Catastrophic Failure

We all have our first times to experience something in our lives. I just had one.

They say that hard drives can fail unpredictably, and truly, they do. It can either die slowly by accumulating bad sectors until it can’t remap anymore or it dies a quick and painless*(?) death with the aptly named click of death (no sample yet, but if your hard drive goes click-click-click-click quickly, that’s the one).

I have four hard drives sized 80, 160, 320, and 500GB from 2006 to 2010, spanning across generations. Two of these have just died catastrophically. One by click of death (320GB), and other by too many bad sectors (500GB). Attempts to mount the drive in Linux and Windows fail. Linux kernel complains of unrecoverable read errors, and Windows just fails at reading, prompting me to format the drive (won’t blame it, it’s a hardware fault). Funny thing is is that I successfully used the 500GB and copied 20++GB worth of data to it just a few minutes ago then it gives me this. Like I said, unpredictable.

To experience a catastrophic drive failure is painful. To have two simultaneous failures means you’re really unlucky. Fortunately, data contained in these two drives have been copied over to a new drive long before these two failed, so no data lost, only the grief of lost equipment.

Lesson: backup, verify backup, backup. Don’t forget to backup your backup and verify it again. Equipment can be replaced; lost data is forever.

Ooh, just noticed: all my hard drives here are by Seagate. Wonder if that says something.


*Okay, that’s a bit of a contention. Painless probably because you know the moment it does that, it’s dead. You don’t have to pain yourself into checking anything else to know that it’s dead. The thought of “oh shit MY FILES”…yeah, that’s painful.


Carefully twist your words.

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