Bad blocks! Bad!

Well. It had to hap­pen, right? After twen­ty years of active com­put­ing, a hard dri­ve has gone south on me. Oh, I’ve had dri­ve hic­cup before, but I’ve had time to retrieve my data before the plat­ters froze up. And I’ve lost more than one Zip disk to the Click of Death. Inter­est­ing­ly, I don’t think I used flop­pies enough to keep track of cat­a­stroph­ic fail­ures. But I’ve nev­er lost an entire hard dri­ve until now. And actu­al­ly, that’s still not entire­ly true. The thing will work for a few min­utes, but it even­tu­al­ly encoun­ters what I think must be a bad block, and starts to pow­er cycle with­out end. I’ve tried numer­ous util­i­ties, I’ve tried refor­mat­ting it (I am told that will iden­ti­fy and lock out any bad blocks), I’ve tried tap­ping it firm­ly on the side. No good.

It is, of course, out of war­ran­ty.

This is my first dri­ve fail­ure, but unlike so many first times, I had a back­up. I backed that dri­ve up night­ly (using Apple’s .Mac Back­up pro­gram, which is not the best, but served in this case), so I lost one import of dig­i­tal pho­tos, which I hap­pened to still have on the media card in the cam­era. (You see, I stopped hav­ing iPho­to erase the pic­tures off the card when down­load­ing, after hear­ing about a guy who did that and had iPho­to crash while down­load­ing the images, and so he lost them, in both places.) So real­ly, I lost noth­ing.

I count myself lucky. And I will be buy­ing anoth­er dri­ve posthaste, so I can con­tin­ue with the back­up plan.

It hap­pened to me, it can hap­pen to you. You’ve been warned.