Thursday, February 01, 2007

Tech Tragedy

I've experienced what I can only describe as a death in the family - the loss of my hard drive.

David Pogue had a column in the New York Times earlier this month about backing up your PC to protect against data loss. I remember reading the article and smugly thinking to myself - "I can't believe some people don't do backups." You see, I was under the impression that my backup utility was performing as expected - backing up nightly at 4am.

Then a couple weeks later my computer crashed unexpectedly. Like any good doctor/computer geek, I ran some diagnostics. A virus scan was negative. A quick check disk was clear. I decided to run a full check disk. Oh how I wish I'd checked my backups before I did that.

Long story short, I never got to see my hard drive again. After hours of failed check disks and stymied recovery consoles, my computer failed to even recognize the presence of the hard disk. Then I panicked and checked my backups - turns out I somehow managed to mess them up completely and only have files that were altered or modified in August-September 2006. All my previous documents - i.e. all of my pictures, word docs, downloads, etc from 2002-2007... gone.

Off the hard drive went to SalvageData. I was prepared to spend $400-1500 to get this data back. An expensive mistake, for sure, but I knew I'd never make it again. SalvageData - recovery service for NASA and the FBI - surely they could get it back? Wrong again. The verdict was 100% nonrecoverable.

So, after a week of fighting with Dell on the phone (detailed story of customer service nightmare to be posted at resolution of this experience), my new hard drive arrived and yesterday I started from scratch.

I guess sometimes a fresh start is just what's needed.


At 12:30 AM, February 05, 2007, Blogger Dr. Claw said...

A few years ago my Gateway Astro crashed. I'd never thought to back up my computer - I was planning to get a new computer and then switch over all my files then. I lost a lot of photos and some really important essays. I'm still pissed about not having some of those essays.

I still don't back up my computer. I don't know how. I should probably learn since now I have a digital camera and ALL my photos are on my computer.


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