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IN PRAISE OF APPLE TECH SUPPORT, or, How the Lost was Found

I use the MacBook Air and once had over 1,000 photos stored on the hard drive. The Handsome Bloke kept telling me to transfer them to an external drive. But you know how it is. I hadn’t gotten around to it. Then, for the past several weeks I’ve been getting a message saying that my start-up disk was too full, and I thought, “I have to move the photos.” But I still didn’t do it. Then, procrastination caught up to me.

I was unable to download an upgrade, because I didn’t have enough disk space. “Okay,” I thought, “I’ll move enough photos to do the download.” So, Thursday night, I transferred a number of older photos to an external drive. The upgrade downloaded. Everything looked well in “Mac-Land.” I turned off the computer and went to bed.

Friday morning I turned on the computer. The travel photos I’d left on the hard drive were gone. I took many deep breaths, did a focus exercise, looked through all my files. Nothing photographic appeared. I entered a state of controlled panic, and contacted Apple Tech Support. I poured out my tale of woe to the nice lady in Portland OR. She transferred me to a supervisor.  “Uh, oh,” I thought. “That can’t be good.” I felt like I’d been sent to the principal’s office for disruptive behavior.

The supervisor and I divided the problem into three parts.

Part 1 – Find the photos. (Yes, Yes, Please find the photos!)

Part 2 – Figure out what was eating up my hard drive, because clearly it wasn’t the       photos. (Why do these things happen to me?)

Part 3: My Time Capsule wasn’t functioning properly. (I figured that out when I couldn’t restore the photos.)

The tech and I did a screen share. I followed directions. Eureka! After an hour, we found the photos and began transferring them to the external drive. Since this was going to take at least an hour, we arranged for a call back in the afternoon.

A nice tech in Alabama called me at 3:00. We went over the notes. We tried to discover what was using up the hard drive. She transferred me to a supervisor – in Austin. We looked everywhere. The graph said the hard drive was over 50 percent full of movies – problem was I don’t download movies to my computer, only to my iPad. We kept looking and discovered that every movie/tv show downloaded to the iPad was on the computer. We deleted them and changed the default settings. Hard drive now less than half full. Eureka to the max!

Then it was on to the Time Capsule, which had to be erased and then have the data re-entered.

Everything seems to be working now – knock on wood. (Audible sigh of major relief!)

 What did I learn from this experience?

  1. Breathe
  2. Don’t Worry, Be Happy
  3. Breathe
  4. Don’t Panic
  5. Write down the problem so you sound sane when you talk to Tech Support
  6. Breathe
  7. Don’t Babble
  8. Don’t forget to say thank you to the person who just recovered over 1,000 photos and the person who found the infamous “hard drive eater”
  9. Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Thank you, Jennie, Crystal, and Ray at Apple Tech Support. You solved my problems in a patient and professional manner. Thank you, Apple, for locating the tech support centers in the U.S. It gave my problems a patriotic flavor.

As I said to Ray in Austin: “When technology works, it’s a beautiful thing. When it doesn’t, it’s kind of a mess.”

Photo of MacBook Air by Renato Mitra, Creative Commons Attribution, Wikimedia Commons

Author Sandra Wagner Wright

Sandra Wagner-Wright holds the doctoral degree in history and taught women’s and global history at the University of Hawai`i. Sandra travels for her research, most recently to Salem, Massachusetts, the setting of her new Salem Stories series. She also enjoys traveling for new experiences. Recent trips include Antarctica and a river cruise on the Rhine from Amsterdam to Basel.

 Sandra particularly likes writing about strong women who make a difference. She lives in Hilo, Hawai`i with her family and writes a blog relating to history, travel, and the idiosyncrasies of life.


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