Muschamp Rd

More hard drive woes

October 10th, 2006
My recreation of the sad mac icon

In preparation for my MBA degree I bought a 12″ PowerBook. I got the student discount and though it cost a lot, it was extremely useful especially in presentations throughout my MBA.

Unfortunately I have had a lot of problems with the hard drive. While at UBC I bought DiskWarrior and was able to nurse it back to health. Then in China things got even worse. I backed up, but the computer I backed up to is at my mother’s house in Deep Bay so I also made a number of emergency backups using CDROMs, USB keyfobs, and even a brand new external hard drive.

In fact before I went to China I bought a large external hard drive to improve my backup routine…

The first time I was experiencing hard drive difficulties in China, I took it to the Apple contracted service depot in Beijing. After having my laptop overnight to run a suite of test apps or something they informed me nothing was wrong. I knew something was wrong, all you had to do was listen to the hard drive mechanism try to spin. By the audible sounds alone you could tell it was dying.

Less than a month later it wouldn’t spin up. In order to make more panicked backups I had to prop the laptop on an angle as the drive would spin better that way… After leaving it off for a few days I took it to the service depot and of course it starts up for them, but it also puts some error message of death on the screen. However since it was working at that moment in time and the service depot wouldn’t transfer my data to the new drive, though they agreed it now needed one, I ran out and bought an external hard drive and made a clone of my drive in a nearby Starbucks.

Now I’m still extremely reliant on my computer, too reliant unfortunately, so one day recently when it wouldn’t come out of sleep I knew things were bad. Eventually I got it to restart after yanking the battery. I immediately put in the DiskWarrior CD and it couldn’t seem to repair the drive. There was no sound, no thrashing, no spinning of the hard drive or the CDROM so I gave up. I was able to get the computer to restart and login. I was even able to graph the hard drive using DiskWarrior.

Last night while I couldn’t sleep, I tried using Apple’s own Disk Utility. I noticed that shortly after attempting to verify the disk, the application became Not Responding according to the Activity Monitor. So I force quit it and restart the application, finally I figure I’ll just go back to bed and see if Disk Utility can recover over night.

It did and the program indicated repairs needed to be made. So I once again I booted up with DiskWarrior and this time I let DiskWarrior run as long as it needed, which was over 30 minutes just to analyze the directory structure. Finally DiskWarrior is ready to repair my drive but it says I don’t have enough continuous free space even though I have over 18 Gigs unused. DiskWarrior can still fix things, so I let it, and after rebooting began this blog posting.

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