Apple's Mac OS X operating system is a flavor of Linux. So us Mac users have the privilege of rarely experiencing what are called "kernel panics." A kernel panic is as described by Apple "a type of error that occurs when the core (kernel) of an operating system receives an instruction in an unexpected format, or that it fails to handle properly."

Yesterday, I received my new external travel hard drive to solve my SuperDuper backup issue. I plugged it in and my screen was hit with this huge message:

Kernel Panic

Tip to Apple. First time I saw this, I almost fainted - well maybe not but... Imagine this message coming on your screen by the screen slowly being overwritten from top down with this message. At first, it looks like someone is hacking your computer. But this is the Apple kernel panic warning.

Apple users get this message in a couple situations:

  1. The operating system receives an instruction in an unexpected format, or that it fails to handle properly.
  2. The operating system is not able to recover from a different type of error.
  3. Damaged or incompatible software or, more rarely, damaged or incompatible hardware was detected by the OS.

I guess the way the "Western Digital Passport 160GB USB 2.0 Portable 2.5" External Hard Drive - WDXMS1600TN" was formatted, when I plugged it in, I got this message. Thing is Western Digital says the hard drive is Mac OS X compatible. So I restarted with the hard drive plugged in and then used Disk Utility to reformat it to the Mac format. Everything was smooth sailing after that.

I ran the first back up last night on the drive. It took about 3 hours and 20 minutes to make the bootable copy. From now on, I suspect it will only take 30 minutes or so to do copies. SuperDuper has this "SmartUpdate" feature that makes complete bootable copies by just updating the changes. Saves me about 3 hours.

I will give the SmartUpdate a try tonight.

I am so glad to have two backup solutions, in two different locations, doing two different solutions. Time Machine does incremental backups and SuperDuper does mirrored bootable copies.