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39 posts

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  Reply # 2131647 22-Nov-2018 11:06
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Not so much a horror story of any thing like that, but I do have a box I referrer to as me hard drive graveyard. It just a box with all my dead drives from the last few years in it as I'm to lazy to throw them away.

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  Reply # 2131651 22-Nov-2018 11:12
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Back in the days before the "cloud" I spent a fair bit of time backpacking around Europe.  I collected a lot of awesome photos but of course needed somewhere to store them (can't recall how big the flash card for my camera was but it wasn't big)  I had a cheap laptop and and an ipod, yeah one of these bad boys:



(CC BY-SA 2.0 at,




and figured I'd be pretty safe if I kept a copy of all photos on both the laptop and ipod.  Off course near the end of the trip the ipod got stolen and not long after arriving back in NZ the laptop harddrive crashed...  All the photos (except a select few I managed to upload to facebook over very slow internet cafe links) were lost :(   How did we survive before mobile phones, the cloud and cheap storage became so ubiquitous? :)







This song was playing on my playlist the second I scrolled past your post.







672 posts

Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2131654 22-Nov-2018 11:13
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A few years ago I thought I had lost my entire RAID, and around 10TB of data. It contained copies of media I owned, so it was all theoretically replaceable, but it would have taken hundreds of hours to recreate.


I was unable to read any files from the RAID, despite the individual drives all appearing to function correctly. While fiddling around, one of the drives didn't quite attach correctly to the slot-in drive bay, and I found that I could read data from the RAID if one disk was removed.


To cut a long story short, I spent several thousand dollars at PB Tech the following day, buying a new Synology NAS and the first six of eight new drives, in a RAID6 configuration, and nervously waited for 10TB of data to copy across the LAN. Fortunately, I had the foresight to make checksums of every file, so another 20 hours or so of MD5 calculations later (also over the LAN - yes, not the most efficient method), I was able to confirm that only a single file was damaged.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2131677 22-Nov-2018 11:34
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Many many years ago when I was about 8, our family moved back from Papua New Guinea, complete with an IBM 8086, and a number of 5.25" floppy disks with data.


We made it back no problems, the container with all of the household possessions however got misplaced, and ended up on a dock who knows where for about 3 months. When it finally turned up it'd been looted with a good chunk of the gear missing. Water had also entered in places, and the floppy disks were 'mouldy'. After they'd been dried out the old man and myself then pulled apart the floppy disks, and did what we could to clean them up and recover what data we could. Took a while, and I can't even remember how successful we were. Suffice to say despite their small capacity, the data on some of them was well and truly gone. Including some very very classic Monochrome & CGA games.  ;(

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Reply # 2131694 22-Nov-2018 11:54
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I remember the 20Mb hard drive side-plugged into my old Amiga 500 developed stiction and I had to flick the unit around a few times to free up the heads

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  Reply # 2131695 22-Nov-2018 11:55
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The time I tried to dd one drive to another in order to try to rescue data off it and ended up dding the wrong way round and blew away my data!

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  Reply # 2131697 22-Nov-2018 11:56
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Probably a familiar story to many and a simple but frustrating one: my library of media had been growing on the laptop for quite some time so to avoid complete loss I got a 2Tb Seagate ('Book') and backed them all up to.  Did that for about nine months or so to ensure everything was ok, and yup all good.  Decided to move my music library across to there as well.  1 month later got the drive out to refresh the phone music and got the dreaded 'no device' message.  Seems the header board on the drive had failed - no disk present. Theoretically I could try getting a new header board for the disk but that would be an expensive exercise, but I haven't thrown the drive out as, you know, just in case. 


Luckily I had only backed up the image library so that's still intact but bummed I lost years of scanned CDs.

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Master Geek
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  Reply # 2131698 22-Nov-2018 11:58
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I don't have a horror story, but I have had many drives fail on me over the years. All my current spinning drives are now Western Digital, and have had much better luck with their drives as opposed to Seagate's. These WD Red drives have served me very well so far in my Unraid server.


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  Reply # 2131699 22-Nov-2018 11:58
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Here is my horror story, named "I Did Something Bad To My External HDD's & Can't Access Them". 

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Master Geek


  Reply # 2131700 22-Nov-2018 12:00
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Back in the old days when DSL was just starting to be a thing I had a architect as a client,  obviously his data was _very_ important to him.




Main store was a raid1, and had proper (or so I thought) backups in place via a pair or external hard drives that were rotated weekly at the owners place. 




onward a year or two and I get a call from the client in a panic as he has had a bad fire and all his gear is toast. 




I think, ok that's bad but we have the backup. 




At that point I discover that the client moved into his place of work upstairs. ruhroh. 




All backups toast and about a years worth of work lost.




God I love the internet now because we *can* offsite securely and safely and this sort of thing should not happen ever anymore.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2131701 22-Nov-2018 12:00
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Brand new SSD, my first ever. A Samsung EVO.

Dead within a month, made me scared to ever go to SSD again. Luckily I had a copy of the entire drive before migrating!

The next one was fine though and really worth it as everyone knows.

The next story is me being very green and playing with FreeNAS and inadvertently not backing up - clean install couldn't access the encrypted storage. Just nuked it in the end but lost a lot of memories.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2131706 22-Nov-2018 12:15
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Just the usual HDD fail story. I had a 1TB HDD which had all my photos from the earliest days of digital photography (late 90s, early 2000's) just die.


Lesson learnt : back up photos on multiple physical HDD's  (And now google Photos 👍🙂)

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  Reply # 2131739 22-Nov-2018 12:21
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In 2000 or 2001 I wanted to reinstall my computer. I had multiple hard drives, and, multiple copies of my most important files. In order to fully reinstall my computer, I copied the files across a network to a share I had set up on another machine. I then reinstalled my main machine, then went to my network share and tried to copy the files back to my main machine. Click, click was the sound I heard and the files were no longer there.


I had previously had multiple copies of these files. There was only about 30 minutes where there was only 1 copy, on a machine that was not shut down. That was the time that the hard drive died.


This has stayed with me for all these years, I can't believe how bad my luck was that that small window of time was when the hdd died. I still have the hdd to this day.




Edit - using crashplan now for offsite backups and versioning.

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 2131740 22-Nov-2018 12:22
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Bought a SSD for my PS4 which was stupidly expensive and as I was getting in the car I left it on the roof, drove 40km back across town all fizzy about my purchase only to realise what I had done when I pulled into the driveway. Peak hour traffic time in Auckland was in full swing, but I had to brave it knowing I probably had no chance anyway.

Total time spent: 3 1/2 hours
Total Money: hundreds
Outcome: tears, plenty of tears

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  Reply # 2131741 22-Nov-2018 12:24
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I bought a new 36MB HDD and controller card, back in the day when 20MB was a Really Good Thing. Backed up the files from my old 10MB to 5.25" floppy disks, plugged in the new controller and disk, installed DOS, and restored files to it. As an acolyte of the "Backup early and often" school, I regularly defragged the disk and backed up to my set of floppies.


After many weeks, I discovered that there was an intermittent fault in the controller, such that a sector was sometimes not written, but no error reported. The defragging meant that many of my files contained an occasional sector of whatever file had previously been at that location on the disk. Of course, by the time I figured that out, my backups were only one generation less crappy than the files on the disk. By then, lots of my source code was trash.



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