Technical Difficulties: Aperture Down And Out

My studio work area

UPDATE!- 5pm- Aperture came up this morning and then the connection to the Library hard drive dropped again. This time David swapped out the power supply, which made no difference. Then, because the next step was drastic, re-building the entire Vault, and with no reason to believe it would make a difference, he put the original Library drive back on. And it worked. All day without a hiccup. At this point he thinks that somehow a read-write error got onto the hard drive, but somehow it’s not there now. Go figure. The good news is that I got a good afternoon’s work in at the easel. The Vault drive will be re-built over the weekend. Just in case.

We were almost certain that the problem was due to something in Lion since the problem showed up the first time I used Aperture after the upgrade and because of what happened when I installed it on my MacBook (see below). And it might be, but no idea what it would be. Thus once again demonstrating why correlation is not necessarily causation.

Original post from 10am this morning:

We’re still in the midst of dealing with this “situation”, but it’s ugly. The first morning I came into the studio to get to work after the holidays seemed to go fine. Until toward the end of the day I clicked on an image in Aperture to change the view mode and suddenly things went crazy. One image was half blues and magentas. Some had vanished. Uh oh. Call Tech Support, which happens to be my husband, who has been in IT (Information Technology) since 1964. Without Aperture, I literally cannot do my work. Did I say this was ugly?

That was two weeks ago. Despite changing out the external hard drive which has my Aperture Library on it (he had a third drive on hand just in case; four+ hours to copy the Library to it), multiple calls to the hard drive company (good support and helpful) and swapping out the Firewire cables for USB cables, just to hit the highlights, yesterday afternoon the Library simply vanished from the Desktop after successfully, we thought, addressing the problem. And work was done for the day and until we can get this fixed. Stay tuned.

Fortunately, all my images are backed up to a duplicate hard drive and also to an external Vault drive, which is kept in the detached garage. So I’m not hyperventilating with stress and terror that I’m going to somehow lose over 60,000 images that I absolutely depend on for my work. But this sucks, big time.

We did everything right. We thought. David recommended holding off on upgrading to Lion when it came out because there’s always something and he knows how mission-critical Aperture is for me. So we waited some months.

Finally, we agreed that I should go ahead and install Lion on my MacBook, which I did. And it was fine, except that the MacBook now could not see the Terastation server drives. Just. Great. And expensive. There were no workarounds, though he was given some to try by various colleagues. So we now have new server drives. And all was rainbows and unicorns.

We let another couple of months go by. I checked all the forums I could find and didn’t see anything that suggested people were running into problems with Aperture after upgrading to Lion. So David finally said to go ahead. It went fine, Aperture came up and functioned correctly. Right up until it didn’t.

So, having exhausted the other possibilities, we are left thinking that the problem is something that has happened because of Lion, but we don’t know what yet. The IMac seems much slower to come up now than before and it takes a long time for it to see the Wacom tablet and the mouse upon start-up.