Did Leopard Kill My Hard Drive?


Early on in my computer life I was told by a friend to back up my data in preparation for the inevitable day when my hard drive would fail. “All hard drives fail,” he used to say. I’ve been using computers since 1986 and have never had a hard drive fail. Well last week it finally happened. Oddly enough it was only a week after I installed the latest version of the Mac OS X operating system Leopard. Was this coincidence? My Mac G5 would not boot to my hard drive. A sinking feeling came over me. Quickly I called the Apple help line. First level support at Apple tried a number of things and couldn’t help, so they transferred me to the next tier. In second level land, a young man named Michael was really patient. He walked me through lots of procedures and then concluded that it was most likely a hardware failure and asked me if there was an Apple store with a Genius Bar close by. There fortunately is one about 5 miles away, so I packed up my very heavy G5 and went in. John the genius in the Northbrook Court Apple store came to the dead hard drive conclusion in less than 5 minutes. He offered to handle the problem for me, but said that I could easily take care of it myself more quickly (they didn’t have a hard drive in stock) and much more cheaply. They helped me back out to my car (pouring down rain) and I went to Best Buy where I bought a new Serial ATA hard drive for $160.00.

Less that 3 hours later I had the new drive in, formatted and OSX Leopard loaded on. So how I’m sure you are asking. Did I have my data backed up? Well of course. I’m back in business, all up to speed the next day.


My experience with Apple was really great. I spoke with only American based tech support. They were polite, gave me their direct dial number and called me back within 5 minutes of getting a voice message from me. Felt so supported all along the way. And the Genius Bar experience was also fantastic. From the online booking process to the hands on one-to-one support, and it was all free to me. My G3 is four years old and no longer under warranty, but I was treated as if my machine was only one day old.

But I’m still a bit unsure if the upgrade caused the problem. Guess I’ll never really know.

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