When laptop disaster strikes

Photo: pickywallpapers.com
Photo: pickywallpapers.com

A fresh slate is supposed to be a good thing, though I’m having trouble convincing myself of that fact. My one-year-old MacBook Air died all of a sudden yesterday morning, just as I’d bought a delicious latte and was settling in at a coffee shop table for a few peaceful hours of writing. After a failed attempt at trouble-shooting, a rushed forty-minute drive to the Apple dealer, and a diagnostic test, I learned that the Solid State Drive had destroyed itself somehow. “You just got a bad one,” the dealer told me. “There’s nothing you could have done.” All my data is gone. And the embarrassing answer to the question you’re probably wondering is, no, I hadn’t been backing it up. Lesson No. 1: Learn how to use Time Machine.

To make matters worse, the warranty ran out two weeks ago and I hadn’t purchased the AppleCare extended warranty. Bad choice, hence Lesson No. 2: Always buy the extended warranty. The silver lining in this cloud, however, is that I got on the phone with Apple customer service, talked with a very nice man from California, explained my predicament, and, after some three-way talks with the dealer, Apple has agreed to make an exception in my case and extend full warranty coverage for this repair. Thank you, Apple.

So my new-old computer will be returning to me mid-week, looking exactly as it did a year ago when I first pulled it out of its shiny white box. There will be no traces of the heavy use it’s endured over the past months except for the mysterious scratch on the space key that one of dear children inflicted and the miniscule gouge on the side that occurred when Jason scraped it against a stone door frame in the Doge’s Palace in Venice. The drive will be empty, blank, fresh.

I can’t help but be thankful for having an online writing job, so that most everything I’ve worked on this past year is still accessible to me. What I lament most of all, though, is the loss of a year’s photos of my children. Thanks to my blog, Facebook, and Instagram, I still have some, but gone are the photos from our Europe trip, from birthdays and holidays, from those random moments when I’ve caught the boys’ hilarious expressions.

I’m trying to look at the upside of things. After all, I’m a purger by nature. I erase all photos from my phone every time I upload them to my computer because I hate clutter. I usually hate duplicates (though not when backed up!). Starting over is a way for me to actually minimize the number of photos I take and keep. I’ve been trying lately not to take so many pictures because it distracts me from the actual moment I’m enjoying. I want to remember more things in my mind.

My lessons have been learned the hard way. I’m bummed, but there are still a few things I’m very grateful for: first, that Apple is covering the cost of a very pricey repair, that will likely cost more than half of what I paid for the laptop; and second, that I didn’t have any irreplaceable book manuscript saved on that computer that would be lost forever. (Although, in that case, I certainly hope I would have been backing it up.) I’ll be more careful next time.

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6 thoughts on “When laptop disaster strikes

  1. These things are horrible when they happen but it only happens once.

    They will probably send you an entirely new computer, they are almost impossible to open. If you use pages instead of word (a simpler better processor) , it will save automatically to the icloud and back it up painlessly (although I also have an external hard drive to do time machine backups).

    When I switched to Mac, before I bought my new macbook that is virtually un-repairable, I sought advice and was told by friends that the 3 year extended warranty is an absolute must-have.

  2. I told all my friends to buy an external hard drive for their family pictures, since we don’t seem to print them anymore.. As Andrea mentioned the USB key (now 8 GB) for under $10. is also a good idea.

  3. That really sucks. I can show you how to set up back-ups if you’d like. I backup my whole hard drive and Catherine’s every hour, and backup all photos to an online service for $5 a month, in case a fire or theft destroys both the original and backup.

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