Finally I can make posts on the Internet. It has been 2 days without a functional computer. It feels like I have been through the valley of death and while I am not entirely free of troubles yet, at least I can see the sun again finally.
I have a new computer. It is beautiful to use, but for a month it has been like setting up home in a new house. After what seemed like forever I was getting back to real work again making some pages for the web about my Sketch Club when disaster struck.
Suddenly I could no longer open Mail because I couldn't enter a password. Working out what was going on I soon discovered it was much worse than that. I had lost the use of my keyboard in my administrator account. It wasn't a hardware issue as I could log out and the keyboard worked fine in other accounts and I could log in by entering my password. Without the ability to enter a password one is cut off from life and work. It is a terrible feeling. I couldn't sleep through it all until I could see the solution in sight.
Apple support have been brilliant but as we worked through various possible solutions it became ever more mysterious. It became apparent that what would normally be the numeric keys to the left of the keyboard were entering numbers, yet these 2008 Macbook Pro's no longer have a numeric keypad. Somehow I had turned on the software remaining from the numeric keypad of previous models but had no way to turn it off. as the physical keys are not there.
Problem was that all the usual software solutions to problems couldn't be done as they all require the inputting of a password. Even the keyboard viewer which would normally be operated with the cursor could not be used.
Turns out that when I migrated my data from the eMac I had migrated preferences for the numeric keypad that the eMac has and something I had done on the MacBook Pro had activated that. The only solution in the end was to back up data, then perform an archive and reinstall of the operating system. Then manually restore data avoiding the possibility of importing the offending preferences. It is a long slow process done this way. Today was a break from it as the Apple technical support staff are off in this country. Last night they had worked more than an hour past their finishing time helping me to get browsers and Mail functioning, and iWeb restored so that I can do some work today as well as use the Internet. On Monday we will finish restoring the rest of the programs and data.
Of course as part of the entire mess, my eMac died. It had been on its last legs anyway, but its final job was helping the MacBook Pro. I couldn't rebuild the directories directly as being such a new model DiskWarrior can't work with the latest Macs yet. But I was able to join the computers with Firewire, and then boot the MacBook Pro into target mode and the eMac I booted off the CD and was able to access the laptop's drive and rebuild the directory. Unfortunately it didn't help, but after removing the DiskWarrior from the eMac I was unable to boot the old machine into the onboard OS. It is now a paperweight.
I cannot speak too highly of the Apple senior technicians through all of this. They have been located in Sydney, Brisbane, and Ireland, and have calmly worked through the problem with professionalism and are obviously very experienced and dedicated to their job and customers.