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Re: [ARSCLIST] Suggestions needed re: crashed disk drive recovery


I have dealt with many crashed drives and other unreadable media over the years. Not knowing what system its attached to, what type of drive or if it's internal or external, I'll give you an overview of what I do. We're Mac based.

The first thing to do is determine if it's the drive or the enclosure. Most of the "crashed" drives I've encountered are actually fine, but have some issue with the enclosure they're in (power supply, controller card, etc). I've even had a client's LaCIe drive, with an entire mix and edit go on fire (flame, sparks, smoke) I removed the drive, placed it in a new enclosure and it was fine. Migrated all of the material to a new drive and still used the burnt one as an auxiliary drive 4 years later.

Some RAIDS, esp. G-RAID have had controller card/chip issues. We went through a whole season of problems with them, eventually sending them all back for repair whether they had issues or not. Just heard from a client last week who had a similar problem with an OWC drive this summer. They repaired it for free and the data was fine.

I would even take an internal drive out and place it in a case first to see if it makes a difference. I've been able to recover a few that way, Of course once you get it running, be prepared to copy whatever you can to a fresh blank drive.

If you can get it spinning, but it just won't mount, try a software solution. DO NOT USE NORTON!!!!! It can actually do more damage. I learned this the hard way, right before a mix going into Sundance. I would avoid any software that repairs the directory or does anything to the problem drive. I have TechTools and some other programs, but they work the same way.

I use Data Rescue II from ProSoft. http://www.prosofteng.com/ http://eshop.macsales.com/item-maillist/Prosoft%20Engineering/25100/
It is a 2 drive solution, which copies whatever it can find on the crashed drive and moves it to an empty drive. It has saved us on several occasions. They make a pc version as well. You can download a demo from their site which will scan a disk and tell you what it finds.

I would try all of this before going to a recovery specialist. We've made those calls and gotten the same quotes, but have managed to handle most of the situations on our own.

Bill Seery

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