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an ounce of prevention is...

An ounce of prevention is... about the same as an ounce of cure, when it comes down to it. The story to go with this moral follows.

The other day one of my hard drives decided it didn't want to talk to the rest of the computer. It was the one that has the music on it, among many other things, so I noticed when the song I was listening to stopped abruptly. We never assume the worst, so first I just restarted the computer, expecting things to be back to normal; no luck. Then I tried to use Apple's Disk Utility to fix things: it managed to repair two of the four partitions on the disk, but didn't have any sucess with the others. Alright... so next I bought an application called DiskWarrior and tried it out: it handled one of the remaining two broken partitions, but couldn't do anything with the last one. Sadly, that last one (which I called 'most things') was the one which contained all my digital photos, all my music, and all the art I had created over the years. Backups? What are they?

So then I turned off the computer for a few days. It wasn't the end of the world; could survive without all those files; I just couldn't face their absence so soon. The loss was still too raw! Today, though, I had to get back to work, and, unwilling to give up, vowed to try harder to recover my data. After considering and rejecting Norton Disk Doctor (I've never seen a program with that many terrible reviews!!) I came across somthing called Data Rescue II. It's not designed to repair broken file systems, but rather to recover data off of crippled disks, and in my case it worked prefectly. Yay! The file system was completely destroyed, but as far as I've been able to determine every bit of the data emerged unscathed.

All in all, I spent about $180 to get it all back: $80 on DiskWarrior and $100 on Data Rescue II. Now I bet you're thinking, I could have got some kind of a reasonable backup system, firewire hard drive or whatever; sure, but this works too, right? Everything is nearly back to normal now! And I still have the restore aps in case things go wrong again!

No really, I'm probably going to invest in some sort of backup capability in the near future. But I am also very happy to have escaped with so little long-term pain!

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