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Apple Desktops Discussion of Apple's desktop machines including Mac Pro, iMac, Power Mac, and mini

iMac 27 and 21.5 hard drive failure - Frustrated

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Member Since: Oct 20, 2012
Posts: 3
cajuntec is on a distinguished road

cajuntec is offline
I'll preface this by saying that:
1) I am new here
2) I'm posting this as a "Don't let this happen to you" - Not a bash on Mac. Just a warning to others so they don't go through what I just did.
3) I still love my iMac computer(s) (I just bought a 21.5, and already owned a 27)
4) I've learned the value of an external back-up drive.

OK... the story:

Two years and three months ago, I purchased the best computer I've ever owned - my iMac 27. I held off from buying a Mac for so long due to price and my unfamiliarity with the system. Although there have been some growing pains over the last two years, mostly with trying to find programs that work with it, the different buttonology, and such, for the most part I've been extremely happy with my iMac 27.

A few weeks ago, I was getting ready to do my college homework on a Saturday and low and behold, I have the "Spinning Beach Ball of Death" that I've heard some others talk about. After going through a one hour plus phone call with a woman who really didn't sound like she wanted to help me, I was told that I was going to have to take it in to the Apple store, as my hard drive was not accessible at all. I have to give a huge thumbs up to the Apple store employees at La Cantera mall in San Antonio. Top notch people. Unfortunately, none of my data was recoverable. My files showed "0" when she tried to check things with the "Triage Drive" they use.

Oh well - All of that week's homework needed to be redone, and I lost all of my fishing files, Cub Scout progress data (I'm a den leader), work spreadsheets, pictures, etc... Pretty much 2 plus years of data - Gone. I didn't have a backup drive, but I do now. I bought a G Drive mini, 500 GB when I brought my iMac 27 in for repair. I also bought a brand new 21.5 iMac so I could finish my own homework, as well as have a new computer for my wife, as she is also going back to college for a second degree.

No big deal, although I was upset that I lost all my data. But then yesterday I got a kind of virtual "slap to the face", as I received this email:

Dear iMac owner,

Apple has determined that certain 1TB Seagate hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems may fail. These systems were sold between October 2009 and July 2011.

Our records show that you have an iMac with an affected 1TB Seagate hard drive. Apple will replace your hard drive with a new one, free of charge, under the iMac 1TB Seagate Hard Drive Replacement Program.


Wish I would have received that email about two weeks ago! Now it just feels like salt being rubbed into the wound a bit.

Anyway - To remain positive - This is just to help anyone else that may have an affected computer. Don't lose all your data like I did. Contact Apple to see if your computer is affected. Of note - even though my iMac 27 was sold to me in 2010, it was built in 2009. I found that out when getting the hard-drive replaced. Don't wait - check yours to make sure!

All the best,
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Member Since: Jan 23, 2009
Location: Born in Scotland, Worked in Scotland then England, Now live in Wales
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Mac Specs: 2010 27" iMac 16GB RAM, SSD & 1TB IHD (Mavericks) + 2013 27" iMac Fusion SSD & 3TB IHD, 32GB (Maver

IWT is offline
Dear Glen

One might add, as an even more important conclusion, that none of your data would have been lost if you had kept an up-to-date backup, say, via Time Machine or via one of the cloning apps such as SuperDuper! or CCC.

I am not being smug or condescending, just reminding everybody that drives fail for whatever reason and backing up is crucial. External HDs for such purposes are very inexpensive versus the price of the computer and the data being protected.

Still, I'm very sorry about your loss.

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Member Since: Oct 20, 2012
Posts: 3
cajuntec is on a distinguished road

cajuntec is offline
You are absolutely correct, and I did not take your post as smug or condescending. You seem to be reaffirming my whole reason for posting this, so I think my post is doing the job I intended it to do. I appreciate the response.

I'm not a huge computer guru at all. I have coworkers that frequently walk me through setups or recommend that I do something to my computer, and several have recommended backing up my data, but I never did. I put off buying a back-up drive because I had never experienced a hard-drive failure. I also had not experimented with Time Machine. I'm kind of a "plug it in and go to work" computer user, which unfortunately is not a good way to deal with these machines. We pay so much for something with a ton of features, but then people like me don't take advantage of the built-in goodies that we should.

It's a lesson learned the hard way - But trust me - It's a lesson "learned". I'm doing everything in my power to not let it happen again, and my friends and family are now getting the lecture too - Back up your data, or risk losing it!

Thanks for the "condolences".

All the best,
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