M1 MacBook Pro panic attack (ok for now, but just to discuss)

Panic attack!

My MacBook Pro (M1, late 2021) was acting weird. First Chrome wouldn’t open up web pages. FireFox would though. Then it wouldn’t.

But Mail was working.

I tried finally restarting and it wouldn’t completely restart - it kept getting to the login screen, I would login and then after a bit it would restart over and over.

I thought, “Oh no. Don’t break now. I have a trip in just a week!” I tried calling Apple Support but they don’t open until 9:00 am.

I opened my iPad and confirmed I could do some basic things on it that I haven’t practiced for a while: browsing, editing, Excel, connecting to servers via ssh and ftp. So I thought I could limp by this way, and it also confirmed my Internet was ok.

(Note: I am definitely glad I have this iPad Pro, even though I don’t barely use it, because it confirmed that it’s a great backup device for getting work done. I’m also glad I have everything synced via iCloud and DropBox and OneDrive. And that passwords are available across devices, synced via DropBox using PasswordWallet.).

Then I disconnected everything from my MBP and tried again and it worked!

(By the way, even without my LAN cable I was getting about 700 Mbps wi-fi speed. If my wi-fi speed is so good with my home network why do I need the LAN cable?)

Then I connected my external monitor and it was ok.

Then I connected just my LAN cable but not my two external drives and it was still ok.

I still haven’t tried it with my CCC (Carbon Copy Cloner) and Time Machine drive, but will after a morning meeting.

But very relieved. Panic attack over and time for breakfast.

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I still don’t know what went wrong, but after disconnecting everything, restarting, and plugging everything back in it all worked, including the Time Machine and CCC drives. I did have to enter a password to allow the Time Machine drive to connect, which I never had to do before, but Time Machine is working as usual too.

Anyway, I also gave my iPad Pro M1 11-inch a good practical workout for my trip as well.


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I was less lucky — on my M1 MacBook Air the mail facilitating program ProtonMail Bridge created a panic from which the computer wouldn’t reboot.

Had to use Disk Utility from Recovery to erase the internal SSD, then reinstall Ventura from Recovery — which when booted wouldn’t find iCloud material such as Safari favourites.

Had a week of the Air being only half there — then suddenly all the iCloud material was present.

Macs have always held mysteries, right from ‘84; but the ‘M’s are more mysterious than ever. Without TidBITS & Howard O’s Eclectic Light I’d be lost!