harddrive restoration fund

I decided to do a slightly different approach for this event, in hopes that someone might help out.

Full background story

On the evening of the last Friday in February 2003, I was in the middle of preparing my weekly radio show on ErrorFM after being absent for a couple of weeks due to an unrelated hardware issue. All of a sudden, the computer stopped responding, resulting in a system breakdown at the time. The next couple of hours was spent trying to revive the computer, which refused entirely to as much as start up. Surely, it would power up, but it just wouldn’t go as far as loading Windows XP. Only unplugging my 20 GB harddrive from the rest of the computer appeared to allow a start up, and I could narrow the source of the problem down to the harddrive I had been using as a data storage drive for the past couple of years being defective.

To add to my worries, it would seem that the music I had collected and work I had performed for the last five years was irretrievable and lost forever. Considering that the harddrive was full (with less than a hundred MB to spare), that’s a lot. Although I bought the harddrive back in 2001, I had moved all of my work I had collected through the years – from the time I started using a personal computer – onto this harddrive, and now it was gone. Can you imagine my pain?

Fortunately, there are companies like Ibas that are able to recover data from a crashed harddrive, but they charge about an arm and a leg just to take the harddrive in for analysis, and the other arm and leg to extract the data. Seems unfair, but there’s not a lot I can do about it. There are a bunch of songs that are not available anymore on the music market, as well as a whole lot of business and personal data that are just too nostalgic to give up on.

After sending in my harddrive to such a recovery company for free analysis in September 2008, they estimated a price tag of about $1,400 (which is what I’ve set the total amount on ChipIn for). I’ll probably have to get the disk re-analyzed when I get to the point where I can afford to recover it. Once the donation drive passes 80%, I might be able to cover the rest of the cost on my own.

Shortly after the drive crash, I did buy a new 20 GB harddrive complete with better ventilation as well as a 200 GB external USB drive, but I essentially had to start over with everything I had (e-mails, music, digital pictures, etc).

Since then, I’ve also taught myself to always keep my data on at least two different physical harddrives, and most of my data is additionally on an external network drive. Always backup, and backup often (most important data is backed up once a day, though only on weekdays).