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How to avoid a Carrie Bradshaw moment

I was sitting comfortably on the couch in front of the TV a few weeks ago, adding new contacts to the J. Franklyn Bourne Bar Association‘s email list when suddenly my Mac started moving at a snail’s pace. I didn’t panic — I just simply closed all of my open applications and clicked restart, a process that took an unprecedented five minutes.

Of course, that didn’t resolve the issue, and then it took another 15 minutes for another restart. Something was really wrong but maybe I needed to do a complete shutdown. Nope. A shutdown didn’t fix the problem because it took about 20 minutes to load up. I was in big trouble!

I quickly pulled out my external drive in an attempt to backup. My mind was focused on saving my pictures, my documents, my music, my pictures and my pictures. Once I connected my external drive, I sat back and watched the screen. It indicated that it was “processing” and it “processed” for 30 minutes. By that point I was frustrated and exhausted so I ended the backup, disconnected the external drive and shut the Mac down.

I restarted, waited another 20 minutes for everything to load and plugged in the external drive. I figured since there was a lot of information to backup, it probably needed to run overnight, so I let the Mac do its thing while I was sleeping. I didn’t get much sleep because I was too worried about the situation. I woke up at 5:30 a.m. and found that the backup was still “processing.” That is when my frustration turned into panic. My last backup was Aug. 25, 2011. That wasn’t good.

I had a Carrie Bradshaw moment. If you are fan of “Sex and the City,” you probably remember the episode where Carrie’s laptop died. She hadn’t backed up and lost years of her work. At least I had backed up, but I still felt that I had lost both arms.

I did a quick analysis of the situation. I wasn’t too concerned about my documents because I usually saved them on my thumb drive or emailed them to someone. I purchased my music so I could always get my songs from iTunes. My contacts were on my phone. But what about my pictures?

The thought of having to buy a new Mac and losing almost a year’s worth of information stayed in my mind all day. Eventually, I was able to think rationally and I figured I would try to copy my pictures to my external drive. I rushed home after working late and headed straight for my Mac. There were more than 2,000 pictures to copy so it took all night. Thankfully, I woke up the next morning to find that the copy was a success.

The only thing left to do was take my Mac to Apple’s Genius Bar and find out its actual diagnosis. Not surprisingly, it was a dead hard drive, which I sent out to get replaced.

The moral of the story: remember to back up and back up regularly. You never know when that reliable electronic device you love so much will one day become not so reliable.