The End (Basically) of My Hard Drive Trouble

Today marks the first time that I start the day back on my main PC since September 7. About a week short of 3 months. So, what happened?

Well, after it crashed, I was thinking “hey, no biggie, I’ve got my backups. LOL. Right. Turns out, I must have configured the backup software incorrectly to only keep the last 5 days worth of changed files. Doh. So, I was able to get a lot of basic, key files, but as far as my archives (all of my pictures, etc.) nothing. So, I tried to do whatever I could think of to get the data off of it (or to get it to boot). I talked to a few friends of mine (Brandon was a big help, as he always is), but I just could not get it to do a thing.

So, I called around (DriveSavers, American Data Recovery, Seagate, etc.) to get quotes on a data recovery job. These calls pointed me to the fact that I was probably going to be out $2,000, if anyone was going to be able to recover my data. But, in the end, I decided it was worth it and I selected American Data Recovery, based on a positive experience that a friend relayed to me. So, I send it off to them. They recover these drives that were at the bottom of the ocean or in disco inferno, so they should be able to recover my drive that was working great in my PC that very morning that it suddenly crashed, right? lol… nope. They tell me they can’t get anything from it. They took it into a clean room, the whole 9 yards, etc. No dice. So, I’m out the $100 evaluation fee. Do I want the drive back (it would cost $25 to send it back)? I did (more on that in a moment). So, I’m out $125 plus whatever I paid to ship it to them.

But, my luck changed when the drive was with them and they were evaluating it. I realized something. My backup drive may not have the files on it now, but I know they were on it at one time, so why not try to recover files from that drive? I downloaded some free recovery software to see (from my laptop) whether or not that would be possible. And it looked like it was. So, I bought some software ($80ish) and bought another 250 GB SATA for my main PC because I realized my laptop wouldn’t have been powerful enough to do the recovery job (it tooks days and days AND DAYS – a lot of time, I just left my main PC on for like 10 days or so, no joke). When it was finished, what do you know? I have most of my data back. That was a good day. I did have to spend some time deleting fragmented files and reorganizing various parts of it and, unfortunately, I did lose some things (a few of which I’d really, really, really like to have back), but overall I can’t complain.

So, why did I want the dead hard drive back? Well, before I even sent it out, I contacted HP, with whom the drive was still under warrenty with. I was curious as to if sending it to the data recovery company (someone who would open it up, etc.) would void the warrenty. The lady I spoke to told me no. So, I got the drive back from the data recovery company and decided that I may as well get a new one, since it was still under warrenty. So, I called to set it up and the guy (seemed like a nice guy) told me that I had voided the warrenty. So, I explained it all – unfortunately, I didn’t have a case number, etc. and I didn’t write down a name, just the date and time (depite the fact that I usually get all of that information), I believe. And he says that there is nothing he can do. So, I asked for a supervisor. So, he went away and a few minutes later, he came back and said that he talked to his supervisor and convinced him (I think that’s what he said, but I may be off) to allow me to exchange it because it wasn’t fair to me since I had been told that originally. So, I got my new 250 GB hard drive. It’s on the shelf as I don’t need it (yet *sigh*) because I bought that new hard drive to run the data recovery software.

As far as my backup system, the fan on the enclosure is LOUD. Not normal loud, but LOUD. It is louder than when I got it originally and it makes an inconsistent sound. Something is wrong with the fan. Besides that, it works fine. I’ve hardly even used it. But, the noise is basically unbearable. I’ve contacted the company I bought it from, but they are a small company (they use Yahoo! Shopping) and I have not heard back from them. I don’t really expect to, either, unfortunately. I have also contacted the manufacturer (CoolGear). So, I’m not sure what I’ll be doing with that, besides looking for a better enclosure.

So, to finish it off, I’m back using my main PC and I was able to recover most of my data. I only ended up spending an additional $350ish instead of $2,000ish. Happy ending, I suppose. ;)

Patrick O'Keefe

Managing online communities since 2000, I publish a collective of websites known as the iFroggy Network. I wrote the book Managing Online Forums and, as a public speaker, have presented for organizations like CNN, institutions like Australian National University and conferences like SXSW. More about me.



about 15 years ago

Hmmm..... Yay!




about 15 years ago

Glad to hear the whole ordeal is over. Unfortunately my hard drive fiasco is still going on. You'd think I would have learned my lesson from your experience.



about 15 years ago



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