For those who don’t know, we moved into a new house about two months ago. Besides the WiFi (which was hooked up with the first two hours…because FOMO), I waited until everything else was situated before unpacking and setting up my tech. One of the central pieces is my Mac Mini that acts as a server for all our family pictures, videos, documents and entertainment.
Of course, I assumed that setting it all up was going to be as simple as NOT electing a shady, racist, sexist, narcissist, with no governing background into the office of President of the United States. Well, similar to the next four years (or more) of our country’s existence, my efforts to get my home IT infrastructure up and running was going to be a “challenge”…to say the least.
Actually, setting everything back up was pretty easy. I could use a better WiFi router to cover more of my house #HollaAtMeRouterCompaniesAndTheBrandsThatRepresentThem, but everything else was a breeze. While moving, MacOS Sierra was released, but I haven’t had time to upgrade my Mac Mini, so that was my next tech task.
After downloading and installing Sierra and after restarting my Mac Mini, I got the dreaded “folder with the question mark thingy” image during the restart. (FYI – That means the computer can’t find the startup disk).
So I scratched my head and after trying a couple of my Mac IT Support tricks, and going Googling, I realized that the Mac OS Sierra install literally locked my Hard Drive making it “un-writable” – Meaning, my computer couldn’t start up because the install was
cock-blocking prohibiting my computer from reading the Hard Drive. My only option was to completely wipe and rebuild my Hard Drive, loosing all my family data.
Y’all know me. Y’all know I have an external Hard Drive with a backup of all our information on deck. So I wasn’t tripping. I just pulled out my backup external drive, plugged it up, entered my decryption password once, twice, three…50-eleven times, but the password wasn’t working.
Backstory: I suggest people encrypt ALL of their drives (laptops, desktops, external drives, chicken, turkey, chicken #YOUNAMEIT) because your data is at risk of being stolen if all somebody has to do is take the Hard Drive out of the computer or external case and plug it into their computer…
JUST DON’T FORGET THE DECRYPTION PASSWORD!!!
I use a password manager where my Hard Drive decryption password was stored, but my drive was not accepting it. I’m not sure if I changed the password and forgot to update my password manager, or just didn’t record the password correctly in the first place. All I know is without that password, my data on my backup hard drive was inaccessible! I can still use both drives, but all the data will have to be wiped (removed) before I can use them again.
NOW is the time where I’m supposed to panic because I can’t get to our files on my computer OR my backup drive. Let me repeat: ALL all our family pictures, videos, documents and entertainment are on those drives…that I can’t get to.
Luckily…LUCKILY, Thanks to BackBlaze I have multiple data backups of my computer that’s automatically saved in the cloud. So I signed into my BackBlaze account and ordered a Hard Drive with all my data to be sent to my house.
Within a week, my drive was at the house. While the drive was enroute, I took the time to rebuild my computer from scratch using Apple Recovery. I was able to successfully move my files from the BackBlaze external drive to my computer, and all my files were back.
Now, I know what you’re thinking: “But BrothaTech, I NEVER update my operating system, so I don’t have to worry about loosing my data”. That would only work if hackers never targeted people who never upgrade their software. FYI, those updates you never do because you’re lazy more often than not include security patches that fill in those holes in the software that hackers frequently exploit. So you can play that game if you want to.
“Well BrothaTech, if you didn’t lose the decryption password, you wouldn’t have had to go through all that” You know what, you’re exactly right.
But guess what, If it can happen to me…ME (My name is BrothaTECH. Well, my real name is Terrance, but you get the point), don’t think it can’t happen you.
I’m pretty careful and take multiple precautions when it comes to my data and STILL lost my data. So I can imagine how some of y’all out here playing around with your family pictures and home videos, or all your business files thinking nothing will happen.
So learn from my mistakes, and successes and:
- Backup your computer before you do ANY upgrade
- Get an external drive and encrypt it for extra security, just don’t lose the decryption password
- Use a Password manager…and remember to update your passwords
- Get a backup…of your backup I use and recommend BackBlaze because it’s affordable, easy to setup and easy to restore a few files, or an entire computer (Yes, I’m an Affiliate, but as you can see, I can vouch for it)
Be safe out in these tech streets…Don’t play yourself and Make Multiple Data Backups. You’ll thank me later.