effective backup strategies and irony

Discussion in 'Mac Basics and Help' started by doctor pangloss, Jul 22, 2008.

  1. doctor pangloss macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2004
    A while back I bought a nifty 250G external LaCie drive as a "backup" for my trusty little 12" PB. I diligently used the backup and cleaned up the drive on the PB. After a few months the LaCie drive failed loosing all the stored data.:mad:

    Last fall I bought a MacBook to replace the aged but still functioning PB. I felt this was a good choice seeing how reliable the PB has been.

    Gradually I transitioned to using the MB more and more. It was a slow transition because in many ways I prefer the old PB to the new MB.

    Suddenly without warning the hardrive on the new MB fails.(optical reader crapped)
    I lost a bit of data which can mostly be recovered.

    The MacBook was fixed under warrantee but now I'm starting anew and I don't really trust it.

    I need a RELIABLE backup! Also one easy to use.
    I'll be using windows via bootcamp also and will need to have a system to back up that partition too.
    This is all most annoying and time consuming.

    Anyone have a simple reliable suggestion to backup both the mac and windows areas of the new MacBook???:confused:

    I'm using the old PowerBook now in frustration with the new machine.
    With the new hardrive they included a fresh OS with fresh whistles and bells from apple which I'm not terribly keen on trying to figure out.:(
  2. ebel3003 macrumors 6502a


    Jun 20, 2007
    "The Google"
    I'd employ Time Machine as your backup strategy. I've been using it myself for a while and love the simplicity and reliability of it. I used to write shell scripts to do the job, but now I'm accustomed to the convenience of Time Machine and don't plan on going back. It's also nice knowing that if I delete a document and realize that I needed it, I can restore it.

    The newer hard drives are simply less reliable than they used to be. We have an old iBook G4 (somewhere in the 700-800MHz area) still running with it's original hard drive, while I've had newer SATA drives die within their first couple of years.
  3. doctor pangloss thread starter macrumors regular

    Dec 30, 2004
    This is really unacceptable. The vendors of these substandard pieces of hardware should be held to account.:mad:
    From what I gather these hardrive failures are epidemic. We pay top dollar for these Macs and deserve the quality we've come to expect in the past.
    Us consumers need to kick some a$$.:eek:
  4. JNB macrumors 604


    Oct 7, 2004
    In a Hell predominately of my own making
    Although Apple warrantees the hard drive as an included component, the drive manufacturer is ultimately responsible. You can't blame Apple for drive failures (unless you want to pay more for "server grade"), Drives are commodities. You get, on average, a component that will be replaced long before failure for a very reasonable price.

    The push, however, from consumers for "bigger, faster, cheaper" has forced manufacturers to improve the technology, production quantities, and specs while lowering prices simultaneously. Something's gotta give.

    FWIW, in nearly thirty years of personal systems, I have had exactly one HDD fail, and that was a five-year old drive.
  5. cptpower macrumors regular


    Sep 10, 2007
    Calgary, AB
    Server-grade drives aren't always that much better. I work in the storage industry, and I've seen more than a fair share of HDDs failing (server & workstation). It just happens, its a way of life, and that's why we have things like Time Machine and RAID.

    When you consider that drives that can currently contain ~500GB of data are the same shape/size as drives that could only store ~500MB of data a decade or so ago, its not surprising that more and more manufacturing defects have found their way into drives.

    Apple can hardly be found to blame for this too. They're using one of the more reliable drive manufacturers (Seagate), but even Seagate has problems. One thing I've found in my research is that, if a drive doesn't fail right off the assembly line, then its a pretty good bet that it'll fail in the first 6-9 months under medium-heavy load. If you get past that point, then its unlikely the drive will ever fail.

    With that said, I sympathize with the OP (and anyone else out there who has lost data). My best recommendation is to not have A backup, but instead, have multiple backups. Use TM regularly, and every couple of months or so, write your *really* important data to DVDs. Take an image of your local HDD and put that on another HDD and put that into a fireproof safe.

    Sure, those steps may seem paranoid, but if/when your HDD fails, you'll be happy you did it.
  6. Consultant macrumors G5


    Jun 27, 2007
    As to harddrives, after ejecting, you NEED to wait until the drive spin down (few seconds but I typically give it awhile) before powering off the drive.

    Also, I take it you don't have a UPS (battery backup)? Powerline fluctuations and power outtage can mess up an external drive.

    New OS, you meant Leopard? What is there to "figure out?" It's not that different. Here is a walkthrough.

    With a MacBook, you can buy a 2.5" drive with 5 year warranty. Those have the lowest chance of failure rate (compared with the drives with 1 or 3 year warranty). It's really easy to replace the drive in the MacBook.

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