Yesterday morning I went to my computer ready for a productive day working on homework, only to find my computer would not start up and the hard drive was making all sorts of awful noises. I tried running it through various disk management software and on different computers, but nothing would recognize it for more than a couple seconds (and the thing was super jittery when used externally which was just horrible to watch). Thankfully the Mac side of things had a fairly recent Time Machine backup I could restore from, so the majority of my stuff was fine. Sadly, my Windows partition was not backed up and the only data it contained was homework for this year’s classes. Thankfully it is the start of the term and I don’t have much to redo, but I’ll be backing up that partition the next time. I may have to build myself a NAS box soon as my backups are getting a little too large for my backup drive.

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  1. Even if you don’t have a dedicated NAS, I cannot advocate RAID enough for saving your homework from hard drive failure.

  2. Ya, I agree RAID is a good plan. My laptop doesn’t have 2 drives in it (though I’ve contemplated replacing the DVD drive with a second) so for now I use a USB backup with Time Machine. While I know you can get similar incremental backups with countless other programs that are cross platform, I have to admit that Time Machine does make recovering from a problem really simple. All I had to do was pop in the OS X disc and say “Restore from Time Machine Backup” and a couple hours later I was back to my old system. I’m thinking I’ll setup a FreeNAS box soon and that software supports Time Machine backups with little to no fuss, so I won’t even have to worry about connecting a USB drive when I get home.