Monday, November 21, 2011

A Public Service Announcement

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.

2 comments:

Jenn said...

So glad your PSA is based in a relatively happy story. Hard drive failures never are fun, but to have had the foresight to back it up was great. I learned the hard way.

SJ said...

Gulp. That was a close one. I really must do regular backups. Thanks for the reminder!