Here is a story about why you should all do as I say and not as I do.
About a week and a half ago my 20″ iMac G5 started to turn off by itself. I thought it was a fluke at first, but when it happened 2 nights in a row I began to get suspicious. So I began the normal troubleshooting procedure: plugged into another outlet, reset the PRAM, ran repair permissions, reset the Energy Saver settings, reset the SMU, etc. Now, this is my main desktop system where I store all my iPhotos and other personal files, so you would think at this point it would have been a good idea for me to make a backup right? Of course it would of, but if I had, I would not be writing this and since I am, I’m hoping sharing my story will allow you to learn from my idiocy.
Fast forward to last night. The issue had become progressively worst and was now at the point where the iMac would shut off one or two minutes after you turned it on. So now I am pretty sure I need a new power supply and can take it in to AppleCare, but I need a backup and the machine won’t stay on. What do I do? I’m the Mac guy, this isn’t a problem, I can solve this, right? I’ll just remove the drive, put it in an enclosure, pull the data off, put the drive back in and take the iMac into Apple for service. Easy. Problem solved. Not quite.
I go out this morning and buy an external USB 2.0 SATA drive enclosure and begin the process of transplanting the drive from my iMac to the new enclosure. I figured it was no big deal since the hard drive in the iMac is a customer replaceable part and Apple even provides instructions in the DIY area of their support site. I print out the instructions and begin the process of opening my iMac and removing the drive. It is going great until I reach step 4. In this step you are supposed to remove a tiny black connector (see image) from the hard drive temperature sensor which is attached to the side of the drive. The problem is the sensor is damn small and as I gently try to coax it out of the socket by the connector I hear a tiny “crack” sound! The top wire pops lose followed by the rest as little tiny bits of plastic around the connector fall away. Crap! I just broke the connector. Needless to say, now my iMac really needs repair and I will be paying for it. The good news is I did get the drive out and was able to make a backup with Carbon Copy Cloner so my data is safe.
I am now off to the Apple Store with my broken iMac in tow and hopefully they will only charge me for the small cable I broke or the temperature sensor part and not more. I should also mention that when I called AppleCare to admit my wrong doings I spoke with a nice rep named Kurt. Kurt informed me that while I will be responsible for the damage I caused, my AppleCare is still in tact for the rest of my iMac and they will be able to diagnose and repair my power issue under warranty.
Geeks, I write this as a cautionary tale to you all. If I had only heeded my own advice I would not have a broken iMac and I would not be paying for what is sure to be a costly repair. Learn from my example and don’t end up like me. Do your backups.