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cultural vandal | by maryann johanson

the death and life of my hard drive

If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you may have seen the posts about the death of my hard drive. It all began yesterday morning, when my MacBook Pro — my only computer — started emitting a godawful-scary noise from its left side. It came and went over the next few hours… but when it got even more obnoxious later in the day, I figured it needed immediate addressing, even though I hadn’t seen any actual performance problems with the drive. A quick download later, a handy little utility program was telling me that the drive was “failing.”

Ugh. This is so not what I needed. I guess it’s never something that anyone needs.

I happened to be taking care of this little bit of maintenance (when I’d hoped to have been getting some productive work done) mere blocks from the main Apple store in New York, so I ran right over there. After an initial shock — I was told it could take five to seven days to get the hard drive replaced! — I managed to finagle my way into a hard drive getting put aside for me (I needed to run home to do one final Time Machine backup) and a promise that they would try to do the swap while I waited when I came back.
That was last night. This morning, I awoke to find that the predicted snowstorm was bad, but not quite as bad as the weather people had been telling us. The subways were running, but it was messy outside: If I ran out to the Apple store then, might they be slow enough to be able to do the repair quickly?

That’s exactly what happened. I don’t think I’d ever seen the Apple store so empty — there were plenty customers around, but usually the place is wall-to-wall with visitors — and they got my machine right into their workshop.

Now, I’m just waiting for Time Machine — Apple’s backup program that uses an external hard drive to create a mirror of your system, apps, data, and everything — to restore my computer to the state it was in yesterday. It’s nearly 500GB of data, and though Time Machine said it would take six hours, it’s nearly done only three hours later. I’m using my brother’s computer at the moment, and I don’t know if I’ll be able to post anything else till much later tonight — everything I need is caught up in that backup — but still: what could have been an enormous disaster, if I hadn’t been regularly backing up my computer, is now just a pain-in-the-ass inconvenience.

So, regular posting will resume ASAP, including my green-light review of The Green Hornet. And I’m hoping if there had to be one glitch in my starting-over, clean-slate move to London, this was it. *fingers crossed*

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