Why you should hug your Geek

Ever wonder why tech geeks are so valuable? Here’s a short story of why. This is story starts on a Thursday night.
My wife was having trouble uploading images to her blog (running on WordPress 2.5.x) from her macbook (Problem #1.) When composing a post and trying to add an image, she’d get an unhelpful error, “HTTP error” and nothing else. I tried it on my Kubuntu laptop and it worked fine. Through further investigation, I found that I had a newer version of Flash installed on my system. I’m guessing that will fix it. “No problem”, you may say.
I downloaded the latest version of flash and ran the installer. The installer hangs at, “Items remaining to be installed: 4” and it says it’s “Searching: Macintosh HD” (Problem #2) Great. I seem to remember seeing this before. Some quick online research says to try a few things, none of which work. Finally, I find a suggestion to fire up Mac’s “Disk Utility” and run “Repair Disk Permissions” I do so and it fixes some stuff that it finds. I retry the Flash install but get the same result. So I go back to the Disk Utility and run “Verify Disk” This tells me, “Invalid node structure The volume Macintosh HD needs to be repaired” (Problem #3) Since this disk is the one the system is running off, I can’t run “Repair Disk” while I’m logged in.
Time to boot into single user mode (command+s while booting) so I can fsck it (chkdsk or scandisk for you windows folk.) Once at my oh so familiar and beloved root command prompt, I run /sbin/fsck -fy. This gives me a new error: disk0s2: 0xe0030005 (UNDEFINED). Invalid node structure (4,2387) ** Volume check failed. Great, either I’m dealing with a very corrupt filesystem or the hard drive is failing (Problem #4.)
I check to make sure my backups are up to date and boot from a Linux CD to check the health of the hard drive. It turns out I’m unable to boot from a CD due to a bad/dead drive (Problem #5.) I pull out my external Firewire burner and try to boot off the Linux CD there, no luck. I concede and just boot off the Mac OS Install CD in the firewire drive, reformat, reinstall. At this point, I’m just crossing my fingers that I don’t have a dying hard drive too. I formatted the drive after writing all 0’s to it. No errors so far.

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