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My worst nightmare...

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by David_N, Jun 26, 2007.

  1. Well, I'm not pleased. My worst nightmare just happened (well, as far as photography goes).

    I had all of my photos stored on an external hard drive in an enclosure, along with all of my music, school documents (quite important, I'm going in to my last year of highschool next year, and I'm in the IB programme, so my courses consist of multiple years worth of material). This morning I took the enclosure apart for routine maintenance; dusting etc. and after removing the hard drive, I realized I didn't have any compressed air for dusting.

    So, I leave the hard drive sitting on my desk on an anti-static bag, close my office door, and drive to the store. When I get home, I find my door open, and find my external hard drive on the floor with a moderate dent in it, lying beside my fan (which had been on my desk) and my tripod. I immediately pick it up and asses what could have happened. I decided that it fell off my desk, bounced off my tripod sitting beside my desk, and hit the floor. Now, how did it fall off my desk...

    I ask my mom if she had been in my office, she said yes, that she needed some paper. Ok, she obviously wouldn't have knocked it off... She said she heard something fall and heard the dog startled right after she left, but she didn't think much about it. So, my guess is that the dog hit the fan (with his tail maybe?) which toppled over, and the cable from the fan dragged the hard drive off with it, bouncing off my tripod and crashing to it's death.

    I reassemble the hard drive enclosure, turn it on, and get nothing. I install it in my computer, and get nothing. I tried several things known to fix such problems, but nothing works.

    All of my photos (10000+), music (80gb+), and school notes (everything I had, since I take my notes on my laptop and then transfer them to the hard drive when they're complete) are gone. The school notes I can live with, I'll just have to work a little harder next year to catch up. The music is fine, that can be obtained again, but it's the photos that really upset me. Every neat thing I've seen, every documentation of important events in my life, and everything else that has been captured digitally in the past three or four years is gone. So many memories, so many joys, so many unique moments and lucky shots, all gone. I'm quite upset...

    The ironic thing is I had plans on copying everything over to a second drive for backup next week when I built a new computer, using the current drive as one disk in a RAID1 array, which would prevent (well, at least greatly reduce) the risk of any data loss.

    The moral of the story is, never trust technology with your memories and data. Always have everything important saved in at least two separate locations, or at least do something secure with it.

    Optimistically, as far as the quote in my signature is concerned, maybe this will give me a chance to develop my photography a bit (I would hope so, because as far as I am concerned, this is quite the negative). Now that it's summer I plan on doing some road trips and dedicating a lot more time to photography, especially now that I don't have any photos (Other than the very few I have stored online).

    I hope you all had a good non-demeaning laugh at my expense and maybe learned something, because I sure know I did...

    -David, the photo-less photographer.
  2. Don't give up so easy, David. Maybe your data can be recovered. Take it to a salvage specialist. I think these guys give estimates.

  3. Don't throw that hard drive out. There are companies that specialize in data recovery. I had a similar, although less extreme, hard drive failure about two years ago. A data recovery company not too far from me was able to recover almost all of the information on that hard drive. (Client files, photos and tax information)

    Good luck.
  4. Ouch. Sorry to hear about this. I can't imagine having 10,000 images and not once burning them to DVD or uploading them to someplace like Flickr, Smugmug, etc.

    Hard drives are about the worst thing to trust all of your images to. The perfect scenario would be: Hard drive, DVD, and online backup like Smugmug/Flickr/etc.
  5. David so sorry to hear this.

    I have pictures on 4 different external hard drives and scores of CD's I would not use DVD's since if one goes bad you'd get to lose a lot of pictures all at once.

    Most people I know store their pictures on 2 sets of CD's or DVD's - two different brands and an external hard drive. Some of them even keep their old negatives and one set of CD's in a safety deposit box in case of fire...

    Me, well if an external Hard drive goes bad... I'll lose a lot of pictures but not all of them.

    I can't image how you feel right now but let me tell you that I miss the good old days when I would get my pictures done in triplicates to send one set to my sister and one to my father. Since going digital I have printed very few pictures.

    I am sure some of the data on your hard drive can be recovered.
  6. A friend of the family is a data recovery specialist, and I've already brought the drive to him. He spent a few hours on it this morning with me anxiously standing around waiting, but he told me to leave the drive with him for a few days and he would see what he could do, but he thinks it will be tough, that one or more of the platters may be damaged. I'll post back when I hear what happens.

    Fingers crossed.
  7. Jeffx2


    May 2, 2006
    St. Louis, MO
    Best of luck to you. I've heard they can do amazing work recovering data. If the drive wasn't running then the heads should have been parked in the landing zone, so hopefully there was no physical damage to the platters.
  8. I'm keeping my fingers crossed for you on this one, and NO, I didn't have a laugh at your expense, it was more like "brought a tear to my eye because I know the pain!" I lost tens of thousands of pics from all last May > October stored on my backup drive while up north. The drive pooched and was unrecoverable.

    On the other hand, I did have an external 2.5" drive drop from the kitchen counter onto the concrete pad/ceramic tiled kitchen floor. Plugged in - nothing. Did a controlled spin on the counter (hold in your hand and give a quick clockwise jerk) and sure enough, it released the write-arm and has been working fine ever since.

    Hoping your buddy can work some magic on this - I know that nauseous feeling all too well.
  9. Wow, that really sucks, hope you can get the data off it. Good luck.
  10. Rough way to learn that lesson.

    I killed a disk at work the other day by tripping over the powercord attached to it. They just don't tolerate shock when they are turned on.
  11. Sorry to hear this David.

  12. GBRandy


    Feb 28, 2006
    Green Bay, WI
    Oh...come on now...think positive! It'll all come back......hang in there.
  13. Gale


    Jan 26, 2005
    Viera Fl
    Patrick here on nikon cafe, the founder may be able to help you
    He has a computer business and has recoverd files for me from a failed portable drive.
    Please do not give up call patrick. I wiill get his pm and email for you.
    Be right back



    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 15, 2017
  14. SP77


    Jun 4, 2007
    Rockville, MD
    aahhhh, sorry to hear that David! :( 
  15. David, if it has not been too long, you can recover ALL of your files. I use a mac, I'm not sure if you do, but if you do, give this program a go:
    Hope this helps. I know how it is... a pain in the a$$. I (thought I) lost over 100GB of photos and music but that program did the trick.
  16. Cougar8045


    May 25, 2007
    David, everything on your hard drive can be salvage if you are willing to pay for it. A good data recovery company would have a clean room and move your harddrive platter to another enclosure to retrieve all your data.

    I had used ontrack data recovery many many years ago. Highly recommended. Server went down and they got every file recover.
  17. David,

    I can totally empathize with you. Please note my signature and you'll see why. As everyone has mentioned, don't give up. There is more than one way to recover data. I have been there and in the end, I learned a valuable lesson and recovered my data (slightly expensive, but it was so worth it)! Good luck, and please keep us posted on your progress.
  18. Chris Pierce

    Chris Pierce Guest

    trust me, after the week I have had losing your pictures would be the least of your worries.....

    I have been robbed, my best friend was hit by drunk driver, and my brother dropped my 70-200 2.8 that I had just sold, ever want to sit in a corner and cry?
  19. Thanks for all the suggestions and empathy everyone. Once I get my new system set up I plan on putting everything important in a RAID1 array, on an external hard drive, and burn backup DVD's. That should be safe enough. Maybe I'll keep the DVD's in my safe too ;) 

    I spoke with the person who has my drive this morning, and he said one platter has a moderate scratch in it, and the others are ok, but the motor is also broken. While on the phone, he was in the process of transferring the platters to another drive. He said he would be in touch with me this evening regarding how things go :) 
  20. Dayo


    May 1, 2006
    I think he would be able to save most of the stuff.
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