I have an 80GB disk waiting to be installed to upgrade my aging, bit still small, light, and useful PowerBook G4. Last week, I wrote to a friend, "Would have been a good day to swap disks out. :-)"
The PB was working fine. As I mentioned in System Back-ups, I have an external FireWire drive onto which TimeMachine backs up. Last
backup 10:30 that "fateful" morning. At 11 or so I decided I should run SuperDuper!, which I use to have a bootable copy of my PB. (I don't do that automatically; the last time I did that was 2 weeks earlier, but Time Machine does the day-to-day—really hour-to-hour—file copy stuff.) Before I did that, I decided to check it out with Disk Utility.
I ran DU and got the error "Keys out of order... The Volume Macintosh HD could not be repaired. Error: File verify or repair failed. You are so hosed." (I made up that last bit.) .
I booted off of the FireWire Leopard partition, used Disk Utility on it and it still could not fix it. Now, I was a bit annoyed. There should be nothing in software that should hurt the disk structure so much that software cannot fix it. And I mean software from the vendor.
I was told that Disk Warrior would fix errors on the disk including this "Keys out of order." A friend, who seems to have everything, had an unopened copy of Disk Warrior, which I tried. No joy. It could not fix it.
Hmmm. I was starting to think of that 80 GB disk sitting in its wrapper. But, that would entail spending time and tools to open my PowerBook. No, that would wait for another day.
I tried to Restore (in Disk Utility) from my Leopard partition I was running off of (FireWire drive, remember), to my Mac HD. It said their wasn't enough space! Okay, I erased my Mac HD! There! Said the same thing.
Plan C, now. Restore from Time Machine. Following Apple's Instructions, I booted from the install DVD, picked Restore from Time Machine, and... it worked. It worked beautifully.