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Old 11-07-2017, 07:02 PM   #1
Sotoprior
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Question Hey Linux Users, here's a challenge! (Desc.)


No but seriously hi. My name is Soto Soto, I'm practically the new guy working some troubleshooting in the hardware department of my facility, mostly win10, desktops, and a few laptops here and there and today I got a client coming in who's having some real issues with his MacBook pro laptop, and after checking a few things out, he told me he wanted his internal hard drive files backed up, which was all fine and all, until I found that his basic OS must have been broken or something, as it was never able to fully log in.
So I'm mostly experiencedue in windows related issues so I shrugged my shoulders about it and attempted to access the files via conventional means and such, but the closest I got was seeing the status of the physical disk partitions and nothing else. So after asking around some coworkers, I've Decided to use one of the stations I dual booted up with Linux mint cinnamon I had set up previously for my cisco IT in training crew for, to pretty much the same results of potentially seeing the disk but never being fully able to access the main "Apple storage Core," or whatever it's called. My client says it isn't encrypted, and the Mac OS is Sierra. Unfortunately being my department is only windows related computers in my direct reach, I really wish to back up his files, but have no apple related computer to access it from. So would anyone here know how to mount the storage and access it without formating and losing the data, because I'm at a loss so far.
 
Old 11-07-2017, 07:38 PM   #2
sundialsvcs
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Treat this as a Macintosh problem. If the user's (Sierra) installation is broken, obtain a fresh copy from Apple and install it. Buy an external hard-drive at the office supply store and let Apple's own Time Machine backup facility make a copy of the system onto it – as it will quite-reliably do. You need not mix Linux into this, and you shouldn't.

(I make this response as someone who is thoroughly familiar with both the Mac (OS/X) environments and Linux ... and Windows. "I know whereof I speak" in this matter.)

If you have even one Macintosh computer that your team needs to support, then IMHO it is entirely business-justifiable for your team to procure a Macintosh expressly for this purpose. Chat with your manager, without delay.

After all, "if the business organizations which you serve have one Mac, they probably have many." Macintoshes are Unix®-based systems under the hood, quite a bit different from Windows® yet not-much different from Linux.® Nevertheless, it just isn't productive to try to address them "from a Linux perspective" since they are extremely well-taken-care-of on their own terms. Your manager can solicit and obtain whatever approvals might be necessary. Your initial suppositions about this matter, sincere and well-intentioned though they be, are not in fact the best way to proceed.

Last edited by sundialsvcs; 11-07-2017 at 07:51 PM.
 
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Old 11-07-2017, 09:19 PM   #3
Sotoprior
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sundialsvcs View Post
Treat this as a Macintosh problem. If the user's (Sierra) installation is broken, obtain a fresh copy from Apple and install it. Buy an external hard-drive at the office supply store and let Apple's own Time Machine backup facility make a copy of the system onto it – as it will quite-reliably do. You need not mix Linux into this, and you shouldn't.

(I make this response as someone who is thoroughly familiar with both the Mac (OS/X) environments and Linux ... and Windows. "I know whereof I speak" in this matter.)

If you have even one Macintosh computer that your team needs to support, then IMHO it is entirely business-justifiable for your team to procure a Macintosh expressly for this purpose. Chat with your manager, without delay.

After all, "if the business organizations which you serve have one Mac, they probably have many." Macintoshes are Unix®-based systems under the hood, quite a bit different from Windows® yet not-much different from Linux.® Nevertheless, it just isn't productive to try to address them "from a Linux perspective" since they are extremely well-taken-care-of on their own terms. Your manager can solicit and obtain whatever approvals might be necessary. Your initial suppositions about this matter, sincere and well-intentioned though they be, are not in fact the best way to proceed.
Well as Valiant sounding as that is, and don't get me wrong it is well appreciated. Unfortunately circumstances above my own can't provide such things out of budget, and as I am assigned to this task, I have to figure out this as conveniently to the business as possible. Possibly if I can emulate the OS somehow is a better partial option for me, then me standing at the desk of my manager and saying "Buy me a Macintosh!" Which is why I'm trying to simply get these files through other means that are more reasonably, are in my immediate budget of nothing. (Something that you are taught as a first lesson these days in IT; solving problems the simplest way possible that involves little outward extraneous expenses to do so.) Which is why I'm here, for the most part. Appreciate it though.
 
Old 11-07-2017, 10:03 PM   #4
Turbocapitalist
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If it's about money, OS X is a lot less support than the legacy OS that is all-too-common, but even so you should have one such machine for your team's use.

GNU/Linux is also a lot less support than the legacy OS. We're talking 70:1 or 100:1 Tech staff can then use their time finding and showing ways to get things done more efficiently with the computers, like they used to, instead of wasting resources treading water keeping up with the latest legacy system virus. Fewer people actually know how to use their computers these days so there is a real need for that. Anyway, I digress.

If the OS X version is Sierra, it is using HFS+. You might be able to mount the HFS+ partition read-only from a live distro like Linux Mint, which fortunately you've already picked. I say Linux Mint because it has a lot of polish oriented to new users. I say read-only because HFS+ in Linux does not support journalling and you'd need to turn that off first before mounting read-write. Also, you don't want to inadvertantly change anything by mistake while copying.

Code:
sudo mount -t hfsplus -o ro /dev/sdX /media/mntpoint
For copying, I'd use rsync.

Code:
sudo rsync -avH /media/mntpoint/ /destination/directory/
See online guides for both utilities and do check the manual pages before, during, and after because they are good references.

Code:
man mount
man rsync
 
Old 11-08-2017, 12:33 AM   #5
ondoho
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^ that sounds like good advice.

if that don't work you can also clone the whole disk as it is with dd, and worry about its contents later.
that constitutes a full back-up.

i'm not an os x expert either, but this made me stumble:
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sotoprior View Post
I found that his basic OS must have been broken or something, as it was never able to fully log in.
i don't understand. either you log in or you don't.
what's "not fully login" mean?
i think you need to clarify (to yourself) what the problem actually is here.
 
Old 11-08-2017, 01:34 AM   #6
AnanthaP
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Find a local company or person KNOWN to deal with mac and sierra problems and get their advice and help. Should be far less costly than buying a mac or signing up for maintenance.

OK
 
Old 11-08-2017, 01:37 AM   #7
notKlaatu
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I agree with the others: you should let Apple handle this. They have recovery tools that are not widely distributed, and it's just simpler to let them deal with their own obfuscation and proprietary tech.

Of course, it doesn't hurt to try....

0. Make a clone of the drive with Clonezilla http://clonezilla.org/

If you don't do this, you're likely to ruin your data and hate me and Linux and your coworker forever.

Once that's done:

1. Boot the Mac with Linux. Mint is fine; shouldn't really matter.
2. As needed, install drivers so you can read an HFS+ file systems (the file system that Macs use)
3. Look at the partitions on the Mac with `lsblk`. By default, there are three: an EFI partition, the main Apple_CoreStorage partition, and a recovery partition. The main one (Apple-CoreStorage) is usually the second. That's /dev/disk0s2 in Mac terms, but more likely to be /dev/sdb2 in Linux terms.
4. Let's call the main partition /dev/sdx2. Mount it:
Code:
$ sudo mkdir /macrescue
$ sudo mount /dev/sdx2 /macrescue
5. Navigate to /macrescue
6. There should be a Users partition there. Back that up.

This all assumes that Apple hasn't thrown any new surprises in for you.
 
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