Hard Drive Recovery. Ouch.

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fossiltooth
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Hard Drive Recovery. Ouch.

Post by fossiltooth » Tue May 19, 2009 4:20 pm

Argh. 500GB audio hard drive failed.

Luckily, most most of it is all backed up on external drives. But, there are a few old (and only sentimentally important) archived sessions, and a couple of newly saved mix session files that could be lost and gone forever.

I got a quote of $1200 dollars to recover data from the drive from Tekserve.

Is that the going rate these days? Because if so, I'm kinda up sh*t's creek when it comes to these files. On a business level, they're just not worth it.

Any advice?

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Post by fossiltooth » Tue May 19, 2009 4:27 pm

Error Message:

"This drive has reported a fatal hardware error to Disk Utility.

If the drive has not failed completely, back up as much data as you can and then replace it with a working drive"

Seeing that it ain't showing up on the desktop, I'll assume this means it has "failed completely"? Any intermediary options here?

JamesHE
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Post by JamesHE » Tue May 19, 2009 5:42 pm

I think this is PC only, so if you are a MAC. Well, maybe you have a PC to use too.

http://www.z-a-recovery.com/

I have used this before and it worked quite well. I had a drive that was hanging while running this utility cause it was getting wayyyy too hot. I put the drive in a ziploc bag and put it in the freezer for 5 hours or so. Hooked it back up - outside the case and ran this. I got everything off the drive.

They give you a discount, i think it runs every night in the middle of the night, so buy it when it's cheap. I think they run that all weekend too.

IIRC they have a trial that allows you to see what it will recover - you just can't backup what it finds. Try that and see if it works. Try to get some cooling to your drives if you are doing something like this as it seems to stress the drive quite a bit.
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Post by kinger » Wed May 20, 2009 3:31 pm

I've worked some minor miracles with Spinrite. It's shareware, but if I remember, it's pretty darned cheap.

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casey campbell
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Post by casey campbell » Thu May 21, 2009 9:19 am

ok, listen....

does the hard drive still spin?

if so, then:

go to a good computer repair shop and purchase an ide/sata to usb connector kit.

learn how to use it. it will save your life.

Image

it's very possible that you can retrieve your data using one of these.

make sure you get the one that will do sata and ide as well...

they retail for around 20 bucks on newegg if you'd rather buy it online.

good luck...

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Post by fossiltooth » Thu May 21, 2009 10:04 am

Thanks for the tips so far. Keep 'em coming!

It was hard to tell for sure if the drive was still spinning, as it was inside the computer, and the drive above it was definitely spinning.

I have my hard drive wrapped in plastic in the freezer at the moment. I'll let you know how it turns out. Maybe there's some truth to the old rumor.

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Post by rwc » Fri May 22, 2009 12:54 pm

If it's a SATA drive, throw it into a PC and I can PM you a link to a program I use that takes a long time(anywhere from 40 to 300 hours) to run, and it must run uninterrupted, but it does help make the drive just useful enough to pull files on it.

If you have a spare PC of any kind you can throw it into, and a ton of time for it to run, try that before throwing $1200 into data recovery.

Use ANYONE BUT TEKSERVE!!!

They are useless monkeys. When they give low quotes, it is because a program was used that helped fix sectors just long enough for them to drag stuff off. This takes a ton of time and ties up a machine, so while a simple task, money must be charged.

When they give a large quote, it is because they are OUTSOURCING THE PROCESS, or using someone else's very expensive stuff, which means they are a middleman. I've worked for a few laptop repair shops where we were the middleman to some data recovery firm.

Cut out the middleman.
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Seamonster
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Post by Seamonster » Fri May 22, 2009 5:07 pm

Justin,

The chill method has been known to work (metal parts contract when cooled). However, *if you can verify that it's not spinning up*, heating can work. Over time, the lube in there can dry out or stiffen; warming it loosens it.

What's worked for me two or three times in the past: Hold the bare drive using hotpad gloves (or tongs should work) over a stove burner. I have an electric range, so I hold it about 6 inches above the burner; I guess a gas range would be similar. The idea is just to warm it up a bit. A minute or two in that position should be enough. Maybe turn it once or twice so you're not heating any one part too much.

Then immediately give it a few gentle whacks with a hammer. (Wrap a soft cloth around the head if you're concerned about scratches; you shouldn't be hitting it hard enough to be concerned about metal-on-metal splinters.) To decide where to hit it, you kind of have to "be the lube" (to put a Zen Motorcycle spin on it).

In the next installment: how to smack a lazy CRT monitor.

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Post by rwc » Fri May 22, 2009 7:33 pm

I vote running spinrite before burning it & beating with a hammer.
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Seamonster
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Post by Seamonster » Sat May 23, 2009 1:07 am

Yeah. I don't know anything about spinrite, but it does sound less drastic. Not that my method is drastic per se -- it's less finicky than tape baking, f'rinstance.

I should note that the last time I had to do was maybe 5 years ago, and that drive could've been 5 years old already by then. For all I know, drive lube technology has advanced since then.

But I have gotten it to work several times -- the only times I've tried it.
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Post by ctmsound » Sun May 24, 2009 10:29 pm

Is the drive making any noise?

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Post by kakumei47 » Mon Jun 08, 2009 11:09 am

One thing to try on Mac if you haven't already is Diskwarrior. That's not going to help if it's a mechanical problem, but I have used it to get access to drives that don't mount or when folders get lost on a drive.

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Post by Brian » Mon Jun 08, 2009 7:40 pm

Did you get an error mesage or a tone sounded from the drive?
If the tone sounded from the drive, and it is from the drive itself, not the speakers in the computer, don't try anything with it. Send it to whoever and $1200 is right on target for that, they will have to disassemble the drive, remove the platter, put it into another mechanism an hope for the best. $1200 and it may be too late to get anything.

If it's just a case of getting an error message, you may have an easier time with disk warrior.
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Post by DryCounty » Mon Jun 08, 2009 8:00 pm

Try Gillware -- last I'd heard they had far more reasonable pricing than Drive Savers and (I believe) they don't charge unless there is data recovered.

http://www.gillware.com/
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Jeff White
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Post by Jeff White » Mon Jun 08, 2009 10:30 pm

I got that same error message on a 500GB drive in December (detailed here: http://messageboard.tapeop.com/viewtopi ... ht=#522910 ). I didn't lose anything important, fortunately. I'm chiming in to say that I had the exact same error message, I have one of those USB Universal drive adapters, and I have Disk Warrior. Every time I tried to mount that drive more and more data was unreadable and simply disappeared if the drive would mount. I guess that I am saying that if it was me and if there was critically important data on there, I'd send it off and shell out the money. If not, try the other things listen on here to simply copy what you need off of there and just keep the drive around in case you need to extract stuff int he future. If not critical just spend 1/3 of that $1200 quote on three new mirrored drives of the same size.

So ... a three drive system, one in a different location (home as opposed to studio, or at the office if you have a day job, or at you girlfriend/boyfriend's place, etc). Just drop some bucks every 4 months on a terrabyte drive until you have three of them and keep them constantly mirrored. When a project is finished back it up to DVDs as another safety. Backup shit everyday.

I learned to do this from Joel's posts on the subject, from working as the Art Director for a publishing company, and from recording several projects at a time and archiving for my friends' band.

Jeff
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