PowerBook hard drive fails again

What is it with hard drives nowadays? They don't seem to be able to last even one year. Last October my hard drive broke down, and now I am having a very similar experience. The OS slowed down dramatically yesterday evening. I shut it down. This morning the mouse did not work. So I rebooted holding the apple-S key which led me into single user mode where I ran the following:

localhost:/ root# fsck -f
\*\* /dev/rdisk0s3
\*\* Root file system
\*\* Checking HFS Plus volume.
\*\* Checking Extents Overflow file.
\*\* Checking Catalog file.
disk0s3: I/O error.
     Invalid node structure
(4, 43043)
\*\* Volume check failed

Well, I'd better get a new Hard Drive I suppose. With a bit of luck I will be able to copy all my data over to the new drive and not have to fly back to France to get my (a little stale) backup.

Update

As I could not wait 10 days for the Apple Store here to replace my internal hard drive, I bought an external 80GB firewire Drive, installed OSX on it, and copied as much of the important information as was possible over. A lot of files are innaccessible, but I managed to get most of what I needed. When I get back home the backup should do the rest. In the meantime I have not lost that much as all of my code is on external version control servers anyway, and for my mail I use an ldap server which keeps a copy of my mail. I'll probably keep this external drive until I get a new laptop, which I am hopting to do soon, perhaps as soon as apple comes out with something using the 64bit intel chips that are to come out at the end of this month.

Some points to take away from this:

  • Apple: make it easier for users to replace their own hard drives, so that your overworked service centers can get things done more quickly.
  • Portable external hard drives are probably a good idea anyway. It makes it easier to do backups more often.
  • Do backups often. I am really looking forward to the next release of OSX with its inbuilt history mechanism.

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