100nm disaster

This is an update on my aforementioned hard drive crash.  I’m not sure what the source of the crash is, but I am sure that my drive is all dead.  Not mostly dead, all dead.  Thanks to David and his Dad for their consultation, and thanks to Kevin in my IT department, but I am now out of luck.  Trust me, we have tried everything.  In fact, my ultimate news came from a professional hard drive recovery service.


Drivesavers offers the best service on the market, in an amazingly clean facility.  The problem was, they were going to charge $700-$2000 for my 100GB hard drive.  I finally sucked it up and decided it was worth the money.  They shipped me a laughably large box to ship a tiny hard drive in the next day.  I popped the dead hard drive in a static free bag, dropped one of my external hard drives (for them to dump data on)  in the six inches of egg-crate foam and shipped it out.  They took a look at the drive and I received the phone call today that it was beyond repair.  Their reasoning was a mechanical failure of the hard drive head, and somehow it ruined all the data on there.  That got me to thinking:  I’m surprised it doesn’t happen more often.


I figured this illustration really proves my point.  A hard drive is very similar to your old 45 rpm records.  Except that it spins 120X faster and instead of a needle, the 100 nm drive head does the reading/writing.  I’m actually surprised they don’t fail more often, especially in laptops which move around A LOT.

Maybe this point in my life is a sign that I should backup my data more often.  Maybe this means that I should consider solid-state drives instead of the moving hard drives so popular in computers today.  I’d say that the SSDs have a way to go still, they are limited in capacity, and a little too heavy on the wallet.  But perhaps a 700-2000 dollar increase is worth the premium up front if you don’t have to pay it on the back end in an eventual failure.

One thought on “100nm disaster”

  1. That’s a hard lesson learned, sorry. Sidenote- I wouldn’t put all my eggs in the SSD basket yet: the file structure can still become corrupt and the end result the same…except you spent more money on the drive in the first place. Stick with the backup strategy and esp with regards to pictures: burn to optical media.

    Of course, you’re likely to adopt an overkill strategy now anyhow, and there are programs to help you do this (for free, no less). You’re talking to the pro of overkill.

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