March 10, 2008

My iMac Got Sick

Yesterday, I'm playing around online. Nothing dangerous or bug infested, just normal safe websites. Suddenly, Firefox dies. But not your normal everyday crash and is gone variety. Nope, it froze, and then took 30 minutes to completely crash out. And this is with me using force quit.

This didn't seem to have any affect on the rest of the computer, so I just opened Safari and went about my business. Then, about an hour later, Safari crashes. And then Mail crashes. Repeatedly.

So, I think it's time for a restart. Everything seems good with that. Oh wait. WRONG! It never finished restarting, it just looks like it did. The clock, airport, and other little fancy icons are missing. No programs will start, and the dock is gone. So I try restarting again. Now the computer won't even shut down.

Several forced shut downs later, and much time spent surfing the net for troubleshooting tips (from my laptop of course), I give up and try running the Leopard disc. No luck there either. It won't run, boot from, or even remotely act like it knows it's there.

So this evening I had my first "Genius Bar" experience. I have to say, they're pretty good. I didn't have to wait too long to be seen, (though you'll most likely need an appointment, which you can make online), and my guy worked very quickly. Not much on the explanations, but he did stop and tell me what he was doing when I bothered to ask. 45 minutes and several dual boots from unknown sources later, my baby was back!

And it's a good thing too! Do you have any idea how devastated I would be to lose over 2000 digital photos? Or the 50 Gb of music on there? Or even just the smaller things, like my website back up files? It looks like it's time for a back up hard drive!

The up side, at least as far as I'm concerned, is that he doesn't think it was a virus. And should it end up be a hardware failure, it is most likely related to the RAM or video card. So if he's right, and it poops out again, it doesn't look like my data loss risk is actually very high. Still though, I am sufficiently "scared straight". New back up system will be in place as soon as I can afford (which may be a little while...)


kimberlina said...

oh, that IS scary! i've thought about doing those easy backups that work while you're online. $50 a year? something like that. seems like a smart investment. just sucks that ... including myself, lots of people don't back up until something major happens. :(

Janelle Renee said...

A good reminder for me to back up my photos and songs! Thanks for posting this. :)

mystraypup said...

I have 3 new, extra, 40gb hard drives, you can have one if you want.