There was a long squealing noise and then silence. My son, in his characteristic loud manner, shouted “Daddy, who is making noise?” Wasn’t sure, but I had been hearing some squealing noises from my computer for a while, a noise I had attributed to the usual noise they make when they are been put to real use. My sixth sense never warned me.

We had just gotten back from church and I was thinking of posting an article on this blog. I tried working with my laptop but the whole stuff was “hanging”! Now, I was getting suspicious. With my heart gradually getting close to my mouth, I forcefully rebooted the system. All I got for my efforts where some error messages. Oh Lord, my God, I must have recited about 5 chapters from the book of Psalms. I dashed for my toolkit, a Live Ubuntu DVD and a Hiren CD. Both confidently reported back that no hard disk was on my laptop! My God, I suddenly felt very sick, the laptop is barely 4 months old! The SEAGATE, 500GB Hard drive in the laptop had crashed. Did I not pray well in church? I know I did, the Pastor even laid hands on me, so why this? The website design I was working on, just because I couldnt pay some guy in the UK $700, was right in it. All my Youtube tutorial videos, my software downloads, my music files and my blog write-ups were all in it. I have not been having much luck with gadgets these past few years, is it me or is it that they don’t make them as good as they used to?

First, it was my 2 high end Windows mobile phones, then my Garmin Car Navigator, followed closely by my Ipod Touch, then my $500 6 hour battery life Samsung netbook literally fell apart. Now this!

Well, what can I do? I couldn’t continue crying over spilled milk. My eyes fell on my wife’s 17 inch, 500GB HP Monster and the proverbial light bulb came on. Made a grab for my screw driver and relieved her of the 500GB Hard Drive, she won’t be missing it anyway, afterall, all she does on the laptop is 75% Facebook, 20% GAMEHOUSE games and 5% Microsoft Word. Why would you need 500GB for that? I replaced it with a 160GB that had been lying around. That, in my opinion, was more than sufficient.

Ok, maybe I did lose all my data, but i’m back on the beat, punching away on my Mandriva laptop.

Moral of the story? Yeah, it’s very boring and a little tedious, but you will do well if you always back up your files!

PS: Suggestions welcomed, will be glad to recover the content of the drive.


  • Ayo Falade

    Artwales: I can image what you went through.
    Now you will never be a victim again!

  • I think he means you shld try my earlier suggestion. Put it in the freezer for a few hours. I've heard that it worked for some people. However, it will be a temporary fix so u'll probably have to get ur files out as fast as you can … that is if it even works at all.

  • Since the hard disk is not being recognized no software will do the job, the only thing left is to try the freezer approach, although i don’t think it will work. You could try a foreign based hard disk recovery service if your lost data is of the utmost importance but it will cost you.

    Back in the day when 200 gig hard disks where seen as huge, i bought one after 4 months it crashed (my fault for dropping it), all my documents, rare ps2 (iso) games , apps and anime gone, i felt sick for a days. I tried many recovery software but they all failed.

  • if that is the case, i doubt testdisk will be of much use. Have u tried connecting it via a sata to USB connector? that might do some good. Alternatively, you could put it in the freezer for some time :D. i heard that works too.

  • Eyebeekay

    Thought Modern hard disks with S.M.A.R.T are not supposed to fail abruptly.

  • i recently experienced some data loss on my device and i used testdisk to recovers some of the files. it is extremely powerful and you might want to check it out. also, photorec (from d same guys) aids in recovering specific files/ formats instead of the whole harddrive. I think you might have better results if your files are on a FAT 32 / NTFS partition than on an ext2/3/4 one.

  • Eyebeekay

    I just googked "Automated Online +free backup service"

    it revealed some interesting results….

  • Eyebeekay

    So sorry. Data backup is so much like Insurance. Boring, but necessary. You do not need either UNTIL you TRULY NEED it.

    What we all need is something to make backing fully automatic. Once online, an application to work oib the backspin, babbling up to a reliable location oib the web…

    I m sure such an application / service would exist for the different platforms..

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