Why we Backup Data
When your Western Digital MyBook external hard drive smell's like burnt electrical components and it's lights flicker at you as if it's taking it's last breath, you can't help but give a worrying "Oh....."
When you retry the power and you don't hear the fantastic "USB device found" sound clip on Windows XP you begin to debate hitting it or nursing it like a sick child, knowing you have data on it that IS NOT BACKED UP!
Well that was my scenario. Specifically I had 72GB of data, mainly photo's and music which I did not have backed up anywhere due to the mere volume they required.
Now being in my profession, you have a good 'Data Backup' policy and system, and you always advise your clients to follow the same protocol.
My catch was, all my photo's and music just wouldn't fit on my 40GB C: drive. So I purchased a Western Digital MyBook, 500GB which hosted the files as well as backed up all my business files from my C: drive.
I did however plan to get a 2nd external drive, to backup the photo's and music in February 2008. As luck would have it, on February 2nd 2008 my WD MyBook decided to nuke it's self.
I believe it was a power surge, which fried the boards distributing the power to the drive unit. So I took the physical drive out and placed inside an Integral External Hard drive Case unit. That cost me about £40 from PC World.
Upon my attempt and hope to fix my precious drive I noticed the power connections on the physical drive unit had also taken a hit and smelt really 'iffy'. So I tried a power up but nothing happened. So I really only had one option left to me, Data Recovery.
Data Recovery is an expensive business, a bit like wheel clamping, in the end your left with no choice to pay up or face loosing your data.
I chose to send my drive to Field Data Recovery based in Bridgend, Wales. They offered a 24hr diagnostic's report to where they would then quote you on the cost to recover the data, if it was possible to do so. If you didn't want to go ahead with the recovery, then it's only cost you the postage. [mine was £6, special delivery]
It was the Wednesday after I had a call from Field Data Recovery who said they had "Good news for me" but in a rather depressing tone? "We have recovered 72GB of your data" they said. Relieved, I began to see how what ever price they gave me next was going to be irrelevant because I simply had no choice but to pay it.
So before the final bill was stated, I arrange for the data to be re-supplied on a new Western Digital internal IDE drive, 500GB, which cost me £70.00 directly from Field Data Recovery.
So, in the end the final bill came to £465 + vat = £546.38!
So my lesson learnt, I have all my data on my new internal IDE drive, then backed up onto my new external Western Digital drive. Plus every so often I back up all my business files to DVD's which go into a box, inside a safe, that I can't find the spare key for, so when the batteries run dead I'll be calling a lock smith!
Field Data Recovery sent my broken hard drive back after I confirmed all the data was recovered. They also keep my data on their system for 7 days just incase I have problem's re-installing my recovered data.
So if you are in a similar situation, data recovery is expensive but shop around. I originally had quotes for £1500, but I found Field Data Recovery much better as they predicted the bill wouldn't much exceed £400.
Backup your Data, don't risk it!
Posted: 12th February 2008 - James King
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