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.