Are You Planning On Erasing Your Old Mac Or Hard Drive Today?

MacMedics Locations in Severna Park & Lanham

UPDATE 12/26/10: I’m re-posting this Blog POST from last January, because lots of folks are spending time during the X-Mas/New Year holidays to do some house keeping on data from 2010. I’m sure lots of people got new Macs for the holidays too, so be sure to read the Blog post below.

Two things to remember:
1. Never delete data that has not been certified in it’s new location or on a new computer.
2. Never use a computer to process and generate mission critical data without a back-up.

Always keep your data in two places at once while moving over to a new computer!
When folks buy a new computer (or get one as a gift during the holidays) and then transfer the data to the new Mac, they are often anxious to re-purpose, re-gift, or re-sell the old Macintosh. So much so, that once they see the new unit is up and running, they will ERASE the old unit and put a fresh OS on it in preparation for it’s new life. In many cases they have already made a deal to sell their old Mac (or give it away to a family member) and the sale is “pending” on them getting the new Mac up and running. So there’s often some pressure to get the job done quickly and complete the transaction.
NEVER EVER transfer or migrate your current data over to a new Mac (then delete your old data or sell an old computer) and assume that you’re safer then you were with the old drive. Data SHOULD always be in two places at once!
If you need to erase an old computer and you’ve just transferred ALL of your data to a new shiny computer, don’t let that “new computer” feeling of safety (because it’s new I’m at LESS risk!) distract you! If it’s a new Mac, run a quick Time Machine back up or clone your drive with SuperDuper BEFORE you erase that old data. In fact, one very safe way to back up and then test your data is to make a bootable clone of your data (you can do this with SuperDuper), you can then “boot” off this clone and test to ensure your data is all there. This way if something gets fouled up in the migration or transfer, you can at least have a bootable copy of your data and use that to work off of until you can sort things out. Don’t forget to ensure that new backup is also working correctly. This is a common issue, so DON’T fall into this trap!
You ALWAYS need to have your data in two places at once WHILE you are moving over to a new Macintosh laptop or desktop. Very often we see client suffer data loss during this time of transfer. In many cases the clients first scan of the data is positive and everything looks fine. Then they erase their old computer, only to learn that their e-mail or iPhoto database is corrupted, and they’ve lost some or all of their data during transfer.
You’re at a greater risk for data loss on a new computer right out of the box then one that has been in use for more than 90 days.
With all hard drives (and new hard drives in NEW computers) there’s a 30 to 60 day “burn-in” that if the drive is going to give up on you there’s a pretty good chance that it will fail in that time frame. There are almost no DOA hard drives, so the ones that have issues are the ones that develop one in that first 30-60 days. If a hard drive comes off the line at the factory and it’s got an issue, they catch those, and destroy them. In fact, it’s been quite some time, since a hard drive has arrived here at MacMedics “Dead On Arrival”. In a few cases we see them dead, when they have been improperly packaged for shipment. We cannot afford to have one of our client’s computers to have a sick hard drive installed in it, so if a batch of hard drives comes to us and they were shipped by an idiot, then back they go. Thankfully we buy by the case, so the factory shipping container is usually very sturdy, so this is not an issue very often.
See my website at Yeah! It’s that common of an issue that I made a website all about it. It has my TOP 5 list of data protection-preservation tips. Also see my Friday the 13th Blog post on topic of hard drives.

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