Hard Drives Fail

So, what’s your backup strategy? Do you have one? Luckily, I did because the two year old hard drive in our home iMac failed on September 1st.  I’ve had a Time Machine backup drive in place for awhile (with backups on that drive back to March of 2011!) so we lost a grand total of 1 hour’s worth of data.  In reality, nothing was really happening when the drive died, so actually, we lost nothing.

Here’s what makes it weird, though.

Our iMac has a special version of a common hard drive, one that I could replace off the shelf from Best Buy, but Apple has locked it with a special firmware. That means I’m forced to take it in to an Apple Service Provider for them to replace the drive.  That makes a professional geek like me a little frustrated to say the least.  With everyone closed for the US Labor Day holiday, I’m living in suspense of the final cost.  Here’s my guess for now–$250 including labor.  Ouch!

For now, I’m running off an old external 80GB hard drive, connected by USB to the iMac.  It’s got a fresh install of Mountain Lion and is happily working along.  In fact, I really can’t tell much of a difference in speed. Tammy and I can access all of our old data from the backup drive and, if we’re lucky, we’ll be back up and running by the end of the week. Considering we have the external drive to run things, we can safely put off the repair so we can plan ahead and not be without the system for any longer than needed.