Tag Archives: MacBook Pro

Damaged Drives and A Wintery Pause

It’s been an odd week — I can’t say otherwise. I had a catastrophic hard drive failure on one of my MacBook Pro computers, so I spent an entire week getting things sorted out.

We have no authorized Apple stores anywhere near where we live in rural France and I didn’t fancy trying to ship off a computer when it was 3 weeks until Christmas. As it was, I was rather staggered when I spoke to one authorised Apple repair place outside of Paris and they quoted €99 for the diagnosis, over €500 for the new hard drive installation, and up to €1,000 to recover the information on the hard drive. I had called them on Skype and Mark heard the entire conversation. After I hung up, I turned to him saying, “If I have to spend that much money, I might as well wait until the after-Christmas sales and buy a new one!”

Through sheer stubbornness and bizarre optimism, I managed to clone the hard drive on the working computer, wipe and reformat the damaged hard drive on the dead one, load the cloned information over onto the wiped drive, and get the damaged one up and running again. I have no idea how long that drive will last, but trust me, it will get backed up every single day if new information goes onto it!

My really, REALLY amazing bit of handiwork though was recovering all of Mark’s ‘lost’ photos from Barcelona. I kept downloading test versions of expensive software programs that claimed to be able to ‘find’ images on digital camera drives even if they had been deleted. Day after day I tried program after program with no success until finally, amazingly, one of them showed me ALL of the photos on the SD cards. I was stunned since the computer said that they were empty, yet the software was clearly showing me the photos. And yes — I now have all 761 of Mark’s Barcelona images on both computers and on a back-up drive as well. Whew! It was an exhausting week of highs and lows that ended splendidly.

The rest of my photo essays from Salvadore Dali’s Museum in Figueres, Spain will be up soon. But this past weekend was spent doing things with the darling Mark since it was his birthday.

Gifts were presented on Sunday morning and then after a nice lunch in a nearby cafe, we took a drive in the countryside up into the Midi-Pyrenees mountains where Mark is currently working on a large barn-conversion-into-residence project. I knew that there was snow and ice up there since he had already gotten stuck in a ditch once this past week, had a ride inside the cab of the snowplow, and then he and the snowplow driver pulled him out of the ditch. But little did I know that he had a bit of an ‘adventure’ in mind for me.

Mark at barn-conversion-into-residence job site in the Midi-Pyrenees of France

We drove through Massat and then Mark turned onto a one lane road that had multiple hairpin turns and which wound higher and higher up that mountain range. I was getting white-knuckled by this time since there were no guard rails along the road, no place to pull off if there was any kind of difficulty, and it was a huge plunge if you went off the side of the road anywhere!

Snow covered mountains of the Midi-Pyrenees in December 2012


Up and up we went and then the worst-case-scenario arrived in the form of an old blue van which was going down the one lane road as we were trying to go up. We each backed up a bit to see if there was any room to pass one another, and just as the blue van got stuck in the ice at the edge of the road, Mark continued to back up DOWN that road and he began to move toward one of those sharp curves. It wasn’t my finest hour — I admit that freely — but I suddenly shouted, “Stop! I am getting out!” I was shaking all over from fright and the mental image of us plunging off the side of the road at that curve.

Mark walked up the road, helped the people in the van get out of the ice and back on their way down the one lane road, and somehow without shearing off our side mirror and with the woman driving whilst the two men shoved at the side and back to keep the van on the road and not plunging off the right side, they managed to pass with a whisker’s distance between the two vehicles.

Back in our own vehicle and with a bit of ice and mud being flung into the air, we spun our way out of the very narrow ditch we were parked in. I was close to tears and Mark realised that, given the road conditions, perhaps it hadn’t been such a good idea after all. But I was calm again by the time that we got to the top — another 5 minutes of white-knuckle driving time — and the photos above show the view from the top. This is where Mark has been working every day for the last several months and I had to admit that it was quite a special place to go to work each day.

You may or may not be able to see the small black shapes in the deep shadows. Apparently a small herd of Pyrenees horses arrived this past week and they are being wintered in that paddock next to the construction site.

I’ll be returning to more posts from Barcelona and Figueres in the coming days — so come back soon!

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
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Temporarily Tangled and Tied Up

Temporarily Tangled — by power cords and computer cables — and Tied Up (and then some!) with migrating files, photos, and software from one computer to another.

It became apparent in the last few months that since I was now doing so much stock photography and freelance writing, my MacBook Pro was groaning under the weight of the files. Doing back-ups to passport drives and online storage sites had become scarily essential as a measure of protection against losing all of that work.

Apple MacBook Pro on my coffee table 'desk'

I’ve been looking for another MacBook Pro so that I had redundancy, and one night (when I should have been asleep!), I was online on Ebay and I saw a brand-new listing from a small company in the UK that was an authorised Applecare agency. They had an identical MacBook Pro to the one I already had, but this one that was listed had a terrabyte of memory instead of 500GB — and the RAM was also double at 8GB instead of my current 4GB. It had a brand new hard drive so I wasn’t buying someone else’s computer full of ‘fluff’ and old hidden files. They had also placed the latest version of Apple’s OS system Lion on there and it was loaded with almost every single piece of editing and office software I used on a daily basis.

I hit BUY NOW as fast as my little fingers could fly and the lovely little computer arrived yesterday. Hooray! And it was half price compared to a brand-new-from-the-Apple-store one that only had 4 GB of RAM and 500GB of memory. Can you hear me saying a huge WOO-HOO!

The only thing that I had to download new copies of were my iWatermark program for placing my copyright on my photos, another copy of Adobe Lightroom (and since I had purchased mine in Australia and registered, I just migrated the passwords & serials over), and the MacKeeper program to keep everything clean and running smoothly. I also added Skype and I thought I was ready to send my photo and document files over. Nope!

My older Macbook Pro is running on the OS Snow Leopard and the new one is on Lion. Add to that, the software for some of my other programs were all previous versions. Soooooooo — the Migration Assistance program that was running in both computers, which actually did recognise both computers this morning, would not play nice and let me transfer files. I wasn’t asking it to send Applications, Downloads, Users — just documents and media files. Nope — not cooperating.

So it looks like a huge portion of my weekend is going to be spent transferring files via my passport drives and fingers crossed that I’ll be back at the beginning of the week to put NEW PHOTOS and posts online for you. Then I have a bit of a learning curve since my new operating system is different and has new features — and so do the new versions of Lightroom and Photoshop.

Wish me luck!

©Deborah Harmes and ©A Wanderful Life
Please respect the words and images on this page.
All rights reserved.