Ok, so our new(ish) iMac G5 packed in yesterday. It was after some serious iMovie/iDVD action and we went to put it to sleep for the night and lo and behold it was locked up. A quick power cycle revealed the dreaded flashing folder/questionmark. Oh dear.
Half an hour later it was clear that the HD was not spinning up... basically a dead drive.
Now, I realise this is not entirely Apple's fault, but it is a little frustrating to have a 10 month old computer die in such a fashion. My TiVo is nearly 4 years old and runs 24/7 and it's fine. Could it be the continual sleep/start cycle the Mac was subjected to daily that killed the drive? I don't know.
You may ask, did I do any backups? Ahahahahahahah.... erm, yes, actually... but only of the main iPhoto folder... the rest is gone. Most of my iTunes downloads are replicated on the iBook... yeah, most... and all the video footage is still on the original tapes, so that at least can be recovered.
As a long time computer user I'm kind of resigned to the fact that the machines aren't as reliable as we'd like. Yes, backup often, but where 100's of GBs are concerned, that becomes impractical unless you're prepared to fork out for a tape drive or many hours and many DVD's (or a backup HD for that matter).
Anyway, lesson (if there was one) learnt.