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      11-27-2007, 07:13 PM   #1
NFS
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Hard Drive Failure

I had a bit of a disaster last night.

I was playing Crysis (very good game) and after I switched it off, the drive on which it was installed (which also houses my documents) wasn't visible in explorer.

I rebooted and got s.m.a.r.t. messages indicating the drive was failing, but couldn't access it to retrieve data.

It was clicking and buzzing like crazy by now and it's obviously suffered some sort of mechanical failure.

My back up was a bit old (August) so I stood to lose quite a few photos etc..

Spent the last 24 hours trying to sort it using 4 or 5 different applications.

Eventually I used 'getdataback' and this evening managed to clone the entire disk.

Very stressful. People tell you to back up, but it takes something like this to realise that hard disks can let you down without warning.
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      11-27-2007, 08:27 PM   #2
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Tell me about it.

I had this same problem. Unfortunately I hadn't backed up at all so lost everything.

It taught me a lesson though as I now have a secondary HDD than backs everything up.
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      11-27-2007, 08:40 PM   #3
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True, I deal with a lot of people whose data is much more valuable than the hardware. Managed to persuade most of them to spread the risk.

I have a couple of main PCs I use, each with a set of mirrored RAID drives and external drives / network backup and large capacity Memory Sticks.

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      11-28-2007, 04:54 AM   #4
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Sadly, no matter how much you bang on about it, it takes a painful lesson like this for people to listen. Glad to hear that you managed to get your data back NFS.


At work I decided to take another approach, I got sick of banging on about it and helping managers nears tears (and rightly scared for their jobs) when they had lost vital data from their laptops. Now, we automatically backup data from laptops with a special agent, works a treat and the look of relief of people's faces when someone says "don't worry about it, we have all your data" is worth it alone
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      11-28-2007, 05:16 AM   #5
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A neat little (free) solution that I came across after something similar is SyncBack http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware

The free version doesn't do more than copy files (no compression and no copying of open files), but can be set to run in the background basically synchronise a chosen folder to another. A bit basic, but as a first line of defence not too bad.
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      11-28-2007, 07:05 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scotw View Post
Sadly, no matter how much you bang on about it, it takes a painful lesson like this for people to listen. Glad to hear that you managed to get your data back NFS.
I was lucky I think. Very impressed with the programme I used (getdataback)though:

http://www.runtime.org/gdb.htm

I tried a few other utilities and none of them could read from the file at all.

This one seemed unsuccessful at first initally as well, but I ended up connecting the drive with the side of the case open and the drive lying on the floor. I then shook it from left to right for a bit whilst it was trying to seek and was rewarded with some clunking and spinning noises. Eventually it seemed to burst back into life and ran on all evening laid upside down on the floor.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mjh93sa View Post
A neat little (free) solution that I came across after something similar is SyncBack http://www.2brightsparks.com/downloads.html#freeware

The free version doesn't do more than copy files (no compression and no copying of open files), but can be set to run in the background basically synchronise a chosen folder to another. A bit basic, but as a first line of defence not too bad.
I've ordered 2 replacement 500 gig Samsung HDD's from ebuyer. I'm never buying Western Digital again as the failed one isn't much more than a year old.

I'm going to try to set them up in a raid format. Never used raid before, but I like the idea of having identical data on both in case this happens again.
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      11-28-2007, 08:42 AM   #7
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I've got RAID in my pc at home, with another backup going to a network disk.

I got 2 500 gb disks from different manufacturers. If there's a dodgy batch of disks then i won't have 2 dodgy ones.
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      11-28-2007, 10:00 AM   #8
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There is in fact a couple of free Microsoft tools you can use to backup to an external drive if you want.

One is the backup tool, which I personally don't like much, but will do the job.

The second one is something called Synctoy, a free download from the MS site. You can use it to sync any folder with another. So, I sync my c:\documents and settngs folder (where all my files, music, piccys are kept including iTunes) with a folder on my external drive. Nice and simple to use.

The nice thing is that the sync folder is just a folder, so its easy to browse to pickup one file if you delete it.

Of course, nothing beats time machine if you have a Mac
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      11-28-2007, 03:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed View Post

I've ordered 2 replacement 500 gig Samsung HDD's from ebuyer. I'm never buying Western Digital again as the failed one isn't much more than a year old.

I'm going to try to set them up in a raid format. Never used raid before, but I like the idea of having identical data on both in case this happens again.
Highly recommend Samsung Spinpoints, in fact I had another one delivered on Monday, and I'm thinking abuot getting another to run in a RAID config on the PC I've just built.

How particular do you have to be about matching the drive makes/types? For instance, I have a 250Gb Baracuda and a 500Gb Baracuda (currently used in an external case for backup). If I got another 500Gb Spinpoint, could I RAID it with the 500Gb Baracuda successfully?
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      11-28-2007, 03:33 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by needforspeed View Post
...I've ordered 2 replacement 500 gig Samsung HDD's from ebuyer. I'm never buying Western Digital again as the failed one isn't much more than a year old....
I actually use WD Raptors- fast & reliable as a RAID array. I've had no problems with them over the last 3 years or so.

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      11-28-2007, 03:43 PM   #11
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Highly recommend Samsung Spinpoints
I've got four of the little blighters and a pair of Hitachi's in my system
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      11-28-2007, 04:53 PM   #12
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Sounds like a lucky escape NFS - well done!

I had a similar problem and now back up onto a SeaGate external HDD.

Hope it's all sorted soon.
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      11-29-2007, 06:35 AM   #13
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Sounds like a lucky escape NFS - well done!

I had a similar problem and now back up onto a SeaGate external HDD.

Hope it's all sorted soon.
Mrs NFS was not impressed at the prospect of losing 2 months worth of photo's ..

So I am now a hero for retrieving the info from the dead drive.
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