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New computer -_- help


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My latest computer seems to have died on me after about 7 months. Luckily this time I had my important files on my external ssd. It was kinda cheap, and I expected it might be a little disposable, but 7 months seems nuts to me. I kept pretty good care of it, barely even moved it.

Is a mac always going to last longer? Is an ssd hard drive necessary for longevity?

And what's the best way to back it up? Because this is just terrifying. Copying and pasting the files to my hard drive seems wrong, and doesn't update the files when they're changed of course. paying seems unnecessary (plus I paid for a service for a while that didn't even work).

Sorry for the noob questions, and I know it's been discussed, but yeah, any help would be great

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You might still have all of your files intact.

 

Macs  generally use the same internal components as many non-Macs.

 

More info needed:   Does it not turn on (blank screen) or does it fail to boot (you see stuff on the screen initially, but your desktop doesn't come up)?; Does it have multiple drives?; Is it a laptop?; etc.

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Computer longevity depends not so much on the brand as much as the quality of the components. So a more expensive computer is more likely to have better components and last longer. Of course that is not always the case and electronics are doomed to fail at some point. 7 months is too early and probably you got a lemon that should be covered with some form of warranty. 

If you can't have it fixed, then you should be able to remove the hard drive and access it on another computer. Its probably just a 2.5" sata drive judging by the price point. With that said, if you see the boot screen then you could try using a windows USB recovery drive and see if it can fix itself. 

For synchronization I use FreeFileSync. It is open source and it works great. 

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16 minutes ago, tupp said:

You might still have all of your files intact.

 

Macs  generally use the same internal components as many non-Macs.

 

More info needed:   Does it not turn on (blank screen) or does it fail to boot (you see stuff on the screen initially, but your desktop doesn't come up)?; Does it have multiple drives?; Is it a laptop?; etc.

It's a laptop, I'll have to look up some of the specs maybe.. it's an acer f15. I'm going to try more scanning or something. It turns on, tries to run automatic repair, and then says it didn't work and can't boot up.

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Hopefully, your boot process is just soundly borked, and you still have all of your files on your drive. 

 

Stop trying the "repair" function.

 

Unplug all peripherals and SD cards from your laptop and try to boot again.

 

If that doesn't work, you might try to see if your "BIOS" has somehow changed it's boot order or default boot device (doesn't sound like the problem, but it is worth a try).  This is simple to do and there have to be instructional YouTube vids.

 

If none of those things work, you might be able to boot a live USB.   @Don Kotlos mentioned above a possible built-in Windows live USB image, but NEVER REFORMAT your computer if it tells you it needs to do so.  You could also try a Linux live USB OS, which might be able to access your drive without changing anything on it, so that you can back-up all of your files before trying any serious recovery/repair.

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30 minutes ago, kaylee said:

@Liam i cant help you im too stupid but im sorry your 'puter broke buddy!!!!

are you thinking about a mac? have you had one before?

also

what service?? 

Thanks, Kayls :') I forget the name.. something with a padlock logo. The files were there, but they were all encrypted.. maybe I was likewise too stupid to figure it out.

It's really not a big deal this time though because I'm on google drive for documents and pictures B)

 

Edit: think it was carbonite

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Surprisingly a SSD does Not last very long. A "normal" hard drive lasts longer. Best to put your stuff up on a cloud service. It is probably cheaper in the short run. But in reality Nothing in this day is safe because of Hackers!

A lot of people just buy a New SD card for every shoot. They can last a long time if you don't use them all the time.

And I would not think a Mac last any longer than a PC. They pretty much have the same stuff in them in order to work.

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I buy a top of the line rMBP every three years with Apple Care and then sell it and replace it before Apple Care runs out. It's decently fast and very portable for working on the run. My needs are VERY basic, though. Adobe Suite and that's about it and almost always ProRes 2k or 1080p. I just got the 2016 touch bar last year and I'm not crazy about it, though, in terms of what it offers over its predecessor. A refurbished 13" 2013-era retina may be all you need and it's very affordable, about $1000. I would not recommend it for power users, however, and I'm not one myself.

Usually my Mac Books still break quite a lot (almost always the graphics card or monitor), but I still have a working computer 99% of the time and I know I can fix it if it breaks. I use hard drives for back ups, and would recommend iCloud or Time Machine if you get a Mac. I keep a high end PC at home for when I don't have my laptop or when I need more horsepower, but I never use it. I mostly work from other people's computers so if I only had one machine and I worked from home maybe I would get an iMac instead. I probably don't need the PC.

I find the total cost of ownership to be lower for Macs, but mostly I need full ProRes support for work and all my clients use Macs exclusively. PC laptops seem to have worse build quality than Mac laptops, at least in my experience. For desktops it's more of a wash and a home built PC is often the way to go for pure performance (everyone I know seems to have one of those, too!).

I have had good luck with AppleCare so I continue to buy Macs as my primary machines. Given how often you use a computer (and how slow renders are), a higher end model pays for itself almost immediately but if you're using it mostly as a hobby machine, just get the best you can afford.

 

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1 hour ago, webrunner5 said:

Surprisingly a SSD does Not last very long. A "normal" hard drive lasts longer. Best to put your stuff up on a cloud service. It is probably cheaper in the short run. But in reality Nothing in this day is safe because of Hackers!

A lot of people just buy a New SD card for every shoot. They can last a long time if you don't use them all the time.

And I would not think a Mac last any longer than a PC. They pretty much have the same stuff in them in order to work.

That's not exactly true, it really depends on how you use the hard drive. SSD have indeed a limited lifetime of I/Os (still you get e.g. 5y warranty on Samsung 850 EVO), on the other hand mechanical hard drives tend to have mechanical failures. You need the right medium for the desired application .

So far none of my SSDs have failed (using some already a bunch of years) but I had multiple spinning drives fail (some after barely any use).

And I don't think cloud backup works for everybody. Where I live we used to have maximum of 6 Mbit DSL until last year... try backing up your raw video shots that way to a cloud :sweat_smile: .

 

I'm currently also working on a better backup system. I backup onto 2 identical spinning drives in separate USB3 caddies but it's not ideal. I'm currently looking at a (at least) 4-bay NAS for RAID1 or maybe RAID10. I only want to store data on it, then copy it to my local system (3 SSDs, 1 HDD) for editing.

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I agree. My SSDs (I must have five or six by now) are still going strong. I've broken quite a few HDs in the same time. The HDs can withstand more read/write cycles and don't slow down, but I've found them more susceptible to random failure and the SSDs are still faster overall. So while you are right and surely the expert on this and I don't mean to disagree with something that is beyond my area of knowledge, I do want to provide the perspective of someone who doesn't use hard drives heavily but is occasionally clumsy. 

A RAID5 server array is what most of my clients use for back ups, but for home use: a refurbished retina MacBook Pro, Apple Care, and time machine are the least expensive easy to use and reliable option, and then an Adobe subscription gets you most of what you need. TCOO is very very low.

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For everything up to 1TB, I use dropbox for backup. It's not free, but I use dropbox so much that the price is well worth it just for the convenience of always having all your files on all your devices.

For long-term backup of source video/photo, I just make sure that everything is saved on at least 2 separate external hard drives. I try to keep my files synchronized with dropbox until they have been backed up on my external drives.

So far not lost a single clip or file due to hardware failure, but I've had a few hard drives gone bad.

EDIT: I now see that dropbox has unlimited storage for 15 euro a month.. Probably worth it if I figure out how to synchronize my external harddrives with dropbox without too much of a hassle.

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9 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

But in reality Nothing in this day is safe because of Hackers!

Let me just add Viruses, Worms, etc.created by some cruel programmer are also a threat.

And, I've been meaning to add to the PC vs. MAC debate.

I've been a Windows guy all my life, but even I admit the stability of MAC environments.

So... for video and photos, I use a MAC - I also have it disconnected from the internet.

For everything else to which I don't give a hoot about.... PC. 

Also... redundancy, back-up.... thats what most companies do.... For Disaster Recovery. So why not do the same at home?

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Thick as a plank myself - which is why I only use i(diot)Macs. Never had a problem with either my 2011 or 2015 iMac but two Windows laptops before them lasted less than a year between them. Spent more time with silly security updates every five minutes than ever getting anything done. £800 down the drain.

I would only recommend non Macs to clever people.

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49 minutes ago, Davey said:

Thick as a plank myself - which is why I only use i(diot)Macs. Never had a problem with either my 2011 or 2015 iMac but two Windows laptops before them lasted less than a year between them. Spent more time with silly security updates every five minutes than ever getting anything done. £800 down the drain.

I would only recommend non Macs to clever people.

Yeah I will give Apple credit, you can be totally "Clueless" and use their products! But that is a Good thing for the vast majority of the public!

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16 hours ago, Davey said:

Never had a problem with either my 2011 or 2015 iMac but two Windows laptops before them lasted less than a year between them.

 

On 11/4/2017 at 5:18 AM, Liam said:

It's a laptop, I'll have to look up some of the specs maybe.. it's an acer f15

Maybe that's the key: laptop vs. desktop rather that Mac vs. PC. If you are going to be editing, 3D rendering, encoding or doing some other "intensive task" for long periods of time day after day, a laptop is not for you!

Components get hot in every system and more often than not the limiting factor of their useful life is heat. Components literally burn slowly, and the better the cooling system the longer they last (all other unexpected failures aside). Xeon processors are old and less powerful than modern Core i7s, yet they are still sold with a premium pricetag solely because they are built to withstand that heat better; it takes a lot longer to wear them out so if you are planning on building a server that's going to be running 24/7, you use a "crappy" Xeon. In the same manner, if you use your laptop for productivity and for a few hours you'll probably end up updating before it breaks down, but if you stress it to the limit for long sessions -and editing is quite stressful for that laptop- you are exponentially increasing the chance of failure and reducing its useful life a lot.

There are noisy, uncomfortable, hot-running gaming laptops suited to the task and even those would probably not last as long as a properly cooled desktop...

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23 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Yeah I will give Apple credit, you can be totally "Clueless" and use their products! But that is a Good thing for the vast majority of the public!

Exactly. It's almost like the Red vs Alexa debate. Do you want the power (and responsibility) to dig in and get your hands dirty with the image, and to whatever extent you choose supervise and control every step of the experience yourself (Red/PC... or Sony) or do you want to pay a little more for something with worse specs that holds your hand throughout so it's harder to screw up (Alexa/Mac... or Canon) but ultimately less powerful? I know my choice.

Regarding your laptop breaking, you may be more of a power use than you think and end up burning out your graphics card. It's been a problem on every laptop I've bought, hence the Apple Care I consistently buy. I'm not a power user, myself, I have simple needs but still "pro" (Adobe Suite, mostly). I strongly recommend the retina MacBook pros (the 2013 generation refurbished if you're on a budget) despite this. Reliable and the pro res support makes a HUGE difference.

And yeah if the computer doesn't turn on it doesn't mean your files are lost. You can get them recovered professionally even if the drive is corrupted pretty often, and if the computer is broken but the drive works you can just tear it out and plug it into a toaster/caddy/whatever and recover your work.

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56 minutes ago, HockeyFan12 said:

Exactly. It's almost like the Red vs Alexa debate. Do you want the power (and responsibility) to dig in and get your hands dirty with the image, and to whatever extent you choose supervise and control every step of the experience yourself (Red/PC... or Sony) or do you want to pay a little more for something with worse specs that holds your hand throughout so it's harder to screw up (Alexa/Mac... or Canon) but ultimately less powerful? I know my choice.

 

Yeah My Panasonic AF100A is a total pain in the butt to take video with it, because there is No Auto anything, and every scene you have to White Balance, Black Balance, adjust F stops or use the ND filters, etc., etc., etc. It is crazy how hard it is, but when you get it all right, man it can look pretty unbelievable, just the way You want it, not what Panasonic wants.

Now my Panasonic G7, you turn it on and shoot. You can have it on Auto everything.  I guess if Apple made a camera this might be the one for the masses. It is almost prefect all the time. Run n Gun, Bamm, it works. But it looks videoish as heck. But if that is what you want it, it is easy as hell to do.

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True Story: In 1998, our Pro Tools tutor in my Sound Engineering degree, talked about Mac superiority for 10-15 minutes, then his Mac freezed! That was my first serious integration with Apple computers. In reality, back then, Apple computers were truly far away ahead of Windows ones, so for Pro Tools, and later on Final Cut, it was really one way.

True Story 2: In 2005, I bought an Acer laptop, to take it with me abroad to study on a film school, a really expensive machine so I could edit on Premiere with it. Back then Acer laptops were destined to die. I was so sure it could die to me, that it was the only time I insured a machine for 5 years time (then it would have depreciate so much that it wouldn't worth an insurance). This laptop still works, and with only three changes of of thermal paste through the years. Now it serves as a desktop replacement on my home town. 

True Story 3: My 5 years old Xeon is still run strong, and I am expecting to buy a 1070 GTX soon, to see how relative it still is. Intel have been really lazy since 2012. My SSD's from that year are working constantly, have edited a few big projects, and smaller ones. I almost never shut down my PC. Just a few days per year, when in summer holidays usually, but recently got no time even for that.

True Story 4: Never had a virus since my 5.25 floppy disks. I am not extra careful, just careful. If you are not a profit organization or a political party, you don't really have to be afraid of much. Just do not give your data to strangers, like if someone ask you for your credit card and password in the street.

If you do demanding things with your computer, it has to be a desktop. Heat is the number one problem for modern equipment (or else we would have already quantum computers the size of a coin). A laptop can only be a secondary -and mobile - choice. I was entertained the idea of having a surface for basic editing and mobility, but no, we are not there yet.

True Story 5: my 3D editing roommate from uni, had to change 3 higher end iMacs between 2006-2008 for various reasons. He tried to cover it up, because I was always making fun of how much he was spending for his machines.

True story 6: An middling iMac from that same period is still working on a company I work some times. Just a couple of burned hard drives, but it is still working. The same company, their last 2 editing machines are PCs.

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