Don't miss a freebie, deal, or new release.Join Now!
banner with headshot and name

Accidental MacBook upgrade

My baby is sick.

Inciting Incident: MacBook dropped onto floor at kids' swim practice. Still works and all seems to be okay.

1st Turning Point: When Gwen tries to reboot her laptop, it hangs. She tries again. It hangs. *insert 5 Stages of Grief*

Pinch Point: Mac repair man agrees hard drive is likely toast and provides repair and data recovery estimate. $$$

Yes, I dropped my MacBook yesterday. 🙁 I was pulling it from my tote bag like I've done a thousand times. Except this time it slipped from my hand and hit the tile. I think I stopped breathing.

After gently retrieving it and setting it on the table, we both (me and Mac) hyperventilated for a few minutes before I opened the lid. To my surprise, it seemed okay. Maybe just a little slow, but I was able to keep working. I created a whole blog post about transferring Scrivener files to the Nook complete with screen shots. (See the comments in Tuesday's post for a quick run-through.)

But then, the Black Moment. When I tried to reboot, it failed. So Mac repair is coming today. Luckily, I can use The Engineer's computer for the next few days, but he doesn't have Scrivener. If I get the itch to write before I get it back, I may have to slog through with (gasp!) Word.

For now, I'm still going through Blind Fury on my Nook, but I expect to finish today or tomorrow. My edits will have to wait.

Thanks to MobileMe, I still have access to my Inbox and email capability, and my calendar. I have all of my manuscripts and other important documents backed up, but I didn't think to include email. And I haven't backed up my photos in a few months because they take so long to transfer. The Engineer has many of the important pictures, but this has been an eye-opener.

I need to determine what's not only critical, but important, to me and make sure I back it up regularly. I encourage you to do the same.

With any luck, this will turn out to be a boring story where I get a new hard drive with all of my old data and software back, and my computer is better than ever.

Hey, I'm all about the happily ever after, remember?

Tell your friends!


  1. Reply

    A similar thing happened to me last May and it left me without my macbook for three whole weeks! I hope yours doesn’t take nearly that long. I certainly lived with the abject terror that my non-backed-up book was gone.

    • Reply

      Three weeks, Kali? I think I’d just have to buy a new one. Yikes. Thankfully, all of my manuscripts are backed up. I usually back up whatever I’m working on in two different places just to be sure. Glad I did.

      • Reply

        Time Machine is easy. I backup my work to dropbox (free, offsite), a USB drive and then my entire MacBook is backed up to Time Machine and an external drive.

        When I got a new MacBook Air a few weeks ago, all I had to do was turn it on, plug it into the external drive, and let Time Machine “restore” it. It became a mirror image of my other Mac, and all I had to do was keep working.

  2. Reply

    A couple quick notes:

    1. How old is it (still under warranty?)

    2. Don’t tell tech you dropped it. If he mentions on the report it says you did say, no! “I expressively said it wasn’t like I dropped it or anything.”

    3. They would rather repair than replace but you should also weigh that option. The replace. If it isn’t that old then it should be under warranty. If it is really old then you need an upgrade anyway.

    • Reply

      Hey, Rich. It’s over three years old. Of course. Love #2. Too late of course. 😉

      I’d love to replace, but honestly with a new hard drive it should run like a dream again. I upgraded the RAM last year, so I’ll essentially have a new computer anyway. A little beaten up, but good under the hood.


  3. Reply

    I work in IT. In similar circumstances I have seen people lose whole PhD theses. Your data is your work. If you had a PC where backup is hard you would have an excuse You probably have wireless network at home. Plug in a Western Digital worldbook or similar (with network connection not USB) to your wireless network hub. Set up Time machine on your mac using supplied instructions. Your data is all safe. Every time you switch on your mac at home your data is backed up. All of it. If you get a new Mac you can restore everything to it. Please do it. I used to be moved by such stories as yours. Now, I just laugh.

    • tolo


      The Linksys WRT610N Simultaneous Dual-N Band Wireless Router or the Apple Time Capsule are better choices than my current one.

    • Reply

      Well, glad I could give you a laugh, John. 😉 I have no excuse because I used to work in IT too. But, like I said, my critical files were backed up. All of my manuscripts, and other important documents were backed up. I just didn’t have an automatic system for doing it, and hadn’t included email ever, or pictures recently.

      Obviously, that will change.

  4. tolo


    I use time machine a couple of times a day, doesn’t take long as it is incremental. I do a full drive backup at least once a month. Have 5 terabytes of storage and it really doesn’t intrude after the first big one.

    • Reply

      Thanks for the info, tolo. We have a Buffalo drive, and I use Mobile Me and a flash drive for my MSs. I have everything I need, just got to do it when the Mac comes back from repair.

  5. Reply

    Just in case anyone wanted an update, it looks like the hard drive imaging was a success and I’ll be getting my MacBaby back tomorrow with double the hard drive, and all of my data and software.

    And, if yours is cracking along the front edge (like both of ours), apparently Apple and any authorized Apple repair place should replace the keyboard cover for free. Thanks for your support, friends!

  6. Pingback: Bonus Friday: All wet « The Edited Life

Leave Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.