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External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

  • wellbuttie
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Hi All

I have just experienced an External Hard Drive failure on the device that stores all of my Astro Images.Its a Maxtor One Touch 4 - 750 GB Drive.

The Drive makes a sort of rattling sound when booting and then I can hear a series of beeps/clicks as it attempts to run. Also, it is no longer visible in "My Computer" at all.

Has anyone an idea on how I may be able to recover the data from the drive?

Help!!
Steve Roche
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"Technology is a way of organising the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it."
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13 years 7 months ago #78542

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Ouch... It sounds pretty bad - literally.

Have a look at the maxtor (seagate) website - they may provide a low-level utility programme that can be used for diagnostics. You may need to remove the hard-drive from the enclosure to do the full test.

If that fails, there are companies who will recover the data for you. But it isn't cheap.

I guess, having learned my own lesson from a similar failure, you should have a good backup strategy and be prepared to spend some more money on extra disks.

Dave
13 years 7 months ago #78552

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Replied by ayiomamitis on topic Re:External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

Steve,

I have gone through precisely the same hell and it is not fun!

Try and minimize access to the disk in the event the heads aggravate the problem. I am certain you have a problem with one or more heads.

Warranty on hard disks means very little when it comes to data recovery by the manufacturer as I found out the hard way. Best case scenario is the replacement of the hard disk.

After my second hard disk crash in 2007 with lost image files (!), I started making multiple back-ups (mirror copies on three laptops).

Anyway, if you check the archives here on IFAS, you will find my thread when I experienced the same problems as you describe and the various tidbits of information and advice others gave me using software solutions etc.

Anthony.
Anthony Ayiomamitis
Athens, Greece
www.perseus.gr
13 years 7 months ago #78569

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Replied by ayiomamitis on topic Re:External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

PS. Steve, here you go with lots of suggestions and advice: www.irishastronomy.org/forum?func=view&catid=28&id=47863 ...
Anthony Ayiomamitis
Athens, Greece
www.perseus.gr
13 years 7 months ago #78570

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

OOh Nasty.
My condolences.
It sounds as if you will need to send it to a
data recovery company.

I recently bought an external drive
to store all my images on as I had a PC crash
(virus) recently and even after I had the PC looked at
it was caput and I lost a lot of work.
I try not to think about this!

Recently I bought an external drive 700mb
and I back up my work onto that fairly regularly.

It's a pain in the ***
I have one laptop for image capture,
one for processing and one for storage.

No to mention the family that use the main PC
for all the other usual stuff.
Keeping track of it all is a nightmare.
I wonder is there an easy solution to this data storage problem,
many of us imagers seem to suffer from it.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
13 years 7 months ago #78572

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Replied by ayiomamitis on topic Re:External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

Barberskum wrote:

I wonder is there an easy solution to this data storage problem,
many of us imagers seem to suffer from it.

Frank,

There is a solution ... online backup to your website. In other words, have your website hosting service provide you with the necessary online storage for you to upload your valuable files (zipped) so that you have (1) a secure extra backup and (2) reliable backup since I suspect they have more than one backup of all the files they host.

Anthony.
Anthony Ayiomamitis
Athens, Greece
www.perseus.gr
Last edit: 13 years 7 months ago by ayiomamitis.
13 years 7 months ago #78573

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

Excellent and obvious way to do this!
Thanks, I'll look into it!
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
13 years 7 months ago #78574

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Barberskum wrote:

I wonder is there an easy solution to this data storage problem,
many of us imagers seem to suffer from it.


I bought a Netgear ReadyNas box some time back. It connects to your network and is available to all networked PC's/Laptops. The one I bought will hold four hard disks (I currently have 4 * 500 Gb installed). The disks are configured as X-RAID (pretty identical to RAID 5) - I can lose one disk completely without losing any data - I have two spares at the ready - it supports hot-swapping. With three USB ports, you can even attach an external hard-disk and back-up the NAS device. There's a bunch more stuff it'll do too.

I bought the NAS box and the disks separately. With the disks factory installed, it seemed really expensive. I saved a good few bob buying the disks myself.

Of key importance, the purchase included a very comprehensive backup software utility (Retrospect). When I say comprehensive, it is very complex but riddled with lots of help plus access to a web forum for tech support.

On top of this, my main PC holds six hard disks - four as configured as RAID 1+0 (controlled by the Intel Chipset on the motherboard) and there are two spares - fully connected and powered. If one disk fails, the spare kicks in. If a second fails, the second spare kicks in. With no spares, I can lose two hard disks and not lose any data.

My backup strategy is:
1. Backup all networked machines to the NAS device every week
2. Backup the NAS device to an external hard-disk every month
3. Put the NAS backups in my steel garden shed when the disks are full

There are few scenarios I can think of that would result in complete data loss.
13 years 7 months ago #78576

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Replied by Frank Ryan on topic Re:External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

dmcdona wrote:
There are few scenarios I can think of that would result in complete data loss.[/quote]
Meteor impact on your house maybe?
:laugh:
Jeez man,
when can you call down to set all this up for me!!!
It's exactly what I need.
My Astrophotography
Shannonside Astronomy Club __________________________________________
Meade ETX-125PE, Bresser 10 x 50 Binos & Me Peepers
13 years 7 months ago #78577

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Hopefully not the one named after me anyhow ;)

What led to me buying all this stuff? A two grand bill from a data recovery agency. Yes, two GRAND... That was a very painful lesson. I learned it and it ain't gonna happen again. Luckily enough, they recovered absolutely everything but I have to say it was really hard giving them my credit card...

Using your web site is a good idea for folders of images etc. But I have a ton of stuff "configured" and I really don't know where the config files are. The backup software will re-create all hard-disk files as they were pre-crash. So you just restore, let it run and hey presto - sit back down at your keyboard as if nothing happened.

One other thing - both the PC Raid and the NAS box will tell you if disks are becoming impaired so you can even head off a crash before it happens.
13 years 7 months ago #78580

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  • DaveGrennan
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Replied by DaveGrennan on topic Re:External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

Steve,

I had a similar issue last year, although I didn;t have any rattling noise which sounds ominous. My problem turned out to be firmware corruption. I took out the drive attached it directly to my PC. Turns out it used a unix format so I was able to use A linux CD to retreive the data off it. In the end I managed to reflash the hardware and the drive still works today.

Take out the hard disk and ID if it's the disk itself rattling or something else. If the disk is ok then there is a good chance it is fully functional.

Frank: I use an online backup service called carbonite., It costs 45 lids a year but that includes unlimited online backups for two PC's and all files are double encrypted for peace of mind. For me 45lids is a small price to pay for peace of mind.
Regards and Clear Skies,

Dave.
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13 years 7 months ago #78581

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  • wellbuttie
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Replied by wellbuttie on topic Re:External Hard Drive - Disaster.... any ideas?

Hi Folk

Many thanks for all your helpful suggestions and of course sympathy. It looks like a mechanical failure (the worst). Hopefully there is some "light at the end of the tunnel". Having the benefit of working for an IT company some of the "Hardware Techies" reckon they can sort it out (no guarantees though)..... so fingers crossed.

Anyway... valuable (and expensive) lesson learned..... so I have just ordered a 2 TB NAS Server (with RAID) for future backup strategies.


Oh the pain ....... oh the pain....

Again many thanks for all the useful info, much appreciated.
Steve Roche
.........
"Technology is a way of organising the universe so that man doesn't have to experience it."
steviestargazer.ivisionireland.com
www.deiseastronomy.com
photo.ivisionireland.com
13 years 7 months ago #78586

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