Two Hard Drives: 1 Fail, 1 Win

I started the weekend very excited because I had just gotten a new drive to replace the one in my laptop. I have a MacBook Pro that’s a couple generations old now. In general it’s fast enough, but I am always running out of space on the drive. 160GBs doesn’t go as far as it used to. So, a year and a half later the current model of MacBook Pros have up to 500GB 7200 RPM drives. I found a great kit which not only came with the drive, but an external enclosure and software to clone my internal drive. It arrived right before the weekend.

At home I had just a couple of things to do before I traded out the drives. One included ripping a dvd. We have a pretty large collection of dvds, and I have ripped over 270 movies into a format that can be read by both my Apple TV and my iPods. As you can imagine, that takes up quite a bit of storage space. For Christmas last year I got a WD 1TB external drive. It worked like a charm.

The problem is that I would need another one to have a backup of all that data. That is something I knew I should do, but since I only use that drive at home, I took a chance. Today, while the drive was writing data my son accidently knocked it over. It wasn’t a hard fall, it just tipped over. Should not have mattered, but this time it happened at just the wrong moment. In a few minutes the drive was making a strange noise. 10 minutes later my computer no longer recognized it.

700GB of data gone.

Disk Utility was able to see a drive, but not repair it. Then, even that stopped. The drive makes noises like it’s trying to spin up, but it never does. It’s gone. The important files I did have backed up, but every single one of the movies is gone. It’s takes more than 2 hours to rip one… I don’t want to do the math. I have the movies on my Apple TV and iPod/iPhone now. (Oh, and of course, the actual DVDs, but they don’t play on my iPod.)

But, I still had my new internal drive. So I logged onto a decent instruction site and began my work. workspace I had already used the included external enclosure and software to clone my current drive contents onto my new drive. Now I just had to get the old drive out. No small task. Apple did not make this easy. You have to take apart some key pieces, including the keyboard and trackpad. There’s a million little screws. Armed with my wife’s laptop open to the online guide, I began.

For the most part the guide was accurate, but I needed two sizes of Torx drives, not one, and the location of Bluetooth has moved since they published. The process was simple. And after a careful 20 minutes I was booting into my new drive, with triple the capacity.on Then I loaded my old drive into the external enclosure. I then took my small external drive and transferred some files, since the 1TB was down. I need to back my pictures and reference videos up in a 2nd location, again. newexternal I am very pleased with the new internal drive. That went very smoothly.

I am still trying to think of a way to get the data off the lost drive. It’s not worth paying a company to do it, but if I could figure a way, that would be great. I had heard that freezing it might work, but it didn’t. WD just came out with a 1TB RAID enclosure. It uses two 1TB drives to provide 1TB of RAID storage, Less than $300. Learn from my misfortune. Back it up.


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  1. Pingback: Fixing My Mac « Scott Link Blog

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