Nancy Barber (nlbarber) wrote,
Nancy Barber

The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

I'm in a real crunch these days, crunched between too much work for the time available, stuff to deal with for my father's estate, time lost to doctor's appointments for the continuing ankle problems, and some efforts to keep the house and yard from total entropy. This week is worse than ever, with the Monday holiday, and the need to complete stuff before I leave for Denver Saturday for the next database test.

So, today. Doctor's appt. at 9:15, where I'm given permission to start easing out of the walking cast. She wants me in an ankle support, though, and one with a closed heel. I stop at a drugstore on the way to the office, no luck on closed-heel supports.

Got to the office at least 30 minutes before a conference call that I both lead and take notes on, so I had to get set up in my web editor with the agenda page. Call goes OK, then it's lunch time. I grabbed my lunch from the fridge and brought it back to my desk where I checked a set of stock transfers for the estate. Then I moved on to troubleshooting the VPN connection on my new laptop--I'd been forced to take both old and new laptops to Moultrie last week when VPN didn't work on the new one.

Got that underway, and a Sametime (chat) session beeped at me--someone reminding me of another conference call, luckily one I can pay less attention to. While that's going on the office System Administrator came by to see if I'd solved the VPN issue. I put the phone on mute, and together we got the last step done and it worked. As an afterthought, I asked her for whatever updated Norton Antivirus I'm required to install, as it had been giving an error message on startup ever since I transferred my account from the old to the new laptop. She passed along the "Symantec Endpoint Protection" installer package, and that's when the day went from merely harried to disastrous.

I ran the Symantec installer, and let it restart as it said it had to. But the system didn't come back up--actually, I don't think it ever really restarted. I got a white screen with faint colored patterns, and nothing else. I did a forced shut down (holding the power button), and started again. It never got to a login screen, stopping on a slightly different looking white screen. I booted with the Installer disk, but that no longer lets you look at the hard disk (things have changed since I last had to deal with a serious Mac crash, which was probably sometime well before OSX came in). With a little googling, I did a PRAM reset. No help. I finally booted into safe mode and could see my files, found and ran the uninstaller, but still no joy.

I then decided to yell for help and called Apple. Spent about an hour with a tech trying random things (well, semi-random--running disk repair and repair permissions, and lots of powering off and rebooting), then he punted to a "senior advisor". The senior advisor ran through the case, decided the only thing he could suggest was a system re-install, and gave me instructions to try to do it to lose as little as possible. Following his instructions, I've left the laptop in the office writing a disk image of the hard disk as my backup, which should take about 9 hours. Tomorrow, after verifying the .dmg file, I'll try the re-install. I did ship off an email to my local SA asking if she can contact Symantec--on lots of these office software contracts, we're not allowed to go to the company and instead must use internal support people.

All that wiped out my planned afternoon of work on files I desperately need to hand off to a co-worker before I go to Denver, so I'll go in tomorrow on my day off and try to both fix the laptop and get my spreadsheets together for S. I suspect it won't be possible to get it all done...
Tags: computer, macbook pro, work

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