We kicked off our series about computer troubleshooting yesterday. Today we are going to look at the worst case scenario: what happens if your computer is dead.

One morning in Summer

I always had backup to the cloud going on overnight because I had such a slow internet connection. This must have been shortly after we moved to Heidesheim - around 2009.

I came downstairs. Usually, I was able to hear the low hum of my cheesegrater MacPro from the living room. That long ago morning there was only silence. I went into the office and the computer wasn't running. I tried to start the computer a couple of times - nothing at all happened. The only feeling I remember was being numb. I had so much to do that day.

Calling support

At 9:00 I called the support of the company where I had bought the MacPro. At 10:00 I was in front of MediaMarkt - an electronics retailer - to buy an external enclosure for the internal hard disk. The MacPro had only internal drives. After going home I quickly found out that my backup had run before the computer died. I didn't lose any file. Downloading from the cloud backup would have been my next option. But with the slow internet connection even some files would have taken a while.

What was the worst part: I had to lugg the 18 kgs of the MacPro to the local post office at 30 degrees Celsius. A week later I got my beloved MacPro back. The motherboard needed to be exchanged.

What can we learn from this?

  • Troubleshooting in my case wasn't too hard because there wasn't much to do. It could only have been a failed power unit or the motherboard. I can change RAM but anything else in regards to hardware I leave for the experts.
  • Without the second computer I would have had one week without being able to work.
  • My backup strategy worked fine. I only had to buy an external enclosure. My current iMac doesn't have second internal hard disk. So today an external enclosure wouldn't be necessary.
  • If the backup had failed I would have had to access my cloud backup. Where I live the internet was slow. This was a known problem with the cloud backup. Today I have a much faster connection. I had a computer failure in 2018 where I had to restore some files which went okay.