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My most total and complete fail ever!

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So, my external hard drive was just about full. It holds all my watchmaking files, from various makers, a lot of it no longer findable out on the net.

Also, years of photos, including the raw magazine articles that were eventually published; all the support work for my BMW engine swap manual..

Literally like ten + years of research and collections, including lots of irreplaceable stuff.

The driver/cause was a new external drive. The plan was to move all but the watch stuff over to the new drive, and take the old one home for use where I do my watch work.

The new drive had a problem while formatting, and while trying to sort it I inadvertently formatted my old drive.


So, if that doesn't make you feel better, not much will.

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13 minutes ago, Tudor said:

I inadvertently formatted my old drive.

You can likely recover most of your content. Formatting only touches tables not data. There are good recovery utilities even before going to the paid ones. Good luck. 

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No bueno.

I had started re-writing what I could find elsewhere, so not much was recovered. Nowhere near the number of files that were on that drive.

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45 minutes ago, Tudor said:

No bueno.

I had started re-writing what I could find elsewhere, so not much was recovered. Nowhere near the number of files that were on that drive.

Not all the recovery utilities are the same, some use smart heuristic techniques to reclaim data. That involves scanning all the space, potentially multiple times. So if you really care about that data you will have to try a few different ones. Data recovery, forensic or not is one of the  segments of IT that pays better. One thing that is of course very mportant is to make verbatim copies of the media at the very beginning to avoid going from bad to woo4se.

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Wot?! No backup.... Snifff....

Been there.


Many years ago I worked as a field engineer installing and maintaining multi user accounting systems.

One customer had a flood, or to be more accurate a large part of Glasgow got flooded, so they had no computer, no backup tapes.

The real killer though was that he bank vault in the bank at the other end of the street, where they stored their off site backup... was also flooded.

Just goes to prove, you can never have too many backups. They eventually resorted to keying in all of their customer details from old reams of paper printouts (which shows how long ago this was). But first they had to dry out the printouts by hanging them across lots of string hung up in a big hallway in their temporary premises. Their insurer paid for new computer equipment which we installed, and for the cost of hiring a bunch of people to re-key all of the data they could. The computer was expensive, but the cost of the data entry probably twice that, and they still had to rely to some extent on some of their customers to tell them what they owed. 

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Had somthing similar with a well known catalogue shop with a disc failure, replaced disk got backup disc it was faulty went back and checked the rest of the discs all useless so drove to Sunderland shop and borrowed their working back up and re build it from there different shop different stock and levels took a week to manually adjust every thing, after that they ran Verification on the backup. Lesson learned, Manager not a happy bunny.

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  • 4 weeks later...

I took delivery of two 5tb drives yesterday. One for backups at home, and one for offsite (parents' house 30 minutes away). Wild fires happen a lot here. Last summer, we got two evacs in a single week from two separate fires, and a third within a month that didn't quite get called (bottom of the street got the evac call, but a few hundred yards away we did not). Oh yeah, and we get floods, so that's fun too. Mountain living. (Mountain) lions, tigers (sub: fires & floods), and bears! Oh... Monday.

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