On Sunday disaster struck, my hard drive corrupted and OS X wouldn't boot. I feared the worst but had been backing up for the past two years using OS X Time Machine. Could it be as simple as restoring from backup to a new drive?
My first job was to install a new hard drive, this is easier said then done in the all in one iMac. Fortunately this video from camodesto went through step by step, first removing the glass front, then the aluminium case and then the screen. Finally you can replace the hard drive, I opted for an upgrade to a 1TB drive.
After booting from the Snow Leopard DVD I created a partition on the new hard drive then restored from Time Machine. The process took around seven hours to copy my 300gig of data from the External drive.
When I rebooted my Mac had been restored to 5pm on Sunday, 90mins before it had died. All my files were restored, even my Firefox tabs were saved.