ENTRIES
Welcome to Eric Cheng's online journal! You are not logged in. [ Log in ]
«  :: index ::  »

Hardware failure (and why I’m glad I’m prepared)

:: Saturday, November 29th, 2008 @ 10:13:04 pm

:: Tags:

I’ve seen three disks fail here on the ship in the past two days; it’s terrifying to think about computer failure during such a long time out at sea.

About 15 minutes ago, I had a drive failure scare. My Mac froze suddenly while I was working in Aperture, and I had to force a hard reboot. When it started up again, I got the dreaded flashing question mark folder, and no amount of restarting the machine allowed for a successful boot. Luckily, I travel with DiskWarrior 4 on a USB stick1, and it managed to rebuild the volume successfully. I was so relieved.

What if I hadn’t had a copy of DiskWarrior handy? I might have been seriously screwed.

In my computer bag, I travel with the following things:

  1. DiskWarrior on USB flash drive
  2. Mac OS 10.5 Leopard installer on USB flash drive
  3. Full, bootable backup on external drive (encrypted)
  4. Useful software installers on an external drive
  5. Numerous external drives
  6. Numerous USB flash drives

If you are a frequent traveler and don’t travel with DiskWarrior, an operating system installer disc, and an external drive to which you backup frequently, you are asking for trouble!


  1. I don’t have an optical drive in my notebook anymore, so I transferred my copy of DiskWarrior onto a USB flash drive. 

| M/V Steve Irwin | link | trackback | Nov 29, 2008 22:13:04
  • http://tow.com Adam

    I just had a drive mysteriously stop working myself today. I finished a SuperDuper backup of my MBP and was going to backup the iMac to the same drive (two partitions). When I plugged the drive into the iMac, it said that the disk was unreadable! Plugging the drive into the MBP returned the same error. Sadly, my version of Disk Warrior is old, so I reformatted the drive and am starting the SuperDuper copy again.

  • cor

    Eric, I combine the install image and the backup on 1 disk. Just made 2 partitions, both bootable. Gotta get myself diskwarrior though.

  • http://deepdreams.com Rogier

    New Macbook and MB Pro’s have a very easy to swap HD. If / when you get one of these it might be handy to have a ready to go back-up drive to pop in there. While keeping track of changes with time machine or an other back-up app. Just put the drive in place. Hit restore from back-up and go for diner / dive… Still having diskwarior on a stick as well as bootable copy of Leopard is very very helpful indeed.

  • Pingback: Around the web | alexking.org

  • Tae Kim

    Hey Eric, do you just copy over diskwarrior icon to your USB flash drive or do you disk image it? Any reason to use a USB flash drive vs. just having it on a external bootable HD? And then plug it in when you boot off an external HD to get it to work?

    Also how do you put a Leopard installer on a USB drive? Do you make it into a DVD image?

  • Tae Kim

    How often to you run Diskwarrior? Monthly? I just bought a copy today because you recommended it. I can’t afford to lose data. I think I’m going to run Diskwarrior 1) rebuild file directoy 2) File/repair disk permissions+check files every month before I do a superduper backup. I also have a TimeMachine USB ext. drive going too for double backup coverage.

  • Tae Kim

    Sorry for the 3rd message in a row. Someone said I should run AppleJack, then run Disk Warrior, and then do my monthly SuperDuper backup. What do you think of that as a monthly routine? Is AppleJack known to be good?

  • http://echeng.com echeng

    Tae – I only run DiskWarrior when I have some kind of failure. Google searches should answer your other questions about putting bootable volumes on USB drives…

ARCHIVES
Journal Home
Where is Eric? (password)
Stuff for Sale
February 2014 (2)
December 2013 (1)
October 2013 (1)
June 2013 (3)
May 2013 (2)
April 2013 (3)
March 2013 (1)
February 2013 (2)
January 2013 (3)
November 2012 (2)
October 2012 (3)
September 2012 (8)
August 2012 (8)
July 2012 (8)
June 2012 (8)
May 2012 (5)
April 2012 (8)
March 2012 (15)
February 2012 (7)
January 2012 (6)
December 2011 (8)
November 2011 (10)
October 2011 (12)
September 2011 (8)
August 2011 (14)
July 2011 (9)
June 2011 (9)
May 2011 (11)
April 2011 (11)
March 2011 (12)
February 2011 (23)
January 2011 (22)
December 2010 (16)
November 2010 (17)
October 2010 (26)
September 2010 (24)
August 2010 (24)
July 2010 (30)
June 2010 (26)
May 2010 (21)
April 2010 (26)
March 2010 (19)
February 2010 (17)
January 2010 (29)
December 2009 (21)
November 2009 (23)
October 2009 (32)
September 2009 (19)
August 2009 (34)
July 2009 (21)
June 2009 (30)
May 2009 (23)
April 2009 (18)
March 2009 (6)
February 2009 (25)
January 2009 (5)
December 2008 (6)
November 2008 (22)
October 2008 (27)
September 2008 (25)
August 2008 (34)
July 2008 (34)
June 2008 (32)
May 2008 (26)
April 2008 (15)
March 2008 (19)
February 2008 (31)
January 2008 (43)
December 2007 (33)
November 2007 (29)
October 2007 (29)
September 2007 (9)
August 2007 (19)
July 2007 (10)
June 2007 (17)
May 2007 (26)
April 2007 (38)
March 2007 (39)
February 2007 (13)
January 2007 (35)
December 2006 (35)
November 2006 (14)
October 2006 (6)
September 2006 (20)
August 2006 (24)
July 2006 (32)
June 2006 (17)
May 2006 (23)
April 2006 (16)
March 2006 (16)
February 2006 (26)
January 2006 (33)
December 2005 (17)
November 2005 (21)
October 2005 (18)
September 2005 (17)
August 2005 (5)
July 2005 (15)
June 2005 (20)
May 2005 (25)
April 2005 (7)
March 2005 (22)
February 2005 (20)
January 2005 (38)
December 2004 (6)
November 2004 (24)
October 2004 (16)
September 2004 (22)
August 2004 (12)
July 2004 (17)
June 2004 (15)
May 2004 (11)
April 2004 (35)
March 2004 (40)
February 2004 (29)
January 2004 (36)
December 2003 (20)
November 2003 (18)
October 2003 (10)
September 2003 (18)
August 2003 (10)
July 2003 (34)
June 2003 (12)
May 2003 (49)
April 2003 (42)
March 2003 (42)
February 2003 (15)
January 2003 (7)
December 2002 (17)
November 2002 (19)
October 2002 (24)
September 2002 (22)
August 2002 (20)
July 2002 (21)
June 2002 (14)
May 2002 (15)
April 2002 (11)
March 2002 (13)
February 2002 (20)
January 2002 (17)
December 2001 (16)
Even Older Journal
Travel Journals

CATEGORIES / TAGS
(25) (2) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (6) (2) (3) (11) (8) (3) (1) (1) (4) (2) (4) (2) (1) (6) (1) (1) (1) (6) (2) (1) (1) (1) (3) (1) (5) (1) (1) (23) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (14) (1) (10) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (27) (6) (3) (2) (4) (4) (1) (1) (41) (11) (12) (4) (38) (1) (3) (2) (4) (1) (1) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (10) (25) (8) (3) (2) (3) (2) (1) (5) (1) (1) (2) (1) (1) (14) (1) (5) (1) (1) (5) (43) (1) (1) (1) (3) (24) (1) (1) (1) (1) (5) (1) (4) (1) (1) (10) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (1) (6) (5) (1) (1) (1) (3) (1) (3) (1) (1) (1) (69) (4) (3) (7) (3) (1) (16) (6) (1) (29) (1) (7) (1) (4) (4) (4) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (10) (4) (4) (2) (1) (89) (14) (1) (2) (79) (2) (2) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (1) (3) (2) (3) (1) (1) (24) (3) (5) (4) (1) (2) (1)
MOST POPULAR
Most Popular Posts of All Time


Eric Cheng's RSS Journal Journal RSS
Eric Cheng's RSS Journal Comments RSS

proudly powered by wordpress
script exec time: 0.54s
i hate computers.