Friday, May 12, 2006

dain bramaged computer


I got paid today, which means I can take my computer out for repairs tomorrow. I'll end up with either my current, crusty old hard drive repaired (and its data recovered, we hope) or a spanking new (and, we hope, cheap) internal drive for my ancient Mac G4.

Macintosh's unpopularity in Korea means a good bit of inconvenience: hardware and software will be more expensive, and Mac centers are few and far between. But there's a distinct positive: it's highly unlikely that any given Mac center in Korea will be crowded. I'm hoping this will be the case tomorrow.

(Then again, you could argue that the scarcity of Mac stores forces all Mac owners to converge on the same few locations. But that theory doesn't explain why the Mac store at Yongsan's Jeonja Land was empty when I went there a few months ago.)

Wish me luck, then. I have no idea what sort of bill I'm in for. If you have any ideas about how to get the best, cheapest, and fastest deal, let me know.

A recap for those wishing to dispense advice: my Mac's internal 10GB (don't laugh) hard drive died this past Sunday, i.e., almost a week ago. I'm pretty sure the problem has to do with the read/write arm, which is why I'm hearing a noise like a glass marble bouncing on a hard plastic surface. The data on that drive are not crucial to me, but a full retrieval would be nice (otherwise, I have to reinstall a shitload of programs and install Mac OS 9.1 to access very old data files). If it turns out that my drive is kaput, I'll have to get a new one, but given how old the Mac is and how little money I have, I'd prefer to get a cheap internal drive (hell, if they've got a 20-gig drive for cheap, I'll take it).

Question: would it be better and simpler to get an unformatted internal drive from somewhere other than the Mac store? Anyone with experience maintaining a Mac in Korea is welcome to comment, as are others with good ideas.

And no: the solution is NOT to buy a PC and convert to the Way of Bill Gates.



Jason said...

Sure, you should be able to buy a generic serial Ultra ATA 66 drive and reformat it in your tower without any problem.

But wouldn't a nice new Intel Mac Mini really make your day?

Anonymous said...

I'd wager significant money that the contents of your HD are gone. I wasn't there, I didn't hear the noise it made, so I could be wrong, but based on my limited experience, once the drive starts acting up, you might as well kiss the data on it goodbye.

If the failure did not involve actual damage to the platters inside, you might find a data recovery service that could disassemble the drive and fix the fault or transfer your platters into a compatible HD container so the data could be transferred. But over here in the States, that kind of service isn't cheap.

IMO, your best option would be to buy two reasonable-size drives-- I have an 80 GB in my G4, installed in 7/2004, still only half-full:

(note: the JB in WD800JB denotes fluid bearings, nice and quiet)-- and start getting aquainted with/using some kind of backup software.

Your G4 has ample room inside for adding a second drive, and power supply connectors to spare.

You can configure the energy saver (system preferences of OS X) to sleep the HD(s) whenever possible... this makes them live longer.

R said...

Come over to the dark side Kevin.

If Bill Gates shits you, you can always run Linux like all the other uber dorks.

10 gig... snicker.

I know people say, 'It's not the size that counts, it's how you use it'...but...

Kevin Kim said...

Jason-- If you're saying you'd like to buy such a Mac and send it my way, then yes, that would definitely make my day.

Anonymous-- Thanks.

Rory-- They spell it "dingoes" in Oz. I looked in an Aussie dictionary.