Hard Drive Failure

1999 – It happens to the best of us, and it will probably happen to you eventually. Yep, it’s the one thing we all say won’t happen, but always does – a hard drive failure. I’ll show you how to safeguard your iMac from disaster, and, aside from some sort of disk drive, it won’t cost you a thing.

Mac Happens

First, we’ll start with the most important thing: Backing up your data. Most people think this is expensive, but with the system software provided with Bondi blue iMacs and the candy colored iMacs (which is called Mac OS 8.5), you can get a free backup program. If you have the older OS, version 8.1, you can upgrade to 8.5. It’s worth the money.

This program is called File Synchronization. It resides in your Control Panels folder. If you don’t see it, you can install it. Pop in the orange Software Install CD and click Mac OS Setup, then do a custom install and install the program. (You can find it in the Control Panels submenu.)

dead hard drives

Now that the program is set up, you need a disk drive for your backup. Imation and Iomega make high density drives in 120 MB and 100 MB capacity, respectively. You can get them at any computer store for US$150 or less. Now that all of that stuff is set up, back up all of your documents. All of the programs that came on your iMac are already backed up on the orange disk called Software Restore or on their own included CD. (For more on USB drives, read Low-Cost USB Removables Compared.)

But that’s not all you can do. You shouldn’t wait for a problem to maim your disk before you do anything. Apple provides a free program called Disk First Aid with all Macs. It can be found in the Utilities folder. Run this program weekly to nip any problem in the bud before it hurts you.

Now that we know how to stop hard drive disasters, hopefully your data will be safe. I recommend again that you should do this whenever you can, before you have a problem. (I didn’t take my own advice for a while. It took me three hard drive crashes before I started backing up.)

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