September 24, 2007
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.