View Full Version : My world lays in ruins...damn hardware!!!

02-03-2010, 08:44 AM
Well, today my hard disk passed away with the 'click of death'...It was my 'data' disk holding the map files. Everything is gone. Fortunately most of my setting notes (history, places, etc) are in 'My Documents' in the 'windows' disk. So not everything...But a lot of hard work and regions ready for my players to explore! I don't know how to feel yet...I went through my backups and I only have a few maps salvaged...I noticed that I miss one whole continent! :( I don't know...It seems I am back to zero as far as mapping of my setting goes...I try to think that this is OK, maybe I'll start from scratch and all my maps will be concise, style, scale, everything will be in place...But where to find the time?!?! I mean I have a day or two at most during a month to go through mapping and stuff. Hm...Anyway...Maybe if I throw a big catastrophe at my setting and move onward?:?: To a new one?:(( Or a changed one?:shock: Pfff...:?

Anyway, just wanted to share my thoughts and feelings...Backup guys. Every day, every thing! And I thought I had this under control...!!! :sad::sad::sad:

Steel General
02-03-2010, 08:47 AM
In one word... CRAP!!!

02-03-2010, 08:55 AM
All is not yet lost! I have had this happen before too!

Seriously...I'm not joking, even though it may sound like I am.

Take the hard drive out and put it in a ziplock bag and get as much of the air out as you can. Take the bag of hard drive and put it in the freezer for a couple of days. I'm seriously not joking. This will cause the platters to shrink due to the cold and possibly shrink away from the read/write head long enough for you to fire it up and recover data on it if you work quickly.

If you think the DATA on the drive may be damaged...whatever computer you use to plug the drive into to get data off of it, I would SERIOUSLY recommend a program called GetDataBack, it works fantastically. Install that program on the computer BEFORE you plug in the hard drive from the freezer.
Freeze Hard Drive
Set up GetDataBack on other computer
Leave side panel off other computer
remove frozen drive, plug QUICKLY into other computer
try to read data and start copying important files QUICKLY
if drive is corrupted, start a GetDataBack scan quickly, and hope for the best.

I've saved a LOT of data from clickofdeath using this method.

02-03-2010, 09:00 AM
That's the best, and wierdest, bit of computer advice I've ever heard. Wow.

The-Somberlain - thanks for the salutory warning. I'm off to back up my work now. I really hope that you are able to save some of that work. Losing all that data is a terrible thing.

02-03-2010, 09:40 AM
Wow! That's surely a piece of original advise. Well, I am still checking my backups. See what else is missing...if nothing TOO important I might try the freezer thing. Else, I might pay some data recovery service...

02-03-2010, 11:18 AM
I just got done with a data recovery service. The total cost was 1,957 US$ for 160 gigs recovered. Thats a lot...be prepared for a chunk of change to be spent. Clean Room evaluation doesn't come cheap.

02-03-2010, 11:46 AM
Yeesh that realllly sucks, personally I've never had to deal with catastrophic failures or data loss *knock on wood*. This inspires me to do some serious backing up though...

02-03-2010, 12:22 PM
backup your data.
don't bother with regularly, use software to do it automatically.
check your backups periodically, ensure that they're usable.
your work is valuable, an extra HD dedicated to backups is cheap.

02-03-2010, 03:24 PM
As far as backups go, I recommend keeping one as far away from your main machine as you can reasonably get.

At work we had a nice RAID-5 array on a machine and the power supply blew badly, taking out two of the three disks, making all of the contents unrecoverable without resorting to expensive data recovery services (which the bosses did not want to do - it was only the source code repository, after all).

I recommend at least an externally-powered USB drive that is plugged into its own baby UPS coupled with automatic backup software as drow pointed out. Better is keeping your automatic backups on a machine out on the network (NAS systems or a netbook with server software are relatively cheap these days), better still is making backups over the internet to another site if you have the bandwidth and storage. It's awful to realize after the fire/earthquake/flood/robbery that not only have you lost the physical things, but all of the non-physical things as well. Scan them family photos! Take pictures for insurance purposes! Do it today!

02-03-2010, 10:12 PM
Somberlain> I've heard of tricks like that, I've also heard similar tricks for wet mobile phones. My brother's method was to take it apart and leave it in the glove box of his car for about 6 hours in the sun.

Arcana> Did a similar trick on the computer drive that used to run the NMR machine at uni. Suddenly the NMR had a heartattack and [insert horrid sound here] from the computer. Tech guy opened the top, waved a hand around exploring for heat... picked up the relevant components, put them into a negatively pressured dessicator resting on dry-ice. Within about 3 or 4 hours, open everything up and restart process... NMR worked just fine...

02-03-2010, 10:25 PM
@Somberlain: Ouch. I know how much that sucks...

02-04-2010, 08:26 AM
most hard drive failures involve head touching platter. The space between head and platter is soooo small already that it doesn't take much for it to happen. I'm amazed hard drives last as long as they do with all the head and spinning, but alas, technology. By freezing the drive, the minute shrinkage caused by the change in temperature is often enough to get the drive functional again for a short period of time. Its amazing stuff really. If you have a lot of humidity in your place though this trick could go very sour because of condensation. Our buildings here at work are dehumidified I think.

02-05-2010, 11:37 AM
Freezing works! Standard data recovery procedure when I worked at a computer repair shop about 10 years ago. What's funny is, after all these years, I never even thought about why it worked. Thanks, Arcana!

02-09-2010, 02:54 AM
Interesting technique, I bet here in Arizona it would work really well.

I know from dropping quite a few cell phones and bluetooth headsets into pools that if you rip them apart quickly and toss them on the dashboard for a day they usually work again. Also, not a bad idea afterwards to take them in for a sonic bath because they seem to develop a gradual corrosion and die slowly otherwise.

We feel your pain, it hurts just to hear of what you are going though. Wishing you every success.

02-09-2010, 04:21 PM
Anybody got any tricks for a pendrive... it got washed... I let it dry and it loaded once, but hasn't since.

02-20-2010, 03:40 AM
Just make sure that if you do the freezer bit that you are ready to get in there, get your files on a usb or other media, and get out..