Installing new HDD into iMac due to sector errors - use an older backup?
May 7, 2015 6:39 AM   Subscribe

My iMac's HDD is borked due to lots of sector errors. I'm happy to buy and install a new HDD myself and then use my TimeCapsule backup to get up and running again. But should I use a backup from before the disk stuttering problems began, because the most recent backup would replicate the problems?
posted by dowcrag to Computers & Internet (2 answers total)
It depends. It is quite possible that some of the sectors cannot be read, in which case the contents of those sectors are lost. If so, and those sectors hold important data, you are setting yourself up for unexplained issues. If the backup holds corrupt (or no) data for those sectors, then restoring that onto a new drive means that when you try to run that program or access that data, the system will read garbage but get no notification that there's a problem.

If the sectors are just reading exxxxxttreeeeemely slowly, but the data is still there, then you are potentially fine with restoring the latest backup onto a new drive.

The safer course of action would be to restore from a known good state and then manually retrieve individual files that had been updated which you deem important.
posted by jgreco at 7:07 AM on May 7, 2015

Response by poster: I think the sectors are just reading extremely slowly. There's a lot of spinning ball, for example when an iTunes song pauses, but things always get there in the end.
posted by dowcrag at 10:37 AM on May 7, 2015

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