PSA: MacBook Failures are Rampant, Save Your Work

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Students who purchased MacBooks in 2011 or 2012 might want to seriously consider backing up all their files. According to the good folks at Helpline, these models appear to have a very high hard drive failure rate. I personally know three people whose hard drives have crashed in recent months, and there are many others with horror stories to tell.

If you think your hard drive has malfunctioned, double check by restarting your computer. Signs of a hard drive failure can include seeing a folder encasing a question mark upon starting back up.

Before addressing the possibility of hard drive failure, however, you might want to give yourself some security. Luckily, free backup options are abundant. While each student only has a limited amount of space on the P-drive, anyone connected to a Gmail address (which includes has access to their own Google Drive, which provides 30 GB of data. (With a Kenyon email, it’s usually 15 GB.) This should be plenty of storage for your important files. Another option is Dropbox, an online storage system that provides several GBs of free storage with the opportunity to buy more. Both Google Drive and Dropbox also have very easy to use apps for smartphones and tablets.

It is also possible to back up files using an external hardrive and/or a USB. This can be very useful when you need to access files but do not have an internet connection. Check out Apple’s Time Machine utility for more information.

Performing regular backups is the best way to ensure that your files will remain safe. Computers are fragile machines and while most of the time they will operate without a hitch, it just takes one puddle or one failed hard drive to ruin weeks of work and the entirety of your comps.

If you find yourself confronting the worst-case scenario, do not despair! Take it to an Apple Store (the closest one is at the Easton Town Center in Columbus) and have it diagnosed. You should be able to have the drive replaced for much less than the cost of a new laptop.

3 responses

  1. There is also a computer store right in Mt Vernon that replaces hard drives on Macs! You don’t have to drive all the way to Columbus if you don’t want to

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