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Old 08-18-2007, 11:18 AM   #1
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External hard drive corrupted - HELP!!!!

Looks like the new camera's going on hold.

In March 2006 I bought a 320gb external, Western Digital Caviar SE 320GB Ultra ATA/100 7200RPM Hard Drive w/8MB Buffer, which I installed in an external case. I have treated this baby with reverence and it contains all the digital pictures I have ever taken (only 1/3 of which are backed up) plus a u2 live collection I have put substantial time and effort into building plus plenty of movies and TV shows that I care a lot less about and are much more easily replaced.

Last night I set it to copy some things from the family desktop Dell because I'm headed back to school today. I woke up and my sister had logged out of (actually, switched users) my account and the Dell had hung. ctrl alt del didn't work, and basically the only thing to do for both the devices was to cut power. When I cut power to the external, it logged into my sister's account and gave about 100 error messages relating to a failed write to my hard drive, which wouldn't go away, forcing me to restart the computer manually as well.

My hard drive is now inaccessible. I plugged it into my laptop, which recognizes it as the X: drive (which I assigned to it long ago) and says it is corrupted and unreadable. Because it is PC formatted the family Mac can read it and I have used it with the Mac in the past to burn DVDs and such off of it. I plugged it into the mac. It wanted to know if I wanted to initialize/format the drive, so I said eject. The hard drive is now inaccessible. Also, the error log on the Dell that I was using when the error occurred had so many errors (paging errors) built up that it wrote over the original error.


1) Does anyone know what is going on beyond the obvious?
2) Does anyone know of a good reliable and preferably cheap data recovery program? Western Digital has several "partners" but I don't know anything about them. Their "data lifeguard" program can identify my hard drive but when I tried using the copying and browsing the external to select a folder to copy, it has an I/O error.
3) I think I am going to start by buying a 500gb Western Digital for $110 on newegg, because I need something big enough to copy the data too and that is a pretty good price for half a terabite, plus I would like to further expand my u2 collection/collect flacs. I still believe WD is the best maker out there and it is just this damn $500 Dell that screwed my precious hard drive up. Do people who know more about this agree that WD is still king? So, can anyone recommend a good case without annoying lights?
4) I am hoping that once I get the data off (fingers crossed) I can just reformat the 320 gig and it will work again, so that investment (at the same price as the 500gig now) won't be useless. Does this sound plausable/likely?

I am having a nervous breakdown. Please ask any questions I may not have covered. Thanks in advance for the help!

Oh and finally - since I reinstalled my operating system in March I've just been using my iPod for music, all my original mp3s from my iTunes library are on my external which is in a coma. I was planning to restore iTunes to my laptop this week - brilliant timing. I know there are programs that do iPod-to-computer copying for music, and I feel that this is rather urgent as my iPod is 2 years old and rather finicky and looking like it could quit at any moment. Recommendations?

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Old 08-19-2007, 04:02 AM   #2
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Geek Squad can recover information from a corrupted Hard Drive I believe.

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Old 08-20-2007, 08:48 AM   #3
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Unfortunately, I don't have much advice for you. I've only had a hard drive get jacked up once, and I had a very techie friend who was able to salvage most of my vital data (which wasn't a lot at the time, mostly just some documents).

However, I will say that I also have a Western Digital external hard drive, and I've never had a problem with it. I think they're great.

I hope you can get your data back.
"Knight in shining Zubaz."

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Old 08-24-2007, 08:10 PM   #4
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Well I bought a new 500gb Seagate (over WD because its warranty is 2 years longer) and I now have to figure out how to attempt to rescue my data... still looking for help/advice if anyone has any.
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