Digital Marketing and Social Media Strategy

Your technical support is much appreciated – please help

Please help if you can. This is an email I received this morning from a good friend. He is desperate to retrieve lost files on his hard drive. Please comment if you have any advice. Thank you.

Hello all, I apologize for the mass e-mail but right now I’m at the “I’ll do anything” point. Put short, I have a 250gb Western Digital external hard drive (Firewire/USB – it’s always been connected via Firewire), it’s been in use for just over a year now, about 200gb full. It’s broken and I need help recovering our files. I’m mass emailing everyone because they are family photos, audio recordings, writings, websites I’ve developed, pictures sent by friends, resumes, etc. Most of the pictures I have on CD but everything else is pretty much in limbo. I don’t care much if I can’t get the music but I want to get everything else off the drive. There was a lot of stuff that can never be re-created.

Today I copied the contents of our iTunes library (about 160gb) from the internal drive on our machine (Windows XP, Pentium 4, 3.2ghz ) to the external drive. A bit later I rebooted and then all hell broke loose. Okay, it wasn’t all hell breaking loose you can imagine what happened next. I got mad.

Right now when you boot up it makes a clicking sound. The drive isn’t assigned a letter however I know the machine recognizes it; the “Safely Remove Hardware” icon in the system tray has listed it and you can remove it that way and power it off (it’s powered off and on when the machine starts). The files are nowhere to be seen, however.

Does anyone know of a program to recover data? Or a trick to making the damn drive work at least temporarily? I’m assuming I’ll have to toss the drive away, that’s fine, I just want what’s on it. I have an older bubble-style Firewire equipped iMac G3 running the latest version of OS X (I think it’s 10.4.10). I was going to plug it into there but haven’t done so yet on the odd chance it makes things worse. I’m exercising caution…

Again, I apologize for the group e-mail, hopefully you don’t find it intrusive. If you don’t have any idea, don’t worry about it. I thought I’d take a chance and email everyone I know who might have an idea how to recover our files rather than spending countless hours going out of my mind trying to find something that works or bringing it in and paying $200 (less/more?) for lackluster results I could have accomplished myself. You’d think I would know, this has happened to me once before (a Maxtor external Firewire HD which prompted the purchase of this drive) however in that case I was able to rescue everything before it ultimately died. I have a feeling it might be too late now…

Thanks for any help you can offer.

Dave

http://www.davemadethat.com

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  • I have used the OnTrack Recovery tools in the past and they’ve worked miracles.
    http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/file-recovery-software/

    One thing that I think they will let you do is create a boot CD. Then, you boot up your machine with their CD in and it has special software to access the hardware directly. This keeps Windows out of the way and allows for smoother recovery. Newer versions may be different though.

  • I have used the OnTrack Recovery tools in the past and they’ve worked miracles.
    http://www.ontrackdatarecovery.com/file-recovery-software/

    One thing that I think they will let you do is create a boot CD. Then, you boot up your machine with their CD in and it has special software to access the hardware directly. This keeps Windows out of the way and allows for smoother recovery. Newer versions may be different though.

  • A similar thing *just* happened to me. I took my external drive to an independent IT guy in Nashville for recovery but luckily my drive mounted fine for him. I immediately went out and bought a new drive for him to copy the contents onto.

    Your mileage may vary, but I would try the drive on another machine, but be ready to copy everything asap.

    Best of luck! I know the emotional drain this causes.

  • A similar thing *just* happened to me. I took my external drive to an independent IT guy in Nashville for recovery but luckily my drive mounted fine for him. I immediately went out and bought a new drive for him to copy the contents onto.

    Your mileage may vary, but I would try the drive on another machine, but be ready to copy everything asap.

    Best of luck! I know the emotional drain this causes.

  • Thanks so much Alex. I’m sure Ross will really appreciate your two cents.

    Cheers
    Dave

  • Thanks so much Alex. I’m sure Ross will really appreciate your two cents.

    Cheers
    Dave

  • Thanks Kelly. Much appreciated! Sorry about your hard drive woes.

    Catch ya soon.
    D

  • Thanks Kelly. Much appreciated! Sorry about your hard drive woes.

    Catch ya soon.
    D