Data Recovery from a Hard Disk

Some of you may remember my bad luck with hard disks during the summer. One was a Fujitsu drive that died hours after I plugged it in when I got home. I lost a month’s worth of photographs from Chicago and that was obviously upsetting. Of course, after the rest of what’s happened it’s small change in terms of the bad year that 2003 was for me!
Anyway, it’s 2004 and there’s a possible solution to the drive problem!
Here at work another Fujitsu HD died yesterday morning but this time I had more success recovering data from it. I asked on #linux, the ILUG IRC channel, and Christian suggested Parted, while Liam suggested using Gpart. Gpart is on the ILUG BBC and a quick search found this description of how to use it!
I can happily say that gpart worked perfectly! It detected the partition table and I was able to write it to the drive again. A quick reboot and I was able to copy off the important data! Other stuff can wait but gpart turned out to be a life saver here. 🙂
Of course, this is only usefui if your BIOS and Linux/*BSD can see your HD.
I have my fingers crossed that I can do the same on the HD at home. There’s a lot of photos I want to recover!

Photo archiving

Bah! This summer I’ve had 2 drives die on me at home. The first was a drive I used for many years so it was no surprise it died. Unfortunately it died just after I came home from the USA in July. Thankfully I had backups from last November done, and was able to recover the photos from 2003 up to the end of June before the drive died permanently. The second drive was the one I brought back from the States so I’m not surprised it died after a plane journey.
I’ve backed up all my photographs twice now. There’s 2 CDR copies of each backup, just in case.
Now this article from The Register throws some doubt on this strategy. No premium brands were tested but cheaper CDRs become unusable after a few months. I can confirm that this does happen as quite a few CDs I burned in the past are now unusable.
I’d like to look at DVD burners now. It’ll be a lot easier to reburn 2-4 DVDs rather than 12-16 CDs every year. Liam on #linux suggested the Pioneer 106 and I’ll look around, so if you’ve used a DVD burner with Linux I’d like to hear about it in the comments below.