Thursday, August 25, 2005

Woe, woe, calamity and lamentations

Little bit preoccupied at the moment with catastrophic data corruption and hard-drive failure issues.

It's not fair. My external LaCie was running out of room for my music files, so I bought a 500GB LaCie d2 Extreme Big Disk (forgetting for the moment that anything with so many names can only mean trouble).

Two minutes after plugging it in, I had problems. Copying files from one disk to the other resulted in copious and irritating "data could not be written" errors.

So I tried copying smaller amounts - all the "A" artists, then the "B"s - took some time but got there in the end. With all the files successfully copied I (close your eyes now) deleted the originals from my other drive.

Why, oh why did I think it would be safe to do this? Although everything was fine for a while, as soon as I tried editing some album info in iTunes the Twilight Zone opened. All of a sudden, none of my songs could be found.

When I looked at my new drive, it was obvious that the directory had become damaged: viewing the drive in list view, none of the album folders had arrows next to them, and when I clicked on one it vanished.

In front of my very eyes.

Poof. Gone.


Something had felled my B-tree.

Tried repairing the drive in Disk Utility, no dice, "missing thread record," and "Invalid directory item count."

Tried Disk Warrior, got some files back, but couldn't rebuild the directory.

Tried Voodoo. Switched everything off. Unplugged it. Switched it on, plugged it in. Now it's not even a recognisable format and needs to be initialized.

Christ on a crutch.

Alright then, I've got all the data on DVD-R anyway, might as well reformat. Although restoring 130GB from DVD...not going to take it up as a hobby.

Except I can't create any partitions. The processes starts and then just...doesn't do anything. Nothing hangs, no errors, it just isn't doing anything.

So - the data is gone. I now have a drive no longer recognised by the system that I can't erase or re-format.

But I'm not done yet; there's a little more I can try before I'll have to repurpose the drive as a doorstop. Check the firmware. Reset the PRAM. Try it with another computer.

I'm a warrior! I will not be defeated!

Category: Computing and Web

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