Backups: Taking the capital ‘B’ out of your Bad Day

Well, my number came up today. The hard drive in my MacBook Pro started making this funny crackling, clicking noise. The Finder beachballed. Xcode locked up. I tried to shut down the machine gracefully. Tried to force quit everything that wouldn’t quit. No luck. Power cycled it. It booted to the blue screen, then hung there.

Funny – just two days ago I was visiting my uncle in Colorado, talking with him about statistics and probability, the Gambler’s Fallacy, and the reliability of hard drives. Now TechTool Deluxe tells me my drive has a bunch of bad blocks in the middle of what used to be my data. I guess I asked for this – bad karma.

So I’m going to lose some development time. That really, really sucks. But it doesn’t suck half as much as the prospect of losing all my source code, email, customer databases, test files, scripts, music, and geez – all my photos too. Thankfully, I’m still fairly paranoid about backing up (not as paranoid as I used to be, but still enough that I’ve got a backup in my office from last night, and an off-site backup from last week).

So look at all those files on YOUR Mac. How would you feel if they went away tomorrow? Like really. Y’know – gone, * poof *, never to return. The old adage is that it’s not a question of whether your hard drive will fail, but when. I’m happily calm about my bad day. At least it’s not a Bad Day with a capital ‘B’. Sure, it’s a maddening setback, and I’ve lost a little work – but I haven’t lost everything.

Do yourself a favor. Back up your data. And yes, I mean now. Get SuperDuper!, Time Machine or some other (lesser) backup application and use it. Sometimes it’s a nuisance, but right about now, I know it was a good idea.

2 Responses to “Backups: Taking the capital ‘B’ out of your Bad Day”

  1. Patrick says:

    The same s**t happend to me 2 weeks ago. If you still got Tiger… use Disk Warrior.

    In case of Leopard – do not use the program. Personally I have tested it with Leopard, I didn’t use the repair funcion, I just copied my files from within the Preview mode.

    I feel with you.

  2. Jon says:

    Thanks Patrick – but it appears to have been a hardware problem. Apple replaced the drive and I’m back up and running now. I’m very thankful to have my MacBook Pro back – I was stuck on a 17″ iMac for a week and a half – smaller screen, slower processor, slower disk I/O – it was painful!

    And to the guys at DHL: Give me a #$@$* break! They claimed they “couldn’t find the address” and showed up with my MBP a full day late. Let’s see, I live in a townhouse community that’s been here for 30 years, we’ve got FedEx, UPS, and DHL trucks crawling all over the place (especially around the holidays), and the driver had just made a delivery and a pickup at my house 4 days before. I think the driver just missed the package, or was running late for dinner, and needed an excuse for not making the delivery. Yes, dear readers – ship via FedEx, UPS or the postal service this holiday season…

    – Jon

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