Ok, so yesterday this happened to my late 2012 iMac 27" http://forums.macrumors.com/showthread.php?p=18870553#post18870553 . This is a follow up thread in which I need your advice as a fellow mac owner and not a solution to my hardware/software problem! I have kind of a situation deciding what to do, let me explain: After a talk on the phone to apple support yesterday It was established that I need to bring in the computer for extra diagnostics to see what exactly is wrong with it and what needs to be fixed. That's all fine but I have never been in a mac store before (bought it from the internet) and I did not know how thing's work. So, the apple support employee told me that unfortunately there isn't a proper apple store nearby (the closest one is in another city, 120 minutes train + bus with a 27'' imac on my shoulders) but said that there is a nearby apple authorized repair service (which isn't apple) in a local village next to my city. I decided to go there today and I had to pay 30 pounds for a cab as there is no transport to that place. I got there, and the person there checked my computer and was able to boot it up (with i believe an external hard drive which had os x installed on), upon starting the computer preformed a check of all it's components, (all components had icons and green ticks appeared on all of them - If someone knows exactly what he did, that would be of help!) and to my amusement it didn't detect a problem anywhere in my hardware, even my hard drive, so I assumed the problem is software based. He was then able to access all my files and I saw them with my eyes, so I thought to myself, sweet! He can fix it, and most importantly back up all my data. To which I asked him if that is the case. He followed up, by telling me that it is but I would have to pay for the data to be copied anywhere from 60-200 pounds. Which really seemed harsh. I know it's my bad the data isn't backed up but still. He then told me that Apple would cover the cost of a replacement drive but won't cover his time spent doing repairs or the backing up bit so he asked me if I want to follow up with it. I declined politely and said I would try my luck with apple as I think they would cover it as part of my apple care and may wan't to go out of their comfort zone for a customer. (Again this is just my assumption, this is my first Apple product and I've had not prior experience till then with dealing with such problems but from the feedback I've heard from other people, I was kind of expecting it.) I then went on a nice journey to the other city and apple store. After finally arriving there it turns out I need an appointment with a genius, for them to look at my computer. I had no idea(even though earlier when I spoke to an apple adviser on the phone and told him I had no experience with repairs or apple stores and asked him if i need my original case, to let them know in advice or anything else, he just said to pop by my local authorized apple repair shop or local apple store.). I took things lightly though and laughed it of as at least I knew that my files would be alright to recover. They didn't let me leave the computer there, so I have to return there on Thursday when my appointment is at. While I was booking an appointment in store, one of the geniuses asked me if I need any help, I said "no, just booking an appointment as my mac needs fixing", she was extremely nice to look in to the matter and asked me whats wrong with it and so on. So I tried explaining the situation and that my biggest concern is recovering the data at this point. She then told me Apple does not deal with personal data as it's against the law, so I asked her if it's possible for them to access the data once they take a look at the computer so I can back it up then. She said yes but stated that she might not know how to access the data and they might not have the capability in the store to do the things the Authorized Apple Repairman did earlier in order to access my data. She even told me that if it's possible I should ask him, how he did (which would be really awkward as I walked away from him and now I'd be asking for advice on the phone for free and stuff.) . I was kind of surprised, the conversation ended with her telling me that, she doesn't know if they could access the data due to not having the required tools and that they would replace the drive if it's faulty but then I would loose all my data. She did say they could try and help me recover it if I bring a external hard drive of some sorts. Now after this long long read, my question is - what should I do? Should I go back and pay that man a lot of money (for my pocket that is) to back up my data and repair my computer although I'm under full warranty. Or should I wait for my appointment at the App store and waist another 6 hours of my day or more not knowing if they can back up my data. The girl seemed really hesitant and she really seemed like she didn't know if I could be helped, if the genius I'm meeting on Thursday is the same then I would waste my time and money going there for nothing, as I won't agree to swap my drive without a recovery. What is your experience in scenarios like these? Do Apple stores not do backups at all? Are the geniuses experts or are they just sales people that know general stuff about macs and workshops and are trained to do basic replacements of parts and nothing else. I'm kind of confused how it all works. I was shocked when she told me that I should ask the person to I first binged my computer to for a solution to my problem. Maybe she was just trying to help but I'd assume if he could'v done that for literally 5 minutes than they should too, without any help. I know that the backing up part is pretty much my fault, but what should I do now ? I'm looking at a whole day spent Thursday doing a repair and a backup. My wallet isn't really bright at the moment, especially after spending more than 70 pounds on transport for almost nothing today and buying a time capsule. It would be so harsh if I need to pay the certified repair man 200 pounds on top of these fees. I'd just like to know your opinion and if you were in a similar situation with the apple store or authorized repair mans! Also: What are my options for backing up my data. I've ordered a Time Capsule but chances are it won't arrive till Thursday when my appointment is. Is it possible to do a Time Machine back up on the internet (Say I buy some plan on google drive or the Cloud from Apple, or something like that?). I don't think the apple store would let me transfer all my data to a computer/drive in store for whatever reason, even if it's just for a minute so we can back it up and put it back in and then delete it.