Kernel Panics Lead to User Panics

by Stephanie Rewis on October 17, 2004

Without boring you with the sordid, horrendous details, I'll just say that my computer crashed Wednesday morning. Hard. And after spending nearly 6 hours trying to fix it myself, I took it to the local Mac repair guy (we only have one in our small town). Due to a chain of stupid events, it wasn't fixed until Friday evening. That was nearly three work days without my production machine. Can you say tic, twitch and nervous breakdown? Especially without knowing whether I was going to lose everything on it or be able to recover some.

My machine is three years old this month, but until the crash, it ran great for using Dreamweaver for code and doing light graphics. However, due to my 120MPH work speed of late, I hadn't taken time to do a good thorough back up in a couple months. Thus, I had to pay the tech more money to pull everything off and onto his hard drive before he tried to repair the disk. That could have been saved money if I didn't need to worry about the data. The good news is, I now have a new hard drive with, you guessed it, Panther installed. My old Jaguar HD is now a slave to it and I have been able to recover all my data. The bad news is that my pocketbook is WAY lighter. Ugh.

And so I turn to you, gentle reader. Do you have a favorite daily backup program? Obviously it needs to run on the Mac and I would love for it to be seamless and simple. I want to set a time of day (well, night probably), have it run on it's own, and back up to my external HD. I don't want to have to think about it. Let me know. I've got to work this out before anything else happens. The trauma was too much. :P

{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Judi Sohn October 18, 2004 at 7:33 am

Hi Steph…Keep in mind, what you went through is something that will only happen ONCE. You will never be caught unprepared again. I lost one folder, once, and now I’m crazed about backups.

I have a dual firewire enclosure with 2 80GB drives. I use ChronoSync to automatically backup my work files every 30 minutes during the day to one of the drives. That way, I know I’ll never lose more than the last 1/2 hour of work. It works in the background and has never given me a problem.

I also use Chronosync to backup music, pictures, documents, etc. but only once a day.

For the other drive, I use Carbon Copy Cloner to make a bootable mirror of the entire startup drive. I do that about once a month, manually cleaning out the old backup and recreating the new one.

I also burn old files to CD or DVD twice before taking them off my drive.

Glad you managed to get everything up and running even if it was a bit expensive.

Jim October 18, 2004 at 9:21 am

Also remember to test your backups.

I’ve known people who backup religiously but when their system fails they try to restore and find out their backup data is corrupt.

Michael October 22, 2004 at 9:31 pm

A freebie backup from Lacie is SilverKeeper at Also, another freebie would be xrsync from SourceForge. I currently use the later after using the former for almost a year without any issues.

Leave a Comment