The dreaded hard disk failure

hdd failure

My notebook’s 320 GB hard disk had a head crash yesterday. I had to scramble to Digital Mall and find a replacement HDD (500 GB Toshiba – cost me RM 175) and an el cheapo 2.5″ SATA external HDD enclosure (RM 18). I finally managed to reinstall Windows 7 and get most off my stuff up and running (except for the Wi-Fi and LCD drivers) today. I still need a couple of apps but at least it’s usable now.

The good news: I managed to recover the majority of my photos and documents using a disk recovery software so that’s a relief. I haven’t done a backup since last year so there were a lot of travel photos inside.

However, I lost a Word document which is a work in progress I’ve been writing on and off on. It was in the primary partition (which the data recovery application could hardly read at all without the dreaded clickety clack sound) and it has a couple of month’s worth of writing, from when I did my last backup. T_T

I can still remember what to write (generally) but it’s a lot of content and I’m SURE it won’t be the same anymore. I know I can’t possibly remember all the anecdotes and witty asides that I typed when inspiration striked and I opened up that document to quickly put it down in words.

Oh well…it could have been worse, but damn does a HDD failure hurt. >.<

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18 thoughts on “The dreaded hard disk failure”

    • Yeah bro! It has happened way to many times to me. 😑

      I’m serious, it’s like I’m always getting HDD head crashed. Maybe it’s coz I’m always a bit clumsy when working with the notebook and forget that it’s non-solid state memory is actually quite sensitive to vibrations and shocks.

      Yup, I used to be blase about backing up but I’m getting much better nowadays. I didn’t lose much, except for one document which is the most important to me. Oh well.

      Cheers bro! πŸ™‚

    • Yeah, when one of my HDD had a head crash when I graduated from Australia with 4 years of my photos in it, I was depressed for almost an entire month. 😑

      It’s really important to do backups, now I’m getting better at it instead of procastinating.

      Yeah, you better backup your notebook my friend, it’s not fun to lose data.

      All the best bro! πŸ™‚

  1. hate the feeling of HD crashing along with precious data especially pictures =( its kinda like a personal disaster….esp when blogging materials or drafts just crash along with it.

    • I know right! 😑

      It’s like losing part of your life – especially nowadays when everything is digital – it IS losing part of your life. >.< I've been through a lot of these things though and I always intend to backup more often each time and I think it's slowly starting to sink in. πŸ™‚ I'm backing up my stuff more often now, and as for my blog, it's a weekly thing and I have the posts in Google Docs anyway so it's almost complete backup. ...besides my VPS hosting service also throws in 24 hour backups of the entire works - not just SQL. πŸ™‚

    • Indeed bro! I think HDD failure is the worst nightmare of everyone – we have all our stuff on it nowdays. 😑

      I’m glad I got most of it back, would have been devastated to lose all the travel photos and videos.

      I’m starting to put more stuff on the cloud though – been using Google Docs more (except for writing my novel, can’t get into the groove of typing into a browser) often, and also SkyDrive for important stuff. πŸ™‚

      Thanks bro! πŸ™‚

  2. “seagate” is well known for inconsistent quality for many years now. They shorted their QA steps to reduce costs.

    Every drive has a definite life span and will die.

    Think “Acronis”, an image backup software and you’ll like it.

    • It’s not just Seagate – I’ve had Western Digital and Fujitsu drives fail on me too. The most common problem that hits me is a head crash. I’m wondering if it’s the way I’m using the notebook. I tend to move it around and sometimes bump it rather hard and considering how the higher capacity HDDs are made nowadays with lower allowances between the heads and discs, I always get a head crash. 😑

      Yup, I figured 1 year is the point where a user like me (mostly on 24/7 – heavy usage with torrents etc) has to be careful. I’m doubtful about the 2 year warrenty, HDDs usually last 1 year for me.

      Thanks for the tip about the backup software mate! πŸ™‚

      I went and got a data recovery software (couple of hundred dollars) last time so I’m still using that. πŸ™‚

  3. HB, glad you able to recover your files. I had the time in Beijing and Hong Kong due to hackers all over the place. Got into my file and also infest it with some worms too. Have to be more careful still even with the firewall install they got into it still.

    • Well, I was lucky this time. πŸ™‚

      I still have two hard disks that has data very important to me (photos from my university years in Melbourne) that also suffered a head crash and can’t be recovered with normal data recovery software.

      I still hope it can be recovered in a lab though, so I still have it – for when I have the money to go to a data recovery lab. πŸ™‚

      Malware wise, I’m pretty safe, the home network is reasonably secure. Sorry to hear about your experience!

    • Yup! πŸ™‚

      At least most of the photos and documents are alright (except a bit messy). You know how it is when you use one of those file recovery software suites – a few bits of data damaged here and there so you don’t have the full photo or document.

      …but most of it is alright.

      Thanks bro! πŸ™‚

  4. Seriously I hope you learn your lesson and start backing up, use Dropbox/Gmail for important stuff like your documents and get a decent external HDD for backup (preferably RAID mirror).

    Windows 7 has a great backup software built in (both data and system image) so you can just use that, or drives like WD MyBook Studio comes with pretty easy to use backup software.

    You can pull your blog files and DB down automatically too and put those on the external drive.

    I backup the backups of my backups LOL.

    • Thanks for the tip bro! πŸ™‚

      Yeah, I know I should have a proper RAID array going on considering all the stuff that we do. Hard disks are notoriously unreliable, mine goes bad in about 1-2 years, not sure if it’s just me or that’s the life expectancy nowadays.

      I already have a MyBook, I actually was doing backups on it for a while until I needed the space and reformatted it and did my last (manual) backup a few months ago.

      It’s a good thing it wasn’t THAT long ago since my last backup…but first thing next week is to get a 500GB external HDD and mirror it. Can’t afford to lose data like that anymore.

      I backup the backups of my backups LOL.

      Heh! This is pure gold bro. πŸ™‚


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