Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Back it up!

My primary business computer is an iMac I bought in February of 2011. A couple of weeks ago I noticed an occasional click-click-click from its innards. Uh oh. That be the sound of a failing hard drive, but I have to admit I went into a bit of denial. I have NEVER had a hard drive fail that quickly. Then, last Friday, I got an email from Apple.

Yup. My internal hard drive got recalled. And Apple handled it very well, even though it was technically the drive manufacturer who called for the recall. They actually sent a technician around so I wouldn't have to lug the system to the store (Believe me, a 27" iMac is not the lightest thing ever made).

So we switched out the drive. While we were at it, I cleaned my fans and motherboard (iMacs take forever to open because of the way they're designed).

Then? I inserted my USB drive into a USB port and did a full system restore from backups. Except for my local wiki, which rolled back a little, I could NOT tell I had switched out the drive at all after the system restore had run.

And this is why I am never running again without a proper backup system. I've always kept backups, but I've never used a properly designed backup system before.

Use one. I got lucky...my drive got replaced before it failed. And I've never had a catastrophic hard drive failure. But too many people don't bother running backups until they do lose everything. (I also recommend keeping off site backups of your most important data - financials, your novel manuscript, your wedding photos, etc).