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Thread: Hard Drive pretty dead... options?

  1. #1
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    Default Hard Drive pretty dead... options?

    A typical tale of ignoring the warnings and not looking after data. Unfortunately the data is much of our family photos.

    The drive has been decaying for years and is now unmountable, do I have options other that sending it some place to be pulled apart?

    Anyone have any recommendation of people that may do this kind of thing?

    Glum :-(

  2. #2
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    Unfortunately there aren't many tricks. Buy an identical drive and swap the circuit board. Or if it's not spinning up try freezing it for a few hours and then spinning it up cold.

    No idea who you should use for a recovery... Seagate maybe? Haven't ever had the pleasure of partaking. It's a several grand adventure in possibilities. Unfortunately the money goes out whether the data comes back. It's not a cheap thrill.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  3. #3
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    One of the best out there is Drive Savers. Never seen recovery less than about 1K. They do a free eval and estimate though....

    Check here to see if any of these sound like the failing HD.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  4. #4
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    Managed to mount the drive, data copied, disaster dodged!

    8)

  5. #5
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    awesome!
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  6. #6
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    Congrats.

    Inspired to get back ups rolling now?
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  7. #7
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    Yep! Speaking of which, anyone recommend any particular strategies?


    I have some external disks, for which I make a copy once every few months (reformat the copy, drag files from updated disk). User data of computers is backed up more frequently using time machine.

    Maybe my back up flow should be to have the current disk and the old backup, reformatted and zero a 3rd fresh disk, copy data from current disk to the fresh disk, reformat the old backup, copy current disk data to the reformatted old backup, then the old back up becomes the current disk, the 3rd fresh disk becomes the new backup, and the old current disk becomes the 3rd fresh for the next set of drives.

    Not sure if that paragraph makes sense or is a good idea. Was just thinking rotating the disks might be good in terms of periodically zeroing out each one.

  8. #8
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    Two rules of backing up:

    1) Gotta be automatic or it ain’t a real backup


    2) KISS




    Every drive needs its backup drive. And the backup needs to run on a schedule that matches the amount of changes occurring to the data. My own machine backs itself up every night. Our server does it every few hours. The schedule is determined by how much work you can afford to lose with one drive failure. If it’s a week, so be it.


    The backup should be done automatically by a dedicated backup application. And by that I usually don’t mean Time Machine, which while it does work, it also creates database out of the data which has to be recovered from, can’t be used in its stored form. I much prefer a ‘clone’ for the primary backup. That makes it easy to see it is working and the clone is usable as is. Suggested backup apps: SuperDuper, Chronosync, Data Backup, Backup, SynchronizeProX, Carbon Copy Cloner and a slew of others. Find one you like the way the GUI works and set it up to update the backups on whatever schedule you like. Many of them allow the setting “backup whenever target disk is mounted”. So if you leave your backup drive turned off, that setting will run the backup whenever you turn on the backup or hook it up.


    Every last drive needs an equal backup volume, somewhere. A pair of 1 TB drives can be backed up to a single 2TB drive with 2 partitions. But you gotta set it up that way - simple and automated.


    Been a long time since I worried about zeroing a drive that was already in production. But all my drives spin 24/7. They are all pretty stable.


    Rick
    Last edited by ricks; 01-24-2014 at 11:23 AM.
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

  9. #9
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    I like two layers of backup:

    1. A bootable clone like Rick outlined. Gets you everything: data, apps, preferences…..everything.

    2. A data backup for the things that cannot be replaced: pictures, documents, unique user data (not apps, preferences, etc.)

    For #2, Time Machine can work, and is alot better than nothing. I prefer something more granular, with more control about how many backups I have. Lots to choose from for this, including some overlap with the cloning tools (CCC and SuperDuper to name a couple that do both jobs well). I like CrashPlan cause it is free to use on a local drive, has great control, is easy, has email notification, and is cross platform, so I can back up to any box, anywhere on a network or over the internet. Their paid plan includes greater control and cloud backup with unlimited space. Hard to beat.

    Oh, and like Rick said, you should not have to reformat. CCC or any good cloning tool will simply update the clone, so it is fast (only copying or synchronizing what has changed) and painless.
    "Imagine if every Thursday your shoes exploded if you tied them the usual way. This happens to us all the time with computers, and nobody thinks of complaining." -- Jef Raskin

  10. #10
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    Thanks for the tips guys, I will digest

  11. #11
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    What about archived data? i.e. a hard drive full of well organised old projects

  12. #12
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    anything that is archived - which to me means dropped on a drive and set on a shelf, MUST be on at least two different storage media - like 2 hard drives, or a drive and a DVD or whatever. Always in pairs, minimum. If the data is worth saving then it is worth a backup.

    Rick
    molṑn labe'
    "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil."
--Ben Franklin

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