View Full Version : Copy sandbox back over Original system

06-23-2007, 05:40 AM
Hi Dave,

I have foolishly been running my system from Mac HD even though I had created a Sandbox. Recently, things have been acting up and I discovered an "invalid node structure".

So I rebooted from the Sandbox and ran "verify disk". No problem.

Now I know that you recommend against copying Sandbox over my original system but I just want to get through this quickly.

I noticed something about “Backup – all files” copy script in the user manual but I am uncertain about the following statement:

....this will only work if the Sandbox and all the shared files were created by SuperDuper!

I have an external backup of all my documents on a sparse image. My machine is filevaulted.

Can I go ahead and copy my sandbox over my original system using "erase, then copy" to fix this directory issue? (invalid node structure)


06-23-2007, 07:39 AM

Do not do this. You cannot use a Sandbox to recover from disk corruption.

06-23-2007, 11:06 AM
Do you have any suggestions that do not require 3rd party apps like Disk Warrior?

06-23-2007, 11:12 AM
Well... you could try a full copy of your source to a clean destination using "Backup - all files" with "Erase, then copy" or "Smart Update". When you're satisfied with that, you can erase the original and copy back...

06-23-2007, 12:06 PM
That sounds very straightforward. Thanks.

Erasing the original means just erasing the Mac HD (source). No need to erase the problem-free Sandbox.

Does the fact that I am using filevault introduce any complications to this fix?

06-23-2007, 12:09 PM
No more complications than normal: you should not make the copy while logged into the FileVault account. It might not be that straightforward, depending on the effect of the disk corruption...

06-23-2007, 12:18 PM
Understood. I have read about much worse "goings on" with invalid node structures than what I am experiencing. I hope this means that I have nipped this one in the bud.

As always, you are unbelievably swift with your responses.

Most grateful Dave.

06-24-2007, 08:48 AM
Did as you instructed (I think:o ). Ran disk utility and the directory issue is gone.

Tried to startup from Sandbox but got the following message:

You are unable to log in to the user account "***" at this time

So I made a new Sandbox and same thing. Can log into the MacIntosh HD without any problem. I tried checking "ignore ownership on this volume" on the Sandbox but still cannot log in.

Any idea why?


PS One thing I should mention...when I had copied my external drive back to MacIntosh HD and checked to see that the directory issue was resolved, I immediately tried to restart from the Sandbox. When I could not log in, I used the Master Password option for Filevault and changed the login password. That did not change anything and could still not log in.

Funny thing is that my original password for filevault let me in to MacIntosh HD.

06-24-2007, 09:06 AM
Try doing an erase-then-copy of the Sandbox, Brent.

06-24-2007, 09:06 AM
Yes. That is what I did.

06-24-2007, 09:08 AM
OK... it certainly should let you log in. Perhaps your Netinfo database is damaged in some way.

Try starting up from your OSX install disc and repairing your startup volume (both permissions and structure). Once done, recreate your Sandbox and see if that helps.

06-24-2007, 09:16 AM
Repairing my startup volume means MacIntosh HD right?

06-24-2007, 09:19 AM
Yes, your normal startup drive, typically "Macintosh HD".

06-24-2007, 10:20 AM
Repaired both structure (which was ok) and permissions which had a few issues.

Recreated Sandbox using "erase then copy" but I get the same message restricting access.

Any other suggestions?

Thanks - brent

06-24-2007, 10:21 AM
Drop me a message to support, and I'll give you some steps that might work.

01-04-2009, 07:15 PM
Hi Dave,

Have a new machine and about to migrate my data, apps, and settings.

Could there be any risk of the 'invalid node structure' issue (see above in thread) when trying to clone my HD on the new machine?

What can I do to be certainly clear of the anomaly that plagued by old machine?

Thx - brennan

01-04-2009, 08:41 PM
There's always a risk of disk damage, but not because of migration. It's just part of the risk of having a file system...

01-04-2009, 10:51 PM
Thanks Dave but I am wondering if the problem that you and I were trying to sort out some months ago would be transferred to the new machine during the migration process?

01-05-2009, 02:48 AM
Listen Dave. I would have appreciated an appropriate answer to my question as it was clear enough that I was referring to the 'invalid node structure' problem that you could not resolve previously.

Instead you gave me a 'sure, the sky is blue' answer.

I went ahead with the migration, which did not copy the filevault image because it said it was too large.

Then I reinstalled the OS on the new machine, file vaulted it, and proceeded to clone with SD.

When I try to boot from the Sandbox, another error. This time: "logging in to the account failed because an error has occurred."

This has already cost me several hours and will cost me another several to reclaim "another" useless Sandbox partition.

Definitely marks lost for the way this has been handled.

01-05-2009, 07:46 AM
I'm sorry you've dropped me in ratings, but my briefer response here was beacuse you had already asked a similar question in email (and was entirely the truth, too).

A Sandbox is NOT a backup. I've said that an awful lot of times. You cannot migrate from a Sandbox, you can only migrate from a Backup.

Your first failure here was a problem with the Migration Assistant and FileVault, not SuperDuper, and perhaps Apple will be able to help you with it, since it's the way they recommend moving to new Macs.

Your second certainly seems like you copied a Sandbox, not a Backup. (On top of that, FileVaulting a Mac and then copying over it will replace what you installed, and shouldn't be done regardless.)

Finally, remember when you back up a FileVaulted account, you should do so from a non-FileVaulted account. See the User's Guide.

01-05-2009, 07:49 AM
One more thing. Your previous "invalid node structure" was due to disk damage and had nothing at all to do with SuperDuper. As we discussed then, copying a sandbox can't possibly fix that problem, since it's a low-level problem in the drive's file system - and a sandbox is not a backup. So, you can't erase the drive and copy back (thus putting down a new file system), because it's not a full backup.

01-05-2009, 10:10 AM
Hi Dave,

Sorry for my agitation late last night. Was really disappointed to discover something that might prevent me from using the full potential of SuperDuper on yet another machine.

The events leading up to this problem on my new machine were not the same as the previous problem. But the result that I cannot access my sandbox is, though a different error message as mentioned.

Please note:

I did not migrate from a sandbox nor said so. I migrated from my old machine HD to my new one using Migration Assistant and an ethernet cable.

I did this the first time I turned on the new machine thus there were no preexisting users or filevaulted account.

When migration finished, I got the message:
"users/user/user.sparseimage could not be copied because it is too large. try copying this file manually from the Finder"

When I tried to log into my new machine, I could not. Seemed obvious to me that my home folder (the filevault sparseimage) was not migrated.

At this point, I decided to reinstall the OS on my new machine from the install disk - with the intention to copy my data, applications, plists, and application support files manually (not even sure that is possible - is it??)

When reinstalling the OS, I created a partition for Sandbox. Once install complete, I filevaulted the account. (perhaps a mistake). I then used SD to clone the HD and restart from Sandbox.

It could not restart from sandbox. Giving me a nonspecific error message something like:
"cannot log into Sandbox because there is an error"

So, I hope that is clearer.

Do you have any suggestions to move forward?

Thx - brennan

01-05-2009, 10:19 AM
It wasn't clear from what you had said before, Brennan -- again, none of this is really applicable to the error you originally had in this thread, so connecting the two makes little sense.

A Sandbox shouldn't be used in this situation (and, in fact, under Leopard I wouldn't advise a Sandbox with FileVault).

The base problem here seems to be with the Migration Assistant. It should have migrated your FileVault account, and didn't. I'd either un-FileVault the original Mac or contact Apple to see if they have any possible fix for their migration utility...

01-05-2009, 12:42 PM
Thanks Dave for the swift response.

I understand your point about not connecting the two issues.

I will also take your advice about not using Filevault with Leopard.

So my strategy now will be:

Reinstall the OS on my new machine from install disk with partition for Sandbox.

Will not filevault my home folder on the new machine.

Clone HD to Sandbox and restart from Sandbox.

Un-filevault my HD on the old machine. Hopefully that goes well. And then use Migration Assistant and ethernet once again.

That should work right??

Question: how big should the Sandbox be for optimal use with leopard? My HD is 250 gigs so size not major issue.

Thx - brennan

01-05-2009, 01:02 PM
Um, no: you should back up your old Mac. Then, un-filevault the old Mac. Then, clean install to the new Mac and -- when first prompted to copy from another Mac, point it at the old Mac.

Once done, you can then make a sandbox (after updating to whatever is the current Leopard version).

It's very hard to know what size a Sandbox should be, since it depends on a lot of factors including applications installed. In general, make one to a large volume, see how much space it takes, add at least 20% for free space, and there you go.

01-05-2009, 01:17 PM
Cool. Will do.

But one question:

In general, make one to a large volume, see how much space it takes, add at least 20% for free space, and there you go.

I would like to choose the partition size during installation. You seem to be suggesting that I make a volume to test the size requirements and then partition the drive accordingly.

Unless you mean to make a test volume on my old machine. Will that suitably approximate the needs on the new Leopard machine.

Thx - brennan

01-05-2009, 01:29 PM
Yes, make a test volume on a drive that's not being used for other purposes, or to a sparse image.

01-05-2009, 01:54 PM
Thanks Dave. Have already started to do that.

So much looking forward to safety cloning once again.

Going to encrypt my sensitive data in a sparse bundle on my new Leopard machine.

Is it correct that SD will only back up what has been changed in the sparse bundle? This is important since those are the files I am always working on and the bundle will be quite big.

And I suppose it is always best to ensure the sparse bundle is unmounted before backup?

Can I have more than one sparse bundle on a volume to be backed up by SD?

Sorry for all the questions. (I think this is it.) Hopefully just yes/no answers.

01-05-2009, 02:06 PM
The bundle would have to be unmounted, yes, and only the bands that were modified would be backed up. I don't know how many bands would typically be modified by whatever you're doing.

I'm not sure I understand #3. A bundle is just a file.