Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Backing up is so hard to do.. but necessary

My MacBook wouldn't boot up on Monday.

It also wouldn't boot off a Tiger install DVD. I figured it was dead. Luckily I have been backing up my Documents folder with rsync to an external drive on a daily basis, so I wasn't devastated.

I found my proof of purchase and rang Apple Australia to get a case number for the inevitable return to a service centre. To my surprise they helped me out.

I had upgraded the hard drive (as well as RAM). When it stopped booting, I put back the original drive but it still didn't boot off a Tiger DVD so I figured it wasn't the disk. On the phone to Apple I learned some new things:
  • The original DVD that comes with your mac has extra diagnostic stuff on it that update DVDs don't.
  • Hold down the D key while booting to get to hardware diagnostics on that original disk.
It takes some time to re-install everything and find all the application serial numbers I have so I'm looking at doing some sort of full disk backup in the future. For now I'm using the Apple Backup utility that you get with a .Mac subscription. It seems good so far for backing up my whole home directory.

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