My Apple iMac died
So last Thursday, after finishing up a photo assignment, I came home about midnight, very tired. Showered and wanted to check emails for a while, only to find that the computer was not responding. It was warm to the touch. At first I thought that there was a power outage, maybe the power supply was cut and the computer didn't reboot. I pressed the start button, after a while, I was greeted not with the familiar Apple logo, but in its place was a folder icon with a question mark on it. Being the first time encountering this situation, I was quite curious, thinking to myself maybe the boot sector or something got corrupted and it could not find the hard disk, or it could be a physical problem.
First time opening up my iMac.
I was having a bit of trouble with the hard disk for a few months now. And from previous experience, I have started using Time Machine. Which automatically backs up the whole drive hour upon hour. But it was kinda laggy so I only did it when I'm free and when I remember. Which was pretty bad because the last round of back up I did was two weeks ago. While I didn't shoot any new stuff, I was clearing my old photos from the recent trip. Those work are confirmed gone. =(
Still I suppose it could have been worse. So after 10 mins I gave up trying and went to bed.
Next morning asked my friend to help me get me a new hard disk. If the controllers are bad, I would have a spare storage hard disk (in case I needed to buy a new computer), but if it was only hard disk failure, I can use the new hard disk. Part of me wanted the iMac not to be repaired so I can update my system to a newer faster machine, the other part of me wanted the iMac to be repaired cos in reality, I do not want to spend the money, especially after my long trip. I actually had been comtemplating to upgrade the hard disk for a while now. Just that I never had any excuse to do so. Also I had never taken apart an iMac before. That was kind of new and exciting.
Just before breakfast, I went out to grab some torx screwdrivers from the local 100% discount store. Got me a set for under RM 5.00. Then had breakfast. and went back home did my study online, on how to open up and extract the hard disk.
By noon, the new hard disk was already in my hand. WD 1.0 Tb.
I was kind of surprise as there were not much of dust gathered in the vents and fans. The iMac has never been opened up for four years. Its running 24/7. Maybe fans run at low speed do not attract as much dust as fans that always go on high speed. My gaming rig, basically can see the dust gather after 3 months. Ugh. I used a paint brush and my trusty Goittos dust blower to remove as much dust as I can. Seriously, that is not much dust for a four year old machine!
The iMac is not only beautiful on the outside, its also beautiful on the inside.
So I put everything back together. And booted the system. On the first try, still gave me the blinking question mark on folder icon. So I switch on my back up drive. It went and boot from the backup, giving me options to reinstall, or to restore. I hit restore, but could not see the new hard disk. I thought I had made some error when installing the new hard disk. So I switch everything off, and took the iMac apart, again. Removed the hard disk and installed it into my gaming pc. It was detecting it, hmm.. So I reinstalled it back into the iMac, but this time I didn't put the front in. Just want to see if everything is working.
It turns out, in my haste I was not reading the model numbers correctly, I was assuming that the back up drive was the new drive. Doh. Which made me conclude that the system was not detecting the new hard disk. Secondly when I hit, restore. The first selection was for SOURCE. I (again) didn't read, thought it was the TARGET drive. Wasted the effort. So I shut everything down again. And put everything back in place. This time, not so cleanly, I can see a few specs of dust on my screen now. Its between the outer panel and the LCD panel =.= got to clean it one of these days.
Anyways the restore took about 3 hours. And I got my computer back and running as if nothing happend in less than 6 hours. Well if I had been more deligent about backing up, I might not have lost all those post processed photos. Sigh. At least didnt lose much work.
kinda strange that now I have enough hard disk space, where as before Im always thinking of ways to move things about...
So the lesson is, back up deligently ! Also I can open up the iMac very easily now, haha.
Photos and videos taken with my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone. \o/