… has got to be Time Machine.
Last week I was at a clients’ office and had my laptop drop off a counter just, just after I’d put it to sleep.
The good news was that the MacBooks and MacBook pros all have sensors that, upon sensing an impact can park the heads on the hard drive before they have a chance to crash into the platters and kill the drive.
The bad news is that right when you put it to sleep, the laptop writes out the contents of RAM to the HD in case the battery dies/is removed, but the sensors are not functional.
So I had one thoroughly dead hard drive.
After finagling around with Disk Utility and discovering I could create a partition big enough for all of my files that avoided the damaged areas and was thus usable, I restored the computer from my Time Machine backups and a few hours later was back to work. Most of this time was spent figuring out what parts of the drive were usable.
Then I ordered a new drive which I installed this weekend. Not ridiculously difficult (say… like a Mac Mini) but I’ll never complain about pulling apart a Toshiba or Compaq again.
Anyway. The point is that I had my computer back in full running order within hours in what was effectively a bare metal restoration. All my programs worked, and all of my settings were in place. All of this as part of the backup system that came with the OS.
Side note. I hate Torx screws. Why do manufacturers insist on using Torx screws on top of the mini-phillips (and even regular phillips) sized screws? The good news. Lowes has a nifty Kobalt-brand multi-head Torx screwdriver that includes T5 and T6 heads for about five bucks.