I have dealt with many crashed drives and other unreadable media over
the years. Not knowing what system its attached to, what type of
drive or if it's internal or external, I'll give you an overview of
what I do. We're Mac based.
The first thing to do is determine if it's the drive or the
enclosure. Most of the "crashed" drives I've encountered are actually
fine, but have some issue with the enclosure they're in (power
supply, controller card, etc). I've even had a client's LaCIe drive,
with an entire mix and edit go on fire (flame, sparks, smoke) I
removed the drive, placed it in a new enclosure and it was fine.
Migrated all of the material to a new drive and still used the burnt
one as an auxiliary drive 4 years later.
Some RAIDS, esp. G-RAID have had controller card/chip issues. We went
through a whole season of problems with them, eventually sending them
all back for repair whether they had issues or not. Just heard from a
client last week who had a similar problem with an OWC drive this
summer. They repaired it for free and the data was fine.
I would even take an internal drive out and place it in a case first
to see if it makes a difference. I've been able to recover a few that
way, Of course once you get it running, be prepared to copy whatever
you can to a fresh blank drive.
If you can get it spinning, but it just won't mount, try a software
solution. DO NOT USE NORTON!!!!! It can actually do more damage. I
learned this the hard way, right before a mix going into Sundance. I
would avoid any software that repairs the directory or does anything
to the problem drive. I have TechTools and some other programs, but
they work the same way.
I use Data Rescue II from ProSoft. http://www.prosofteng.com/
It is a 2 drive solution, which copies whatever it can find on the
crashed drive and moves it to an empty drive. It has saved us on
several occasions. They make a pc version as well. You can download a
demo from their site which will scan a disk and tell you what it finds.
I would try all of this before going to a recovery specialist. We've
made those calls and gotten the same quotes, but have managed to
handle most of the situations on our own.
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