Click-click, dead hard disk, harbinger of panic attacks.
Thankfully, I am somewhat battle-hardened in this regard, and I had been using Apple's Time Machine as backup strategy. Even more lucky, I recently bought a NAS solution which automates backups completely and allowed me to forget about them.
The only remaining thrill was that until now, I did not get around verifying that a full restore actually works. However, Restoring from Time Machine delivers as advertised. A couple of hours after exchanging the hard disk, everything was back up again.
There are two small snags I encountered, though. First, the MacOS X
installer does not recognize a completely empty hard disk. I used
Disk Utilities application (from the
menu) to format the hard disk.
Second, while this is good enough for the installer to work, the
Restore application still does not see the (now-formatted)
hard disk. It helped to go back to the initial dialog of the
installer (in which the language can be selected) and then go forward
until I could choose
Restore System from Backup (again from