I lost everything...

Michael Baturin

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Jul 11, 2007
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#1
While this story only slightly has to do with iPhone related issues, for those of you who are bored, you can read my horror story.

I installed Windows Vista last year when it came out as I got it for free via my college. Since then it would occasionally flicker, very infrequently. I dealt with it until recently it began flashing and occasionally crashing my PC. I dealt with it through a process I use for most problems, check software, then hardware. After installing every possible driver, windows update, etc. I decided I would back up my hard drive on my external, format, and install a fresh copy of XP (as I hated Vista anyways and needed a comp cleanup). Upon start up, I found the same problem was existing, time to test hardware. Took my roommates video card, put it in my comp, EUREKA! it worked. Put mine in his to verify, his monitor and comp showed same problem. Obvious step, go out and buy a new video car. So I did, started up my computer and to my surprise, my external drive did not show up. To make a REAL long story only long, My external's data AND partitions were gone. I tried 10-15 methods of data recovery, all of which required partitions still exist. I had 8 years of pictures, music, movies, and my freelance web design sites and source files stored on there. In addition to all vital documents and installation programs backed up from my previously existing hard drive. GONE. 450GB to be exact.

How does this relate to the iPhone. Well I can not sync my iPhone until I "retrieve" all my music through means of my own. This will take some time and it sucks because there is new music I want to add to my iPhone. Pictures dating back to 1999 and 2000 were on there as transfers from previous computers.

It really felt then, and still now, like I lost my life. My lifes work, memories, and countless hours "media gathering" gone.

How did this happen? My assumption is because I left my external plugged in during the format of the internal HD, the format somehow carried over to the external. I cannot see any other explanation. It deleted the partitions!

Just thought I would vent on here. As far as the pictures go, thank god for facebook lol. I have about 10% retrievable from there.
 

Griffinaz

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Oct 5, 2007
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#2
Have you tried moving the external drive to another computer to test whether the partitions are there and just not showing up on that one computer?
 

Griffinaz

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#4
I am sorry that happened to you. I know there are places in Phoenix that you can take a drive and for a fee they will retrieve as much data as they can off the drive. Since the contents are your life, you may consider spending the money to see if they can at least retrieve some of the images you have spent years collecting. The music and such can probably be replaced over time but the images and the memories that they hold for you cannot be.
 

Michael Baturin

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#5
Yeah I appreciate the advice. I looked into some data retrieval companies, but they were asking extreme amounts of money. I am still unsure of how I plan to go about dealing with this. I have been attempting data recovery through self means for a while now, and each time I fail.
 

Griffinaz

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Oct 5, 2007
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#6
If the files were just deleted then there are many different options available, many for free. These include undeleters, etc.. but if the drive lost the partitions and/or was formated then these will not work. You may consider downloading an undelete utility and just try it out. You may get lucky and have the files show up as being able to be restored. You may even get luckier and have the partitions show up as being recoverable then you may be able to get most if not all of your files.

I am not promoting one over another but the first freeware undeleter I ran across was this one. Couldn't hurt to at least give it a try.

http://www.officerecovery.com/freeundelete/
 

acosmichippo

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Sep 10, 2007
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#7
^^^even if those don't work, it's possible the data is still recoverable. If you take the drive to a Geek Squad (or other computer service), they have advanced data recovery techniques that may help. Problem is, they can be pricey ($200-$1500)... just depends on how much that data is worth to you.
 

Michael Baturin

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Jul 11, 2007
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#8
Thanks, I appreciate the help. I am weary to pay the money for a possible retrieval as I have read numerous places that drives showing messages such that mine are, "drive must be formatted", and other indicators, usually mean the data is gone.
 

acosmichippo

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Sep 10, 2007
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#9
you won't have to pay all the money up front. I think there is like a $60 diagnostic charge that is not refundable, then they'll let you know if data can be retrieved, and how much it'll cost.
 

Lees85

New Member
Dec 28, 2007
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#10
I've been in exactly your situation before and I know the pain. In the end I decided the cost was too high to have it done professionally but I still have the HD, so maybe someday.

The recovery software comes in lots of different types and I spent 2 weeks going through them...the one Griffinaz suggested is probably the best. Even if you run one, then another, you can get files you couldn't see with the first program.

Nowadays I am swamped with backup DVDs needless to say it hasn't happened since I started my obsessive backup regime!

Lees
--

iPhone Tips, News, and Downloads
http://www.iphone-downloads.me.uk/
 

kakofonix

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Oct 2, 2007
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#11
I feel your pain, Bro. Been there, done that, still hurts after almost 5 years. I lost all of mine in a fire. There may still be hope for you.