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rossz's Journal: More Hardware Woes 5

Journal by rossz

I've been having a nasty streak of bad luck. Earlier this week my server's power supply committed suicide. Normally that wouldn't be a big deal, except the bastard took out both hard drives with it. I guess the drive makers are too cheap to include a 50 cent part to protect the drive ciruitry from a power surge (or whatever the powersupply did to the drives).

I have a tape drive, but I could never get it to work in Linux. The maker, Seagate, advertised the Travan drive as Linux compatible (with native support), but it NEVER worked.

The result is two dead drives with tons of irreplaceable files. I called a data recovery service. The quote almost gave me a heart attack. Thousands of dollars for each drive. Ouch.

So what do I do? It's been suggested that I buy identical drives and try swapping the circuit boards. This might work, or it might double the number of broken drives. Besides, one of the drives is old enough to be a problem in finding a duplicate. The second drive is brand new and still under warranty, but I'm holding off on returning it for the moment.

Isn't there a service that can evaluate if the drive circuits can be repaired (at least well enough for me to yank off the data)? I can't believe the only option is to use those overpriced data recovery services. If that's the only choice, then I have to kiss my data goodbye.

I'm already looking into a replacement server and have mostly decided on what to get. I'm also planning on getting a USB DVD burner so I can do backups (I've given up on the tape drive). I've chosen USB because I want to be able to use it on other systems, too. Is there enough support in Linux to use a USB DVD burner for this purpose?

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More Hardware Woes

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  • Are you sure the drives went or perhaps the disk controler? I've never heard a tech suggest "swaping the boards" from the disks, sounds like you either got Dilbert's garbageman or Dogbert on that call.
    • I plugged the drives into a known working computer and it would not recognize either of them at startup, so I'd say they are both dead. The circuit swapping suggestion was not from any tech support. Just something suggested in passing. In fact, a tech friend of mine said doing that probably would NOT work - which is why I haven't yet tried the trick.
    • Drive swapping works. (if you are really careful and skilled in changing the boards). As a matter of fact slashdot had an article about 1-3 months ago, showing a guy's site with step-by-step instructions on this procedure.

      Good luck.
  • First things first, put the drives in to another system and make sure they're dead. There's a lot of stuff between the drive and you seeing data that can be cooked. It's hightly unlikely that both drives were able to be cooked through a power supply failure. (short of lightning)

    Trying to get data back off a dead drive is not unlike beating a dead horse. Finding the same board on another drive has a very very slim posibility of working. (if that is the problem)

    I went to school for electronics. The cost of
  • Dead drive. Freezer. Thirty minutes. Sometimes works [meetmyattorney.com], but probably not for cooked drives. At this point, WTF -- it can't hurt to try. What's the worst that could happen? Your hard drive might not work?

    I'm surprised that the surge got that far into the box. (I guess you were surprised too, but that doesn't help out now).

    GF.

APL is a write-only language. I can write programs in APL, but I can't read any of them. -- Roy Keir

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