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View Full Version : That's it, I give up!



IMI
12-09-2007, 06:11 PM
I'm outta here!
No more LightWave, no more modeling, texturing, no more painting, no more Notepad, no more Word, no more email...no more computers or internet, period!
I've always wanted to become a Buddhist monk, maybe now's the time to follow the dream.

You'd think...you'd THINK you buy a brand new Western Digital SATA hard drive disk, and it's going to last more than 3 months in your new computer you just built. Wouldn't you?
I sure did.

Anyone here familiar with disk recovery when the drive has burned up? Can someone restore it all? Man, I just lost alot of stuff. :bangwall: :compbeati :cursin:

cresshead
12-09-2007, 06:52 PM
not one to stick the boot in when a chap's down...but ever thought of 'backing up' your stuff and not hoping it will be okay on 1 HD?

do yourself a favour...buy an external HD [usb] and store a copy of your important data you make on it...

as for disc recovery...yup it's doable but it's also expensive/time consuming.

also..maybe setup an online storage account...there's quite a few of them around now...

also a decent usb memory key for quick copy/saves too.

ted
12-09-2007, 06:53 PM
That bites! You would expect if it worked a few days, it would be fine for years.
I hear data recovery is very expensive. Into the thousands with no guarantee.
There are methods like putting it in a zip lock and freezing it, then try and boot it again, but its hit and miss.

We just had my office system drive die with NO WARNING. Usually you'll have a few chances to salvage data. Thank God I had everything backed up.

I know the cows out of the barn, but I can't say it enough, get a big drive and have every computer backed up. We've got Seagate 500gigs for each computer and we back up nearly weekly.

jameswillmott
12-09-2007, 07:04 PM
There are methods like putting it in a zip lock and freezing it, then try and boot it again, but its hit and miss.


I actually had this technique work for me, long enough to recover what I could before the thing failed completely.

Disclaimer: I'm not claiming it'll work for anyone else, try at your own risk!

Steamthrower
12-09-2007, 07:12 PM
Good grief, guys, don't tell him to back up his data after he lost all that!

I burned a drive some time back and you don't know how totally insane it makes you to have someone tell you "hey bub, tough luck, didn't back it up, eh?"

Not saying you guys are driving him insane or anything of course. From the looks of it, he already is. :D

cresshead
12-09-2007, 07:19 PM
hey just to make you feel a bit better...my old dell pc [pIII 700] c drive died a couple of weeks back [7 years old]...i can get it up n running in safe mode but it's essentially 'dead'....and no that particular drive was not backed up!..well it's the c drive so only really had programs on it not data i created.

sorry to hear of your data loss...is the drive TOTALLY gone or can you get in via disc tools or safe mode?

Silkrooster
12-09-2007, 07:20 PM
Rather than trying to boot from the crashed drive. Buy another drive, boot from that. You are more apted to get partial data from the crashed drive if it is a slave drive. There is no guarantee that you will recover all of it, but you may get some of it.
A recovery program like R-Studio (http://www.r-tt.com/) may help. It copies the entire drive contents to the new drive, where you can check the contents on the new drive. This program had help my brother once, he was able to retrieve some of his critical data that he failed to back up.
After you get back up and running I hope you can see this as a lesson and buy yourself an external drive for backing up.
Good luck,
Silk

art
12-09-2007, 07:26 PM
What silkrooster said. R-Studio will probably help you if you can get it to recognize/read the drive. It saved my butt more than once. If the drive is completly dead, as in hardware failure, your only other option might be professional (and expensive) data recovery

IMI
12-09-2007, 07:32 PM
Thanks for the replies and suggestions guys, I'm going to look into my options.

I do in fact do regular backups. I have a WD external 320 gig drive, a "My Book", and as it turns out I only lost my work from this past week. Only. Yeah, right.

Well, it's not devastating, but it IS irritating. I have another SATA disk identical to that one in that machine, and now every time I hear it 'click' I'm going to wonder...

thanks again. :)

IMI
12-09-2007, 07:34 PM
Good grief, guys, don't tell him to back up his data after he lost all that!

I burned a drive some time back and you don't know how totally insane it makes you to have someone tell you "hey bub, tough luck, didn't back it up, eh?"

Not saying you guys are driving him insane or anything of course. From the looks of it, he already is. :D

Yeah, there was a moment there... :D

Mr Rid
12-09-2007, 07:38 PM
I'm outta here!
No more LightWave, no more modeling, texturing, no more painting, no more Notepad, no more Word, no more email...no more computers or internet, period!
I've always wanted to become a Buddhist monk, maybe now's the time to follow the dream.

You'd think...you'd THINK you buy a brand new Western Digital SATA hard drive disk, and it's going to last more than 3 months in your new computer you just built. Wouldn't you?
I sure did.

Anyone here familiar with disk recovery when the drive has burned up? Can someone restore it all? Man, I just lost alot of stuff. :bangwall: :compbeati :cursin:

I truly sympathize with the 'no alternative but to shave one's head' realization. I really despise all things computer myself. Slathered in left-brain overcomplication, pre-destined obsolescence, and an endless sea of mysterious compatibility issues and hair-tearing bugs at every install and upgrade that no one ever fully grasps. I wish we could just stop where we are in technological advancement, lets all just take a break and wait for our peace of mind to catch up. Do we really need things like robotic fish?

I tried to get a drive recovered at a number of places that was a pricey mess, ending in zero data recovery. I normally keep 2 Buffalo terabyte backup drives (do not recommend Buffalo), but it was my fault for trusting a pullout Maxtor (never, ever) as temp storage for a few days while reorganizing files. Drive recovery services really have you over a barrel and I found no reason to trust any of them. I have trouble understanding how a drive that costs $100 can cost $thousands to repair (one service wanted $10,000 from a company I worked for!?). I would say to just let them know you are only an individual and not a company and decide how much it is really worth for yourself.

I made the mistake trying out a couple of cheap places first that only increased the amount of damage each time they dicked with the drive and they did not really have the facility to handle all types of recovery. There was one site I cant find now that offered a flat $385 rate for all drive repairs that should be avoided. I suggest going with someone who will give a firm quote up front. One place offered a 'no data- no charge' policy but charged me $285 for parts anyway. Get it in writing.

But then again, those robes do look comfy.

IMI
12-09-2007, 08:00 PM
Decide "how much it is really worth for yourself."

Yeah, I was already thinking that. We'll see, but I think I'm going to try the freezer thing first, maybe. I have that machine shut down and the drive removed. I'm looking at the PSU suspiciously.

But, worth that kind of expense? Alot of LW stuff, but then again, I'm a hobbyist. I did lose some recent Oblivion mods, though. :(
I'm damn sure glad it wasn't on my business machine - emails, notes, receipts, bids... heck, pictures from Thanksgiving this year.
It's so easy to see all this important digital stuff as just as tangible and permanent as anything else we rely on to be there when we need it, but it's really quite fragile.

cresshead
12-09-2007, 08:08 PM
if you don't have a backup drive try something like this:-

http://www.heartinternet.co.uk/heartdrive-h.shtml
ohh..yeah i made the heart drive icons btw!

http://www.heartinternet.co.uk/images/general/heartdrive.jpg
http://www.heartinternet.co.uk/images/general/hdsafe.jpg

http://www.heartinternet.co.uk/images/general/hdphonepc.jpg

IMI
12-09-2007, 08:16 PM
Hey that's pretty cool Steve!
Thanks. :)

Tom Wood
12-09-2007, 08:22 PM
I recently used Acronis to back up my production machine system drive. It wasn't the data files I was worried about. It was all those expensive programs that I bought via download that had me worried. Acronis made a disk image file though, so I can't really see the stuff, just hope it's there. It'll also do a clone but then says the clone has to be removed from the system. Haven't tried that yet.

Verlon
12-09-2007, 08:56 PM
Had some good luck with R-Studio myself....its a bit of work though.

Mr Big
12-09-2007, 10:04 PM
I had one drive fail because the hard drive ran out of swap space (virtual memory), & wouldn't boot.Take the hard drive to the local computer store, connect the drive has a slave & delete enough non O.S. data to restore the swap space, After 3 months the drive should still be under warranty. Back up as much data as you can on another drive. Reconnect the drive as master & make sure that the bios recognizes the drive, see if the computer boots. If not run fdsisk & start from scratch. You can find more about that here at http://www.bootdisk.com/

Always defrag your drives occasionally, hope this helps. If its a Mac use the warranty.

Phil
12-09-2007, 11:25 PM
That bites! You would expect if it worked a few days, it would be fine for years.

The ultimate reference would be :

http://research.google.com/archive/disk_failures.pdf

Empirically, it seems that drive failure is likelier in the first 6 months. After that, they tend to work for years. I won't trust a drive until it's been in service a good 6 months and will start worrying about it after 5 or 6 years. It's for this reason that the nodes in the renderfarm also serve as backup devices, along with dedicated external drives.

Oddly, the one thing I have had to recover more often than not is the LW config files. LW just seems to have a severe case of self-loathing.

Joe Battle
12-10-2007, 07:30 AM
I just want to add a purely personal note to say I can empathize with you my brother. I can't imagine how stressful this situation must be for you. After reading all the other members comments I'm going out and purchase a back up hard drive today. I hope you are able to retrieve at least some of you lost files. Good luck and hang in there.

LW_Will
12-10-2007, 07:49 AM
SpinRite is a good repair system for software on Hard Drives. You can maintain services on a HD, recover from fatal crashes, and boot systems that are officially dead.

Its available from GRC.com and it will save your life.

lwaddict
12-10-2007, 07:53 AM
I perform all the data recovery here at my 9-5...
so, for what it's worth, here are some tips.

First, I know some of this has been covered repeatedly but here goes...

1.) If using raid, always have an external drive backing up in the background. A terrabyte MyBook network model is cheap compared to the data loss sometimes. Something that performs incremental backups is nice since it wouldn't take up too much RAM while running.

2.) Take damaged drive and make it a slave. And DO NOT boot until you're 100% ready to start the recovery process. Everytime the drive gets booted, you're that much closer to never recovering a thing from it.

3.) Acronis is good for #1, if loaded up in the first place but "Final Data" can recover from a drive even after many formats and repartitioning has taken place. Time consuming, sure...but it actually works. Look into this as it's the tool I run to when all else fails. (warning: I've had drives that needed this run for nearly two days straight to get my data...but it worked)

Now I've lost entire movies that I was working on...
last round was a 1.5 hour film that was using approx 45 gigs of space in several directories on several drives (I use a drive for sound, a drive for clips, and a drive for the project files) all of which became disassociated due to the damaged drive.

Final Data saved my butt and gave me the break to get a second wind while waiting.

Hope this helps someone.

LW

IMI
12-10-2007, 08:09 PM
Thanks for the additional suggestions, guys. :)
I doubt any kind of software is going to help. I don't know the physical inner workings of a HDD, but I'm guessing this one is frozen up. Windows can't even see it, and I tried it in two computers. I'm guessing I'm just SOL.

But I will be looking into automatic backup software, and might be looking into setting up a RAID mirroring scheme, or maybe striping with parity. Not sure of the RAID numbers for those offhand, so I need to read up on it and figure out what I want, but I do know that hoping to remember to copy the new content to my external regularly is not that efficient.

Can't let this happen again - must have better plan. I look silly in monk robes. ;)

Mr Rid
12-10-2007, 08:43 PM
But I will be looking into automatic backup software, and might be looking into setting up a RAID mirroring scheme, or maybe striping with parity. Not sure of the RAID numbers for those offhand, ;)

I dont trust raids. On three different occasions I have worked at a house where a raid drive went down, and in all three instances they lost data and it did not work the way raids are expected to. I prefer backing up drive for drive.

IMI
12-10-2007, 08:59 PM
I dont trust raids. On three different occasions I have worked at a house where a raid drive went down, and in all three instances they lost data and it did not work the way raids are expected to. I prefer backing up drive for drive.


I've heard that too, which is why I'm reluctant. I have several identical SATA drives, but have been reluctant to set them up in any sort of array.

Mr Rid
12-10-2007, 10:10 PM
I've heard that too, which is why I'm reluctant. I have several identical SATA drives, but have been reluctant to set them up in any sort of array.

I use one terabyte drive (four 250s inside) to back up to another- no vague virtual drives. I also archive certain things to discs and some particularly important bits are stored online. I think offsite is the safest backup in case of fire or quake (I'm in LA). I also keep an alarm, and I further secure all the computers and electronics physically.

Unlike the computer or drives themselves, the data on your drives is irreplaceable so why take chances. I met an FX artist once who had lost everything to a burglary. He was only able to obtain low quality AVIs and VHS' to piece a demo back together.

bobakabob
12-11-2007, 10:46 AM
Easy to get so paranoid you start backing up your backups... A friend of mine who draws comics professionally not only lost his Mac hard drive but his backup drive died the very same day. What are the odds? He now has two external hard drives purely for storage.

Mr Rid's suggestion of online backup is sound advice.

Matt
12-11-2007, 01:09 PM
I need to back up my stuff, some of it is, but most of it isn't.

I'm using all Western Digital drives too! Been fine so far though (touches wood)

bobakabob
12-11-2007, 05:22 PM
I need to back up my stuff, some of it is, but most of it isn't.

I'm using all Western Digital drives too! Been fine so far though (touches wood)

They're meant to be good drives... no? What are the alternatives? Reading feedback on Amazon regarding Maxtor and Seagate external drives doesn't exactly quell the paranoia.

IMI
12-11-2007, 06:29 PM
I've always used Western Digital, and this is the first problem I've had. Two of my other WD drives are more than five years old now and seem to still be doing fine.
I figure I just got a bad one, got unlucky. It happens, unfortunately, but I agree about the bad reviews of maxtor and seagate. For that matter I had a seagate external which died only about a year after I got it.

Exception
12-11-2007, 07:18 PM
You can do worse than to contact western digital about it.
I had a failed samsung drive once (yes, I know, asking for it), but samsung provided me with a hardcoded little program that if booted from a cd was able to access the drive if you had an identical drive in the same system, and could retrieve data from it.

However, if your drive is clicking, I'm pretty sure it's a piece of hardware inside the drive that actually failed (the heads) and not the PCB on the drive. Usually if the pcb fails, you can also screw the pcb of an identical drive on it to get to your stuff.
Is it clicking?

RTSchramm
12-11-2007, 08:50 PM
IMI,

I been fixing computers since 1984, and it is rare that a new hard drive goes bad. Usually, if its only the boot sector that got screwed up and can be fixed using the disk utilities on your originial Vista or XP CD/DVD. You need boot from your XP/Vista installation disk and get into console mode to do this.

You need to run the FIXBOOT utilitiy which works about 90% of the time. Once you get windows rebooted then you run CHKDSK c: /R which will then ask to be scheduled to run on the next reboot.

If you cannot get the hard drive to boot, you might try slaving it into another computer to see if you can retrieve the data from it. If are using the NTFS file system, you may need to take owership of the files before you can copy them over to the good hard drive.

I backup my hard drive using Acronis True Image which also allows you to create a disaster recovery disk. You can also create Differental backups which are much smaller that a full image. For example, I have 71 GB of used space using a full backup and the differental takes up 4 GB.

Good luck,

Rich

Mr Rid
12-12-2007, 01:28 AM
...

However, if your drive is clicking, I'm pretty sure it's a piece of hardware inside the drive that actually failed (the heads) and not the PCB on the drive. Usually if the pcb fails, you can also screw the pcb of an identical drive on it to get to your stuff.
Is it clicking?

Advice to anyone with a clicking drive- Ive learned to turn it off immediately and do not boot it anymore or attempt cheap recovery schemes. Id say that only a reputable recovery service (must have a proper clean room) could recover it.

WCameron
12-12-2007, 06:17 AM
One thing you might try id try and track down the same EXACT model drive, and swap the controler card off the new one onto the old one.

match the numbers up, check Ebay for cheep used but working ones.

this saved my bacon when an old maxtor 120 gig drive died a few years back.

- Will.

SP00
12-12-2007, 10:48 AM
not sure, but did you check to see if the hard drive manufacturer will recover the data for you for free? I would call them up, scream at them and threaten a lawsuit for a faulty drive.

Andyjaggy
12-12-2007, 11:14 AM
Oh the click of death. I am all to familier with that. Luckily I have never lost any data, I've always been lucky enough to be able to get it off before the drive totally died.

In my personal experience though most HD issues are the controller and not the drive. I have had several external drives completely die on me. clicking and everything. I pulled them out of there case stuck them in my desktop and was able to use them without any problems.

Maybe I've just been lucky!?