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This is a case for having a backup plan, not dumping Apple. I trust you have one now. Best of luck.


I use Macs and pcs - pobably 50/50 and there are + and - to both.
However, possibly because pcs are cheaper when they die you just pull the hd out, put it in a $5 case (bin/ebay the rest) and use it as external; over the years this has only once failed to keep my data.
I now have a drawer with hds ranging in size from 80GB - once in a while I'm very glad of it.
Keeping my fingers crossed you get your drive back... and you can access the data.

Joe Crawford

It is so painful to lose data.

It seems the only way to learn to backup is to go through the painful process of realizing data recovery is much more expensive than a solid backup plan.

Best of luck.

dan l

Yeah, I don't think you should dump Apple over this.

You should probably develop your own back up plan. Use an external drive or us an online service like drop box. When bad things happen to your OS, have a live disk handy to see if you can get the stuff out. It's not that big of a deal and you'll find yourself far less concerned with your data if you have your own plan in place.

Now don't get me wrong: when I hear customer service horror tales, it makes me a little uncomfortable too. You have every right to be pissed and let that take away from your brand perception. I'm just saying switching OS's may be a little extreme.

The thing is this: OSX, in most cases, is a vastly superior user experience to the alternative. What are you going to do? Start using Windows? Install some over priced anti-malware, spyware, deal with infinite random crashes, and enjoy the mediocrity of win7? Or, just wait so you can use 'metro' - the long awaited advance of the OS that nobody actually wants? Good luck. And if you think the warranty support will be better from HP, or ASUS, or MSI - more good luck. Even their 'premium' support models couldn't have helped you in this situation.


I think the point might be lost. The hard drive was not broken. The data was not corrupted. If I get the drive back, it would be simple to get the stuff out. In other words, Apple has become PC. I used to brag to PC people that when there are any problems with a PC, no one can help you, you're told to reinstall the OS (thus wiping out all your data), and you'll not learn how to solve any problems. Well, seems like the same situation here.
If one walks into this repair assuming 100% data loss, there isn't any reason whatsoever to pay $400 to do it. You basically end up with a new computer in an old frame with an old battery and an old OS. The only reason to do it is because there is a chance that I don't have to reinstall every program, change every configuration, etc.
But I do get the point about whether I can find alternatives. So this story is still needing an ending.


Does anyone have a backup solution in which (a) I can pick and choose which folders to backup (as opposed to pick and choose which ones to exclude as in the case of Time Machine) and (b) it saves the applications and configuration files (such as the bookmarks on a browser) so they could be recognized in a new computer?

dan l

I'm not a mac guru, but there may be something in the below links?


fwiw, I usually just get clever with drop box to facilitate backing up certain directories and let my browser get backed up by ffx's sync service.

"Apple has become PC"
That might be true. Have you been following mapgate?


The data was not corrupted. If I get the drive back, it would be simple to get the stuff out. In other words, Apple has become PC. I used to brag to PC people that when there are any problems with a PC, no one can help you, you're told to reinstall the OS (thus wiping out all your data all data)


Rule #1: Always make backups
Rule #2: Never buy Apple products

Phil H

Your problem is that although you enjoy the quality of Apple products, you are not so well monied that you don't care about the cost. Apples are for people with lots of money; you can't buy a Ferrari and then skimp on the servicing or repairs.

If you think that's not a fair comparison because Ferraris are red-painted status symbols whose purpose is largely to be expensive, then I think you need to take another look at the Apple-buying demographic.

I would like to welcome you warmly to the world of PC, and point out the availability of Ubuntu and dropbox.


I think people are really missing the point. The upside of going with Apple is that the customer service is usually better than when you go with a PC. In this case, the customer service was terrible. It sounds like the customer service rep was pretty much inventing a story to try to get him off the phone.

And the CSR saying one should never take any risk...wow. Basic biological necessities involve taking risks every day.


Just start doing backups and stop complaining.

Zurita Picard

I certainly agree with Emre. We should always have back up files specially. I remember when all the files in my husband's PC was formatted by our 5 year old son...it really turned his world upside down - for a month. (oh my!)


I've been meaning to give an update to this post. Apple was able to locate my hard drive. The people at the store examined the hard drive before returning it to me, and pronounced it "functioning perfectly". So there was no need to swap it, nothing was ever erased from it, and most certainly no notes existed to say it was erased. I got a shell for the drive and it certainly is functioning perfectly.

If the original rep was handling my case, without interference from the other one, this whole experience could have been a major plus for Apple. I'd have been totally psyched to get my drive back in perfect shape, and telling everyone about it. All's well that ends well.

For those screaming backups, I don't see why I should condone horrible, dishonest customer interactions, especially on a high-end product that is double the price of equivalents.


I just discovered this site and have been hungrily reading back through your posts, enjoyed it all until this post! I find it pretty confusing how inconsistent this post makes you seem.

1. for someone who seems to take data so seriously, it was a shame to know that you had a serious lack of a backup plan, even when you started having issues booting, that should've been the alarm bells you needed to back it up!

2. you of all people should be able to understand the misconceptions of judging something based on a single data point (maybe even an outlier), ie. your 1 bad experience with a certain customer service rep.

Anyway that's my two cents!

Richard Neva

Well, I am giving up on my Apple MacBook Air. The spinning wheel of death has got the best of me. It is on 80 percent of the time. I hate and it screws up what I have to do on it. I will never buy another!


Now that you revived this... I haven't abandoned Apple yet but here are another few things that have bugged me recently. (a) they keep removing useful ports from the Macbook (b) in Keynote, you no longer can open an old document and "Save As..." with a new name to start the workflow (c) in TextEdit, you no longer can save a file as *.txt, the lowest available option being *.rtf.
Especially with items (b) and (c), there is no reason to remove such options other than designer imperative.


It is a bit like a relationship. At times I'm not quite as in love with my Mac (actually an iMac, a MacBook Pro and two iPads) as I was. Then after a day with my no name Windows tower at work, a purely commercial arrangement where we are both in it just for the money, I come home to my Mac and it is love again. The software works beautifully in the main. Even the Microsoft stuff is better than on Windows. I use a lot of open source and it seems to work better than Windows equivalents. We won't even talk about my Android phone. She is cheap and not that easy, but I usually just use it to make phone calls or as a Wi-fi hotspot to use with an iPad.

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