All of us like to be prepared, we carry what we need with us on a daily basis, right? Many of us have all manner of gadgets and things we might need
in a given day. So, here was a bit of a surprise for me the other day (yesterday).
In addition to the normal compliment of EDC stuff, I also carry some electronics. One of the things I carry is a (solid state portable HD, or SSD).
The one I have is a Toshiba 500mb drive. Now this is kind of a long story, but I back a lot of stuff up to this drive. I'll keep it (the story) short.
At home I have a 1TB IOmega drive I back my laptop files up to, and I use my SDD as a secondary backup "sometimes". However, at work our backup has
all manner of legal strings attached to it, so it's unreliable at best. For the critical stuff, I back it up to my SSD also (but nowhere else).
Sunday night I needed to retrieve something off my backup drive at home. In the process I noticed my laptop was really struggling (my laptop is a barn
burner, fast...so that was unusual). I narrowed the problem down to my SSD (i.e. when I unplugged it my laptop came right back to being a rocket). I
thought nothing more of it, and put the SSD in my bag (my EDC bag).
Well, on Tuesday I received a request for some documents (some old documents), and I immediately went to my SSD. I was shocked to find EVERYTHING on
my SSD backup had been deleted...and the drive had reformatted itself (completely)!!!! OH...MY...GAWD!!!
There was 308 GB (not Megabytes, but GIGabytes) of data on that drive and it was all lost...GONE!! Now, I work in technologies so I didn't panic at
first, and I got a recovery program to examine the drive. Yep, sure enough...everything was deleted and the drive had been reformatted. This drive had
served me well for two years and I thought it was bulletproof, but all of a sudden it had reversed itself to the very basic files it had on it when I
bought it...and nothing else!
Now it was time to break out the BIG guns in the data world. I had some fairly advanced software which would analyze a HD and see what was
recoverable. The software showed 308 GIGS of data as "lost"!!! (there were numerous other categories of data, but "lost" was the worst). Fortunately
for me, this software is designed to deal with exactly this problem...so I set it up to start recovering "lost" data.
My first problem was my work PC only had about 350 GB of storage remaining on the drive. The software needs a swap file space about 3x the size of the
data it is recovering, so I was trying to recover 300GB and needed 900GB of room to do it. I didn't have it on my desktop. Thankfully I didn't try to
recover the data on the same drive that lost it, because the swapfile size would have overwritten data it was trying to recover. So I had a
I ran out to the local office supply place and picked up a 2 TB drive (turned out they were closing so I got a smoking deal on a Western Digital 2TB
drive...for $59 bucks!). Now I had some serious real estate to recover the data. It took nearly three (3) hours to recover it all (and I got about
95-99% of it), and at one point I checked the new drive and over 1TB was in use (like 1.34TB).
So, what's the moral of the story? I usually have several evolutions of backups on various media, but I learned something (I should have known
already). Even if you have (5) backups of a drive on something, unless you have those backups on two different sets of media, then you can be SKREWED
very fast! Had I backed up my SSD to my iOmega drive I would have been fine, but I didn't have an identical copy elsewhere, and all my work files were
on the SSD.
It was hours and hours of stress, unnecessary stress, and lots of rolaids. So, the wisdom is...back it up in more than one physical place.
Hope this helps! (and I also hope someone got a kick out of my folly and hardship).
edit on 10/14/2016 by Flyingclaydisk because: (no reason given)