Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

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Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Lee » Sun Nov 12, 2017 7:11 pm

Question 1.
I have multiple LaCie 1TB external hard drives (orange ones) with FireWire and USB options and one of them is broken. It seems to power up when I plug it in but it's starts clicking and won't mount. Has this happened to anyone and if so can anyone recommend a reliable source I can get it fixed with it costing a fortune? I need the data and it's not backed up!

Question 2.
I want to buy a new external hard dive around 6 to 8 TB to consolidate all of my hard drives and I want to find out what the most reliable option is that you can recommend. I still run an old MacBook Pro at home with Mavericks OS and it doesn't have thunderbolt just USB2. What options should I consider?

Thanks guys.
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Text_Edifice » Sun Nov 12, 2017 8:41 pm

1) clicking is not good. If the head has crashed the clicking is causing more damage. Don't try anything else yourself and take it tomatoes data recovery expert.

2) drives are prone to fail. I would be very cautious trusting a single drive for anything important. Data isn't real unless it's in several locations ime.
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Lee » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:07 pm

Thanks Dave for the info is there a brand/model you would or wouldn't choose over another for reliability. Also what was the name of the data recovery service I tried googling it and it didn't come up? Cheers
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby rowmat » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:40 am

Ahh a subject I am somewhat familiar with!

Firstly it's impossible to recommend a hard drive that is reliable.
Reliable for how long, under what conditions?

Data reliability is directly proportional to the number of backups you have stored at different locations and, with rapidly changing technology, probably on different types of storage devices.

A more recent option is remote cloud storage which has pros and cons.
I would never rely on cloud storage exclusively due to potential issues such as data theft or having your data subject to exorbitant storage fees by the corporate cowboys.

All hard drives will fail eventually so it's not a matter of "if', it's a matter of "when" although some manufacturers have occasionally produced models that had high premature failure rates. (see below)

That aside however 'most' hard drives tend to run for years which, considering the precision engineering required to manufacture a mechanical HD, I find quite amazing since they can be bought for well under $100 and are infinitely more reliable than floppy discs ever were.

SSD's are immune from mechanical shock but are supposed to be 'programmed' to only allow a finite number of read/write operations and of course are much more expensive than a mechanical HDD per gig.

If anyone has the lowdown on SSD life expectancy please comment.

It appears HDD's along with many peripheral devices are all heading towards USB-C.
USB2 adaptors are available but to be frank I would not wish to copy terabytes of data via USB2 unless you have plenty of spare time on your hands.

As mentioned if the drive makes a clicking or scraping noise then DO NOT attempt to operate it as the heads maybe literally scraping the magnetic coating off the disc platters which will make data recovery from that section of the disc impossible. (see the link below for examples of this)

Also it's not a good idea to use DIY data recovery software if the drive is making ugly noises as you may just exacerbate the above.

In the early 2000's I was one of the many 'victims' of IBM's 'Deathstar' 75GXP hard drive debacle.
It was praised in every review when it came out and promoted as a "Safe and Reliable" means of storing your data by IBM.

It boasted SCSI like performance from an IDE drive and it was certainly fast for an IDE drive.
Because of their speed many 75GXP's were bought for installation in servers. (this ends badly!)

My 'Deathstar' lasted under two weeks from purchase at which point it developed what became know as the 'Deathstar' "Click of Death". Many began failing almost immediately after installation.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deskstar

The lesson I discovered the hard way was a drive doesn't have to be old and abused to fail without warning.
Because of this I would avoid using exactly the same model drives to use as primary and backup drives.

It's safer to use two different brands/models.
(There were cases where multiple IBM 75GXP drives installed in a single server all simultaneously failed over a single weekend.)

After consistently denying that the failure rate of the 75GXP's was any higher than 'normal' IBM settled a class action lawsuit and promptly left the hard drive business selling their entire hard drive division to Hitachi.

I have a friend who had some crowd here in Melbourne (don't know about Sydney) recover data from one of his crashed drives (not an IBM) sometime back. I'll ask him about it and let you know.

I have heard that data recovery businesses often charge based upon the ability of the customer to pay.

For example it may cost QANTAS airlines a lot more to recover 1 gigabyte of corporate financial data than say 1 gigabyte of Aunty Sue's European holiday photos and home video clips.
Last edited by rowmat on Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby gigpiglet » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:34 am

i find lacies more reliable than others.
great drives in general. ive had one fail in all the years ive used them (but it was part of a RAID system)
you will find lacie have a lifetime warranty and will replace the drive FOC if they cant fix it.
as for the data - ive never dealt with data recovery as always had a backup or a raid system in place (if you have it you will never need it type attitude)
as well as the lacies i use a lot of seagate portables (by a lot i mean 10 a week) and find about one in 20 of those is dead on arrival straight out of the box. they always swap them out when new. but thats the numbers im seeing from other brands.
everything said about about clicking i concur though - click = dead unplug is straight away!
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby rowmat » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:47 am

I have a couple of the external orange Lacies and I believe they use Seagate drives.

I've wondered if they use some type premium quality Seagates rather than the general issue Seagates?

One would think as Lacie charge a premium for their products the would also be using premium drives.

gigpiglet wrote:i find lacies more reliable than others.
great drives in general. ive had one fail in all the years ive used them (but it was part of a RAID system)
you will find lacie have a lifetime warranty and will replace the drive FOC if they cant fix it.
as for the data - ive never dealt with data recovery as always had a backup or a raid system in place (if you have it you will never need it type attitude)
as well as the lacies i use a lot of seagate portables (by a lot i mean 10 a week) and find about one in 20 of those is dead on arrival straight out of the box. they always swap them out when new. but thats the numbers im seeing from other brands.
everything said about about clicking i concur though - click = dead unplug is straight away!
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Text_Edifice » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:54 am

I have had all brands fail on me. But I think I might be rougher on my stuff than other people.

I can't recommend a data recovery person in Sydney but a call / email around will find someone that can tell you if it can be done or not. If it's a crashed head and it's physically damaged the drive you might be stuck.

The general process as I understand it is they would try and put the platter into a drive case and see what's still readable.
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby OPP » Mon Nov 13, 2017 12:52 pm

If you go DIY, and whilst everyone's warned against it, last time I had a drive die (clicking, etc) I got at it with DiskWarrior and managed to get 90% of the data back
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby rowmat » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:28 pm

OPP wrote:If you go DIY, and whilst everyone's warned against it, last time I had a drive die (clicking, etc) I got at it with DiskWarrior and managed to get 90% of the data back

You can be lucky but it's often a game of Russian Roulette.
You could end up making things worse by damaging the disc platters.
If the pro data recovery option is prohibitively expensive and there's no other option then maybe it's worth a shot.
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Lee » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:00 pm

I got a few quotes and three places all said it will cost 800 plus to fix. That seems like a lot of money to fix considering that is more than 4 times the cost of the device with no garentee of retrieving the data. Not sure what to do. They said it sounds like the heads need to be replaced. Not that I'm keen too go DIY and lose it completely but what would that option involve?
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby rowmat » Mon Nov 13, 2017 8:48 pm

Lee wrote:I got a few quotes and three places all said it will cost 800 plus to fix. That seems like a lot of money to fix considering that is more than 4 times the cost of the device with no garentee of retrieving the data. Not sure what to do. They said it sounds like the heads need to be replaced. Not that I'm keen too go DIY and lose it completely but what would that option involve?

AFAIK they don't typically repair damaged drives. If the drive can't be read they will dismantle the drive and remove the platters and place them in a special reader and then attempt to retrieve the data from the platters. Whatever data they can salvage will be copied onto a brand new drive and supplied to you as part of the service.

Data retrieval labs need to be clinically clean and absolutely dust free.

My friends laptop drive cost him around $2,500 to recover the data from when it crashed about 7 years ago.

It contained a proprietary database for his bosses business and he was the IT guy who designed it so he shut up and paid up. He didn't want to have to explain to his boss why the 'IT guy' didn't have a backup! #-o
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Drumstruck » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:08 pm

I think you need to do a cold, hard calculation of the value of the data on your faulty drive - that will let you decide if it's worth the $s for recovery.

It's hard to recommend a drive solution for such an old MBP - I'm also running a MBP (2011 i7 with thunderbolt 1 and SSDs) and it is nearing the end of it's usefulness for audio work. Firewire over thunderbolt with an SSD drive is nearly fast enough. USB2 is too slow to be much use for anything except things that load into RAM. If you have a card slot you can get close to USB3 speed but it can be flakey. I'm using a combination of those interfaces to get by, but it's a compromise and end-of-life (EOL).

It's time for me to bite the bullet and move to a faster machine - and it sounds like your machine is older than mine, so.......spending more $s on an old setup like you have is getting to where you're throwing good money after bad.


A new, powerful machine, RAID drives, a good backup solution with regular backup schedule and an offsite archiving system is what you should be solutioning - and you probably won't get much change from $10K.

Sounds harsh, but it removes (or reduces) nagging worries and lets you get on with the business.
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby waitup » Tue Nov 14, 2017 8:31 am

This thread has 114 views so I'm guessing what, 50? 60? panicked and did a backup in the last few days?
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby geofflee » Tue Nov 14, 2017 9:54 am

I just let Time Machine do a backup every hour. Am I deluding myself in thinking that I'm safe?
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Chris H » Tue Nov 14, 2017 11:54 am

geofflee wrote:I just let Time Machine do a backup every hour. Am I deluding myself in thinking that I'm safe?

yes, if you don't remove the backup drive when you pack up for the day and go home from work.
I had a raid system on my main computer here at work that had my data backed up on 3 separate drives. Of course one week end there was a direct lightening strike on the building!!........ every drive was smoked and all data irretrievable. Being the smart fella I am I had all important audio files and documents etc on a server in another building and on a smaller removable Lacie drive I carry with me.
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Wiz » Tue Nov 14, 2017 4:38 pm

geofflee wrote:I just let Time Machine do a backup every hour. Am I deluding myself in thinking that I'm safe?



It kinda is, ex computer systems engineer here..., you need at least one off site copy.

Two copies are the absolute minimum for data safety, offsite copy as well is great.


cheers

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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby geofflee » Wed Nov 15, 2017 11:29 am

Thanks guys - shall do!
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Re: Hard Drive Failed! Where to fix?

Postby Lee » Wed Nov 15, 2017 10:04 pm

Thanks everyone for your insights ~x( it's been a learning process.
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