I didn’t know I wanted it, until I needed it…

timemachine

So a complete and total disaster has occurred, I mean a BIG one, to quote the late Douglas Adams (as I often do) – ‘bigger than the biggest thing ever’.

Due to a ridiculous turn of events, I dropped a rather sharp, heavy-ish object onto my iBook from a great height – by accident of course – slap bang on the area, to the left of the trackpad, just where the HD is.

This resulted in the iBook stopping dead in it’s tracks. It was happily playing iTunes to itself, and then – nothing. Black screen, dead.

Restarts resulted in the dreaded flashing OS 9-style folder – couldn’t find a startup disk.

That was in itself worrying, however when starting up from a CD, and running disk utility, it couldn’t even find the disk itself – it couldn’t be repaired, it was gone.

This wasn’t just worrying, it was terror inducing.

After a stiff drink and a think, I tried to calmly look at my options. I remembered that I had being backing up this computer, ever since I upgraded to Leopard using Time Machine.

Without me doing anything other than plugging the disk in occasionally, Leopard has quietly backed up everything on my now dead iBook, and I’m sure that somewhere in the back of my mind I had read an article on how to restore a whole disk using Time Machine.

A few clicks on my iPhone I had the article.

Grabbing a spare external HD, I plugged it and the Time Machine disk in, restarted from the Leopard CD, ran the ‘restore’ command, and it restored  my dead disk from its backup, also making it bootable on the way.

An hour later, I’m now typing this article from that system.

The poor little iBook needs a new HD, and it won’t cost the earth either. I should have it back in a couple of days, with a brand new and bigger HD to restore that backup to.

This to me sums up why I use a Mac. The one technology that Leopard introduced that I didn’t really care for was Time Machine. It has now saved my system.

It runs smoothly and unobtrusively in the background, quietly doing its thing. It has little or no features, you can’t configure it much, and it’s about the most simple backup out there.

But it works. It – just – works.

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