I got my current Macbook Pro in 2008 and since then it’s had an OS upgrade and all kinds of things installed and deleted. The kruft had already reached a point that was bothering me and last night’s recording failure was the last straw.
I made sure the Time Machine backup was current, cloned the hard drive onto an external USB drive (belt AND suspenders) and proceeded to format and reinstall Snow Leopard from scratch this morning. Nice to have a snappy, responsive machine again.
Two years ago that was my main computer and everything important was on it. (backed up in at least three places, of course) but lately I’ve been using more devices like the iPhone and iPad as well as several different computers. It turns out that all the important stuff is out on the Internet somewhere now so I’m able to set up the MBP as just another net access device. Other than iTunes and my photo database, all my data resides in several places out on the Internet. Amazon’s S3 has a lot of it, but I have some on Google storage and Apple iDisk as well as on my web host’s “unlimited” storage. Even iTunes and the photos are backed up on S3. I use DropBox for documents so I have access to everything from anywhere. (WiFi and/or AT&T willing)
I could break my MBP tomorrow and other than the expense of a new one, I’d be ok.
(Awww, I’d have to buy a new MBP… SO sad.)
ADVICE: Even if you keep your data in the “cloud” make sure it’s on at least two separate, independent systems. You can get locked out of an account at any time for a variety of reasons and it would really suck to have all your eggs in one basket you can’t get to any more.