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Kernel panic!

This morning, disaster struck. I woke up late-ish, made breakfast, then settled down in my recliner and turned on my computer. It just blinked a question mark at me. So I found the OS discs and tried to do a repair of the hard drive, and the disc repair utility couldn't even *find* the hard drive. I was worried it was hosed.

I made an appointment at the Genius Bar at the Apple Store, but couldn't get in until 11:30 am. Weird to feel cut off from everything like that. Luckily, I had my old Mac, which works fine except that the LCD screen is cracked and you can't see about a third of the display. That at least allowed me to get online for a while.

Then I headed off for my appointment. Of course, when the Genius guy hooked my computer up to his network, it found the hard drive immediately, and a quick diagnostic scan of the drive indicated no problems.

So all seemed well, and I shut it down, then started it back up while the guy helped another customer. I thought I'd get into my email and upload the chapters of my old story I'd worked on yesterday as a quick back-up of that work. The computer started up for me as well, so I proceeded to open a web browser and I got this message on the screen, which also froze up. The Genius guy looked at it and said "Oh, that's kernel panic."

"Kernel panic" is basically the fancy term for Blue Screen of Death. Which is not the end of the world, but it concerned the Genius guy and he recommended I leave my computer there for the day so they could run a full diagnostic on it. I went to work after that and grabbed my work computer and that's what I'm on now.

Hope everyone's day is going better than mine!

ETA: I did back up yesterday's work after all. I iz so smart!!


Apr. 26th, 2010 03:32 am (UTC)
On PCs, you can have a setup known as a RAID Array* installed. There are two hard drives, and the system firmware copies exactly ("mirrors") what is on the one drive to another, everytime anything is written to the drive. If the one drive fails, you can plug in a new drive and the system writes everything back from the mirror to the new drive automatically. This was costly to do many years ago but now drives are pretty cheap.

Does the Mac world have this feature available also? Just curious.

( * Redundant Array of Independent Drives )
Apr. 26th, 2010 03:36 am (UTC)
The Mac has a Time Machine external backup that works with the wireless to backup the entire disk on whatever schedule you want. I've just never set it up.
Apr. 26th, 2010 03:47 pm (UTC)
But does that backup only data files, or back up the entire OS? In other words, if your main drive crashes, can you run the entire system from the backup as if nothing had happened? The RAID array allows you to do that (or so I understand.)

So far I've never had my main drive fail so that I could test the thing. My understanding is that you get an on-screen message that the main drive has given up the ghost, and that the system is now running on the mirror drive. You then get a tech (or do it yourself, if you're handy) to install a new main drive, and the mirror drive then rewrites automatically to that one to restore the original RAID function.

If true, it's pretty slick. There is no "backup schedule" and you don't have to remember to backup anything, although I do copy any critical data files to CDs or DVDs in case of fire or lightning strike or something that could manage to kill the entire computer at one shot, since the RAID can't help with that.
Apr. 26th, 2010 04:12 pm (UTC)
I'm sure there's a way to do it, I've just never been geeky enough to pursue it.