It has happened twice. The 500GB disk I bought together with Leopard suddenly powers down from time to time and then refuses to start when I push the power button. Only way to revive the disk is to unplug it and plug it back in. The second time I searched the logs for a possible explanation and I read an error about “IndexStore in SIStoreDirytySDBCHunks:Error storing dirty sdb pages:22” for the Spotlight folder on that disk. Spotlight. I disabled Spotlight for that disk! And now it seems that this folder caused the problem, so I removed it and I noticed there was a file .000d8322fed6 on the disk too. “data” Well, I don’t have any idea what that is, probably an erroneous leftover of an erroneous copy at the time that the diskfailure, so I removed that one too – it is only 16B anyway.
Lesson 32 in computer safety: do not remove hidden or system files if you don’t know what you are doing and especially when you don’t have any idea what they are used for.
Back in the Windows 98 aria I always laughed with people who, wanting to free some disk space, removed “autoexec.bat” and “command.com” because they didn’t use them and were in desperate need for free disk space, resulting in acute panic attacks when they rebooted their computers.
I suddenly noticed the disk hadn’t done anything for the last two hours, it hadn’t made any noise, not even a single ratle and since Time Machine normally creates a backup every hour, I thought that was suspicious. It was indeed.
Volume at path /Volumes/LaCie does not appear to be the correct backup volume for this computer. Backup failed with error: 18.
Sigh. Maybe this is the point where I’d say: I might have removed Time Machine by accident. I reconfigured Time Machine, changed the disk to be used as backup disk (but actually pointing to the same of course) and forced a backup. The “preparing” took a rather long time – longer than before – but it only backed up 365MB this time, not the 23GB that resides on my hard drive. And indeed, launching Time Machine on a folder learns none of the backups are gone and… that dot file is back.
I was lucky this time. Maybe I should stop thinking I’m smarter than the machine…