Monday, 8 October 2012

Hard Disk Death: Thought it would never happen to me!

After many years of sorting out clients' hard disk crashes and corruptions, the inevitable happened to me.

The internal drive in my faithful MacBook Pro 2007 (MBP) died without warning. The usual Apple Disk Utility - Disk Repair failed and recommended re-formatting, similarly DiskWarrior recomended a backup of important files and then reformat. Running Drive Genius, found many bad blocks.

Time for Hard Drive retirement, methinks.

Fortunately I had run my monthly cloning session using Carbon Copy Cloner just a few days earlier. So being unable to boot-up on the internal drive, I had to use the clone instead. Work in progress is usually backed up from the internal drive to the server, daily.

So work continued using the cloned drive and an order placed on Amazon for the new Seagate Momentus Hybrid Drive (Part Solid State and part spinning disk).

Hybrid Drive arrived a few days later and following iFixit.com drive replacement guide, it replaced the old dead drive.

Still working off the Cloned Drive Backup, I formatted the new Hybrid, and cloned back the whole system to the new drive. Unplugged the Clone Drive and re-started the MBP using the Hybrid and hurray everything was back to normal... but not quite.

I still had to transfer my Boot Camp partition and the Windows operating system. This one was tricky as Carbon Copy Cloner doesn't touch the Boot Camp partition. Here I had to use Winclone as a backup.

So from the re-constituted Utilities folder, I set up a new Boot camp partition and stopped when it asked to install the Windows operating system.

Fired up Winclone, searched for the Boot Camp clone and reinstalled the contents to the new Boot Camp partition.

Booted up into Boot Camp and good news, "The Dark Side" worked in all it's Windows glory!

However only one drawback emerged. VMware Fusion, the Windows-on-the-Mac emulator didn't work. I couldn't find the new Boot Camp Partition. Googling for answers came up with complex solutions so I tried the last resort - un-install then re-install VMware Fusion.

Hurray, this worked! In the process of re-installing, VMware Fusion found the location of the new Boot camp. Testing the app led to success.

All in all, the whole excercise was a success and the Hybrid Drive flie. Only a day was lost in getting back to normal.

Moral of the story? Clone, Clone, Clone, Backup, Backup, Backup! It makes a cheaper recovery in the long run both in time and money. External Drives are cheap and so are the Apps mentioned above.

Sadly when everything gets old they die and Hard Disks are no exception. IT WILL HAPPEN TO YOU!

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