If you've been following my Tweets you'll know that I recently had some corruption on the internal drive in my MacKook Pro. Following the data paranoia scheme inspired by a friend of mine, I was able to boot off of an external clone of my laptop's hard drive and keep working while Disk Warrior cleaned-up the problem. Yea for data redundancy (and SuperDuper!, which makes it very easy to clone drives)!
However, this morning I woke up (at 4:00 AM to deliver an online training class to a great group of folks in Europe) and heard that same external hard drive making the click of death. Yowzers—what a close call! The drive was an old 300 GB Maxtor MaXLine II that was well out of warranty, housed in an OWC Neptune enclosure. The bummer with this old equipment is that it uses an ATA interface between the hard drive and the enclosure, and the industry has moved on to a newer, faster interface: SATA. (Note: I can't really complain about getting about six years' use out of a hard drive, but it sure is a pain when one fails—and they all will fail eventually.)
So, I can either pay too much money for a deprecated ATA hard drive, or pony up for a new SATA enclosure. My original idea was to buy a 2 GB Western Digital Caviar Green SATA hard drive and a quad-interface (eSATA, FireWire 400, FireWire 800, USB 2) SATA enclosure. I'm partial to Oxford Semiconductor's interface chipset but no one wants to sell those as a bare enclosure for 3.5" drives—they all come bundled with a hard drive, and no one seems to offer the Caviar Greens in an Oxford Semiconductor enclosure.
This made me become a repeat OWC customer, where I ponied-up for Mercury Elite Pro enclosure with a Seagate Barracuda LP drive. Not that I hate doing business with OWC. Quite the opposite, actually—I don't think I have a single external hard drive that's not in an OWC enclosure. They've always been prompt shippers with good pricing, and fortunately I've never had to resort to their warranty service so their products seem pretty robust as well. I've gravitated towards them in the past because they've had lots of products with FireWire support, and I continue to be a snob for that interface, so I guess the choice was pretty easy.
Now I just have to hope that I don't have any more hard drive problems until the new drive gets here. Cross your fingers for me.