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Catastrophic failure
buzzed, B&W
It appears my personal laptop harddrive has failed catastrophically. I had thought maybe my computer was having some issues 2 days ago, because when I wasn't doing anything strenuous, CPU load was low, but the system was extermely sluggish, pausing for seconds to minutes at a time. It went away, and since I wasn't hearing any clicking, I didn't think anything of it. Yesterday, when I woke up, my laptop screen was showing a single line of text reporting that it was unable to find a boot drive. Whoops.

So, I went and bought a new hard drive at Moondog Computers (which cost me almost twice what it would have online, but I wanted the drive now, and I wanted to support locally owned business). I already had an old external 2.5" drive enclosure, so I connected the old drive there, made a bootable thumbdrive of Clonezilla, and tried to clone the old drive to the new drive. I was seeing lots of I/O errors while running Clonezilla (which is Debian based), so I decided to try and freeze the drive.

Currently trying to clone the drive, but still seeing all kinds of errors while doing so. I'm going to let Clonezilla run for a few hours, and see if it makes any progress, but realistically, I think my HDD is shot, and I'm going to have to build the system up from scratch - let's hope I can find the relevant CDs and things.

My old laptop also had a hard drive that failed, and the replacement died on me as well. I've also had work computer HDDs crap out on me (in fact, my last work laptop had an HDD that was slowly dying, and had been replaced maybe a month ago).

You would think all this experience would teach me to have backups . . . *sighs*

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yeah i learn this lesson every few months too. last time this happened to me i tried a number of different programs that claimed to be able to recover data from a dead drive and each program was able to recover different files. so i would say give a few different programs a try. the one i eventually used was only free for the trial version, but i was able to find where it was storing everything as temp files and just copy them all without registering. -gabrielle

I don't think software tools will help, as this appears to be straight hardware failure. I'm trying to clone the drive, which ignores the filesystem completely, and just copies the 1s and 0s.

Unfortunately, I'm seeing all kind of errors as it attempts to read . . .

The only real files of value I can think of were my tax returns and resumes, but the tax returns are online, and I have older copies of my resume, as well as PDF versions I emailed of the current one, so this isn't that big of a deal . . . just time intensive to re-install and reconfigure . . .

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