Hard Drive Hell

It's been a month of Hard Drive Hell.

For Statik's entire rant about it, keep going...

Be forewarned...this is a long (and probably not the most exciting) rant..it is what it is...

Let's start with my laptop....it was running slower and slower...mostly when trying to access the hard drive.   I was pretty sure the hard drive was having a slow death, so I took it into the local Apple store and was going to have them put in a new hard drive.   I figured I would also put in a larger one while I was at it, since their cost has gone down and capacity has gone up.   I leave it there and after two days, they tell me it tests ok, and also, they don't do hard drive upgrades.   They will only put in exactly what was in there in the first place.   I was like what do you mean you don't do hard drive upgrades??   It's not going to change the machine?   You do memory upgrades don't you??   The "genius" didn't really have an answer, except to just repeat what he already said.   Also, since the drive now appears to be running fine, they didn't want to replace it.   I knew it was dying though, it just wasn't dead yet.   Needless to say, a couple of weeks later, the drive dies all of the way.   I had backed up everything off of the drive, but it was still a pain.   I took it over to a non apple, apple store, and wanted them to replace this now dead drive with bigger new drive.   This laptop is a few (3?) years old, so it's not top of the line, but it's fine for what I use it for....anyway..I say I want another 7200 rpm drive.   The guy there says, we don't have any 7200 drive for that model.   I say, check it again, because I know that that is what I had in there when I bought it.   He goes into the back to check and says.."nope".   So I asked, what if I go get 7200 rpm drive from another store, will you put it in.   He said sure.   I went outside and called the local Fry's (electronic store) only to discover that they didn't have any 7200 rpm drives for this model either.   When using computers lately, you start figuring out that anything older than 3 years is ancient.   I'm really over the whole deal at this point, so I go back in was was just going to say, go ahead and put in a 5400 model.   Well the guy I talked to before is busy with someone else, so I start talking to the only other person behind the repair counter.   After explaining my situation (again) she casually says..oh yea, I think we have a 100 gb 7200 drive at our store in Hollywood.   At this point, I didn't know if the other guy I talked to was stupid, or ignorant, or just didn't want to be bothered.   Either way I was annoyed, but they took my computer, and 2 days later I had the computer back with a new hard drive, which appears to be working fine.

That was the fun part..that was the beginning...that was easy!!!   Ok, now onto the good stuff.

I'm pretty good at back up stuff.   Probably better than most. I have most, if not all, of my data backed up in two separate places.   I had this 2 TB drive that I was using to back up both of my internal computer hard drives, as well one of my external drive that I was using to record music on.   Suddenly, and out of the blue, it dies.  

Timeline is now May 5th. This Maxtor piece of crap is only a month old, so it's under warranty.   I go online and fill out the model and seriel number of the drive, fill out my computer information, what I use, etc. and get an rma to send it back. At this point, since my backup drive is toast, I back up the songs that kaRIN and are are currently working on onto one of my two internal drives.   At this point there are 6 of them.  

Anyway, the way that things are supposed to work, is that after Maxtor gets my drive, they send back a new one.   But there is snag...at some point   in the past few months, (I'm not sure of exactly when), the company Seagate bought Maxtor.   I don't know if they (Seagate) are going to stop making Maxtor drives, or what...all I know is that I'm supposed to get a replacement for this drive that is still under warrenty.   A day after sending my drive back to them, I get an email that they are out of my exact drive, and want to send me 2 smaller drives instead, because they don't have a date of when they are supposed to get any of mine back in.     At this time, I'm in no hurry, so I say I'd rather wait...how long can it take??   We'll call the time line here at about May 9th.

From that point a few weeks go by, and nothing happens.   I keep working and recording, kaRIN keeps singing, and all is fine.  

This is when things get interesting.

Dateline: Wednesday, June 3rd.   In the mail I finally get a replacement drive.     It's not a Maxtor, but a Seagate 2 TB.   Same size as my old one.   It doesn't have a firewire 800 interface, which I use while recording, but it does have firewire 400, so I decide that's fine for just backing up.   I try plugging it in, and things get wonky in a hurry.   There's no on/off switch on this drive.   There IS a light on the front that supposedly goes on when you have the AC plugged in AND it's plugged into your computer, AND your computer is on.     It's not behaving like that at all.   It's not showing up on my computer consistently.   Sometimes it mounts, sometimes it doesn't.   I can hear the drive spinning and that the power is on, but the light doesn't always come on.   It's just acting weird.   I'm able to format it though at some point, and decide to try copying my folder of songs onto it.   It starts copying, but locks up, and just stops.   I have no idea what is going on.   I call it a day and decide to continue the next day

Dateline:   June 4th.   I start the day by trying to copy files onto this drive, but again, it is a no go.   I call up Seagate, with my original RMA #, and say I don't know what's going on, but this drive is a piece of crap.   I explain that I'm using it on a Mac, and what the problems are.   They don't have any other drives of that size still.   I say I don't care, just give me something that works.   I don't care if it's smaller in size, I just want it to work damnit.  

In the meantime, I send Dean a track to play bass on at the end of the night.   I'm continuing to work, and all is fine.

Dateline:   June 5th.   I wake up to an email that Dean has already finished his bass.   Go into the studio, download the file, put it in the track.   I like it.   Things are great.   kaRIN comes in to the studio and records a few additional BG tracks.   I work on tweaking the mix that I have going, bounce down a mix to stick in with the other roughs that I have, and go to move onto the other songs that I had Scott record guitar on last weekend.  

Time is now about 5pm.   I go to open another song, and I'm just getting and endless spinning ball.   Not a good sign.   The folder isn't even opening.   And here is where things go downhill quickly.   I listen closely to the drive and I'm starting to hear a slight clicking sound that it's not supposed to be making.   The drive is still showing up on my computer, and I see all my files, but I'm getting the feeling that I should back up stuff fairly quickly.   I say screw waiting for this 2nd replacement drive in the mail, I'm going to the store and get another one.   There are 2 drives at the local electronics store that meet my needs.   One of them is a Duo Pro Drive, (which I've never heard of) and the other is a Seagate.   I'm not too anxious to get another Seagate drive at this point so I opt for the Duo Pro Drive.   I also notice that on the stores sign (and not on the box) for the Seagate drive (for the model that they just sent me), says "PC only".   Again...I'm like "WTF?!!"   It's a hard drive!! It has the same interface..it is supposed to be able to be formated any way you want...why would it be PC only?   I ask the guy, and he says that it's some firmware issue, and from the sound of it, they have had quite a few returned for that reason.   Who's bright idea at Seagate was it   to make an external hard drive that only works with PCs??   And not to mention it on the box!!!   So I guess that explains why I was having trouble withe the first replacement drive on Wed.

Time is now about 6pm.   I get the drive home, and check the formatting.   Of course it is DOS formatted, so I format it for my Mac.   It starts formatting and then stops with some error message about how it can't finish formatting.   I try a number of times, and it is just not happening.   There is no manual, no cd rom, nothing with this drive....so at this point I'm starting to rage.   I go online to the companies website, download a pdf for the drive manual, and scroll to see what it has to say about formatting it for a mac.   It says there is some folder that was on the drive (before I formatted it!!), that you were supposed to put on your desktop..then format the drive, and then put it back on the drive.   I have never heard of such a thing!!   Is this company out of their mind?!!   I'm looking for this folder that I supposedly need on their website, but it's no where to be found.     I'm bringing this piece of crap drive back.  

Time is now about 6:45.   I try the local Office Depot and Best Buy to see what they have for drives.   Not much of a selection.   At this point, I just really want to keep working over the weekend, I'm still not really worried about anything..but I was so wrong.

I go back to the first electronics store as they have one Seagate drive in a 1 TB size.   Not two drives..one lone drive.   It's called their Mac Edition, so I'm thinking that it's going to work.   It not big enough to backup my computer, but at this point I don't care.       I get it home, format it..it's good to go!!!.   I start backing up my drive that I've been recording onto.   It has a bunch of other stuff on it, as well as our current songs, and it's about 80% full.   It starts copying, and then locks up about 5 minutes later, saying some file can't be read or written, because the file is corrupt.   Now I'm getting worried.

Now I decide that I don't need to backup the entire drive, I'm just going to backup the folder with our current, on the go songs.   The computer at this point is locked up,it's still trying to copy these "corrupt" files, so I reboot, and low and behold, now the audio drive is not mounting.   Nada.   Go to disk utilities...it sees the disk but won't mount.   Turn the drive off and on...nothing.   I'm getting a sick feeling.   Just breathe deep I tell myself.   I figure the drive's been on all day, and all I need is 10-15 minutes   of life to copy the files.   Maybe it will be better in the morning.

Dateline:   Sat. June 6th.   I get up, hoping that after a night's sleep, the drive will give me a little more life.   But still nothing.   So here I sit with a months worth of work not backed up.   Next week I'm going to take the drive into a data recovery place to see what they can do.   I'm not giving up hope, but I'm not holding my breath either.   I know this isn't going to be cheap.  

I think, what if   the original backup drive hadn't failed?   What if they would have had a replacement drive available right away??   What if I had agreed to the 2 smaller drives?   What if the drive they sent me would have worked on a mac?   What if my audio drive didn't die within a day.   What if the first drive that I got on Friday would have worked??   What if I would have decided first thing just to copy the song folder and not the entire drive??   That's a lot of things that all had to happen..but they did.   So I'm done doing music, for a few days at least.   I'm sick of computers..mac/pc issues, hard drives, and the companies that make them!!  

Sorry for the length of this rant, it's something I don't normally do, but I just had to get it out.   And that was my week.