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01 December 2008 @ 10:47 pm
Anybody got a good data retreival strategy?  
A couple months ago, I lost a hard drive.  Well, OK, I still know where it is -- but the computer doesn't.  It's a shame, too - this was a nice drive:  Seagate 300GB SATA.  The bigger shame is the lost content -- there was some video on there whose tapes had already been erased but not yet processed, including a friend's wedding.

I called around, trying to find out what it'd take to save the data.  The lowest cost quote I could find to even look at the thing was over $250.  So I stuck the drive in a drawer to see if inspiration struck later.

A couple weeks ago, my other SATA drive died.  (OS is on regular ATA.  I've got a lot of disk drives.)  At this point, I figured it couldn't be coincidence -- it's much more likely that my motherboard and it's on-board SATA were the culprit.

Tonight, I picked up a external enclosure, that plugs into SATA and turns it into USB.  This makes it lose a massive amount of speed (thus rendering it useless for video editing, but fine for storage), but essentially bypasses the board that may or may not have killed the drives.  Plugged in more recently dead drive -- works great.  Plugged in the more important one (with the wedding vid), it spins up and abruptly halts, then tries again.  One might describe the sound as repeated crashing.  The computer brings up the other drive almost immediately, but doesn't seem to recognize that this one is even trying.

Anyway, the drive is under warranty and I can get Seagate to replace it, but the data is forfeit.  I'd REALLY like to not lose this data -- I know what it's like to have your wedding videographer friend flake out on you, and I DO NOT want to be on the other end of that exchange.  My buddy trusted me, and I don't want to have betrayed that trust.  (and yes, the original source tapes are gone.  I didn't think I'd lose everything to a hard drive crash.)

So...Does anybody have any suggestions for cost-effective data retreival?
Nentikobe - a work in progress: blackdresdennentikobe on December 2nd, 2008 07:06 am (UTC)
I poked husband dear to see if he had any suggestions - his response was not to make it a DIY. Get the people with the equipment to do it. (I was surprised)

To summarize, in his eyes, there's not really a cheaper way to do it that isn't going to cause risk to your data.
Fred 2.0lqc on December 2nd, 2008 07:25 am (UTC)
Yeah, with rare exception there's not likely to be a short cut fix if the data is important enough and unique. Yes some few folks have had luck trying urban myths like putting the drive in the freezer for an hour, then letting it return to room temperature and plugging it in. But probably for every one that gets it to work, there are 10 to 100 or more that are just screwed.

Have no personal references to give on data recovery companies, but there do seem to be a few more out there that will do it for under the $1000 mark if you're not too rushed about it.

Good luck.