Jumping on the Bed!

The continuing blog on anime, games, movies, computers, college, and life in general

Not trying to tempt fate here, but…

dead wd mybook

I really hope this is the last of the depressing news around here.

When I came home last week and went looking for some of my old files on my NAS (Network-Attached Storage), the mounted drive was unresponsive. “Enh”, I thought at the time. “it just needs to be rebooted again.” Unplugged the power to the Western Digital MyBook World Edition and plugged it back in. Instead of the happy blue rings of the system powering back on, I got nothing. Power-cycled it again and still no lights but a faint “click click click” sound was coming from it. My already battered heart took another hit and I went numb.

Damned the warranty, I dismantled the white acrylic cage imprisoning my data and the past four days has been spent trying to recover from the crash. I had intended for it to be a backup unit, but as I’ve been moving between a couple of different computers and six or seven operating system changes, it’s pretty much just been storage and not duplicated files. I seriously considered sending the drive out for data recovery knowing that it would likely cost me around $1,000. Thankfully I was able to get 70% of the crucial files back before the drive (pictured above) finally gave up the ghost and was throwing read errors left and right.

The MyBook World Edition uses some sort of linux operating system so the drive was partitioned and formatted as ext2. I’ve been using ext2ifs to read and write to my dual-booting Ubuntu drives for a few years now and it’s worked admirably. This time, however, it would only read the partition as part of a RAID set and wouldn’t open it normally. After a little digging, I uncovered another actually older utility called Explore2fs which is strictly an ext2 partition reader, as opposed to ext2ifs’s ability to mount the ext2 partition as a normal readable / writable drive within the Windows environment.

Explore2fs wouldn’t run properly at first but after setting it to run under Windows XP compatibility mode with administrative rights, it worked like a charm. It found the four partitions on the MyBook drive and let me browse the file system and export the folders I needed to my desktop. I did end up losing most of my music, but as I’ve been paring down my physical CD collection to those artists or albums I really enjoy listening to, I may not miss most of what’s gone. I was, however, missing over half of the 8,771 pictures I’ve taken with my camera over the last 6 and a half years. So I’ve been scouring the 34 hard drives I’ve been holding onto, in some cases for the past 13 years, for any and all files I want to keep.

The road is long and arduous, but while disposing of the cruft, and triaging the survivors, I’ve been reminded of many fond memories and I’m gaining a better sense of myself; learning about he boy I used to be, the person I am now, and the man I want to become. Amazing what nearly 3.2 Terabytes of data spanning the beginning of your adult life can teach you.

(“sleep” imogen heap – i megaphone)

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