:57pm

hm, might be well fucked. I’ll look at CCC after I run an errand or two. I moved to SD! after CCC for some reason I now forget.

After SD! choked I went back to recovery mode and told DU to image the bad volume to the external and that failed too with an i/o error. SD! gave me a diagnostic on an individual file and halted instead of skipping and moving forward with a log, which would have been my preferred option.

I think my next best options here are directory-tree restricted copies and after that manual copies. I don’t actually think there’s anything unique or mission critical on the machine that’s not already mirrored, I just didn’t want to have to do a hand rummage and compare if I didn’t have to.

I set up the drive after the last machine failed this summer days before a revenue gig and I had to source this axe right quicklike. That machine was still on Mavericks and I migrated everything to Yosemite after I wrapped that gig. The old Mavericks boot drive is still viable and in the old machine, and I know it can reboot this machine, so I do have a known-good outboard boot solution.

All this fucking travel this year has prevented me committing the week or so of sustained effort to get that last-mile stuff set up. Bummer. At least the local mirroring stuff seems bulletproof, it’s twice this year that’s saved my bacon.

December 23, 2016 at 4:01pm
Well, disconcertingly, the Pro just self-booted in the middle of various tasks including running a CCC copy. CCC was able to pick up and move forward, though. CCC also reports physical read errors and, thankfully, does NOT abort the copy.

December 24, 2016 at 1:03am · Edited
Well, good news, and although I can’t match CCC’s bad file report with the size of the uncopied data, there’s nothing here that should prevent the cloned drive from booting. Trying tomorrow. Still probably best to wipe and bump to Sierra and then migrate. Man, I HATE running the current version of an OS release, it just offends my sensibilities. Maybe I can rig a work around to run that Yosemite clean install again. There’s nothing that makes me happier than defeating installer restrictions.


December 24, 2016 at 11:19am
Cloned drive boots. Now to ponder whether ’tis nobler in the eyes of man to clone and clone again, to a drive week-wiped free of foul corruptions’ stink, or to take up arms, and by opposing the screwdriver’s lance to the helices of steel that bind the shield, expose the innermost parts of that foe and servant, thereby to effect a transplant?

December 24, 2016 at 11:27am · Edited
I had actually planned on a drive swap to an SSD on this machine after Xmas. I still need the machine to work on a couple things before then. Opening and swapping drives two times in rapid succession increases the chances of zapping the mobo. Recloning it it is, because what s a day between friends?

December 24, 2016 at 11:55am
hm, I just had a thought – I think my old-style cloning of bootable volumes as a backup and migration strategy is probably not viable longterm any more because it won’t migrate the recovery partition. so even when I get this back in working shape I will need to do an install/migrate route for the SSD later on.

December 24, 2016 at 3:58pm
CCC has a Recovery HD creation function, cool. But it requires an extant recovery volume, and I have just noticed that my current primary boot vols were all stood up as clones, and thus lack the partition.
I will direct a squinty-eyed gaze at the one volume that did have said partition, the MPB drive that failed, kicking off this tech struggle journal.
Normally I keep a technical journal of these incidents on ye olde blogge, and these will migrate there in time.
I think the thesis is that I may record my mistakes, and learn from them.

December 28, 2016 at 12:42pm
Status update: internal drive reformatted and restored from successful CCC backup clone. No recovery partition in place yet. That requires a clean install of Yosemite to some machine or other, something that will require another hour or so of supervision and drive swapping, then CCC can clone those volumes as needed.Next steps: transfer this set of tech logs to the blog, finish deferred production tasks on the MPB, begin the SSD migration on the Pro, finalize SSD install to this machine. I’ll give myself a calendar week for each of these.

December 30, 2016 at 12:34pm
In working toward getting a clean install of Yosemite on an outboard drive so that CCC can harvest and distribute the recovery partition I ran afoul of a driver conflict on the Mac Pro – that machine has had an NVIDIA GTX 970 as its primary video card for a couple of years now, and running late-model NVIDIA cards in post OS X 10.7 systems requires custom drivers, without which the machine goes into a boot-looped kernel panic. Naturally, the temporary installer volumes created when you run an OS X installer lack this driver, and boom, a day of wondering where the heck the right web forum was again.Anyway, clean volume created. Next challenge is migrating the 1TB SSD to the 2TB SSD and re-merging the 2TB vol with the old Mavericks 2TB vol document directory that went from primary to offline when I moved to the SSD.

I guess I could hand merge, since the local Yosemite docs dir is intentionally thin and all the applications and licenses are on the SSD. What really want is a tiered local torrent cloud sync, where the current solution I use mixes with a longer-term storage solution for older files and docs. just figuring out the ruleset is time consuming enough that I doubt I’d ever try to set something like that up though.

December 30, 2016 at 4:21pm
Alrighty, both SSDs boot and have recovery partitions on ’em. Now to research folder-based one-off sync tools. Seems like CCC or Super Duper should just have that as a core feetch.

January 3, 2017 at 4pm
Closing in on winding this up. The initial drive failure appears to have recurred on the same drive, so it’s likely an unrecoverable hardware fault, although I haven’t traced that down to the bare iron yet. I was anticipating this as a possibility and had prepped to swap in the 1TB SSD in that event, which has now been done.

The last little cleanup bits are re-merging the various disaporan Documents folders, something that, as hoped, CCC can handle, but which will require a written plan and a couple of afternoons. Once that’s been done, I need to distribute local backup drives to all the machines and get that set up and I should be hard-drive circus complete for another year or more. I fucking hope.