A few weeks ago I attended an invitee-only tour of the DriveSavers facility located in Novato, CA, where I learned how data recovery specialists perform their magic on failed hard drives, iPods, and flash media. One comment that stuck with me was a warning from a seasoned tech engineer not to use off-the-shelf data recovery tools if a drive is emitting an unusual sound such as a persistent click or tapping noise. Doing so could permanently damage or erase one or more files if the drive fails immediately. Well, it turns out the hard drive inside my iMac server has been emitting strange whining and humming sounds in recent weeks. After the tour, I immediately went online to order a replacement hard drive. Prior to receiving the new drive, I cloned the contents of the old drive onto a disk image stored on a backup drive that’s part of a firewire enclosure. Using a regular Firewire 400 connection, it took OVER 3 HOURS to clone 7.95 gb of data from the old drive using Carbon Copy Cloner. The reason the process took so long was because my server is a vintage iMac G3 that I bought in December, 1999. While the iMac has been a reliable workhouse, it just doesn’t have the hardware infrastructure to send data quickly through the firewire connection.