Remember to backup your data

I was pressed into service recently to try and retrieve data off my sisters dead Apple powerbook g4. For those who don't know, there are two ways to get data off a hard drive, the first being the easy way. The "way of the easy" may only be employed when your hard drive spins up properly. Then you may use all sorts of software to try and extract data from the disk. The hard way is employed when your hard drive has suffered a mechanical failure and you need to send it to an expert who has a clean room and special machinery.

The hard way is expensive and time consuming. But whats worse is that it may not even work. Unfortunately for my dear sister, her hard drive has fallen on hard times and is not coming back from the brink anytime soon. I was able to dig up this post from an expert who would know better than I that her particular drive, the Seagate ST9100823A, is more than likely beyond repair.

Of course, this means that the data is most likely lost. It amazes me how often people fall into this trap. Hard drives have come a long way since their introduction in 1956 yet they remain mechanical devices with moving parts. Anything that is mechanical and has moving parts will fail - it's a fact. Accept it and account for it. Mitigate your exposure with frequent backups to other storage media like the ubiquitous flash drive for documents and an external hard drive for large data items like images, music and video.

Don't let this happen to you!

Gutted PowerMac G4

The broken harddrive