I Just Lost All My Computer Stuff!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Computers & Technology' started by OPC'n, Aug 7, 2009.

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  1. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    A few days ago Beth came over and cleaned out my pc but we made sure everything was on my external hard drive. Well, tonight I hooked it up to my pc in order to get a pic of my dog. Of course, I didn't have any pic files on my pc bc it was just cleaned out and instead of not being lazy and making a pic file in order to download pics from my external hard drive onto my pc, I disconnected it from my pc and hooked it up to my mac. I was too tired to read what my mac was telling me to do and just read that I needed to erase something in order for it to work on my mac. So I pressed the erase button that was flashing. It started doing something and then my pea sized brain kicked in and thought "I hope it's not erasing my stuff!!!" So quickly unplugged it from my mac and plugged it back into my pc. Well, now my pc doesn't even recognize that it's hooked into it. It normally comes up as E drive and absolutely nothing happens when I plug it in. This means I have lost ALL of my stuff I think!! All my writings, music, sermons, pictures, EVERYTHING gone!!! My writings I can never get back bc they obviously are not on my ipod. I think there is some software that i can use to download my ipod stuff back onto my computer BUT I want my stories that I wrote and other bible studies I did. I'm so sick about this I could :barfy:. Does anyone know what I might have done and how I can fix it?
     
  2. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    That's too bad. Maybe shake some chicken bones at the monitor and perhaps your stuff will reappear.
     
  3. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    I'm not laughing in fact i'm madder than a wet hen right now!
     
  4. SolaScriptura

    SolaScriptura Puritan Board Doctor

    Hopefully not at me. I was trying to cheer you up.

    Interesting... my humor doesn't cheer up my wife when she's angry either... maybe some day I'll get a clue.
     
  5. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    of course i'm not mad at you! but i'm sick that i've lost everything i've ever owned!
     
  6. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    Guess there's no fixing this tonight! I'll just obsess over for the night!
     
  7. WaywardNowHome

    WaywardNowHome Puritan Board Freshman

    I don't know how you could fix it but what probably happened was that the Mac handles data differently than a PC so before it could read the stuff on the external, it formatted the data so that it could be read on the Mac. I'm not sure if the format would've erased all of the data regardless but pulling it out mid-format will definitely mess it up so that neither Mac nor PC can read it I'm sure. But.. I could be wrong.

    You could try taking it to a computer service place and have them attempt a hard disk recovery OR ask them what they would recommend. I know of some people who have completely fried their hard drives and still managed to salvage SOME data afterwards so there might be hope still.
     
  8. Casey

    Casey Puritan Board Junior

    If it didn't finish formatting, it might be possible to recover it. And depending on the type of filesystem your Mac was using to format it, most of the data could still be recoverable.

    Filesystems keep tables of where files begin and end on your drive, during a format those tables are destroyed but often the data is kept there. So if your PC can't read it, it's because the table (and not necessarily the data) has been lost.

    But to be honest, I have no idea how to recover the data myself, sorry. :( Probably do some Google searches, there might be some free software that attempts to recover.
     
  9. dr_parsley

    dr_parsley Puritan Board Freshman

    It sounds like you unplugged it pretty quick so almost all your files should still be there; only invisible to you. Most important thing - do not use this disk for anything until you take it to a professional, who should be able to restore most of it. It's not even that difficult; I remember a couple of friends at university formatted their disks and I got their files back for them by parsing the physical clusters. Similar in a way to how you can use a hexeditor to recover deleted information from a MS Word file. (I'm not suggesting you do it yourself; it will be worth paying someone who does it regularly!)
     
  10. Hungus

    Hungus Puritan Board Freshman

    I hate to tell you this but unless your mac did a quick format which would have only taken a few seconds your data is gone. I have done my fair share of data recoveries back when I worked as a forensics tech and I can tell you it is a slow process to get your data back. Unfortunately if you want to try you will only get one shot at it with most people. I no longer have current tools and I am no longer bonded or I would offer to do it for you. If you use a service, which is your best bet, expect it to cost at a minimum 300-700 dollars. If you decide to trust it to a local person or try yourself it will be cheaper, but the likelyhood of recovering good data goes down signifigantly.

    make certain they do the following things:
    1) Mount the drive read only
    2) Clone the remaining filesystem to a separate device before trying recovery.

    This takes all the data on the drive in its binary (1 and 0) form and lets the recovering computer play with it to recover the most files and not touch the original data so you can have more than one shot at the recovery.

    There will be people here who suggest one application or another, just be aware that experience is part of the recovery process.
     
  11. rpavich

    rpavich Puritan Board Freshman

    This is pretty cheap and might work:

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  12. Whitefield

    Whitefield Puritan Board Junior

    Call the Geek Squad at Best Buy. Sometimes those guys can work magic in a situation like this.
     
  13. Wannabee

    Wannabee Obi Wan Kenobi

    I'm sorry about this. I know the felling, and "sick" is probably about as close as you can come. Usually when I've gotten that feeling I've been able to recover my info, but not always. And I've never lost it all. Yep, that would make me feel pretty sick. I hope you find it, but more importantly that you're able to rest in Christ.
     
  14. Webservant

    Webservant Puritan Board Sophomore

    Something similar happened to me. My wife had been warning me that I better back up our household "shared" drive which contains all of our digital photos of the kids. Well, to make a long story short, I ended up formatting the drive, thinking I had made a copy of the contents.

    I bought Active File Recovery. They also sell Active Partition Recovery, Active Unerase, and Active Undelete. It worked like a charm - and I didn't even tell the wife about until AFTER I recovered all the files. Well worth the $40 I spent. [email protected] UNDELETE File Recovery Shareware NTFS FAT32 FAT . As always, your mileage may vary.
     
  15. rpavich

    rpavich Puritan Board Freshman

    Webservant,
    wow...thanks for the tip...40.00 is better than 100.00
     
  16. wallingj

    wallingj Puritan Board Freshman

    I have been in the IT field for over 19 years, I would take Hungus advice. if you can afford it, the lower the cost the less likely you will recover the data. These companies charge a lot because it is not an easy affair to reassemble data when there is no table of contents (file system) they have to go through the drive bit by bit and try to match them up to form the file.
     
  17. Quickened

    Quickened Puritan Board Senior

  18. tgoerz

    tgoerz Puritan Board Freshman

    I recently went to Carbonite.

    I'm hoping this will prevent such data loss.

    Anyone ever had to restore using Carbonite?
     
  19. jpfrench81

    jpfrench81 Puritan Board Sophomore

    I use SugarSync (which can sync files across multiple computers). 30 GB storage for $5 per month and it syncs files across Macs and PCs. If you don't need to sync across computers there are better deals out there, but it has worked very well for me.
     
  20. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    I had a disk crash once ... many years ago. It was the first time I'd ever had one die (all others had been replaced with larger, faster disks before they died). I had many things that I just did not want to lose on that drive, including all the things I wrote during the death of my first wife. To me, it was priceless, and that meant I would pay to get it back.

    There are data recovery places that can do such things, I believe I used OnTrack, and they got my data back. It was expensive ... think nearly $1000 I'm not sure any more, as it was more than 10 years ago.
     
  21. wallingj

    wallingj Puritan Board Freshman

    OneTrack has been used to recover Exchange databases with some great success, but it was expensive.
     
  22. Hungus

    Hungus Puritan Board Freshman

    I did exchange databases a few times and do I have some horror stories. One job would have been easy money but the client did exactly the opposite of what I told them to do. What made it worse was that it was on an encrypted compressed ntfs drive so I had to recover the volumes key through the compression I think that was one of the toughest 3 weeks of my computing life.

    Today for a home data recovery I would likely use Data Recovery Services Cost and Service Level Options - SalvageData good company in general
     
  23. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    I'll pray for you, Sarah.

    And I will say - not in any effort to say I told you so, since I didn't - but in the hopes that others will jump on the backup bandwagon after seeing this thread:

    • You should always back up your data
    • Get an external hard drive and make sure you do periodic system image backups (I do it once a week) so in the event you have a system problem (I had a video driver meltdown recently) you can restore the whole computer back with no problem. $100 for a 1TB drive is cheap.
    • Back up your data (documents, pictures, music) periodically. I tend to rely on the system image for music (since I have so much) with every other day backups of documents/pictures on my external hard drive.
    • If you have multiple PCs/laptops (like many families) I encourage the use of "somewhat backup" by having copies of the picture files across multiple computers. I do this, and in order to lose all our pictures, we would have to have four PCs fail simultaneously, along with the external hard drive.
    • Use an online backup service for the most important documents/pictures. There is Mozy/Carbonite, or there is also an excellent service called Dropbox. A free account is 2GB, it syncs files across computers if you want, keeps a backup copy on their webserver, and even keeps 30 day old revision copies. You can get 50 GB for $99/year or 100GB for $199.
    If you are interested in Dropbox, you can sign up using this referral link and get an extra 250MB over 2GB. I use it for our church "server" to kee all church documents synced on my computer, our associate's and our secretary's.

    https://www.getdropbox.com/referrals/NTEwMzE4ODE5
     
  24. Puritan Sailor

    Puritan Sailor Puritan Board Doctor

    Hey Fred,
    Can you use the same external hard drive to back up two different computers?
     
  25. Albatross

    Albatross Puritan Board Freshman


    I have used OnTrack at work with our reps laptops. Great results so far but, yes, always expensive.
     
  26. fredtgreco

    fredtgreco Vanilla Westminsterian Staff Member

    Typically you can. You can do it one of two ways:

    1. Make the external hard drive a networked drive. You can but some external drives that connect right to your network/router and don't even need a USB connection to a PC. I think they run about 25-50% more than USB drives. But you could always just connect the ED to a PC, and set it to share over the network. The second PC will be able to see it, and save to it - as long as the first USB connected PC is on and connected.

    2. Simply connect the USB ED to each PC before you want to back up. This might involve moving laptops or the ED, but is not that hard, and isa bit cheaper. Connect to PC #1 on Monday and backup, then disconnect and connect it to PC #2 on Tuesday and backup

    As long as the two computers have different "names" it should work fine.
     
  27. OPC'n

    OPC'n Puritan Board Doctor

    My back up external hard drive is what I messed up when I hooked it up to my mac. Everything was backed up!! I have always backed up my stuff and now that external hard drive (Maxtor 500GB) no longer works. Like I said....Beth came over and we backed up everything on my computer onto my external hard drive and then she cleaned out my computer. So now I don't have any of my stuff anywhere.

    Thanks everyone for all your suggestions. If it costs too much to retrieve my info, I'll just have to lose my writings and get software which will transfer all my music, sermons, and books from my ipod back onto my computer. And since my external hard drive doesn't seem to work anymore I'll have to buy another one of those too. :( This is unexpected expense I don't really need!
     
  28. dr_parsley

    dr_parsley Puritan Board Freshman

    I've been wondering if I should back up my back up... I think if one can afford it then it should be done. If I was in the West with fast broadband I'd have an external disk and online backup. I find external disk enclosures break quite rapidly. I now have a hard disk cradle which seems like it will last longer.
     
  29. Brian Withnell

    Brian Withnell Puritan Board Junior

    Of the two, the first is preferred from my point of view. If something goes *bad* wrong with a computer, it can take out any attached device. Having a device on the network, not the computer itself, gives another level of security. If you want even more security, get a NAS storage device that supports RAID. (This is more expensive, but is more secure against hardware failure).
     
  30. dr_parsley

    dr_parsley Puritan Board Freshman

    Is it more secure though? If one drive on a RAID array goes, you've lost some of your data just the same. I thought RAID arrays are really to speed things up through parallel access.

    In your backup strategy consider power surges also. A power surge can destroy everything - so ones backup device should not be ordinarily connected to the mains. I once had a lightning strike take out every single network card in a mid-size network by going through the router. Surge protectors can't be trusted if not regularly tested (and how do you test them)? It may sound like paranoia, but it does happen (or is it only in developing countries? :rolleyes:).
     
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