(Failing to) Copy a Time Machine Backup to a Network Drive with asr

The Apple support page for copying a Time Machine backup disk doesn’t cover the scenario when your new backup target disk is on the network. If you try to do it by hand using cp, rsync, ditto or other, you will likely fail with inscrutable errors.

Using asr may work, but failed for me after 1 ½ days, 500GB, possibly because I had some kind of network disconnected. To rely on a network being reliable for 3 days is to ignore the 8 fallacies of distributed computing, but if your TM backup is small enough this could work.

  1. Use Disk Utility -> File -> New Image -> Blank Image … to create a new sparsebundle disk image on your network drive. The arrowed options must be set correctly (well, you don’t have to use sparse bundle but it is allegedly designed specifically for efficient use across a network):

2.

2. Mount the new disk image by double-clicking it, and also attach your existing Time Machine backup drive. Then, use  -> About This Mac -> System Report… -> Hardware/Storage and look in the column BSD Name to find the device names on which your Source and Target volumes are mounted:

3. Turn off Time Machine backup. Usually by unticking “Back Up Automatically” in the Time Machine preferences, if there is no On/Off switch.

4. Then, use asr on the command line to copy the device that hosted the volume to the device hosting the new volume. Use caffeinate at the same time to stop the computer sleeping instead of copying. In my case that was:

sudo caffeinate asr restore --source /dev/disk3 --target /dev/disk4s2 --erase --puppetstrings --allowfragmentedcatalog

I got this output, and after a few seconds had to type y to confirm:

XSTA    start   512 client
XSTA setup
Validating target…done
XSTA metadata
Validating source…done
Erase contents of /dev/disk4s2 (/Volumes/LaCie2019)? [ny]:

The --puppetstrings option means what most of us might call --progress although the output is quite limited.

Expect a speed of about 4 days per terabyte. I don’t know why. Watching the Network tab in Activity Monitor I can see that data is rarely going faster than 5MB/s. Even writing to a spinning disk across a 20 year old 100Mbps network should go faster than that. I tried adding --buffers 10 --buffersize 100MB, but that still only got me to about 3 days per terabyte.

Anyway …

For me it failed. Sorry I lost the error message. So I went to to Finder drag-n-drop. The first time this failed after a day; the second it succeeded after 3 days. 🤷‍♂️

Customise Macos XQuartz : xinitrc doesn’t work

If you installed XQuartz and are, for instance, irritated by the small white xterm window you get, you might try customising it in the usual way by editting an .xinitrc file. If only.

Instead, try this:

defaults read org.macosforge.xquartz.X11

to see all the settings; or to permanently change the startup xterm window, something like:

defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 app_to_run \
 "/opt/X11/bin/xterm -fa Monaco -fs 12 -fg green -bg black -sb -sl 1000"

Or, if you have installed a better bash with homebrew, then e.g. :

defaults write org.macosforge.xquartz.X11 app_to_run \
  "/opt/X11/bin/xterm -fa Monaco -fs 12 -fg green -bg black -sb -sl 1000 -ls /usr/local/bin/bash"

You can check your syntax before writing the default just by running your quoted command in a terminal, and then watch as XQuartz opens and xterm runs your shell:

~/Source/Repos/VMs] /opt/X11/bin/xterm -fa Monaco -fs 12 -fg green \
    -bg black -sb -sl 1000 -ls /usr/local/bin/bash

To set the default for a new xterm window from the XQuartz Application menu, the menu itself lets you edit the command.

In short, read the FAQ : https://www.xquartz.org/FAQs.html.

Adding your Outlook.com account to MacOs as an Exchange account.

Is simple when you know how. Possibly harder if, like me, your outlook login is not an outlook.com email address, but your own domain.

System Preferences -> Add Internet Account -> Choose the Big Exchange Button

MacOs System Preferences with “Internet Accounts” Highlighted
MacOs System Preferences with “Internet Accounts” Highlighted

First, get an app-password from your outlook.com account
Then note the Exchange server URL: https://outlook.office365.com/EWS/Exchange.asmx
Then, try to add your account just by typing in your email address and the app-password you got.
If that doesn’t work, and you get the “Unable to verify account name or password” paste the Exchange server URL into the two boxes for Internal URL and External URL:

MacOs Mojave Add an Outlook.com account
MacOs Mojave Add an Outlook.com account

And that works for me™ on MacOs Mojave in 2019.

MacBook Pro 2011 17″ Disable Broken Radeon Graphics Card and Force use Integrated Graphics

If you own one of the last generation of 17″ MacBook Pros from 2011, and if you have worked with a large external monitor, you may reach the point of frying the Radeon graphics card.

Since the model also has built-in Intel graphics, the question arises, can I not carry on working with that?

Yes you can.

This script helps you to disable the card at boot, and force use of the Intel integrated graphics. And, to re-run that process after an O/S update has undone the changes. The loss is that you can no longer plug an external monitor in. The gain is that your MacBook 17″ now works again, and runs slightly cooler/at lower power to boot.

Several steps are involved. I wrote a script to reduce the steps to:

1. Boot to recovery mode and run the script
2. Boot to single user mode and run the script
3. Optionally boot to recover mode again to re-able SIP.

Recall that to run the script you must make it executable: chmod a+x force-integrated-graphics.sh

But how do I use this if I’ve already broken the graphics card?

* You should still be able to use the Cmd-S, or Cmd-RS keypresses at boot to get to a command line. If you can get from there to a pendrive or a network drive, then you can copy the script.

https://gist.github.com/chrisfcarroll/ff8ad18be53b0391464a9affeb119364

#! /bin/sh

kextoffdir="/kextoff"
loginhookscript="/Library/LoginHook/LoadDelayedAMDRadeonX3000kext.sh"

echo "---------------------------------------------------------------
Run this script twice.
First, from a Recovery Mode commandline to run csrutil disable.
Second, after rebooting to a Single user mode commandline, with / partition mounted writeable, to do all the things that must be done with csrutil status= disabled

After that, rerun Recovery mode to run \`csrutil enable\` again.

* How to start in Recovery mode? Cmd-R

* How to start in Single user mode? Cmd-S

---------------------------------------------------------------
"

echo "
nb: csrutil disable only works in recovery mode
"
csrutil disable
echo "
csrstatus:
"
csrutil status

echo "
Moving the AMDRadeonX3000.kext out of extensions and updating the extensions cache
"
mount -uw /
mkdir -p $kextoffdir
mv /System/Library/Extensions/AMDRadeonX3000.kext/ $kextoffdir/
touch /System/Library/Extensions/

echo "
Set nvram magic things. This is the step that disables the Radeon as the bootup graphics card
"
nvram 'fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs=%01%00%00%00'
nvram boot-args="-v"
nvram fa4ce28d-b62f-4c99-9cc3-6815686e30f9:gpu-power-prefs
nvram -p

echo "
Add a loginHook to load AMDRadeonX3000.kext after boot
"
mkdir -p /Library/LoginHook

cat > /Library/LoginHook/LoadDelayedAMDRadeonX3000kext.sh <

Kudos and References

* https://apple.stackexchange.com/questions/166876/macbook-pro-how-to-disable-discrete-gpu-permanently-from-efi
* https://github.com/codykrieger/gfxCardStatus