The Senior Macintosh Center
My Mac Magazine #33, Jan. ’98

You’d think that after 7 years of being a service technician, working
on Macs exclusively, that I wouldn’t get bitten by a screen of a floppy
disk with a flashing “?” on it, but it happened… and me without my
backup. Go figure! I know the feeling of losing data just like you. Man,
does it drive you crazy like it does me? All that work is gone! It’s got
to be up there with getting a root canal. But for me, at least this time, a hero arrived on the scene. Old faithful with its arms folded looking back at you with confidence written all over its face (or disks… whatever).

I was in the middle of working on an invoice that I was getting ready
to fax out to one of my customers when my Mac locked up. This isn’t a
common thing but, hey, it happens every once in a while. No problem. I
did the old Command-Control-Restart keyboard trick and away I go. I
waited (remember, it’s an LCIII) and the screen was gray for a while… a
little longer than usual… still waiting… uh oh, what’s going on here?… Not the question mark!… NOoooooo! Sure enough, I had a crashed
hard drive. At first, I panicked. After working on the same problem for years, you’d think that I would be able to just go right to work and deal with it. The only difference was now it’s MY problem. MY data. MY
expense! Yippee! It’s like an emergency room doctor who can work on
anyone else’s injury until it’s one of his own family. They can’t focus and get the job done. I know it’s a poor analogy but it was like that for
me. After the hot flashes and the cold sweats subsided I thought, “Well,
what would I do if I was at the office? This is a very common problem,
what is step 1?” Then it came to me…

I have some utility disks that I keep with me at all times. These have
saved me many hours of grief and I consider them my best friends in my
work. How many of you remember the Calgon commercial with a Jackie Chan lookalike talking about his ancient Chinese secret? Well, I’m going to let you in on my ancient Chinese secret! In my arsenal of software are
the following: The latest version of TechTool(1.1.5), Disinfectant(3.7.1), and the cream of the crop, Norton Utilities(3.5). I have made up Startup Disks of Norton Disk Doctor and Norton Speed Disk.

I took my Disk Doctor disk and restarted the Mac… I got a happy Mac
face (this is good, but expected) and then Disk Doctor launched into its
barrage of fix-it stuff. It took a little while but it found that the Master Directory Block was damaged and it fixed it. Yes! You know like I do that there was great rejoicing in my house. My invoice got out and
you better believe that made me smile.

Norton Utilities is the hero here. It gets a double thumbs up from this
service technician. If I had a third, I’d throw it in too. This software
costs about $100.00 but the others are shareware. You can download them
from the Internet and they’re great to have also. They’ve had their turns at bat and have always hit home runs with problems I’ve had in the past. Now that I’ve got my hard drive back, I’m off to get my backup done. Who am I trying to kid? ;^D

Catcha L8r, Eddie

Ed Tobey (

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