Last Thursday, I was trolling the interwebs in my usual morning routine and gearing up to transcribe some interviews I had done for my regular freelance gig.
Then a gray curtain dropped from the top of my screen to the bottom, and a box popped up in the center, telling me that I needed to hard-reset my laptop by holding down the power button until it turned off.
It was a kernel panic.
What on earth does that mean? Well, my friendly neighborhood Apple Genius (I live on a 15” MacBook Pro) explained to me that it was probably some sort of a hardware failure. Sure enough, a diagnostic was run and my hard drive was failing.
So why am I telling you about this?
A week ago today, I turned in a big story. Roughly double my usual word count. I emailed it off, got confirmation from my editor, then I plugged my laptop into my external hard drive for a Time Machine backup and headed for the gym.
I had no way of knowing that my hard drive would die four days later. But when I walked into the Apple Store, I was not in a panic. I had backed up on Monday and even if my laptop was dead, I wasn’t going to lose any work. I knew I hadn’t lost anything that would be difficult to replace.
After a shockingly inexpensive hard drive replacement, I brought my laptop home Friday night and was able to restore everything from my Time Machine backup. I honestly can’t tell that there’s a shiny new hard drive on the inside of my laptop.
Which means that the moral of the story is that I hope you are backing up your computers on a regular basis. It’s a pain in the neck. It makes my laptop run really slowly for a few minutes, which drives me bonkers.
But if I hadn’t been backing up regularly, I would have spent most of Thursday with my heart in my throat and all of the weekend scrambling to figure out what I had lost when my hard drive failed. No fun.
Back up your computers. You will never regret backing up, but you will eventually regret it in spades if you don’t.