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2009/05/16: Hard drive dead


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My external hard drive, with almost EVERYTHING on it, has ... crashed or died or something. It fell off my desk, and now it makes this wobbly-squeaky-spinny noise when I plug it in, and it doesn't work. EVERYTHING was on it ... my games, my music (both created by me and otherwise), my pictures, my save files for my games, all comics, my installation-files, every CD ISO, my notes for everything I've ever taken notes on (including ideas for my comic), everything I've EVER CREATED that isn't already online ...1

The "freezer trick" didn't work either. (Maybe if I put it in for longer ...) I'm just ... staggered by how much I've lost. I'm hoping against hope that this is something that can be fixed simply and easily, but I'd likely have to shell out $300-$700 to recover the data directly on it.

1This includes "source files", like PSDs I've used for my comic, or reference pictures, or images I've made and inserted into it

9 Comments (auto-closed) (rss feed)

Tewi Inonymous

Poor muffin, you have my condolences dead hard drives suck.
But you know what they say, back ups are something everyone needs to learn on there own. So remember to back up your stuff next time.


Backups of backups.

Sorry bro.


Reminds me of how I lost the source to the first three games I ever programmed ;_;

The good news is that you'll never lose stuff again =P


Dx Oh noes! That's terrible Muffin! I hope you can recover everything without losing all your money =/


Ouch. Something similar happened to me once a long time ago, although it wasn't so much "it fell of my desk" as it was "my mom downloaded something that contained a virus and had to reformat everything." Ever since, I've always made sure to back up stuff just in case (most FLA files I have are in three places -- desktop computer, laptop, and external HD that I never have plugged in to my computer). Similarly, every time something seems to happen to the site (the countless "database connection error" messages on Walfas), I always try to back up the SQL data. Anyway, this comment is sorta becoming too much about myself, so I should probably end it before I end up typing a whole essay about this (coincidentally, when it happened to me, I did sorta write a whole essay on it). Good luck with recovering that data, if it's possible. It'd be a shame to lose all that work forever...


How ironic, just after your external drive was the only one to survive 4 days before. It's almost like you cheated fate, but Remi wasn't having that...

Anyway, if it sounds like something is spinning then the freezer trick probably wouldn't work. I believe that trick is meant for when the needle is stuck to one of the platters, preventing the platters from turning at all. Perhaps the needle is bent from the impact. If this is the case then you could theoretically 'transplant' a needle from a drive with similar specs (although I know a guy who used a needle from a drive with quite different specs, even made by different manufacturers, and it still worked).

Similarly, you could theoretically buy a hard drive with identical specs and replace its platters with the ones from the broken drive. This would cost much less than what those data-recovering money-grabbers charge, and, as KirbyM said, it would be a shame for that data (almost certainly >99% of which is still physically stored on the platters) to be lost forever.

Dizzy H. Muffin

@SomethingUnreal: I wouldn't call it fate, more like just the usual incompetence.

Someone actually emailed me while the validator was borked, suggesting something like that — I'll definitely pass it along. I'm not sure how I'd know I've gotten a drive with the exact same specs as a Seagate FreeAgent 500GB external HD without getting, uh, another Seagate FreeAgebt 500GB external HD, though ...


sorry to hear about this, Muffin :(

Personally, I never had an event of losing an entire HD, but for some times I had to reinstall Windows and every program, though the data itself was fine.. (one day, when I had my first pc, somewhere around 97, I've corrupted my .zip file which contained some 50Mb of landscape photos, and couldn't recover any of them, and felt very bad for this. 50Mb is still nothing compared to everything you had in the HD, though)

I would leave the disk alone and avoid further recovery attempts (heard that attempting to freeze the HD could work initially, but would cause further damage later) until I could pay for one, assuming the price decreases over time (this idea may backfire, though); there's also a recommendation of not subjecting the HD to sudden temperature changes while it's operating (sources: and )

Furthermore, I wouldn't attempt to open the HD, because the air in the HD's interior is regulated so that dust particles ( ) or water (condensation, read the Condensation Control section at the second link) don't come in contact with the platters or the head..


My first computer's system is acting up and can't load unless in safe mode. My second computer's hard drive seems to be dead. I wiped clean my laptop's hard drive without checking where I put the recovery disk (and I can't find it). ;w; Maybe you should try to get a hard disk that's drop-on-floor-and-die proof... and wrap bubble wrap around it XD