Computer Update

Here’s a short update on my current computer woes:


Note the use of the legal maximum of three exclamation points.

I had a phone conversation with Apple support on Tuesday night and the support guy agreed that it seemed like a hard drive failure so we made an appointment at the Apple Store to get a tech to look at it and possible replace the drive.  Then I mentioned how important the files were to me and asked how to recover those from my Time Machine backup.  He walked me through how to get selected files and how to back up the whole drive to a second external hard drive as I was worried about how reliable my current five-year old USB drive is.

Well, turns out I messed it up and instead of recovering my files to the new external drive I bought, I ended up recovering the original hard drive in my iMac and now I am fully up and running again without the need to haul hardware to the Apple Store.  Guess it wasn’t a hardware failure after all, but just a disk corruption caused by the problems I had Monday night.

I’ve been thinking about it all morning and there is one failure mode I can think of that fits this situation so I am now just going to save up my money for a new iMac (or maybe a refurbished one) next year and hope for the best.  I’ll also be improving my backup strategy by adding a method to back up my important files to the cloud (either a google drive or Amazon S3 using a package called Arq).

I’ll have a more detailed post on Sunday about what happened and what my new backup plan will be.  In the mean time, it’s off to Starbucks for a treat before going to the office.


About Andrew Reynolds

Born in California Did the school thing studying electronics, computers, release engineering and literary criticism. I worked in the high tech world doing software release engineering and am now retired. Then I got prostate cancer. Now I am a blogger and work in my wood shop doing scroll saw work and marquetry.
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20 Responses to Computer Update

  1. Pingback: Thank Heavens for Independent Bookstores | The Write Transition

  2. Allan G. Smorra says:

    Congratulations, Andrew. I look forward to your more detailed report on your problem and solution. I’m always interested in learning new things.


  3. A crashed hard drive is one of my nightmares. I actually spent the money to install a mirror drive, so every time I save to my drive, I invisibly save to another internet drive. For me, it’s worth it.


    • I’ve done that before on desktop PCs and it works great. It’s not hard to do and often you can buy a new system with that option preinstalled. It has saved me in the past on other disk crashes.

      Sadly it’s not easily available on an iMac and not available on most laptops. On the servers I recommend and build at work (web, database and other application servers), I almost always recommend a RAID array (either 5 or 10 but I prefer 10), but that is out of the budget of the average home user. I think a lot of writers would benefit from doing something as simple as using the free tier of dropbox or a google drive to backup the files they truly care about.

      Sunday is going to be a long post…


  4. Annika Perry says:

    Glad it’s worked out well for you! Might be a good idea to buy a new or refurbished one as I talked to an apple guy in pc world last week and he said the older models, mine is 7 years old, although working well are struggling under all the new high end upgrades and not coping as well as they should be. Might be sales talk but does make some sense.


    • I generally recommend replacing you computer every 4-5 years, simply because the pace of technology change makes the older ones more difficult to maintain and upgrade. If you go on-line with the Apple Store, and hunt around you’ll find a section for refurbed units. You can get some systems that are only a couple of years old for a great price. Sometimes you’ll even find a current model at a good price. Del and other PC makers have similar programs.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. lorieb says:

    sounds like you deserve a treat. Glad you got it back, we don’t realize just how dependent we are on our computers until they don’t want to work!


  6. Carrie Rubin says:

    So glad it’s up and running again. I’m definitely going to look into an external hard drive. Thanks for the info.


    • If you watch the sales or order on-line, you can often get a one tera byte drive for $80. It’s worth it to have your files safe somewhere.


        • I just check Amazon: They have a 1TB WD USB drive for $53. (WD 1TB WD Elements Portable USB 3.0 Hard Drive Storage). WD (formerly known as Western Digital) is my current favorite external disk drive maker. The 1TB is more than most people need and is simple to use.


        • Carrie Rubin says:

          I just want something I can easily back up all my files in one or two steps without having to do each folder separately. Is that possible?

          Thank you for the info. I’ll look into it.


        • Yes that is possible. On MAC use Time Machine to do that. On the PC you’ll need to install something like crashplan or other PC backup software. I haven’t used a PC in a long time so I don’t know all the options there.


        • Carrie Rubin says:

          I use a PC. I’ll research it a bit. I use Dropbox but I don’t have everything there. Thanks again.


  7. jfwknifton says:

    I always react with a mixture of horror and dismay at computer problems, but they are usually not desperately difficult for an experienced professional to fix.


  8. George says:

    Apple’s the best😊


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