Monthly Archive for December, 2008

Hard Drive Failure

I decided to blame my recent lack of postings due to a computer problem. My hard drive dying caused me to spend about two weeks without my laptop. My Macbook Pro froze one day when I left it alone for a few hours. I tried restarting it, and it couldn’t find the drive. After some troubleshooting I suspected that my hard drive was dead. I went to the apple store that weekend to pay a visit to the genius bar. They confirmed the death of my hard drive. Rather than paying their exuberant installation costs I decided to try installing one myself. I ordered a new one on for around $80. It is a Seagate Momentus like my old one but this one has 200GB, double the capacity.

 old and new hard drives side by side

The installation didn’t go as expected. After buying tiny torx screwdrivers and taking apart my laptop everything seemed to be going fine. Swapping out the old hard drive with the new one wasn’t so bad. I ran into a little bit of trouble putting it back together. There were so many screws that were taken off that I put one in the wrong hole. The hole I put it in was the hole that is used for the adapter when hooking up an external monitor. The screw was stuck firmly. The biggest problem was when I finally got the case back together and turned the laptop on, the screen was black. Nothing turned on. I had no idea what went wrong and once again slid into a sea of frustration.

Luckily Steve, one of my co-workers took the laptop home with him one weekend and was able to fix it! I was elated. He disassembled the laptop completely, even taking the motherboard out. This way he was able to take the screw out that I put in the wrong place. He put on some paste that dissipates heat onto the part of the motherboard that touches the heat sink. When he put it everything back together, the laptop started fine!

I’m glad I didn’t have to buy a new laptop. They recently came out with new Macbook Pros but they don’t seem to have any new features that make their purchase really compelling. Instead I decided to spend a fraction of the cost and upgrade my laptop so it will last me for at least another year. My new hard drive has double the capacity; I upgraded the OS from tiger to leopard, and maxed out the ram from 1.5 to 2GBs.

I had an external hard drive but I didn’t back up my files on a regular basis. This caused me to lose some files, luckily none were extremely important. Now with time machine I am able to back up my files regularly and easily. With my old hard drive I allocated too little space on the windows partition. After installing Windows XP I only had about 5 GBs to work with. Now I allocated 32GBs to the windows partition and the rest to the OSX partition. Well enough of my computer adventures, I’m back online and back in business! I will try to squeeze out another post before New Years. Don’t worry there are a lot more posts in backlog. Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukah!