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back it up

20 November 2010

I am finally reemerging on the other side of a hard drive crash.  Sounds scary, right?  It kinda is.  You wanna know something that makes it a lot less scary?  Back up your computer.  There are really easy ways to do this automatically online for a small annual fee – if you aren’t the external hard drive type.

I have a mammoth external hard drive [like too many GB to even admit here – what can I say, my mom gives good Christmas presents!]  It had been over a year since the last time I sat my laptop down at my desk long enough to actually back anything up.  Luckily, about a month ago, I worked out to bring that external hard drive home to load up some things on Erin’s [my little sister] computer.  While I had it out, I decided I really needed to back up my computer again.  I don’t even think I can explain to you how thankful I am for the circumstances leading up to that decision.  Not long after that, I hooked up my camera to upload some recent pictures.  iPhoto gave me some weird error and all the sudden my computer stopped responding. I decided it needed a little boost, so I hit restart.  The rest is history.

I wanted to show you today that if your computer is out of warranty when your hard drive crashes [which, of course, mine was] there is hope for fixing it without forking over half your paycheck.  The grand total for fixing my computer was $80. Much better than buying a new one.  And the good news is, I actually upgraded from a 200GB to a 320GB hard drive in the process. Not too shabby if you ask me.

The whole process was surprisingly easy.  Taking the advice of my former boss, [from my IT days in architecture school] I found a YouTube video that showed the step-by-step process for replacing the hard drive in my specific computer.  I couldn’t have done it without that video.  After a few short minutes, my computer went from looking like this:

to this:

ahhh! Do you want to see how much dust had accumulated in there during its 3.5 years of existence?

ummm gross. Is that Gracie hair I see in there? help me.

I was able to blow out all that nonsense with a can of compressed air and hopefully this means she’ll keep kickin’ for years to come.

By far the best advice during the whole thing – label the screws. Here’s how I chose to do it and I will say it worked splendidly.  See, I can sometimes be Type A.  Sometimes…

So here’s the budget breakdown:

– call to AppleCare for them to tell me it was out of warranty and they wouldn’t help me :: free

-visit to the Apple Store for them to tell me my hard drive was dead :: free

-new Western Digital 320GB hard drive [Best Buy] :: $70

-100 piece screwdriver set that also included the teeny tiny bits I needed [Home Depot] :: $10

total upgrade cost. $80.  I would say it was a job well done.

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