A good equipment repair technician has developed a set of skills that will give him or her the ability to diagnose and possibly prevent a catastrophic failure. When equipment failure is looming, the technician will take steps to minimize loss.

The Mac computer user can also develop those same skills. There are signs that a hard drive is going to fail and the computer user should learn what they are and what to do when they are discovered. Some of the signs of impending failure are:

•startup problems, such as slow boot up or not booting up at all

•error messages that display during normal usage

•programs that begin crashing all at once

•Strange noises coming from the hard drive when running

One of the key ways to prevent data loss is backing up your data but not every user performs this important task. Nevertheless, even with regular backups, the possibility of data loss still exists. The Mac user should have a good, data recovery program on hand. Data Rescue 3 for Mac is an excellent program to use. Not only can it recover a wide variety of Mac file formats, it has several other important features as well.

One feature that will be helpful is the ability to clone your hard drive to a second drive, either internal or external, so you can perform Mac file recovery to a good drive before the main drive fails. Additionally, the program is also an emergency boot disk, which allows for booting the machine when the main drive is not recognized.