So I've always kept the important stuff on the computer on a RAID-1 setup, so that I always had two copies of everything. The computer before this one had two 1.5TB drives.
Last year, one of those drives took a dump right about the time I was planning to upgrade anyway, so now I have two 3TB drives.
Except things got busy around here, and I never got around to copying everything over, because I wanted to sort through stuff before I just copied everything over. Bad idea.
The second 1.5TB died about a month ago. I was in the middle of downloading something, then got an error. Tried to access the drive, and got nothing. Shut the computer down for a few hours, started it back up. Couldn't see the drive in Drive Management anymore. Tried it again later in an external adapter. Still nothing. Drive was toast.
So what did this drive have?
- All the artwork. Most of it is backed up safely on the FTP, but I have a lot that I haven't stitched together yet, and other stuff, that isn't there.
- Twelve years of family pictures
- All my music, movies, etc. stuff like that. Some stuff that I have I can't find on the internet anymore.
- Taxes and other important stuff
- and so on.
So the choice to give up and say "fuck it" wasn't a choice; had to get all of this back, if for nothing else, the twelve years of pictures.
First, I tried some of the software solutions online. None of them worked. Found a place locally, dropped it off. They call the next day, say they can't recover anything, and refer me to Drive Savers, which looks like it's going to cost >$1500 to get everything back. (Found out later all they did was try the same software solutions I had already done).
So I sat on it for a couple weeks, trying to decide what to do. Broke out Google again, to see what other kind of alternatives I had, and I happened to stumble upon this place in Studio City:
I read through the whole site, read through reviews on real websites, and figured the place was legit. They have a form on their site where you fill out how your drive died, what's on it, what model, etc. Got an email back the next day saying they had successfully recovered 11/15 of the same model.
If they can't recover your data, they don't charge you, and they refer you out, so I figure I've got nothing to lose.
I dropped it off this past Wednesday afternoon, along with a drive to backup the recovered data if successful. (You can bring your own, or pay them for a drive. I got lucky, and Costco had a 1.5TB USB 3.0 drive on sale for $80 this week). Got an email Thursday afternoon they were able to recover 99% of the sectors. Got an email Friday morning that it was almost done, and that included a complete file listing of everything on the drive. Got the email Friday afternoon that it was done, left work early and rushed over. Picked it up and rushed straight home (as fast as I could rush home, with LA traffic what it is).
Plugged in the backup drive, and there's all my files. I went meticulously through them, to make sure I could see everything; nothing seemed corrupted. I started to copy everything over to the new RAID 1 10pm last night. Finished this morning around 8:30.
So everything's back, the stress is gone, and it only cost me $300. Backup lesson learned. *breathes sigh of relief*
Couple other notes: don't freeze your hard drive. Sometimes it works (I've done it once before), but if it doesn't, and you have to end up trying data recovery, you can make your problem worse.
Here's some of the ways they use to recover your data:
And if you happen to come along this site: http://www.300dollardatarecovery.org/ , just ignore it. That guy is full of shit. After some research, it looks like the guy who created that site is a competitor that is just upset about the amount of business this place gets.
Seriously, if you get in the same situation, $300 ain't that bad, when you consider the alternatives.
RELAX and just have fun. Remember, it's all about the games.