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Be prepared for the unexpected……………

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Tim Middleton (UK)

PostPosted: Tue Mar 01, 2005 3:42 am    Post subject: Be prepared for the unexpected…………… Reply with quote

Just last week while working on a client site, a small group of us went for a stroll into town for the mandatory ‘Meal deal’ lunch. On my return I was slightly surprised to see my laptop (T41 6 months old) had blue screened. Thinking the usual thoughts around Windows XP I rebooted only to be confronted with a meaningful Blue Screen of Death “Unmountable_Boot_Volume”. My immediate thought was to try again, and to try again. Still thinking on the bright side I thought I could get the data off the disk by connecting it into my USB 2 hard disk caddy. I persuaded a colleague to let me borrow his machine, although the disk was detected it wasn’t looking good, no drive became available in My Computer (or in disk manager). After several attempts and reboots the disk was not accessible. Becoming slightly concerned I thought I would wait until I could connect as a secondary IDE drive.

Some hours later I managed to get the drive working as a secondary IDE and immediately copied off my data, after about 30mins of data transfer the drive TOTALLY failed.

An Hitachi diagnostic also confirmed the drive was DEAD.

Luckily for me I got my core work off the drive, however other files/information was lost before anything was lost.

If I had lost any more work the impact will have been:

- Time spent reworking documents
- Time spent duplicating previous research
- The impact on customer projects due to delays in my work

Top tips for a speedy recovery:

- Get yourself a USB2 2.5” hard disk caddy, and a 10GB disk. All for about £30.
- Keep all your work in a single folder with subfolders.
- Take a daily backup of your folder onto your USB caddy. I use Viceversa PRO which will do a comparison and only backup the changes; this saves time and makes a daily backup a reality. Key features: Encrypt your backups, advanced sync options (bi-directional, multiple source/targets, historical archiving… plus many more)
- Take a weekly/monthly backup of you Internet Explorer Favourites. Its surprising what you keep in there and how much you rely on them for vendor sites, and other reference material.

I hope this helps, I was lucky but I still lost a lot !

Tim Middleton
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Joined: 09 Jun 2006
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Jun 09, 2006 7:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are some simple SMART using programmes out there that will allow you to see this coming, too. HDDHealth, etc., monitor your own PCs SMART status, like expected time to failure, and can warn you.

The other alternative is a HDD rescue professional, who'll get your data back, at extreme cost.
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TGRMN Software
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Joined: 10 Jan 2005
Posts: 8467

PostPosted: Wed Oct 04, 2006 2:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can setup a script in ViceVersa which uses SMART to monitor HDD health before running a profile:
TGRMN Software Support
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Joined: 04 Sep 2007
Posts: 32

PostPosted: Sat Mar 22, 2008 9:27 pm    Post subject: SMART Reply with quote

TGRMN Software wrote:
You can setup a script in ViceVersa which uses SMART to monitor HDD health before running a profile:

There are newer versions of the SMART monitor tools available from sourceforge than what is at the above link

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Joined: 16 Apr 2010
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Fri Apr 16, 2010 8:33 pm    Post subject: Monitor the SMART attributes... Reply with quote

I would recommend a tool which constantly monitors the HDD health (the best I found so far is Argus Monitor (which can be downloaded at their website (the link can be found without problems using google Wink )). This tool monitors all the SMART attributes (also of HDDs in attached using an USB external drive enclosure) and warns you if eighter one critical attribute decreases or if the vendor defined threshold has been reached and the drive should be replaced immediately.

For me it was an invaluable tool because it gave me an early heads up of a failing WD HDD I used to store my 'digital' archive of the pictures I've taken over the years.

It can also monitor CPU temperature, GPU temperature, Intel turbo boost status, ... -- but I thing the HDD monitoring is the reason you should be looking for such a tool. Wink
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