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Question I need advice for recovering a hard-drive? please read!

foul-creature-

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2019
3
0
6
About half a year ago I realized that my external hard-drive that I bought on amazon was malfunctioning, I had noticed there was a connection problem even before that, it would connect and disconnect rapidly sometimes, but I didn't think much of it cause my files were still there. then 1 day I tried to open my files which had saved in there (video files), and they couldn't open, but it wasn't just like a straight-right-away error message--it was loading and loading, like there was something there, it just couldn't open, and when I tried to “safely remove hardware” It would not allow me to, even with all windows closed it would say “please close programs using the drive”.. I had to just pull the USB out. I unplugged and re-plugged it several times, to see if I could find a way to open the files (and I tried everything like moving the file to C drive to open, or using a different computer, nothing worked)... every-time I tried the files appeared differently, like sometimes it would just not be there, (actually every time the folder would come up empty at first), sometimes there'd only be like half of them, and then the rest would load, but then there wouldn't be the names or thumbnails, sometimes just the names not the thumbnails, sometimes names and thumbnails, but not dates or info, sometimes there was everything included accept it wouldn't play... it would open the video player and the video player would load a bit and then would give up.. My hard drive seems like it has Alzheimer’s and it is having trouble pulling up different parts of the file but I am sure there is a way to recover the files because I know it’s in there somewhere, the data wasn’t wiped, I think it just doesn't know how to use the data to play the video because the video is somehow corrupted ...

I want to get the drive recovered, but I most importantly don't want to give the drive to someone who hooks it up to a computer and unsuccessfully tries a whole lot of things to recover the data, and then after all that the drive may self-destruct even more and make the problem even harder to solve… I feel that every-time the drive is powered on, it’s probably somehow screwing itself up even more, Plus the whole issue with the unstable connection (which is what I believe caused the malfunction in the first place) will probably find a way to screw it up further.. So before anyone tries to recover the data with a computer, I want to have the drive completely cloned, but I don't know how that can be done, I am thinking I could buy the exact same model and then ask a hardware expert to scan the drive with a machine and clone the data onto the other drive, it might even be better to have 2 or 3 other cloned drives just to be safe… The last thing I want is to pay some nutjob at the data recovery company to redacted up the drive permanently, if that happens then I can’t even bring it to a real good data recovery expert..

In the future when I have more money I’d want to hire like a real smart computer expert, who is smart and creative, someone who treats data recovery like Sherlock Holmes treats crime solving, treating every situation differently, not following a procedure... I don't trust those 9-5 working folks in a data recovery company who don’t really care about your data cause they’re still getting paid at the end of the day. Right now though, I have not much money and I can't wait forever because I hear that hard-drives lose their magnetic energy if not powered on for a while, and it could lose your data even after a year of sitting in storage, I don't want that to happen. I feel that I can't wait any longer; these files are so incredibly important to me, I can't afford to lose them. They are like all I worked on for many years. So, please tell me, what would you do? How would you handle this? Thanks for reading & Thanks for any advice or help.

(P.S. I have about 1,500 USD saved up and that's all I'm going to have for a good while, I have no job because I am disabled but I won't get into that... so what would you do, if you had 1,500 dollars and broken drive?)

Again I really appreciate any replies, even If you are not an expert.. I am posting this on like 12 other forums so any reply is helpful even if you don't know much. Thanks.

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VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,232
5,468
126
I don't want that to happen. I feel that I can't wait any longer; these files are so incredibly important to me, I can't afford to lose them. They are like all I worked on for many years. So, please tell me, what would you do? How would you handle this? Thanks for reading & Thanks for any advice or help.
(On second though, that link to the "Futurama Suicide booth" GIF was probably in extremely poor taste. Sorry.)

Edit: Even with "World Backup Day", people still think, a SINGLE copy of their "most precious files", on a single (very vulnerable externally HDD), constitutes "backup".

Let's face it, you need the help of a real professional data-recovery outlet. Maybe next time, you'll learn.

Edit: And when you're ready to learn, consider a (or a pair) of NAS units, each running a RAID array with redundancy, along with a (group of) external HDDs, that you use for (rotating) backup, and keeping some of them off-site.

Edit: This (sadly) happens to people all the time, mostly college students, that have (limited) experience with desktop computers, and more experience with phones, and thinks that technology, and especially portable HDDs are infallible.

Us old codgers know to keep some extra old HDDs around, with "cold backups" on them, as well as use some forms of redundancy (RAID-1/5/6/10) to ensure that if there is an (eventual) single-drive failure, that it (hopefully) won't immediately hose our data. (But, it must be stated thus, "RAID is NOT a backup." Raid is for availability.)

I don't know what data-recovery costs these days, contact DriveSavers and Seagate's Data-Recovery services, and see if you can get a quote, maybe you can get one where you only pay if they can successfully recover so much percent of your data.

That said, have you tried another USB cable, and have you tried plugged it into a powered hub, if this is a non-self-powered "Portable External" HDD (laptop-sized)?

Also, consider buying "portable SSDs", in the future. They ARE more expensive, per GB (substantially so), but they are more reliable than mechanical HDDs, in general.

GL.
 
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foul-creature-

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2019
3
0
6
(On second though, that link to the "Futurama Suicide booth" GIF was probably in extremely poor taste. Sorry.)

Edit: Even with "World Backup Day", people still think, a SINGLE copy of their "most precious files", on a single (very vulnerable externally HDD), constitutes "backup".

Let's face it, you need the help of a real professional data-recovery outlet. Maybe next time, you'll learn.

Edit: And when you're ready to learn, consider a (or a pair) of NAS units, each running a RAID array with redundancy, along with a (group of) external HDDs, that you use for (rotating) backup, and keeping some of them off-site.

Edit: This (sadly) happens to people all the time, mostly college students, that have (limited) experience with desktop computers, and more experience with phones, and thinks that technology, and especially portable HDDs are infallible.

Us old codgers know to keep some extra old HDDs around, with "cold backups" on them, as well as use some forms of redundancy (RAID-1/5/6/10) to ensure that if there is an (eventual) single-drive failure, that it (hopefully) won't immediately hose our data. (But, it must be stated thus, "RAID is NOT a backup." Raid is for availability.)

I don't know what data-recovery costs these days, contact DriveSavers and Seagate's Data-Recovery services, and see if you can get a quote, maybe you can get one where you only pay if they can successfully recover so much percent of your data.

That said, have you tried another USB cable, and have you tried plugged it into a powered hub, if this is a non-self-powered "Portable External" HDD (laptop-sized)?

Also, consider buying "portable SSDs", in the future. They ARE more expensive, per GB (substantially so), but they are more reliable than mechanical HDDs, in general.

GL.
Yeah. I also had a cloud backup, it was supposed to back up my computer and my external hard-drive (the external hard-drive was not for backup but for storage), unfortunately I didn't catch the problem in time, and the cloud backup deleted all the data from the external hard-drive. Now I remember, this is actually how I found out about the problem, I was looking at the cloud backup and noticed the External hard drive backup was empty. So I went to my hard-drive to see what was the matter. The hard-drive itself is not empty but I guess the cloud back up thought it was empty or something, so it deleted all the data... I tried to email the cloud back-up company to see I there was any way to recover the data but, I didn't get any help.

Anyway, thanks for the several points of advice, very helpful. I'm writing all this down.
 

VirtualLarry

Lifer
Aug 25, 2001
49,232
5,468
126
Yeah. I also had a cloud backup, it was supposed to back up my computer and my external hard-drive (the external hard-drive was not for backup but for storage), unfortunately I didn't catch the problem in time, and the cloud backup deleted all the data from the external hard-drive. Now I remember, this is actually how I found out about the problem, I was looking at the cloud backup and noticed the External hard drive backup was empty. So I went to my hard-drive to see what was the matter. The hard-drive itself is not empty but I guess the cloud back up thought it was empty or something, so it deleted all the data... I tried to email the cloud back-up company to see I there was any way to recover the data but, I didn't get any help.

Anyway, thanks for the several points of advice, very helpful. I'm writing all this down.
That's interesting. "They" like to say, "Just use cloud backup", and it's very notable that you were in fact using a second set of backup for your external HDD. But it sounds like it was a "cloud sync", and not actually a "cloud backup". If it were a "cloud backup", there should be several revisions deep of backups that you have your choice of restoring from. Since that evidently didn't work out, if you feel like naming names, I'm curious which cloud "backup" provider to avoid.

So I'm putting this one, at least partially, on the cloud "backup" provider that failed you. Also evidently failed to reply to you in your time of need, that's really too bad. (Is consumerist.com still around? Might contact them with your experiences.)
 

foul-creature-

Junior Member
Aug 11, 2019
3
0
6
That's interesting. "They" like to say, "Just use cloud backup", and it's very notable that you were in fact using a second set of backup for your external HDD. But it sounds like it was a "cloud sync", and not actually a "cloud backup". If it were a "cloud backup", there should be several revisions deep of backups that you have your choice of restoring from. Since that evidently didn't work out, if you feel like naming names, I'm curious which cloud "backup" provider to avoid.

So I'm putting this one, at least partially, on the cloud "backup" provider that failed you. Also evidently failed to reply to you in your time of need, that's really too bad. (Is consumerist.com still around? Might contact them with your experiences.)
yes it was a cloud sync, you're right.. I dont know if I can blame the company, I think the drive was being troublesome and the cloud couldn't read it or something... I was using backblaze
 

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