ED, or “Electronic Dysfunction”, is predominantly thought of as a problem of the older generation. However, it does occasionally strike young and otherwise healthy technology.
Earlier this week, I had settled down for the evening, looking to spend some quality time with my computer — a relatively spry 15-month old iMac. The evening started out well, things worked as planned. However, as the evening progressed, my iMac started to slow down, to stumble a bit. Even stalling at times. I attributed this to software lag, or internet lag — but those issues usually come and go, this was a case of a steadily worsening condition.
Then it happened… the computer siezed up completely. We’ve had lock-ups like this before. Rare, but they do happen. Particularily when using a certain program which shall remain nameless (I’m looking at you SecondLife). However, before I went for the full reboot, something new happened: The entire screen went black, then hard-drive errors started spewing all over the place. New, and nasty.
One reboot later and things were functioning again. Still, the hard drive errors troubled me, so I went into Disk Utility. And there it was. It was ED and it was confirmed. My iMac’s hard drive was no longer hard, and wasn’t driving.
What to do?! The iMac looks pretty but it’s not exactly easy to get in for a hard-drive swap. I fretted for a bit. It’s out of warranty. The thought of actually paying someone to fix my computer is intolerable. Then I remembered the Makers’ creed: If you can’t open it, you don’t own it. The iMac was not going to beat me. I would OWN this computer.
Turns out, the door to the (Aluminum,2007) iMac is through the screen! The glass panel is held on by magnets(!!) and you can pry it off with the right tools. Under the glass are a bunch of screws, that free the frame, then the actual screen itself covers up most of the electronic jiggery-pokery.
Skipping through the dull boring bits, I got my iMac open, got the screen out of the way, and extracted the droopy drive. I replaced it with a much bigger, much harder drive — I mean really, the only reason to put a 1TB drive in there is “because I can”. It was easy to put it all back together and now my iMac is all virile and strong again.
The HardDrive message nobody wants to see.