Friday, September 16, 2022

Expelling demons from 2020 Air: when Disk Utility says to run against the Container (and more)

If you have to maintain a modern Mac, it helps to be retired. How else would I have hours to spend one Friday pm?

The 2020 Air I inherited from my daughter had met with a beverage at a bad time. We paid a third party to resurrect it (Apple doesn't touch wet stuff) but the machine seemed quirky in a software way. Maybe related to the T2 chip and doing the battery swap and then (mistake) Migration Assistant from my ancient Air.

First I had to fix the VoiceTrigger bug, but the machine was slow and I kept running into weird sh*t, like being unable to enable the default App Expose gesture.

So I decided to cleanup by removing files on that machine (they are still on my working Air) and also clean up the user library. I removed a lot of 2007 and earlier items, including a RAZR plug-in. Maybe did nothing but didn't take long.

Then I ran Onyx and it complained the disk was corrupted. When I tried to run Disk Utility I ran into the SMC reset bug.

Once I fixed that Disk Utility would run, but it complained about a corrupt snapshot on my Data drive. Deleting the snapshot didn't fix the error though, so it's likely a red herring. The message said to run fsck on the Container, but I didn't see how to do that. Running it on the Volume didn't help.

The Disk Utility directions were, of course, wrong. As were various web sites that said to try fsck in single user mode (is single user even possible in Monterey?).

Eclectic Light had the best guidance, but the real missing piece was telling Disk Utility to show everyone, not just Volumes. That showed me the Container so I could run DU there; the details console shows it's running fsck_apfs -y -x /dev/disk0s2. It ran against all the /dev/disk* things and fixed them all, exiting successfully. My App Expose gesture returned.

I think the demons are purged for now. macOS is pretty damn fragile these days ...

Monterey T2 bug - First Aid, unlocking disk, operation canceled - Do an SMC reset

When I tried to run Disk Utility on my 2020 Intel Air running Monterey I got:

    Running First Aid on ..

    Unlocking Disk

    Operation Canceled. 

Google found exactly one reference to this in a 2021 Apple Discussion post with a link to an Apple Support article that has since been removed ...

... That turned out to the known issue linked with the T2 Security chip (  Resetting the SMC solved that problem as well as the original problem with the hard drive.

Resetting SMC (I used two methods) fixed the bug and First Aid was able to continue. (There are other problems, but at least this one was fixed.)

I don't know if this insanely rare or if Google simply isn't that useful any more (probably both). Resharing here.

Monday, September 05, 2022

Managing multiple Apple Store Apple IDs in Monterey: how to sign out and thus change default Apple ID for app update and purchase

There's a lot of complexity in Apple's software, but my nomination for the ultimate complexity is the web of undocumented and slowly changing rules and tools around Apple's Digital Rights Management (FairPlay) including rights to use media (music, video) and software (apps) for both individuals and family members.

I don't think anyone truly understands it all, not even Apple's senior developers. Sometime in the past decade Tim Cook said he'd fix the Apple ID problem and then things went silent. It's a nightmare. I remember when changing a phone number associated with an Apple ID could switch the ownership arrangement for device history (presumably a matching problem between disparate databases).

My most recent experience with this was trying to fix the default Apple Store Apple ID used to for Mac App Store DRM on my wife's Air Monterey account. It was defaulting to an Apple ID we used to share for iTunes purchases 10+ years ago. I've been slowly disentangling it for 4 years now and the rules change with each macOS/iOS release. Currently there's a bit more tooling to sort out who owns what on a Mac but it's obscure.

As far as I can tell the controls for this are now hidden in the App Store app. That kind of makes sense, because the rules (and Apple's DRM contracts) for movies/TV, music and apps are all likely different. You have to go into the App Store app, which can show the apps associated with multiple Apple IDs, then you have to sign out from the menu:

After signing out the default account for App Store purchases was her Apple ID.

Her Music account seems to be based on her Apple ID, but I didn't check to see if changing the App Store Apple ID changed that too. It would make sense if Apple were to have separate rules though. 

I think the complexity of Apple ID DRM may be one of the reasons Apple never provided a multi-user iPad for families. (Our shared iPad has its own unique Apple ID but is a member of our family sharing.)