On Thursday last week, I took the plunge and installed 'Tiger' - Apple's latest and greatest version of the Mac OS X operating system - on my studio iMac G5.
Everything went swimmingly at first; it archived all the user files, prefs, mail and etc, installed the new operating system and then re-installed my user files. All I had to do was go away for half an hour and then come back and start using the computer again. Brilliant!
Except that, inexplicably, the machine would suddenly freeze for no reason. I could actually hear the hard drive quietly spin down and click off. All I could do was switch it off and start up again. Of course, then I had to run disk repairs to make sure the directory didn't get corrupted, and soon the the machine was freezing in the middle of disk repair too. Ouch.
In the end I installed a basic system on my external drive, booted up from that, and spent most of the weekend copying critical files from internal to external hard drive.
Fortunately, all my company work and music was saved to the external anyway, so it was just the personal stuff and years of mail that I had to rescue. Sometimes I could copy dozens of files before it froze, sometimes only one or two. And each time it did, I had to run the repair utility again.
Finally, having copied over as much as I thought I could reasonably rescue, I formatted the internal disk and made a clean install of Tiger.
It seemed to be successful, but then re-installing the various apps revealed that the computer was still having difficulty accessing the internal drive.
So I took it into work this morning, installed the original OS and ran the hardware diagnostic program. Sure enough, it reported an error on the ATA bus.
Now we await an engineer with a new hard drive to arrive 'in the middle of the week'. Until then, I'm without.
And I'm sure that there are those of you out there who know exactly how 'without' I feel.
PS: I've no idea in retrospect whether Tiger caused the damage, I don't really see how it could. But it was a very scary coincidence.