Lost harddisk

As promised earlier, I’d be writing a small blogpost today. And I had warned before it was on a geekier subject than booze.. Although some people might have another opinion about that.

Last week I had lost my primary harddrive which contained my root directory and home directory. Fortunately as various thousands of websites have suggested, I have backups of the most important things. Now of course, you always forget to include some new things in your backup plan, which was the case here, as I didn’t consider enough space just yet for a full image of all my data. Yes, that’ll be my upcoming correction and we all learn from our mistakes now, don’t we?

The main symptom:

When booting the PC, the disk is not recognized by the BIOS anymore. Normally at POST you should get an ID of your disks. Unfortunately nothing appeared, so my heart sank seeing that, as no other signs of breaking were seen nor heard..

Attempts to fix:

  • Fiddling the cables:
  • Of course one of the first things you check are loose cables, wires, .. Nothing seemed to be wrong. Pulling out all other disks, leaving this broken one alone and lonely under my watchful glare.. didn’t seem to do the trick. So let’s try different cables, SATA ports, all to no avail.. The idea that the problem was to be found here was shoved aside rather quickly.

  • Take it out and insert it into a bay:
  • Leaving the idea of cabling errors, in came the docking bay. Thanks to [shameful commercial]Coolblue’s quick orders[/shameful commercial] I managed to get a Sharkoon dual bay the next day already. Hooked it up, and I almost jumped up and down as a small kid (I have a perfect example of that running around here, half of the time), plugged in the disk, connected it to the PC and booted.. That childishly enthusiasm quickly dissipated when the appropriate “dmesg” output simply.. didn’t appear.. nada, nothing, zilch.. Plugging in a different disk did work, so the bay was not at fault, fortunately). Off to the next option then..

  • Freeze the bastard:
  • While searching for other methods, I came across the following site:
    Emerging Techs – Put Your Hard Drive in the Freezer to Recover Data
    After reading through various enthusiastic successes, I decided to attempt this as well. You never know what miracle crosses your way. So MrDisk was put into the plastic bag, carefully closed and into the freezer for a night. With the same enthusiasm as before I took it out the next day and put it into the bay for testing. The disk spun up again, although much slower than before, but as time passed, and it became warmer, this got better.

Unfortunately, this post doesn’t come with a happy ending.. This didn’t fix my disk either, although many stories seemed to suggest to give it at least a shot. Fortunately there’s still warranty on the disk so it’ll be prepped for RMA.
Fortunately most media, and some code, have been carefully saved already, unfortunately a few things have not been..
But this is a good wake-up call for an important lesson : “Better backups!”