mad anthony

Rants, politics, and thoughts on politics, technology, life,
and stuff from a generally politically conservative Baltimoron.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

I'm like cancer to hard drives...

So I'm typing this post on a circa-2002 Sony Vaio P3M laptop with a mere 256mb of RAM. Why, you might ask? Because yet another hard drive has failed on me - and this time, it's the drive inside my work-owned, 1.5 year old Macbook.

This is the third hard drive I've had fail on me in the last month. When I came back from Thanksgiving break, I fired up my computer, turned on the external hard drive I kept all my data in - and watched it mount and unmount itself from my PC. So I brought it to bsom, and he was able to recover a bunch of stuff from it and copy it onto another, brand-new external hard drive I had lying around. I plugged it into my PC, and it wouldn't mount. Tried it on a few other machines, and nothing. It was dead too.

So today I was sitting at my parent's house in Jersey, and picked up my Macbook to check my email. I went to wake it up from sleep, and it turned off. I went to turn it on - got the chime, grey screen, and nothing. I do get some clicks that make me suspect that the hard drive has seeked it's last bit of data. If I wait long enough, I get the dreaded blinking folder with a question mark.

Of course, I'm in NJ, so I don't have any of the tools I would normally use to verify that it is dead - no techtools deluxe, no OSX boot DVD, no other mac to connect it firewire and try target disk mode. And of course, I didn't order AppleCare when I bought it, so it's out of warranty.

If it is the hard drive, it's not the end of the world - I don't really have any data on it that I can't live without. If it is the drive, I can install another one pretty easily (assuming I can convince my employer to pay for it - our budget is a little short of late). I do have a spare laptop at home in Baltimore - a Dell I brought back from the dead - and I'm using my mom's old Vaio right now (a parting gift from her old employer that went out of business). But it is a really bad time for it to fail - when I'm in Baltimore, I normally use my desktop PC most of the time, but at the 'rents house I only have the laptop. And since work is closed until Jan 2, I can't order a replacement drive until then - or access anything to troubleshoot it with.


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