I have had an interesting 2008 when it comes to data problems. When I got back from Christmas vacation I found that my laptop hard drive had died. What a bummer. This was a brand new 200gb drive that was less then a month old. I had the 100gb drive that I could have recovered from, but that was a month of data that would have been lost. Fortunately I had just started using Leopard’s Time Machine before vacation. I got the replacement drive and crossed my fingers that Time Machine would work. Booted from the Leopard install CD and recovered from my attached fire wire drive. Up and running again in about 2 hours. Very cool.
Last week I was doing some testing with OS X server and setup a mail account. I moved all of my archived mail from the Exchange server over to the OS X mail server. All was going well until I decided to recreate my server user in Open Directory to fix an issue with my home folder forgetting that I had about 6000 mail messages sitting in that account. Well, tonight I recovered all of the mail using Time Machine and a few mail tricks. If you have not started using Time Machine, give it a run.