Tuesday, November 13, 2007


A few years a go, I bought an Apple laptop. It lasted until early this year, when it finally just stopped working. (Even though for the last few months of its existence, it wouldn't work unless it was plugged in, killing the "laptop" concept.) I took it to the Apple Store in New York, and when I asked one of the "geniuses" at the "Genius Bar" what was wrong with it, he told me, and I quote, "I have no idea." So, instead of paying the 200 bucks just to have it sent somewhere to find out what the problem was, I just bought a new laptop. Fortunately, I was able to salvage everything from the old one.

My new laptop arrived in May. Immediately, it started having this wacky little problem where it turned off whenever it wanted to, with no warning. Then, it started having the same problem as the last one, where it would only work when plugged in. If the cat knocked out the power chord, it would flick off. After about five months total, it complete stopped working. I turned it on, and a question mark flashed at me. I tried what was suggested to solve this problem, but the thing just wasn't recognizing my hard drive. Today, I went to the Apple Store in Cambridge. Guy told me the hard drive was totally corrupt, and that everything was gone, and there was nothing he could do.

I asked him what happened.

"I have no idea," replied the genius. Two for two.

So, the 2,500 or so pictures I took this summer are all gone, except for the ones I posted here. Fortunately, all the stuff from my old laptop is still around, in Chan's computer, but anything I've done since May is gone. (I did upload the AL East and AL Championship celebrations into my girlfriend's computer just in case, so I've got all those.)

Next time you walk past an Apple Store, take a brick--the larger the better--and fire it through their window. Tell your friends to do the same. When the manager comes out and asks what happened, tell him, "I have no idea."

Ouch man. Hard drive losses rule.

May I suggest Flickr as a free-or-cheap photo backup site?

Also, depending on the value of the hard drive to you, there's almost no way that it broke in a way that truly cannot be recovered- just depends how much you want to spend.

Wouldn't be the worst idea to have your neighborhood dork look at it and at least tell you the extent of the damage.

NEVER trust the apple store folk.
CC Cy Young....what a major gaffe by the voters
don't throw it out! i'll look at it--let me be that neighborhood dork. i'll put your old backup on some dvds and mail them to you.

flickr is not a bad idea as some sort of safety net.

mac rules by the way.
That is a good illustration of why you should never name your store "The Genius Bar." The guys who work there must get annoyed at the higher-ups for deciding to call it that. I wonder how many times a day angry customers sarcastically snap "thanks a lot genius!" at them.

Macs have some good features, but their repair policies aren't one.
When my mother board dies (that's the diagnosis I always get), a computer nerd (and they're always called Gary), ends up giving me the laptop's guts which contain everything that turns out not to gone after all. And then the ubiqitous Gary saves everything to disks. I remember that it wasn't too expensive.
Dad says, "You must have a warranty if it's only five months."
It was under warranty--they did "fix" the hard drive, and I'm using it right now, with a new battery, too. But I'd rather have all the stuff I lost.
If I could click on that brick to big-ify it, I would...then I'd throw it and run like hell...hopefully, that brick would hit someone buying an I-Phone, because man, are those people fucking annoying...always holding their phone just so and scrolling through them just so you know it's an I-Phone...maybe we're gonna need a few more bricks.
Do you still have the old hard drive? There's plenty of places you can send it and get most of your data back for pretty cheap (~$100).
Thanks, man.

This is getting worse as I'm realizing I did the one thing that made there be no chance of recovering anything. I told the guy the problem, and I thought he was fixing it, instead he was re-doing the hard drive. I asked him a million times if there was anything I could do to get the stuff back and he said no every time. He should've said, "yes, DON'T have me re-image the hard drive" or whatever.

Chan says I should just look at it this way: he was probably right that there was nothing that could be done anyway.

But then I think of how the guy was helping me AND someone else simultaneously, so he probably wasn't even listening to my questions.
Now I just read STJ's comment. Read my above comment, and tell me if you think I can still get it back. I don't know what I have. It's the same laptop, the guy just "re-imaged" the hard drive, I guess. This is killing me. I thought going to the store and "getting it fixed" was the way to actually fix the thing, not lose everything I had. This is bullshit.
(Got an error, so if this is a double post sorry)

It sounds like he reformatted your hard drive and presumably then reinstalled your OS. In that case, it would take a lot of money and probably wouldn't recover all of the data. Once you start overwriting the data a couple of times, you're in big time forensic territory.

Sorry Jere :(
I don't get why this "genius" wouldn't have told me that there WAS a chance of getting stuff back.

He did give me a new OS because it's, like, a higher number than the old one.
Jere, my sincerest condolences to you for the loss of your files! That must be a terrible feeling. I can't believe the bad luck you have had with your Macs. Hang in there.
Thanks. As I recall from your blog, you've had success with yours. (My girlfriend has, too--she also has the non-laptop variety of Mac. Then again, Chan's laptops are all totally fine.) So, I wish you continued success with yours--and don't forget to back up your files!

By the way, the reason I never did flickr--well, besides the fact that I don't like the setup, I just thought, well, what if it folds and I lose everything? Therefore, I'd have to keep the pics in my computer as a back up. And as long as I was gonna keep them in my iPhoto anyway, why put them in flickr? (It made more sense in my head.)
Boy, if that happened to me, I wouldn't have lost all those precious photos, only because I don't have any....I feel for you. I gess there's not that much precious stuff in my life right now...I just broke up with a g/f, so I'm a little sad. I DO use a MAC desktop, and no problems......
I'd have recommended Tekserve on W 23rd Street just off 6th Avenue:

They know more than those "Geniuses" from Apple
I just bought an external hard drive for back-up. It wasn't very expensive and really helped me move files from my pc to my macbook. 250GB for about $120. Well worth the investment...
I was about to do that...when the last laptop died. Since I was getting a brand new one, I just put the old stuff into the new one, which promptly died an even harsher death a few months later... I figured just having the new one was good enough, but I guess not.

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