Hard Driven, Time Wasted

Yesterday was a day lost. Partly, it’s my fault to have become distracted in news stories, new software toys and clouds moving past my window.

But mostly, it was the Plug and Cuss hardware that came yesterday from B&H–a Western Digital 750Gb MyBook Studio external hard drive. It will serve to replace the LaCie that died in the power outage a few weeks back and then become the external backup for the Mac, when–not if–that happens first half of this year.

But there were problems. No big surprise there.

It comes formatted for the Mac. The VERY meager setup sheet had an KnowledgeBase ID # for Windows use. It left out some crucial information. It was not at all clear for such as me who doesn’t routinely partition new drives. And when that was done, My Computer still didn’t find the new drive.

It would have to be formatted, which of course removed the pre-installed software. But suffice it to say, after considerable grousing about the cost-cutting benefits Western Digital made at my expense, the drive worked. Mostly.

It hung once, but rebooting fixed it. The default front-light condition is on constantly. And since this is a three inch shining bar, it quite dazzles in a dim room. I’d be happier with a minimal light to say that the power is on.

So that process consumed several hours. And I looked back on the day feeling I’d done absolutely nothing. But at least now my data is (relatively) safe. And I will try to make a habit of turning the external drive on only long enough to do my morning backups, then off again. We have a long winter of power outages ahead of us.


About fred

Fred First holds masters degrees in Vertebrate Zoology and physical therapy, and has been a biology teacher and physical therapist by profession. He moved to southwest Virginia in 1975 and to Floyd County in 1997. He maintains a daily photo-blog, broadcasts essays on the Roanoke NPR station, and contributes regular columns for the Floyd Press and Roanoke's Star Sentinel. His two non-fiction books, Slow Road Home and his recent What We Hold in Our Hands, celebrate the riches that we possess in our families and communities, our natural bounty, social capital and Appalachian cultures old and new. He has served on the Jacksonville Center Board of Directors and is newly active in the Sustain Floyd organization. He lives in northeastern Floyd County on the headwaters of the Roanoke River.

2 comments:

  1. No company includes decent instruction sheets with the product anymore. Maybe it got too expensive to write them in every language. I’ve always gone to the manufacturer’s website for clearer instructions and help. They also may have support, forums, and updated drivers if necessary. WD is a good company though; I’ve been using their hard drives or Maxtor’s for many years.

  2. Fred,
    As a primary Mac user I can commiserate with your experience when recently using a P.O. S. Seagate backup drive which included nothing about on Macs, but which clearly showed on the box, it was compatible with both Windows and Mac. A nightmare. When I recently recommended WD and Maxtor drives to you, I thought it was for a backup to your Mac. My bad. Happy New Year.

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