I’ve always liked playing with Beta software. As sometime developer, the feedback you get from crazy people like me who like testing things that aren’t quite done is invaluable towards making your software better. Sometimes a beta can be problematic with some of the other software you are using, and that causes me to back it off. My 2011 MacBook Pro is my development machine, and the machine I record and edit my podcast on, and I had forgotten to turn off beta updates for OS X, so recently 10.11.6 beta got installed on it. As soon as this happened I started having problems with Audio, this has happened with every version of OS X for the last few years, and when it gets too problematic, I’ve been able to go to the AppStore and download the latest OS X GA code, run the installer, and get back to a working machine.
This week, I was getting ready to edit the podcast, and was still having the problem with audio, so I did my trick. This is when all hell broke lose. The backout procedure that I used failed, and I had a black screen of rebooting craziness. The Mac was belly up, and I had to boot to recovery mode. Going to recovery mode, usually means, just re-running the installer. That failed… Same issue. I had to backup the machine and dig back into my mind to how I could do this via the command line. To do this, I connected a USB drive, and manually navigated the shell to get to the right device and then found the Ditto command! This allowed for me to easily copy my home directory to the USB drive.
After this, I ended up erasing the drive via Disk Utility and doing a full “new” install. I copied the data over, and then reinstalled a ton of apps. In the end this took me almost two days of time. The copying of the drive to the USB drive via the ditto command was slow…But it validated the copy so that was worth it.
Today’s lesson, don’t use beta’s on your production machine. Did I learn this… We shall see.