Sunday, July 10, 2011

Technology: can't live with it, can't live without it

A little over a week ago our computer broke.

*gleeful laughter erupts as Apple-haters rejoice at the thought of an iMac not working, HARDY HAR HAR*

We had a short power failure and I don't know if that did it, triggered another problem, or was just a coincidence, but right after that our iMac would suddenly freeze up completely after being on for 5-10 minutes.  Nothing worked, the only thing that got a response was to turn it off.  This was on Friday.  Saturday we called Apple, tried to do some troubleshooting, and when nothing worked we then took it in to get fixed. Turns out the hard drive was busted, and we needed to replace it.

So they kept my computer for several days, and we finally got to pick it up on Thursday with a brand new hard drive but no data recovered.  Thankfully, I had convinced Zach to sign up for Apple Care when we bought the computer 1.5yrs ago so we didn't have to pay anything for the repairs.  *whew*

We've been using Carbonite to back up all our files.  We have an external drive, too, but we've been terrible at keeping it updated.  So, we got home and immediately started running a restore via Carbonite to get all our files back.  At first it was going well... then after a day and a half it seemed to have gotten stuck, with no data being transferred.  This led to a bit of a panic attack by yours truly, as I pondered the possibility of not being able to recover our data, meaning losing the past year's worth of pictures (we're already out the videos, since Carbonite doesn't automatically back them up and I never got around to changing that least I have them all uploaded to Smugmug so they're not totally lost).  Also, I'm already over a week behind on sorting and keywording photos, and on Thursday we leave for Texas for a month away from my computer and will amass even more pictures that will need to be dealt with when I get back.  My pictures are the ONE thing that I make sure to keep on top of, so the thought of being nearly two months behind on it all is a bit anxiety-producing.

This morning things are looking a little better-- the restore is moving along again (though will take several days at its current pace, running 24hrs a day).  I also went ahead and installed Lightroom again, using a 3-week old backup of the catalog that was on our external drive.  None of the pictures are there, but I can at least upload and handle the pictures on my camera so I can be caught up before leaving on our trip.  I'll probably still have a lot of fiddling to do with it all when I get back, but I'll figure that out when we get to it. (BTW big thanks to Benjamin for his advice last night, I'll also be picking your brain about the best way to transfer catalogs/pics as the last time I tried it was a bit of a mess).

You can be damned sure that as soon as we get all this figured out, we're setting up an automatic ghost backup to run from our computer to the external drive.  I'm hoping Carbonite will still have paid off here in the end, but if we'd done better with our backups all this would be going a lot more smoothly.


  1. I just want to point out that THIS Apple-hater is NOT rejoicing or laughing as the damage done by the devil-machine is resulting in loss of VITALLY PRECIOUS videos and photos. THIS IS NOT ACCEPTABLE, MR. JOBS.

    What about getting a netbook (or, dare I say it? An iPad) for travel? You can use it when you go to Austin (BECAUSE YOU WILL BE GOING THERE OFTEN), and it's a way to at least do something with your photos while traveling...

  2. When you say automatic ghost backup, do you mean something like Time Machine?

    We had a failure with my just-over-one-year-old iMac last year. It was a problem with the logic board and power supply and the computer would just cut off with no reason or warning. Despite being over the warranty by one month, they fixed it for free (would have been over $1000). I was thankful for that but I still don't trust the Mac. I love Mac for the iLife software but I have trust issues with it now. (I spent this much on a machine and it failed in 13 months? etc.) I will definitely get Apple Care next time just in case!



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