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April 21, 2010

HD Failure

The hard drive on Golem went south this morning, and the machine was offline for about 14 hours. It was a fairly quick matter to procure a replacement drive from the Campus Computer Store ($60 for a 500 GB model which, since the original 250 GB drive was less than half full, should be more than adequate).

It took a couple of attempts to restore the Time Machine backup to the new drive, and considerably longer to get the machine to boot properly from the new drive. This leads me to suspect that the SATA controller may, itself, be dodgy. If so, then a fourth-generation Golem may be imminent. After 15 years, perhaps it’s time.

There was a period of a few hours between the last Time Machine backup and when hard drive gave up the ghost. Any blog comments or emails received during that period obviously didn’t make it onto the new disk. I may still be able to recover them from the old disk …

This experience (aside from killing what was otherwise shaping up to be a very productive day) left me with a new appreciation for “the cloud” and the redundancy it provides. My concerns about data security haven’t so much been allayed as supplanted.

Update (4/25/2010):

The SATA controller seems to be fine. The fans, however, are continously cycling up and down (very distracting) and the machine is afflicted by intermittent bouts of thermal runaway. I wonder if I can used wake-on-LAN over the internet, to save myself a trip into the office when that happens.
Posted by distler at April 21, 2010 2:08 AM

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Re: HD Failure

So what are the candidates for Golem mark IV? I’ve been putting off buying a second MacPro for a while b/c I kept hearing that updates were imminent, but it sounds like that might not happen until the summer.

Posted by: Bob McNees on April 21, 2010 7:30 AM | Permalink | Reply to this

Re: HD Failure

The rumours say June.

If the current Golem lasts that long, it could well last another year.

As to the current models, do you have an opinion on quad-core @2.93 GHz versus octo-core (2×4) @2.26 GHz? For roughly the same price, one can get the single-processor model (half the number of cores) at 30% faster clock speed.

I suspect there’ll be a similar tradeoff with the new models, too.

Posted by: Jacques Distler on April 22, 2010 9:46 AM | Permalink | PGP Sig | Reply to this

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