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Old 30 November 2015, 07:33   #1
Akira
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Hard drive failure taking your stuff away :(

So I just had the most ridiculous hard drive failure ever. I was moving around some of my Amiga stuff from one folder to the other, and suddenly things got weird. I was told the system couldn't "move the files" and then the folders would show up empty, and then after a reset, it all died. Hard drive doesn't show up on Windows anymore, and recovery tools find no partition on deep scanning the drive (all read errors). I have never seen anything like it before.

The saddest part of this loss, is that I lost all my personal Amiga backups. I know I should have had a second copy of them, I do of most stuff, but this was JUST waiting to be cloned, and this happened right before I could do anything about it. I might have some of it in some SD cards I keep with the Amigas, but not all of it, 20+ years of memories down the drain. Thanks, storage technology.

Any file/software I had for every old computer I own was there too, so now everything is gone, I don't even have an inventory of it so I have no idea what I lost and how to recover it. Pain in the ass.

Share your retrocomputing-impacting sad data loss stories
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Old 30 November 2015, 07:58   #2
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There are companies that specialize in recovering data from hard disks that have died. I have had one hard disk salvaged, it is not cheap, but not prohibitively expensive if the data really is important. Mine cost a few hundred euros to fix, plus the price of a second drive to copy the data onto. In my case it was photographs that I did not have backups of, so I decided to swallow the cost...
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Old 30 November 2015, 08:28   #3
Predseda
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I remember hard-drive accident back in 90s when I lost about 80 percent of my stuff because I accidentally re-partitioned my harddrive. And this experience moved my Amiga from my life to an attic for long years, before I was dare enough to start with everything again.

If there would be an internet and amiga forums, it could be solved much much earlier.
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Old 30 November 2015, 10:57   #4
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I just lost all my Amiga emulation stuff on a Windows drive corruption. My own fault as I was changing the portable drive to another laptop without safe remove and powerdown. All recent downloads and configurations lost as my backup was at least 2 years old. On real Amiga side I always was hysterical having at least 2 backups of everything. So never lost anything important.
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Old 30 November 2015, 14:17   #5
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My worst data loss experience was at A500 times when I was a teenager. I was very active producing protracker mods which need to save to floppy disks. Some day afternoon a friend visit me to borrow disk(s) for something I can`t remember. No problem, I just took an "empty" disk (thought so) format it and give it to the friend. Unfortunately, the floppy disk was full of my own mods. Now lost forever. I was very depressed for a long time. It still makes me sad when I remember that.

Later using my A1200 with HD`s I had more "luck". Tow times only the electronic of the HD`s died and could be fixed with replacing it. Some years ago I accidentally deledet a folder with own recorded mixes. To undelete I would need much more memory then I have (32MB).

A bit off topic. Yesterday when I switched on my A1200 an error requester appears which said that there is a blockid error on my games partition (sfs). AdminSpaceContainers block was damaged. I guess the game "UFO Enemy Unknown" (WHD version I played the day before then switching off the computer) is resposible because I had already save game stats problems with it sooner. However, before doing an undelete I compared with the backup (some month old) and noticed only 3 directories that need to rescue. After a quick format of the damaged partition I just had to copy the backup + the 3 dirs to solve it so far.

Overall, a (current) backup make things easier.
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Old 30 November 2015, 14:34   #6
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This is why I use CF cards for HD in my a1200. Every so often I will just unplug it, make an image and save that on my home network. If I break something or the card dies I can then either overwrite it or just pick up a new card and write the image to it. It has saved me on a number of occasions.
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Old 30 November 2015, 14:39   #7
lordofchaos
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Sorry for your loss Akira, I haven't had a HD screw up for many years now..

Last time that happened was about 10 years ago, I lost my A1200 HD, it was especially painful because it contained all my music, I was looking forward to transferring the mods onto CD for preservation, alas that never happened.

These days I`m using WinUAE for storing Amiga files. So much more reliable.
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Old 30 November 2015, 14:54   #8
Lord Aga
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Akira View Post
20+ years of memories down the drain. Thanks, storage technology.
I've had my own share of mishaps on my Amiga and my PC, so I feel ya.
But 20+ years without backup ? Man you were pushing it... It may as well had been space age technology, it was bound to break sooner or later.

Now I double, or triple all my important data.
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Old 30 November 2015, 15:18   #9
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I've had one hard drive failure, back in 2002 I think, an IBM DeathStar in my A1200 tower, and I lost about a month's university work and source code due to a lack of a recent backup. It wasn't 20 years of stuff, but it was a massive blow to my thesis and the personal projects I was working on - there's at least one I never bothered picking back up. And, annoyingly, I didn't even have my Workbench floppies with me (they were safe in my parents' house) so I couldn't fix it for about a week.

Ever since then I've run two hard drives in every full-sized machine, and always store copies of everything from my single hard drive machines - both my A1200s with single hard drives have everything stored on my tower A1200 too. I also keep a separate NAS at home, and keep another hard drive off site with all my critical stuff on it (particularly photos and source code).

It stings when it happens, and I feel your pain


@lordofchaos
When you say WinUAE is more reliable... It's really only as reliable as the storage medium and the filesystem. The filesystem is the same as a real Amiga, and if you put your PC's hard drive in an Amiga, it would probably be just as reliable there too... It might be easier to back up, but no more reliable really, unless you're using ancient hard drives in your Amiga.
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Old 30 November 2015, 15:44   #10
lordofchaos
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@Daedalus. You're right. Was using WinUAE in a broad sense, having more storage options and less hassles backing up. I backup the CF card every so often on PC, spoilt for choice these days
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Old 30 November 2015, 16:05   #11
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Yeah, it's very easy to put off backing up when it's a pain in the backside to do!
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Old 30 November 2015, 16:07   #12
dlfrsilver
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Using a CF and PFS3 aio is clearly better (better even than SFS and FFS).

I'm currently emptying my old hard drive 2,5" for amiga before the little fecker dies on me.
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Old 30 November 2015, 16:12   #13
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Fingers crossed, touch wood, I have never lost an entire archive of stuff in over 20 years. Back in the Amiga days, it would have just been a floppy, no problem replacing them, who cares....

Having just replaced my old PC with a new one, I too have a couple of drives (external and the old PC drive) for backing up my data. 64gb of tracker modules along with everything else would be big loss. I just love the Synchronise Directories in Total Commander for all my backup requirements. Storage nowadays is very cheap for a bit of peace of mind.

Sorry you lost so much...
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Old 30 November 2015, 16:19   #14
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I'd give dd_rescue a chance. It can backup/clone a whole drive skipping parts with read errors. If the complete disc is just read errors, it might be only broken electronics. In that case you might even have a chance to revive the disc just by swapping the board's electronics.
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Old 30 November 2015, 18:06   #15
Akira
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This was a WD Elements 3TB drive. From all I read, 3TB drives are unstable as fuck. It was only 2 years old and I never had this happen before with any drive. An older, WD Elements 2TB is working just fine.

Avoid 3TB drives like the plague I guess! I now opened the case and inside there's a WD Green 2TB drive, model WD30EZRX. I would say you should never buy such a drive.
I'm going to try interfacing it with a SATA-USB cable I have, hoping the problem was in teh interface logic, but it seems like a physical meltdown.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lord Aga View Post
But 20+ years without backup ? Man you were pushing it... It may as well had been space age technology, it was bound to break sooner or later.
I had it backed up. And my backup drive died. :P I am very good with backups really. But what the fuck happens when your backup hard drive just dies? I don't want to go the "triple copy" way yet.

Nowadays I keep double copies of everything but I was just waiting to relocate that folder in my secondary backup unit. The problem was that I mixed my Amiga HD backups with software I could download again. I missed moving that while I was reorganizing my files, and now the shit is gone.

I might have some floppies with some of the stuff, but I think there's fat chance I'll get the stuff back. It wasn't much, but it was dear to me. Not dear enough to warrant data recovery. Most of what I lost is full collections of games for my many consoles and computers, so even if a pain, I can download them all again.

With all the advancements in technology we have today, I feel us still using magnetic hard drives is really ass backwards, and by now we should have something better. I don't even know if SSD media is any more reliable, I haven't had any problems with my SSDs yet, but you never know.
Quote:
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I'd give dd_rescue a chance. It can backup/clone a whole drive skipping parts with read errors. If the complete disc is just read errors, it might be only broken electronics. In that case you might even have a chance to revive the disc just by swapping the board's electronics.
I was using testdisk for checking. I will try that one after I manage to get the SATA power cable I need to connect the drive to the computer using a different interface.
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Old 30 November 2015, 18:31   #16
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It could be the controller board on the drive itself, rather than a mechanical failure. if you can find a replacement (and it has to be identical) and swap those boards then you can possibly make the drive work again.

I had a WD green 500gb which died, I suspected it might be the board as it looked a little singed around one of the smd chips. At some point I accidentally smeared some conductive paste on the board and the next time I tried it, the drive worked again, i surmise that it bridged some dry joint somewhere.

like others have said, keep at least 2 drives in the machine and backup the important stuff, its all too easy to miss stuff like this though, or things you don't think are all that important, until its gone.
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Old 30 November 2015, 18:53   #17
Lord Aga
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Quote:
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I had it backed up. And my backup drive died. :P
Ooooh I double feel ya now bro
I guess we can't do much against insane bad luck.

Well, maybe quadruple backup
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Old 01 December 2015, 12:42   #18
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if you give up, I am sure some of us would like to go forensic on the drive, even if it means swapping out the PCB as some already suggested here.

Also, let the drive off for a while, such failures often may not reoccur the first time a cold drive is started. I saved some data in the past like that from tacky HDDs.

From my personal Amiga experience, I had my A4000 highly configured with plenty of DOPUS stuff and all kinds of (licensed!) software, until the day I saw the dreaded PFS1 error appear at boot, a known bug where the MBR was overwritten.

This also meant the end of my Amiga fever, as I was just too discouraged by the immense loss of this highly optimized install, and just not willing to reinstall everything from scratch. Now recently I started it build it together again with new hardware, but on hold as my PicassoIV was sent to Germany for a FliFi upgrade and the contact (ex-VillageTronic) has not responded to my mails anymore since almost 2 months... hopefully it is not lost otherwise it is game over completely here.
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Old 01 December 2015, 12:44   #19
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Also, try GetDataBack recovery tool, very good (we here at work tried many and this was the only one to recover decent data), but takes a few days for large drives...

interesting reads:
http://techreport.com/news/27697/lat...seagate-drives
https://www.backblaze.com/blog/hard-...ility-q3-2015/
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Old 01 December 2015, 12:56   #20
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Mine failed a few months back - and that was an external hard drive with all my back up's on there

I still have my games on my main PC - it was photo's I was concerned about.

I took it to a place who stated no repair / no charge - and if he could would be around 40. Reasonable.

However he said something about the platters and he could not repair it. As already said, some specalist companies can do it - but talking a couple of hundred quid

So in the meantime I still have the failed drive packed away and have since made sure any photo's taken on my camera phone are backed up to Google Drive as oon as they are taken
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