Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Switch: My Journey from Mac and Back Again, Starring a Frozen Hard Drive

For my entire high school, college, and teaching years, I was a Mac guy. I wasn't one of those annoying Mac guys that believed that Steve Jobs had cried tears of gold on every Mac produced, but I really liked using them and enjoyed it. When I left teaching, I went to work for a company that didn't use Macs and to be able to work from home, I needed a PC. And based on being a Screensavers fan, I knew that I could probably build it myself and so I went for it. Which means that for the last 6 years, I've been a PC guy. Except for the iPod and then earlier this year, the iPhone.

Well, last Wednesday, I suffered a major hard drive crash. Couldn't get back into Windows at all. And I hadn't backed up in a while... Lots of lost data and especially pictures. Lots of pictures. I was crushed and Sheryl was fairly unhappy with me. The computer had been having issues for a while and we'd been thinking about replacing it. When this happened we decided to take the plunge and return to the land of Macs by getting a refurbished iMac. But that didn't solve the problem of the existing crashed hard drive.

Well, I tried putting the hard drive into an external enclosure to retrieve the info and that didn't work. I then purchased a program that I could run to try and retrieve the data. It kept hanging and wouldn't recover. And so I tried the last resort before taking it to a professional.

I stuck the hard drive in the freezer.

Yes. I put it in a plastic bag and stuck it into the freezer for an hour.

After that time frame, I put it back into the hard drive enclosure, and lo and behold, the hard drive appeared on the Mac and minus a few hangups here and there, I was able to get ALL the data off it that I needed, especially the precious pictures we had. And so now, we've had a successful switch. I'll be loading Windows onto the iMac in the next week or so for those few times that I need it, backing up regularly (in a couple of places), and enjoying my excursion into the land of Mac.

Addendum: For those interested, here's an article about why freezing a hard drive can help recover data.

6 comments:

Adam said...

Welcome back, my friend. "Time Machine" is your friend.
AE

Jennifer Thompson said...

The freezer?! That is bizarre. I've never heard of that. What makes it work?

I don't think Jobs cries tears of gold either, but his company makes products which are infinitely more usable to me than Windows, and for that, I am thankful. I'm glad you returned to the fold.

Tom said...

Glad the freezer thing worked for you. It's a 50/50 guarantee. :)

I saw a hard drive from Tiger Direct the other day. It was a 1TB external for $170. I usually don't order from them, but that's not a bad price. You could backup your whole system and have plenty of room for other stuff like MP3's and JPG's.

Tony Arnold said...

Tom is right. I just ordered a fairly large external, USB HD for backup only for less than $75 at Tiger Direct. Backed up my PC and I keep it in a fireproof floor safe between backups.

Tony Arnold said...

PS Large in storage capacity but small in size.

Jonathan said...

I use Jungle Disk with Amazon's S3 so that the backup is automatic (from multiple computers) and off site. When I was backing up to a USB drive I wasn't disciplined enough to do it regularly.

Template Designed by Douglas Bowman - Updated to Beta by: Blogger Team
Modified for 3-Column Layout by Hoctro