Friday, May 8, 2009

timing is everything

A true story. Really. So when I left my last full time job, in January 08, I bought my computer from work. It contains all my pictures, all my files, and my music. A MacBook Pro. Awesome computer. Of course, at work, it was backed up regularly. Here, no backup. And, with the 7000 pictures, 5000 songs, and endless files and e-mails, it was bumping up, hard, against the memory capacity of the machine.

So, the perfect plan. Once I get paid from my new job, I would buy a Mac specific back up device. Maybe the time capsule thing, maybe just an external hard drive for now.

My husband bought us a big, cumbersome PC hard drive. I'd moved a few archival files to it - all the movies we've taken these past years. But transferring files, backing up to this PC device is a HUGE pain in the ass. Huge. I was waiting for a mac specific device that would make it easy, fast, and relatively painfree. Yes, I have a new computer with this new job. Yes, it's a mac. No, I did not transfer files. Yes, I am an idiot.

I got my paycheck from this job on Monday, deposited it on Tuesday. Check cleared yesterday. And Wednesday night my computer - my life - crashed. Utter and complete fail. The night before the check cleared. Not that I would have rushed out Thursday and bought the drive. But still. Let's talk about timing.

So, a visit with the genius bar yesterday. He's going to try to access the hard drive today and transfer all the files to another device. I should get a call. My machine is sending conflicting signals about what's wrong. It's unclear whether he'll be able to access the drive, in which case it gets sent out for recovery of whatever can be recovered. The list of all the present we received for the little guy, and the thank you notes still to be written. The Christmas card list, totally updated this year, with all addresses right. Evidence from my husband cheating. Songs ripped from friends CDs. Songs ripped from our extensive CD collection - hours and hours and hours of ripping. Resignation letter I was forced to write from 3 jobs ago. Thankfully, not my resume, I'd transferred that over. Every picture from the past 5 years (my husband has some, but not all - but probably 75%). Every e-mail sent the past 5 years (I like to say I'm keeping them for my memoirs). Stupid stuff, random stuff, funny stuff, important stuff, irreplaceable stuff. All in one machine.

Seriously. In what universe does a 2.5 year old machine FAIL with this timing? The night before the check clears?

So please tell me I'm not the only one who fails to back up. I know I'm not. Tell me recovery works. Tell me the geniuses really are and I will get an it's all fine call in just a little while.

eta - They were able to access the hard drive and transfer 100% of my files. WHEW. Now I buy the back up drive, they move the files there, and it's all good, except for the broken machine. Based on how it's acting, they believe the logic board went. I have to decide if I want the machine repaired ($300). From Tash's comments, this machine is from the same time as hers, and even though I love it, it's always had some low level weirdness that perhaps wasn't so benign. I'll hold off repairing it for now, but maybe next paycheck. With sufficient backup, it'll will be cheaper to repair it, and that way I'll have a work laptop and a home laptop.


Dre said...

Now you have me scared. No, we are not backed up either... years of digital photos and videos would be lost and I would be crushed. Family legal documents, etc. I think we may have to do something about it sooner rather than later... good luck in getting it back. We thought we had lost it all a couple of months ago and managed to retrieve most of it.

Tash said...

I have a MacBook bought Fall '06. I've really had problems (churning internet on our wireless account; slowness with stuff loading; stuff randomly"quitting;" fairly frequent black screens of death -- certainly no less than my need to reboot the ol' PC). And one day last fall, Grey screen of death with a circle with a line through it. Needed a new battery, the warranty was two years, and we had just passed it by . . . three days. I swear, I think these things are programmed to fail like that. Anyway, husband had to install, then back up, shut it down, and reinstall everything from the beginning. We were v., v. lucky.

I'm hoping this is a battery, superficial problem and everything is comfy cozy on the hard drive and can be salvaged. I know what you mean though -- we're spread over two desktops and two laptops and I think there's a lot of overlap until we discover we're missing something and can't find it. We need everything, backed up, and put someplace.

I'm running off to suggest we do it this weekend. I'd consider going back to PC after this thing kicks, but everything else in the house is now mac. Boo. Good luck.

CLC said...

I know nothing about these type of things. But ouch, that sucks. I hope recovery works.

Rachel said...

We just got a time machine, and it's awesome. It backs up both my Mac and my husband's PC, and it acts as a wireless router (we're in the process of moving, so we can be sure to get the absolutely basic router from our new Internet provider and use the time machine for the wireless).

It's expensive as hell, but I love it.

nakedjen said...

i landed here because you are being so kind to gwendomama. it is my first visit. but i had to comment that, with a slight smile, that this always happens when mercury is retrograde.

also, my mac book did the same thing LAST year during mercury retrograde. with the same issue. logic board. the good lovely mac geniuses at the mac store retrieved all my data and then the universe (yes the universe) graciously delivered me a new macbook and a time machine.

i think the universe felt i needed to continue to blog and also ALWAYS back-up the words!

anyway, i'd suggest a new computer (instead of the repair).

more importantly, THANK YOU, for helping gwendomama. she's one of my very best friends and even mercury retrograde can NOT explain what has recently happened in her life.