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Old 10-27-05, 10:27 AM   #1
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Well, I just had a 500GB Lacie external drive kick the bucket at work.
- good thing I have a mirror drive where 95% of the data was backed up, as well as a rack of DVDs...
I only lost a day's worth of work, only a couple gigs, but I think I just burst an ulcer.

I need a better backup model, but I work in a Kafka-esque academic bureaucracy. I've been trying for months to get space on a remote server and have tape backups made. So I have to make due with this primitive multi-modal redundancy system for god knows how long. I need a stiff drink.
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Old 10-27-05, 10:31 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by * jack *
Well, I just had a 500GB Lacie external drive kick the bucket at work.
- good thing I have a mirror drive where 95% of the data was backed up, as well as a rack of DVDs...
I only lost a day's worth of work, only a couple gigs, but I think I just burst an ulcer.

I need a better backup model, but I work in a Kafka-esque academic beaurocracy. I've been trying for months to get space on a remote server and have tape backups made. So I have to make due with this primitive multi-modal redundancy system for god knows how long. I need a stiff drink.

I hate it when hard drives die. That reminds me I need to backup my crap too. I have a remote server but for the most part I do not use it as a backup system.
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Old 10-27-05, 10:39 AM   #3
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Same thing happend to my *yikes* music (MP3) drive about 6 months ago. Like you, luckily it was only an image of the one at home so I didn't lose anything (at least nothign important).
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Old 10-27-05, 10:58 AM   #4
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Well, I just had a 500GB Lacie external drive kick the bucket at work.
- good thing I have a mirror drive where 95% of the data was backed up, as well as a rack of DVDs...
I only lost a day's worth of work, only a couple gigs, but I think I just burst an ulcer.

I need a better backup model, but I work in a Kafka-esque academic bureaucracy. I've been trying for months to get space on a remote server and have tape backups made. So I have to make due with this primitive multi-modal redundancy system for god knows how long. I need a stiff drink.
Sorry to hear about your loss. I wonder if the failure-rates for external portable drives are higher? They certainly do get moved around, dropped, bumped and all sorts of treatment that's not nice.
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Old 10-27-05, 11:30 AM   #5
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Sorry to hear about your loss. I wonder if the failure-rates for external portable drives are higher? They certainly do get moved around, dropped, bumped and all sorts of treatment that's not nice.
Wouldn't be surprised if they were. Anything that has a tendency to get moved around alot or kept in tight enclosures with less then favorable air conditions are going to have a much higher failure rate.
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Old 10-27-05, 11:34 AM   #6
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BTW....You *may* (a big "if") be able to recover more of that data. There are some tricks to gaining a few final minutes of life out of a hard drive.

One trick is to put it in freezer, yes FREEZER for about 30 minutes (might put in ziplock first or something to keep moisture out), then give it a shot. It didn't work for me when my drive died, but it's an old trick that may get it working long enough to copy those few gigabytes you lost.
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Old 10-27-05, 12:17 PM   #7
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You might consider 'losing' a day's worth of work for your boss, or your boss's boss. I'd bet you'd get the time/funding you need for a better backup system.
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Old 10-27-05, 05:06 PM   #8
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I've personally seen the freezer method work, so it's worth a try. There is a logical explanation for it, but I forget the details of it. Something to do with the read/write heads. It doesn't help if its the drive motor or wiring that failed.

Have you considered RAID?
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Old 10-27-05, 06:11 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by DannoXYZ
Sorry to hear about your loss. I wonder if the failure-rates for external portable drives are higher? They certainly do get moved around, dropped, bumped and all sorts of treatment that's not nice.

They are, reason is heat.

Most of these units have less than spectacular cooling, and many are actually borderline for high speed drive applications.

My most common mod for these units is cut holes for 25mm fans, one in the front botom and one in the back top. I install the front fan to push air in, and the back one to pull out. I also put legs on the drive to elevate it about 1/2" off the desktop. If the fans are 5v low-medium speed models, they can easily be powered in most cases directly from the power cord the hard drive feeds off of without damaging the enclosure's circuit board. What this will do for you is create a mini-windtunnel, which will provide exceptional cooling. Keep in mind this only works on larer drive boxes....the tiny ones are pretty much hopeless.
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Old 10-27-05, 06:16 PM   #10
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I'm at work, so editing is too slow (their internet connecionSUCKS)...

The following is if the drive died due to the PCB failing.

If you have a second IDENTICAL hard drive that is able to be sacrificed...you may be able to get a skilled geek to swap the PCB over and recover the data.

Actually I have to do this to one of my drives at home still.....I just need to get off my rump and get the Torx bit set I need to remove the board.

....and yes, the bad drive died inside of an external box....I figured since the casing was aluminum, and I had drive to metal contact...it would cool adequately enough....I was wrong....one year and it croaked.

....this time around my external box will be a small server, with fans....BIG fans
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Old 10-27-05, 06:17 PM   #11
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They are, reason is heat.

Most of these units have less than spectacular cooling, and many are actually borderline for high speed drive applications.
Yep....that's why I got this case.

Venus DS3
http://www.extremeoverclocking.com/r...closure_1.html

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- Dimensions: 205(L) x 132(W) x 50(H) mm
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Old 10-27-05, 09:28 PM   #12
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1. Lacie doesn't make "good" drives. Every single one I've seen is just waiting to melt.

2. The freezer trick only works if the drive can't spin up. Sometimes the bearings will seize up for one reason or another, and freezing them then giving the drive a good wack will do the trick. This doesn't work for crashed heads, burnt PCB and chips, or general failures.
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