Dangers of shooting digital

harddrivesOne of the many dangers of being “digital” is hardware failure.

I would be curious to know how many of you have stared into the face of disaster and lived to fight another day.

The one time it happened, I was fortunate it occurred on my powerbook.

Knock on wood.

Naturally it happened at a most inconvenient time. I was in Malaysia on vacation.

You’ve all been there.

You hit the Power button the computer turns on, screen comes alive but it doesn’t proceed past a certain point.

All our eggs in these baskets–I’ve got too many of these hard drives of varying sizes. What’s worse is their interface or how they connect to the motherboard is different.I started naming mine after James Bond villains.

Since I knew I was traveling far, I made a copy of my start-up disc and brought it with me on my trip.

This by the way, I mentioned on my tips on Traveling with Your Camera.

Then I inserted the CD/DVD and held down the “C” button and pressed the power button and said a prayer to the tech gods.

Because my Powerbook booted up off the CD/DVD, I used Disk Utility to see if it would mount or read the internal hard drive.

It didn’t so, that was that. After buying a 160 GB 2.5″ hard drive with the right connector, I settled down to operate.

Away from familiar surroundings, my tools and an internet connection, my brother only has dial-up, I “operated” on my baby like a skilled surgeon on the kitchen table.

Previously I had cracked opened my powerbook to upgrade the stock hard drive so I had done it before. The trick was how to keep the 30 or 40 screws straight and where to put them on reassembly.

Taking apart is always easier, find the small enough Phillips head screwdriver and just unscrew away. Now, putting it back together without any leftover screws, that’s a whole different story.

Those of you on a Mac that is already out-of-warranty, can easily replace your hard drive by visiting I Fix It and find the take apart instructions for just about any Mac, iPhone or iPod.

Those of you on Windows, I apologize but I can’t help you much. I’m sure someone can leave a comment and some URLs to a similar resource.

In case some of you are rolling your eyes 🙄 , trust me on this. This is very relevant.

I’m sure you’d rather take your computer to the store and have someone take care of this. I would, but I’m cheap and I’m a glutton for punishment.

I’m not too bright either. So if I can do this, you can too! Besides the computer is already dead and out-of-warranty, you can’t hurt it.

Oh…I recommend you clone your internal hard drive with a utility like Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner for exactly these situations.

A good backup–If you’re going to be shooting for extended periods and you don’t have enough batteries, a battery grip which uses AA batteries is highly recommended. I don’t have this on my camera all the time. I only use it when I know I’ll be shooting all day.

With this backup, all you do is replace the hard drive and tell Super Duper or Carbon Copy Cloner to restore to the internal hard drive. No harm, no foul and no fuss.

If you’re lucky, you didn’t erase the images from your memory card and even if you did, you can try and recover them using SanDisk’s Rescue Pro.

It comes bundled with SanDisk’s Extreme cards.

So, what is the other danger? Being out of power, be it battery for your cameras, or being in a power outage.

When that happens I guess it’s time to go to bed. But there’s plenty of time to sleep when you’re dead. So, break out a book and the candles.

Those of you on Windows, would you mind helping me out here and posting some resources on recovering from something like this? Thanks.

2 thoughts on “Dangers of shooting digital”

  1. Hi FotoStefan,
    I’m sorry I didn’t get back to you sooner. I got busy. Thank you for visiting the blog and commenting. I visited your website and tried to read as much as I could in English.

    Good habits to develop is backing up. Hard drives are cheaper and cheaper but that also means they’re probably not as well made?

  2. So far I was lucky! But I start to have back up for camera, lenses, cards, battery.
    I don’t need a laptop but I keep my PC in good ” health” !

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