Contest – Win a Seagate FreeAgent Go USB Drive



How would you like to be one of six lucky people to win a 320GB Seagate FreeAgent Go USB hard drive? Winners will even have their choice of color. 🙂 We’re giving away three drives here on The Gadgeteer, and you can have another three chances to win over at Gear Diary!

I really liked the Mac version of the FreeAgent Go and Desk that I reviewed back in December. The Go is virtually quiet and I like the spray of LEDs along the bottom edge.

How to win:

It’s easy! Just leave a comment to this post with a story about your worst data loss experience. We want to hear all the gory details 🙂

Rules and Info:

1. You must have a US mailing address

2. Only one entry per person

3. Your entry must be submitted by Midnight EST 02/08/09

4. Three winners will be chosen and announced here at some point on 02/09/09

Update 2/9/09 : The winners have been chosen by a random draw:

Post #86 Daniel
Post #19 Kevin
Post #22 Andy S

Congrats! And thanks to all that entered 🙂

More Info on the Seagate FreeAgent Drives:


With Six New Colors and a Special Offer on Movies, Music and Photos; the FreeAgent Go Portable Hard Drive is a Gift Loaded with Joy

SCOTTS VALLEY, Calif. – November 19, 2008 – Seagate (NASDAQ: STX), the world’s leading provider of storage solutions, unveiled today a gift idea that will keep on giving for years to come. Originally introduced in September with a choice of four colors, the new award-winning FreeAgentR Go portable hard drive is now available in all the colors of the rainbow, including:  think pink, ruby red, solar orange, spring green, forest green, royal blue, sky blue, champagne gold, titanium silver and tuxedo black. The initial color options of ruby red, royal blue, tuxedo black and titanium silver are still offered and widely available.

Additionally, from November 28th through the beginning of the New Year, those who register their new Seagate FreeAgent external storage solution will receive a multimedia package from leading online content providers. The Seagate FreeAgent Go storage solution provides a slim, portable form factor with a load of space to back up and store all your valuable multimedia files from holiday memories to your favorite songs. With up to 500GB of available capacity, the FreeAgent Go portable hard drive has enough room to carry entire libraries of movies, music and pictures, making it a great gift for all the important people on your holiday shopping list.

Those who receive a Seagate FreeAgent external storage device this season will also have fun loading up their gift with new multimedia entertainment files thanks to the Seagate Load Me Up promotion. For a limited time, those who register their Seagate FreeAgent storage solution products will get 50 free songs from eMusic, the second largest digital music service; one free movie rental; and 50% off the first-year’s subscription to SmugMug, the leading professional photo-sharing destination on the web. The promotion will run from November 28, 2008 through January 31, 2009, giving people plenty of time to load up their FreeAgent Go hard drive even after they’ve put away all the holiday decorations. For complete details, visit on or after November 28.

“The FreeAgent Go portable hard drive is the industry’s slimmest 2.5-inch external storage device and the first to feature a convenient dock to eliminate the hassle of finding an available USB port each time to access content,” said Pat King, senior vice president of Consumer Solutions Division of Seagate Technology. Now, we’ve made the FreeAgent Go portable hard drive an even more attractive gift for this holiday season with colors and free access to digital entertainment. Seagate realizes that the value of an external hard drive correlates directly to the emotional connection people have with the content they store on the drive. Your photos, music and movies are a reflection of who you are. This is why we’ve partnered with some of the leaders in the digital content industry to provide our customers with a premium package of multimedia for their new drive. This along with the new colors should put the FreeAgent Go portable hard drive at the top of many wish lists this season.”

Available exclusively online through the Seagate web site at, the new colors for the FreeAgent Go portable hard drive are available in 250GB, 320GB and 500GB capacities at a manufacturer’s suggested retail price of $119.99 for 250GB, $149.99 for 320GB and $199.99 for 500GB. The FreeAgent Go desktop docking station is sold separately for an MSRP of $29.99 and comes paired with a black leatherette carrying case to provide protection from the bumps and scratches encountered while traveling in a back pack or hand bag.

For More Product Information:

Posted in: Miscellaneous
{ 90 comments… add one }
  • Ryan February 4, 2009, 10:45 am

    I recently went through this with my westrern digital passport that I had loved for 3 years. Used it all through college, until three weeks ago still storing all my data on it, as I was preforming my latest backup, I get the message “backup data as soon as possible and format drive, power reduced for safety”. So I thought fantastic, I’ll get DiskWarrior because it works right? Well low and behold after trying to rebuild for more than two weeks and 3,506 errors found on the drive I gave up, even the WiskWarrior people didn’t think it should take than long. But, luckly when backing up some of those precious files are still here on another drive. But years of data is long gone, but it’s a good thing that I backed up a majority of it right?

  • Hankk February 4, 2009, 10:50 am

    Christmas eve… I was taking the light rail back home and someone snagged my backpack with my laptop. No worries though: I figured everything was backed up at work, so it’d be easy to restore when I got back 8 days later. Bur unfortunately, our backup tapes at the time were overwritten every 7 days…

  • Stacy Lipskoch February 4, 2009, 10:58 am

    About a year ago, i was working in class in my animation lab. I just bought a new backup drive and used it twice. I plugged it in for the 3rd time. When i attemped to connect the plug to the port on the drive itself, the actual port fell inside. You could actually jiggle the drive and hear it inside. I couldnt get any of my information off and do my homework in class. I was soo pissed. So i took it to the retail store and it would cost $180 to get the information off. All i wanted was to put the connection port back in! I ended up buying a new drive just 4 days after i bought it.

  • Dashaun Spivey February 4, 2009, 11:22 am

    I have an external drive that I save all my media to because my main desktop has a small amount of hard disk space. After finally getting my iphone last week I start up itunes and get a bunch of errors with music and video files. I check the external drive and my original and converted files are gone! You couldn’t believe my frustration in having an iphone with no media files.

  • Ken February 4, 2009, 11:29 am

    I don’t have horrible data loss stories, I’ve just lost a file or two here and there, mostly because I thought I was deleting a copy or a copied folder and found out it wasn’t.
    If I have some external storage, I wouldn’t have to do the search of what files to delete next. I’d have plenty of space to keep things.

  • Elias Iraheta February 4, 2009, 11:54 am

    I have lots of stories regarding data loss, but the most recently one is when a couple of weeks ago, the IT people where I work, wanted to move all my emails from my Exchange account to another folder, using a so called backup routine. Then in the middle of the process, my laptop displayed an error, and suddenly the process stopped, and all the emails that were transferred to a virtual Exchange server were lost. This is when all gets really sad. Every thing from the last year were lost, including very important emails. And this happened because I had an error sector in my laptops drive, and not only I lost the emails, but I had to change my laptop drive also.
    Now I’m still waiting for a way to get all my emails back, because they told me that maybe an old backup on the server will work, but I’m still waiting.
    This would never have happened if I have had a personal backup drive, but the one I have at home, is pretty old, and the electrical adapter doesn’t work well anymore.

  • Brian Adams February 4, 2009, 11:58 am

    One of my first computers had a 60 gig backup drive, it died.
    It had all of my Pics, Music and moviesw on it and could not be saved.
    I guess we should all have two backups. Oh well, never had a drive fail since.

  • Desi February 4, 2009, 12:07 pm

    I stayed up all night organizing a semester’s worth of notes for a final exam which would amount to 100% of my grade. As dawn began to break and everything appeared to be in order for my test which was in a few hours, my computer began acting weird. Then without any notice poof! Everything was gone.

    This nightmare has made me a backup evangelist. My friends just don’t get it, but it only takes one incident to make you see the light.

  • SeahorseSeaEO February 4, 2009, 12:10 pm

    A few years back, my desktop machine’s hard drive went belly up. If it was not for copying over important data (e-mails, etc) to a laptop a month earlier I would have lost years worth of data.

  • Ray February 4, 2009, 12:11 pm

    This actually happened just a few days ago. I was backing up my media files (audio/video/images) one night and when I woke up next morning, I find out that all the folders were empty! I go through the usual stuff for about an hour – unplug the USB, unplug the hub, restart the PC, all sorts of things, etc. – and nothing seemed to work. I started freaking out and thought about the last time I backed up on optical discs… months ago. I did another restart, and thought about one other thing I forgot to try out: unplug the external drive. Thankfully that did it, and it made me realize I need to be religious with redundant backups. Again. You know, just in case.

  • Brandon February 4, 2009, 12:14 pm

    I’ll post a story if only for the amusement value in retrospect. It was during college, back in the days before USB storage was a major technology and before laptops were basically a required accessory meaning that most students still had to use the school computer labs. The weekend before a big project was due my group was working on our paper when apparently a major virus hit the lab’s network. The symptoms were that a machine would basically lose the ability to talk to its peripherals (including, most importantly, the floppy drive) then slowly the machine would grind to a complete halt. After the first two or three computers ate our paper, we ended having to resort to a procedure where we would save every few minutes to floppy, then once the floppy drive stopped working we would have to race to open our email and email the paper to ourselves before the computer completely locked up, then move on to a machine that hadn’t been affected yet. At the time it was pretty stressful, but looking back it was actually sort of funny to periodically hear cries of “This one’s locking up, quick get the paper!” from all across the lab.

  • Chris February 4, 2009, 12:21 pm

    My worst story occurred just before last Thanksgiving. My wife’s Sony desktop started to give her some problems in that it would reboot or hang up multiple times during the day. For about a week she ran antivirus/antimalware/anti-spam/anti everything to clean up her system as she assumed it was a software not hardware issue.

    Finally after about a week the hard drive would not boot up. Because she had been busy cleaning her system she had not copied/backed up any of her data.

    I dropped it off at Best Buy so they could look at it. They tried to see if they could recover any data and they were unable to get the hard drive to give up anything. Talked to them and their next recommendation was to send it off site to their specialist. Problem was the cost could range from $300 to $1800 to recover the data. She really needed the data, it had personal and business information that was not backed up any where else. So we sent it off to the specialist.

    As you can probably guess, they were able to fully recover every thing, but at a cost of $1800!! Needless to say, that was her Christmas and Valentines gift. She now has the data on 3 different drives (all older drives from past computers), but we need to set up a regular back up drive and system.

    The FreeAgent would be perfect for this.

    Once again, you can know what you should do, but if it is not easy/a habit, you are likely not to do it and have to pay the price later!!

  • Chris February 4, 2009, 12:25 pm

    OK, I’m not embarrassed to show my age, nor am I too proud to say that I’m paranoid about data loss. I haven’t had a data loss incident since moving to a personal computer in 1984. I am meticulous about backing up.

    BUT, I sure did have a data loss incident before that. As an undergraduate Computer Engineering student around 1980, I was working on a fairly large FORTRAN assignment that involved linear equations. FORTRAN makes this a snap, but the experimental data involved in the assignment was made available to us via a BOX of punch cards. Not a few cards, not a deck, but a box about 36 inches long, and two cards wide. The deal was, you wrote your program and debugged it (on a punch machine, in batch mode through the little window in the computer room) using a small, hand-created set of sample data cards, then you went to the professor’s office, took the box, added your program cards to the front, and submitted the whole thing for a run on the mainframe. The office was two floors above the computer room, and guess who dropped the box down the stairwell? Thousands of UNMARKED punch cards fluttering down two flights of stairs. Was there a spare set of data cards? Nope. Where was the tape reel that held the original data? At another university. I worked with the professor over two weekends to transfer the tape back to us, and I had to babysit the card punch machine as it made THREE BOXES of punch cards, one for students, one for the professor, and one that got squirreled away at some undisclosed location.

    It could have been worse… it turns out there was only the one master tape reel, and I had to carry it from the receiving dock to the computer room, past the electric motor lab…


  • Karel Jansens February 4, 2009, 12:28 pm

    So… Is this one of those Seagate drives that suddenly stops working and requires you to shell out thousands to get your data back? Don’t get me wrong, the colours are nice, but the inside is what counts, and in that department Seagate recently lost a lot more than the Maxtor goodwill they wrote off.

    So I reckon the worst data loss story might come from the (un)lucky winner of this contest. And no, it can’t be me.

  • Nic February 4, 2009, 12:31 pm

    I remember having a hard drive start to go bad on me when it toasted it’s own Master File Table.

    So I was actually quite lucky that most of the data was still there, but what a pain in the behind to recover each file individually after chkdsk had given’ every single file on the drive a generic “temp” file name.
    The larger files were pretty easy to guess, but the small ones were grueling.

    So, that was reason enough for me to start keeping my data in multiple locations.
    Thanks for considering me for the contest.

  • Jake February 4, 2009, 12:37 pm

    well i’n exempt the wort data loss thing that’s happened to me is having a flash drive i got for free go corrupt but i was lucky i had the drive backed on an external hard drive.I got another one free in the post a few days later

  • Jeff February 4, 2009, 12:44 pm

    My wife operates a home based business. Her desktop was the server for our home network. We both stored files in a directory on her C: drive. Once while operating a laptop mapped to those files, my toddler son accidentally deleted the complete folder that contained all of her files. They were not able to be recovered through various means and needless to say she now is very careful in backing up to DVD at least once each month.

  • Gary February 4, 2009, 12:47 pm

    I attempted to use a Debian build without fully understanding things, back in 2000 or so. Its “lossless” partitioning tool destroyed the FAT on my hard drive, and the darned OS didn’t like half my hardware anyway. Much time was spent trying to piece together my once-functioning system from floppy disks and hope.

  • kevin February 4, 2009, 12:48 pm

    Thumb drives hadn’t hit it big when I was in college, and CD-R’s weren’t too common either, so we still used floppies for transferring most files, and Zip disks(!) if they could be found. My senior project team and I spent weeks pouring over our data and compiling everything in to a presentable Word document, then they passed it off to me to take to a print/copy place to be printed and bound. When I put the disk in one of the self-service computers, nothing showed up… then I got the dreaded “disk not formatted” message. I felt physically ill. I tried a few more computers – nothing. The guy that had typed up the last of the final copy had (stupidly) saved it on the floppy only, so I had to revert to a 2-day-old document. By this time, it was something like 2 in the morning. I ended up spending HOURS re-creating the missing pieces, saving multiple copies on multiple disks and computers, and rushing to the print/copy place again (thank GOD for 24-hour operation), and finally had a bound copy of our project.

    It wasn’t life-endingly bad, but at the time I genuinely wanted to throttle the twerp that only saved to a frigging floppy disk.

  • Dave February 4, 2009, 12:57 pm

    Back when boot camp was the new hotness I partitioned off part of my macbook and installed XP. It didn’t take long for something to go wrong on that XP partition. I’m not placing blame in any os camp but the short story is that I had to reformat the entire macbook drive.

    No worries, I thought, I’ll just restore from my SuperDuper! backup. Complete disaster was averted but the backup wasn’t as up to date as it needed to be. A valuable lesson was learned. Now I keep my backups current.

  • Tom February 4, 2009, 1:05 pm

    It happened with a faint “click” noise that didn’t sound right but now that I replay the noise in my head it sounds more like the bringer of death clicking his boney fingers on my desk. Our server’s hard drive had crashed turning itself into a very expensive brick.
    Seven years of ad designs were on that hard drive, seven years…what a loss. Company records, bookkeeping records, web sites all lost in a single “click”.
    We scurried to find when our last backup was made…over a week ago. The owner had taken our backup drive a week earlier to put personal backups on and suddenly we found ourselves two weeks behind…all this and only a day and half before our press deadlines kick in. It was enough to make a grown man cry.
    We backed up what we could and we had to start from scratch working 41 hours in only two days. The job got done but it was the most grueling experience we’ve ever had to endure.

  • Andy S. February 4, 2009, 1:14 pm

    Back in 1999 (or so), when Napster was still a dependable source for illicitly acquiring MP3s, I managed to lose my entire music library thanks to a hard drive failure. It was only a few gigabytes of music at the time, but given that everyone was in the habit of encoding at 128kbps, a few gigabytes was actually quite a bit of music. Between re-ripping my own CDs and re-downloading (over dial-up, no less) what I couldn’t rip, it took me a long time to recover all of my lost music, and that experience has been sufficient to teach me to keep proper backups at all times.

  • Hai Vu February 4, 2009, 1:17 pm

    I used to own a 500GB external HD which I stored more than 300GB worth of DV-quality family videos, 30GB worth of family photos that span several years. I also use that drive to backup my 120GB MacBook HD. One day, that drive just hit the dust without any warning (the SMART status was just fine a few days earlier).

    I am now thinking hard about this and probably shell out my hard-earned cash for a Drobo if my on-going research shows it delivers on its data-protection promises.

  • John Kes February 4, 2009, 1:58 pm

    Some time ago I only did manual backups – mostly of my digital pics. I forgot about my Quicken data because it automatically prompted for backups. Silly me, I had it back up to a different partition on the same drive. Hard drive failed, and I lost several years worth of financial data 🙁 . I think all of my TurboTax data disappeared too.

    I now do automated backups on all of my stuff using a Western Digital MyBook 250GB drive. This drive is getting kind of sketchy, so I am looking for a new external drive. It sometimes freezes for days, and misses automated backups.

  • David E February 4, 2009, 2:16 pm

    I have kept a journal I write to me 12 years old son since was two. It’s a simple word document but has grown to over 44 single spaced pages.
    At first it started out as kind of “lessons learned” or how not to do like dad did but after being diagnosed with advanced Prostate Cancer in 2005 it became a lot more than just a journal. I blog about having cancer so my journey is very public. The journal was more of the private struggles that I had hoped to share with him after I pass.

    I kept it on a USB thumb drive so I could add entries at work, home, coffee shop etc. – I lost the thumb drive about a month ago. The last back-up I had was about 12 months ago, a lot has happened since then.

    Irony is at home I have dual 250gig HD’s. Every night one backs up my home PC’s, the other back’s up the back up! I just forget to back-up the USB device often enough!!!

  • Steve L February 4, 2009, 2:29 pm

    The worst thing that ever happened to me was about two years ago. I had just finished ripping all of my cd’s (over 2000) to MP3, storing them on a 300 gig USB drive and adding them to iTunes when the dog walked under the table hooked the powercord with her tail and yanked the drive off the table. Oh the agony……

  • Keith K February 4, 2009, 2:39 pm

    It happened while trying to upgrade my first PC. I had purchased a new larger hard drive to add capacity. Unfortunately the master/slave concept had not yet been explained to me. I reformatted on the new HDD but when I went to check on the original drive I chose the format it at the option and lost the entire drive.

    Rookie move, I know, hasn’t happened in a decade or so.

  • Sean M. February 4, 2009, 2:46 pm

    My senior year of college I was in a programming class and we had one project for the entire semester. This meant that my entire grade was based on one thing. We had to create an entire Operating System with specs that were given to us by the professor. The spec sheet was six pages long, front and back. After several months of working until all hours of the morning, waking up in the middle of the night to code something, and many completely sleepless nights, I finished. As I prepared to transfer everything to an external hard drive, my main drive failed in the middle of the transfer. Not only did I lose 3/4 of my code, but lost close to twenty other programs that I did earlier in the year. Needless to say my professor didn’t buy my story, I failed the class and had to stay an extra semester to take that one lousy class to graduate.

  • DDavis February 4, 2009, 2:49 pm

    I’m still working out the details of this one but… recently upon booting up my Sony desktop the computer just kept rebooting never even making it to the welcome screen. Safe mode worked but only to a point. Upon reinstalling Windows I got the message “hard drive failure imminent > please replace drive” Not a message anyone wants to see. Fortunately, I was able to boot up the PC and back up most of my necessary files . I’m now in the process of waiting for an adapter which will allow me to use the new SATA deive with my old IDE computer.

  • Phil B February 4, 2009, 3:00 pm

    My first generation iMac died about 4 months after I got it. No problem since the iMac is still under warranty. Bring it into the local Apple store and the Genius tells me the hard drive died. I figure no problem since I had been doing weekly backups to DVD. Go through my backups and realize that the most recent usable backup is 5 weeks old. I bought a external drive that day and set up Retrospect to backup every day.

  • Tim February 4, 2009, 3:13 pm

    I recently lost everything from my itunes collection through my family and personal photo collections. We have a shared desktop with 3 IDs, mine and my wife’s password protected, and my son’s as a limited user. Well, Mr. limited user managed to surf a good many of the kind of sites you’d guess a teenage boy would want to surf…..totally polluted our PC with viruses to the point where I couldnt’ even hook up an external HD. Now the entire OS is nonfunctional and I am going to have to wipe and reformat the whole thing. A smart man would have backed all of that data up more routinely……unfortunately I was not that man! : (

  • Aaron B. February 4, 2009, 3:18 pm

    Five years ago I had a double failure. The first was my laptop hard drive which had several months worth of experimental data, reports, etc.. I didn’t feel to annoyed because I back up weekly on the work server. Except IT had a server failure as well and could only give me a backup from four months previous. Arrrrrrgggh!
    Now I back up nightly to the server, and weekly to my own external drive I made them buy for me. Now I just need to get an external for home to back up all of my wife’s media files.

  • Chuck February 4, 2009, 3:27 pm

    I’ve been lucky. I’ve lost data on a couple of SD cards and data on my pocketPC when the battery failed.

  • Brad Allen February 4, 2009, 3:32 pm

    Years ago, when I thought it would be a good idea to backup things, I painstakingly found a program to do it to cd’s (told you it was a while ago!). Did everything by the book…I wanted to reinstall the OS from scratch so I wiped everything out, went to reinstall…and had no way to get the original backup program back again to decode the data……sigh….

  • Philip Chang February 4, 2009, 3:36 pm

    My sister has a MacBook, and the drive one day failed spectacularly. She first noticed it when the Mac OS X wouldn’t load because the system couldn’t find the hardware to mount. So we looked for software solutions, hoping it wasn’t anything serious.

    But then…..

    We heard a slight sound.

    Click. Whirrr. Click. Whirrr. Click. Whirrr……

    Not good. We immediately recognized it as a hard drive failure, and had to buy a new one. Luckily, she had backups back in Boston.

    To see the extent of the damage, I opened up the dead drive and saw something absolutely astonishing. There were two DEEP DEEP DEEP grooves in the hard drive platters, deep enough to create the optical illusion that made them look like they were 5mm deep! It was amazing.

  • Peter February 4, 2009, 3:50 pm

    I was doing a database update and we had renamed some tables in the process, but that was an unknown to me. I generated the sync scripts and ran them. Shortly afterwards, the developer asked where all of his data was. I told him that it was in the table that was just dropped. When he asked about our backups, we found out that the database was not part of the backup scheme. Through lots of digging, we found a backup of the database and were able to get the data back, but it was a pretty painful lesson to learn about the difference between renaming a table and dropping/creating new ones. Not quite as bad as (e.g.), but it was something I have no desire to ever repeat.

  • prabh1602 February 4, 2009, 4:02 pm

    I owned a HP dv4100 SE for most of college. It had a spectacular Seagate drive that I had installed in it, that worked great for 3 years. And then I took a trip back to India, specifically Rajasthan (the desert). I was there for almost 3 months, over the course of which, my extra large cooling vents allowed a suitable amount of sand to get into the laptop. I get back to the states, with the laptop still working. After a suitable amount of carrying around for maybe a month, I figure the sand managed to get into the drive compartments and all I hear is a freakish screech one Tuesday morning.

    The drive plate had ripped into the one below it using one or two grains of sand literally to etch new lines. The drive was rendered utterly useless. And that’s when I learn’t I should buy an external Hard drive to BACKUP my stuff.


  • Leo the 3rd February 4, 2009, 4:10 pm

    I lost data a while back on an external drive that I was using to store my music. I moved the data purposely to the external drive for fear the internal drive may go out and I’d lose music I owned and others I purchased. One day I decided to listen to some tunes and got an error that the song was missing and did I want to browse to locate it. This happened on a few songs that I chose at random. So I decided to reboot and run some disk diags to see what was going on. System rebooted but then gave me a dreaded error that it was unable to mount the external disk and did I want to reformat it! NOOOO! I had to pull out some old backups of my music (unfortunately it wasn’t recent enough to get all the newest purchases) and buy a new hard drive. Word to the wise – backup and backup often.

  • Richard B February 4, 2009, 4:31 pm

    Backed up entire laptop to an external HDD. Thought I was safe. One the same day the drive in the laptop crashed, the external drive also crashed. Everything was lost except for a tiny bit of data in iDisk. Now I have multiple rotating drives I back up to. (they will probably all fail simultaneously!!)

  • Michael McDonald February 4, 2009, 4:34 pm

    This is a major data loss story. Not only did I loose all of the data on my hard drive, but I pretty much lost my entire computer. One day, while I was on my computer, just looking for updates for my drivers and whatnot, I came across a new version for my BIOS. I then decided to flash my BIOS and what do you know? Right in the middle of the process, all of our house loses power and my computer ends up shutting down. As you all know, once power is lost during that process, the entire computer crashes. What made it even worse was that I just purchased a brand new iPod that could actually hold all my songs. Right after the update I planned to get all of my songs to my iPod. That never happened!!

  • Daleeh February 4, 2009, 5:53 pm

    Although not a direct “PC backup” disaster, the worst I can recall was several years ago when I left my Palm in my carryon bag in an airline overhead compartment and the power button was continuously pushed! In past years I had always printed out all my addresses before travelling or I would have my laptop with me also, however this time I thought ” I;ve never had a problem, so why waste the paper” and of course I wasn’t carrying my laptop on this trip. AARGH!

  • Sasha Gottlieb February 4, 2009, 6:32 pm

    I thought I was clearing duplicate files on my computer. Well… I wrecked the entire windows program. And then when trying to re-install it, I lost my entire hard drive. UGH!

  • Arturo Pelayo February 4, 2009, 6:47 pm

    My horror story ironically involves a back up of my iPhoto Library, ironically AFTER backing up both main HDD and backup HD failed.

  • Larry Bank February 4, 2009, 7:18 pm

    A few years back, I had a hard drive in my work machine die and I had not been making regular backups. The newest backup of my work (program source code) was 3 days old, so I had to re-do 3 days worth of work. It could have been a lot worse.

  • Danny February 4, 2009, 7:21 pm

    I guess I’ll show my age here, but back in the days of 486’s, I was defragging my hard drive (when 250 MB was huge and PCTools was the king!), I visually watched bad clusters appear as the utility ran its course. Then, it was bring out the latest issue of Computer Shopper (remember how huge they were?) and order a new drive. Gee, times have sure changed.

  • Brian Valentine February 4, 2009, 7:40 pm

    I worked in a store for a certain computer company and we were closing one night on April 14th. The last customer had a problem not being able to extract some data she had to transfer elsewhere. Her USB, ethernet, firewire, and wifi card, cd burner, all didn’t work. BUT I had a pcmci camera card adapter available. So I backed up her files on a camera card and she could use her camera and its cable to transfer the tax data to her accountant that night. Saved her bacon, so she said to me.

  • Spencer Rosengarten February 4, 2009, 8:58 pm

    I have an IBM laptop that I had relied on for a lot of my work. I was SO confident of it that when my then girlfriend (now wife) needed to dump data off of her WIN98 PC, I volunteered to store her My Documents, Favorites, contacts, etc. on it until I could leisurely back the data up to CD-R or DVD-R.

    So of course my data decided to go POOF!…sort of. The motor on my hard drive died. And the cost to try and get the data off of it…I shudder every time I think about reaching out to Ontrack Data Recovery. I’m sure it’ll cost four figures…I just haven’t been able to muster the courage or the money to ask.


  • Erin February 4, 2009, 9:51 pm

    we had two PC’s downstairs, and the first Gateway suddenly crashed out of nowhere, no warning at all. Then the second PC, a Dell, did the same thing. We lost everything, music, documents, files, even emails. I’ve learned the importance of backing up but on my new Mac, in order to run Time Machine, you have to have an external drive and alas, I don’t.

    And these are so cute, and good for someone who travels a lot like me.

    Thanks for considering, great contest!

  • Alex Lin February 5, 2009, 12:55 am

    I had about 100 gb of pron that I have been collecting in a few years. All of a sudden my hard drive fried, and it made me sad. So sad, since I don’t have my library anymore it is very boring, so gimme or I can not pleasure myself leh!

  • Kevin Karneboge February 5, 2009, 1:11 am

    I’m only fifteen and I can’t seem to convince my parents that I need data storage. Currently my computers are all runoffs that my dad’s work throws out when they’ve “broken” I salvage the parts and add them to my Frankenstein computer. None of them have more than 200 gigs between them. Because of this I had to save all my music to my iPod Classic 80GB only which serves as both a hard drive and music player.
    A few months ago some glitch caused my iPod to corrupt and lose all the songs and data I had on it. About a year or so of collected songs and projects that I still had on the thing. I had to reformat and try to find all the songs I had ripped from CD’s my cousin had given me. Chinese and Japanese indy music is hard to find in the US or in English sites.

  • Stephen S Schmidt February 5, 2009, 3:00 am

    I was tasked by my employer to generate a report for a new software system. The new system didn’t “present” the information that he wanted in the same way as the previous version. I fire up excel, and build a flat base to contain the information, add in a few formulas’ and then have the fun of entering daily data for about 5 months. I keep the file up to date from then on. I am then told that the report I’ve been making for him is no longer necessary. Fine. Then, about 2 months ago, he asks me where that report is, and how long it would take me to make it up to date.

    Imagine my anxiety when the PC I had used had recently been repaired due to a hard drive failure.
    Now, I tend to carry an assortment of USB thumb drives ranging from 8GB to 32GB. And yes, some of the drives are redundant.

  • Annu Rana February 5, 2009, 3:06 am

    My worst data loss was a 80 Gb Western Digital with my OS and archive partition on it. One day it just died. I tried everything including the freezer trick as a last resort. No luck. At least it taught me to do regular back ups of my important information. And I learned about a few data recovery solutions for a semi-working hard drive. Live and learn, and then keeping moving forward.

  • Ahmed February 5, 2009, 3:21 am

    Believe it or not, I’ve never had one ….. SO FAR

    It’s just because I always tend to keep multiple backups of important data, in a word .. Cloud Computing .. Keep your backups online, available everywhere and to a great extent .. SAFE

  • Jeff February 5, 2009, 7:05 am

    In the shady grey memory of my former hard drive lives, I remember having an older Maxtor external drive that I used on a Mac. This was while I worked at a company that made Macintosh software, and we all shared music (again, in the greyer days of digital rights management and .mp3 copyright/use). I had approximately 120Gb worth of prized musical moments captured on that drive. One day, without sputter, warning, or fanfare, it simply stopped. The day the music died. It forever haunts me to this day, and serves as a cold, hard reminder of the power of backups and redundancy.

    In addition to the music, I also stored other documents (namely, digital family photos) on this drive. Without backups, and a failed data recovery attempt, I lost these treasured memories forever. It was akin to having a house fire and losing valuable photo albums and other family items that have no concrete replacement value. Needless to say, I have since learned a difficult lesson.

  • Barcley February 5, 2009, 7:36 am

    While working for a entertainment studio, we once lost 4 TB of rendered images and scene files because someone tried to grow the partition on our NAS and ended up removing the partition instead because of being dumb. The worst part is, we had no tape backup since the higher ups deemed it ‘too expensive’ to get a redundant backup solution installed since they figured the NAS would keep things safe with RAID magic. 6 months of work, gone in a heartbeat. A sad and frustrating day for me and the team.

  • lgreenberg February 5, 2009, 7:44 am

    I have 2.

    1. The hard drive on my 3 month old iMac failed. Thank god for external hard drives and Time Machine.

    2. At one point I had been not backing things up but simply moving all my media files (pictures, movies, etc.) to an external drive. The drive failed and I lost everything.

  • Gary February 5, 2009, 8:25 am

    My biggest back-up misadventure occurred when I had the habit of saving too many files to my laptop hard drive, rather than to the server. In any event, lugging the laptop to and from work probably resulted in its early demise, but my hard drive started clicking. I knew that time was limited and I started downloading files to the network and trying to save desktop settings, browser bookmarks, etc. I actually saved about 90% of the data, but there is always something that is missed when you back-up piecemeal like I did. I’d love to have a USB drive large enough to mirror the hard drive.

  • Guy Martin February 5, 2009, 8:28 am

    I just had my new laptop die a horrible death after having my desktop die a slow, whithering death, after transferring all info from one hardrive to another. I now have to rely on my HTC Touch Pro to just start up again. I really need to start backing up!

  • Bud Pritchard February 5, 2009, 8:43 am

    Having been a mainframe programmer where backups were a required business procedure, I am probably the most anal about backups. I’ve never lost critical data. My critical data is backed up into a USB hard drive on a daily basis. I also burn the same in DVD-RW at month end (each month is separate disc). I also have 6 month DVD – R (2 copies) and as a final backup – yearly for Taxes. The yearly includes historical data. I keep three years data in an active data area. Anything older goes to an historical folder.

  • Ben Woodward February 5, 2009, 8:52 am

    We lost everything on our computer, pictures, music, everything.

  • TimC February 5, 2009, 8:54 am

    Two years ago I started a new job as a project manager in developing and launching a web based database from a previous job as a health inspector. The system was to cover the whole state for all health inspection records and while my expertise in the field helped build the system as user friendly as possible, I was not prepared for storing and backing up the massive amount and scope of documents needed to track and manage this $500K government project. I though my handy 2GB thumb drive would do.
    The drive filled up quickly and the synchronization freeware I was using seemed to do the trick. That is until the time I unplugged the drive accidentally while it was writing.
    I lost 1.5GB of development schematics, contract documents, emails, planning documents, etc. to the great data grave yard. Sure, many of the previous versions were available on one of the four different computers I used or the ones belonging to my team or the vendor’s machines, but the hunt through all the versions to find all that were missing in their latest form took weeks, and I still believe the collection is incomplete.
    Coincidently, when this happened, we his the largest budget crunch in 30 years and all new purchases were put on hold, so now backup to a network drive with no allowance for me to keep a redundant backup on an external drive.

  • Anthony Winner February 5, 2009, 9:09 am

    My latest story is our HR lady got a virus, and the day before I was leaving to go to a customers site I tried to help her get rid of it. Unfortunatly I was dumb and used a Thumb drive to run a AV program I had on it. Can you guess the result, yep I moved the virus from her computer to my laptop, I ended up with a brick the whole trip as I slowly lost the OS. If I had a portable backup I could have just restored an image of the OS from it, but insted had to wait till I got home 2 weeks later to do it from the restore DVD’s, fortunatly I didn’t lose any data, just a lot of time and frustration.

  • Ariel February 5, 2009, 10:17 am

    Click. Whir. Click. Whir. Click. Whir.

    The unusual sound wakes me from a deep sleep. Through slitted, blurry eyes I look at the green digits glowing from my alarm clock. 1:20 a.m. “Hmm,” I thought, “My computer’s never made that sound before. It’s probably updating the OS.” I go back to sleep.

    Click. Whir. Click. Whir. Click. Whir.

    I awaken again. The clock shows 3:40 a.m. “Wow,” I thought, “That’s a long update,” falling back to sleep.

    Click. Whir. Click. Whir. Click. Whir.

    I get up from bed to a bright, cheery morning and get a cup of coffee. I sit down in front of my computer to see what is making that pesky noise.

    Click. Whir.

    I move the mouse around to wake the computer from its slumber. No response. Just that irritating sound.

    Click. Whir.

    “Hmm. All it needs is a reboot,” I say reassuringly to myself. I press the button to power down, wait the standard 30 seconds to drain the capacitors, and press the button again.

    “Ah ha! See the Windows splash screen is coming up,” I think. “All is well.”

    The splash screen freezes. Beads of nervous sweat form on my brow. The dreadful sound returns.

    Click. Whir.

    “Noooo!” I yell. “Snuggie(tm)*! Snuggie(tm)*! Snuggie(tm)*! This can’t be footing* happening now!”

    I hurriedly open the computer, check the connections to the hard drive and reboot, with the same result.

    Click. Whir.

    I spend the rest of the day swapping the hard drive into different bays, different computers, trying to recover my data. All the while saying, “I should have backed up my data! I should have backed up my Fruit Looping* data!”

    Late into the night, I’m spent. Done. I stare at the dead hard drive sitting on my desk. My data is gone. Email addresses. Gone. Financial and tax documents. Gone. MP3 files. Gone. Pictures. Gone. Porn, er, I mean “Excel spreadsheets”. Gone.

    “Gone.” I say to myself. A tear trickles down my face.

    “All gone,” the little voice in my head whispers.

    Tired and frustrated, I go to bed and slowly fall into a fitful, restless sleep.

    Click. Whir.

    “What!” I say, sitting up, staring into the darkness. Listening. Listening…


    “Fiddle Faddle*,” I murmur. “Now it’s in my dreams.”


    *Words and phrases have been changed to protect your innocence.

  • Selene M. February 5, 2009, 10:34 am

    I don’t have a horror story to tell. My hubby is an IT guy, we do religious backups, so we’ve been very lucky. Hope I still qualify for the drawing.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • ucfgrad93 February 5, 2009, 10:40 am

    I once lost everything on my harddrive when it crashed. I had no back up or way of retrieving the lost data. I now use Time Machine on my iMac with a 500GB external LaCie drive.

  • Ran February 5, 2009, 11:49 am

    This post has arrived in the most appropriate time 🙂
    My HD just crashed, and all my documents, trip photos, and backups were gone with it 🙁

    If I do win this contest, I’m sure going to use one of these babies well 😀

    Thanks for the excellent contest!

  • Tim February 5, 2009, 12:45 pm

    Just happened last week. Got a last minute call to bail out an account team by facilitating a workshop in Chicago. we use various tools for workshops, Mindmaps, scoring templates, etc. and I religiously back up to thumb drives when I create, usually during the meetings, and definitely after the meetings. Two days worth of brainstorming is not the kind of data you should lose. Since this was a last minute thing I did not get a chance to do my usual prep work, and I forgot my backup drive, and my thumb drive. I have never had a problem with losing any files, because I am so careful about backing up and copying needed files to the thumbdrive. Because of my track record, and the harried nature of this particular session, I didn’t even think about backing up to a thumbdrive during the meeting. At the very end, when we needed to show the results to the client, the scori9ng template had some problems and one of the techies in the crowd thought he could fix it. We took a short break in the meeting and tried to fix it, didn’t really work but I managed to dance around it and client was happy. I never touched my tablet after the techie was finished doing whatever he was doing, and I had to run to the airport. The next day I start up my tablet, no file, its not there! Search again and again, older files but not a file with the last two hours worth of data. I am about getting sick when I finally found it, in a temp folder. Minutes of worrying because I didn’t follow my regimen of backing up. Thanks for letting me vent.

  • BarbaraBaker February 5, 2009, 2:12 pm

    My worst loss ever was about 3 months ago; while attending school online (and having to share a computer with the rest of the family) I lost everything that we had on the computer. I don’t know how it happened, what virus attacked the computer or what my little monkeys might have done to it, but one day it just wouldn’t turn on anymore. We had to have some one come in and reboot the hard drive and it’s never been the same since. We are now afraid to add anything that might be important to us for fear that we might loose it again. Pictures that we cherished the most were lost as well and I think that this was the absolute hardest thing to come to grips with. And I say this only because had we had the last few pictures of my husbands mother before she past away. As the song states, “don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone”…once it’s gone, it’s gone!

    -barbarabaker 🙂

  • Shan Gee February 5, 2009, 2:16 pm

    This has to be the worst hard drive story here ever!

    I have an HP Slimline PC tower that I kept on the top of my desk. While I was working on my college assignments I decided to take a break because I was tired of typing. I had just gotten off my computer and my younger three-year old sister quickly ran underneath the desk. She started playing with the wires and I quickly went to stop her but it was too late because she had moved the wire and my HP Slimline PC fell down. I turned on my HP Slimline PC and heard some clicking noises and my PC just showed a blank screen. I searched up my problem online and found out that my hard drive had died. I looked up some hard drive recovery services online and saw that it would cost thousands of dollars to recover all my family pictures, school data, and many other documents from my hard drive. I couldn’t afford to pay thousands of dollars just to recover a hard drive because I could of gotten a new computer for that amount so I just had to figure out another way to recover all the data. I saw an article where someone mentioned that they had managed to recover their data by “freezing their hard drive”. I was a bit skeptical but I noticed a lot of people commenting that this worked with their hard drive. I put my hard drive in a ziploc bag in the freezer, and my family thought I was weird when I did that and they were all laughing. When I took the hard drive out after 10 hours I opened the case of my computer and plugged in the hard drive. I started my computer and it turned out that the hard drive didn’t work! I couldn’t afford to purchase a service to recover all my data so the only choice I had was to purchase a new hard drive to do my school work. I purchased a new hard drive from New Egg and my computer started working again. I save all my important word documents a hard drive now, and I’ve brought an extension wire so I don’t have to put the slimline PC on my desk any more. If I won a Seagate portable hard drive it would make a lot of things easier for me and I could carry my work wherever I need and not worry about loosing it. Thanks for holding this contest The Gadgeteer and I look forward to seeing if I win or not.

  • Vladimir February 5, 2009, 4:24 pm

    I am hopping this is story is not finished yet. Actually, my girl friend was writing some paper work for her MBA studies last 3 weeks. Our desktop crashed last week and we lost all data. But we has not yet give our PC to expert to try what I did not make up with the hard drive. (Of course) My girlfriend ,unfortunately did not make a buck up of her work.

  • KC Kim February 5, 2009, 5:51 pm

    My first hard drive crash It suddenly started acting up. The OS will start really slow. I thought I could just defrag it or reinstall XP. But the drive died. And I did not backup anything. I lost 1000 of family photos, important documents, and many more files I can’t replace. I wish I thought ahead and saved my important documents to either to a backup disk, hard drive or at minimum save the most important things to flash drive.

  • Vickie Bartlett February 5, 2009, 9:02 pm

    Well, back in the days…
    First computer had a 2GB hard drive and that was huge at the time, but I was running out of room (never thought about the back up concept). Well, I found this neat little option to compress a hard drive. Needless to say, eventually that compressed hard drive hiccuped and left me in a bind. Luckily, my son had a geek friend who was able to grab my data and put it on a couple of CDs. No more compressed drives thank you.

  • JL February 6, 2009, 9:30 am

    Ooof, I learned the hard way what experts say: all hard drives will eventually fail. While in the middle of a major backup, the hard drive on my laptop did fail. The hard drive was about 6 years old. That panicky feeling is just plain awful. The most precious things I lost were my mom’s recipes and high-resolution files of my wedding ceremony. Very sad. To save the rest of my heart, I had to let go! psychologically of everything else. The computer tech people set me up with a new Seagate hard drive. And I started again and I need backup.

  • Callie February 6, 2009, 11:12 am

    Back in the day, we had to use Zip disks at school to save and read our documents on the college computers. One of my professors would expect us to turn in the disk for some assignments.

    Well, naturally, I was lazy and saved my files to the disk and didn’t bother to keep a backup on my computer’s hard drive. While walking across my apartment’s parking lot one morning, I had a backpack malfunction and half of my stuff fell out, including that zip disk. Before I could retrieve it, someone barreled through the parking lot and ran it and one of my expensive college books over. >_< My work was gone. Fortunately, I still had a few days before an assignment was due, so the worst aspect was just having to do it all over again. I made backups after that.

  • GeoffreyM February 6, 2009, 11:19 am

    My father always swore by Norton Ghost, so at some point a few years ago I decided to do an image of one of my hard disks, the one with my data, of course. I was plugging along, but somehow misunderstood the application and when I thought I told it to make the image of the drive, I instead told it to wipe the drive.

    Very painful and very embarrassing for someone who’s been using computers since the 80s.

  • Marty Jenkins February 6, 2009, 12:56 pm

    I have a typical household—wife and two teenage kids. Our computers have followed the hand-me-down pattern, with daddy getting the newest and the older computers getting kicked down through mama, to older brother, to younger sister.

    As the computers migrate, the current user usually pulls off the most important stuff onto some handy hard drive before passing it down. Then that data can be copied onto their “new” computer and the hard drive sits as a back up.

    Then the fire.

    Actually, it was just a problem with the electric powerline into the house. Nothing really burned except some extension cords. Did you know that electricity enters a house by two 110 volt wires? And if they short, then your household wiring is suddenly passing 220 volts? I didn’t know that. And the computers either didn’t know or didn’t care because they all went to permanent sleep mode.

    Just one of the hassles with cleaning up the mess was the realization that our backup system was not a backup system at all. What we had saved on those (thankfully unplugged) hard drives was partial and out of date. Pretty much everything we had gathered on our current computers since the last migration died with them. And what we had saved on the hard drives was documents without the programs that handled them.

    There was wailing and gnashing of teeth.

    We need a better system. Something to make back up complete and easy.

    Know anything like that?

  • David February 6, 2009, 4:04 pm

    I work for a Health Care company, and this horror story happened a month ago.

    A doctor’s laptop died. Not a big deal, just re-image it and we’re good to go. Right? Wrong. Very Wrong.

    Background Information:
    We use a ‘single sign on’ program to keep track of doctor’s passwords for them. They have a half-dozen or more, so once they’ve logged into windows it enters the passwords for them. The only hitch in the giddyup is that every once in a great while, it will issue a challenege question to the user. This question? “Where were you born?” (They entered in the answer to this question when they were hired). If they can’t answer that, it won’t enter in their passwords for them.

    So this doctor got her new laptop and logged in. It asked what city she was born in. SHE COULD NOT REMEMBER THE CORRECT ANSWER. She tried several times, but could NOT remember what the answer was. And these are important passwords, not the kind that you want people to steal, so there is NO WAY to reset that password. I had to manually reset every password that her computer had been remembering for her for years.

    This is more of an application loss than a file/data loss, but that’s not in the rules : P

  • Lois Shores February 7, 2009, 12:59 am

    I’ve been lucky, no disasters so far

  • Johnny February 7, 2009, 9:57 am

    After a hard day of boring data crunching the evening promised to be one of excitement and romance. While putting candles around the room to make “enchantment”, somehow a candle ended up on top of my Maxtor external hard drive. Sometime during the nights,errr,umm, festivities the candle burned down into my Maxtor frying it beyond repair. This was not the “smokin” I had hoped for. Sigh, I never saw her or my pictures, music and data again.

  • Heather February 7, 2009, 10:45 am

    This is for my honey, and her back-up problem. She recently was switching from Win 7 beta back to Vista. Well, she forgot to back-up her data before switching since she was in a rush to get things done. One of the probems is that she keeps her back-up drive at work since its too big to carry around. I think if it was at home where she would seen it, she would have remembered. So, portable drive would be perfect for her.

  • Alex Horvath February 7, 2009, 1:13 pm

    I have always kept running backups of my stuff, but my fiancee is a different story… She’s not the most technologically adept person and never thought data was something she could loose….

    So one morning we’re still in bed and she’s reading an article (on Dicken’s criticism of Victorian pedagogy in his book “Hard Times” I think) while I slipped in and out of consciousness beside her. Seeing how comfortable I looked she decided to put the laptop away and curl up with me before getting up to officially start the day. She woke me up and passed me the laptop to put on the ground beside me so she could curl up… the problem was that I was not fully awake, and as I went to put the laptop down I let go and it flew across the room, bouncing on the floor twice before coming to a rest about 6 feet from the bed…

    Needless to say I was fully awake at that point. The laptop powered on and appeared to have survived the flight… but after I left for work it started making that horrible clicking sound and eventually gave up. A new hard drive later and her computer was good as new. Unfortunately there was nothing recoverable on her hard drive… she lost all of her music and a lot of her academic work from the last 3-4 years. Scrounging around on Gmail and her storage space at school we were able to find about 25% of her work but the rest has been lost forever. Being starving students I have been forced to share my external hard drive for mutual backups, but space is running out quickly… 🙁

    So yeah… that’s my data nightmare… ironic considering I’m known as the one who fixes things among all my friends and co-workers, yet in the case I was the bringer of death for my beloved’s data!

  • Johann February 7, 2009, 7:11 pm

    I lost all my data one time and it was a very bad experience. All the years surfing the internet gone in a instant.

  • Peter H. February 7, 2009, 7:18 pm

    Ok so I consider myself to be fairly computer literate and over the years I have helped any number of friends and family with whatever computer woes were ailing them. One day my new girlfriend, Emily, mentioned to me that her parents had nearly run out of space on their computer. Her mother had recently gotten a digital camera (thanks to my suggestion) and had been filling up their computer by dumping thousands of pictures onto their computer – she takes great photos and has an award winning scrapbook collection.
    I told Emily that all they needed to do was purchase another hard drive and copy their data over to the new hard drive – and could I do it? Sure, anything to get in good with the parents! After they purchased the new hard drive I volunteered my services and set to work. I booted up to the data transfer software, specified my source drive, specified the destination drive, and let ‘er rip.
    Once the data transfer was finished, I rebooted and got the dreaded “Operating system not found” error. Turns out that I confused the source and destination drive – that’s right: I copied the BLANK drive over to the drive with their DATA which resulted in two blank drives!?! All of her Dad’s work files – gone. All of her mom’s photos – gone. Everything – gone. Oops.

  • Geek February 8, 2009, 4:05 pm

    I have always been wary of data loss and taken the proper precautions to ensure successful recovery from such disasters. This previously entailed a weekly process of cloning my hard drive to a secondary, external, hard drive as well as burning a copy of my personal files to CD. The idea of maintaining two copies, one complete clone and one individual backup, on different media was a logical choice for optimal protection. A few years ago, however, I learned the hard way that the improbable is always possible.

    I was in the process of cloning my hard drive when a sudden, severe storm blew in. Confident that my UPS would protect my system from any possible surges, brownouts, etc, I let the cloning process continue. Moments later, however, lightning struck a high-voltage transformer a few feet outside the window, causing it to blow. The system instantly lost power, though the UPS continued to power the monitor and other peripherals plugged into it. Hoping the UPS had just failed to power the tower, it was not until the power was restored that I discovered the motherboard, both hard drives, and one of the optical drives were fried. Later testing seemed to indicate that the surge had not passed through or damaged the UPS…the tower was simply too close to the transformer when it blew.

    At the time I only had one external hard drive, resulting in the loss of the lone clone. However, the CD backup maintained my hope of restoration. After rebuilding the computer I browsed the contents of the CD only to find my hopes shattered…nearly half of the files were reported as unreadable. Despite passing a verification scan after the disc’s initial burning, my failsafe betrayed me as I learned the disc was faulty. It was then I learned lightening does strike the same place twice, figuratively speaking.

    I have been maintaining multiple copies of each backup/clone ever since, and as a result have had but a few lost files since. Nevertheless, one of those FreeAgent Go portables would be extremely useful as I have reached the capacity limits of my current drives and am once again approaching a state of vulnerability. Please Julie, help me avoid a return to such a precarious situation!

  • Robert Brown February 8, 2009, 6:11 pm

    I was preparing a powerpoint presentation for my Anatomy and Physiology Class, when low and behold my hard drive crashed with all my work. Of course unrepairable, I was forced to start all over on a friends notebook. Luckily finishing in time for my presentation.

  • Daniel February 8, 2009, 7:34 pm

    I had a drive that contained evidence of wrongful termination die on me and could not afford recovery serviced so I had to give up the fight.

  • Michelle February 8, 2009, 10:23 pm

    I’m ashamed that even after the “Catastrophic Crash of ’08”, I still haven’t invested in a back-up system besides my occasional use of writeable cd’s.

    My four year old Systemax let me down last June. I should have heeded all the warning signs but dummy-me thought that noise coming from the tower was a dirty fan.

    When it failed to boot that morning, I tried everything to recover my iTunes and pictures. I had an old iTunes backup but a small fortune of iTunes were lost in the crash. The pictures, totally gone, including the photos of my brother’s wedding that I had uploaded from my camera to the computer and then erased off my camera’s memory card. My husband still tears up over the geneaology data he had in his Family Tree Maker software that hadn’t been backed-up yet. I had to call everyone in the family and all my friends in order to get their addresses again since my address book was loaded on the computer and I have no hard copy address book. There are still people that I haven’t been able to contact since I didn’t have their phone numbers memorized and they live far away. I’m still hoping they contact me so we can reconnect.

  • Julie February 9, 2009, 10:39 am

    The winners have been chosen by a random draw:

    Post #86 Daniel
    Post #19 Kevin
    Post #22 Andy S

    Congrats! And thanks to all that entered 🙂

  • daljit February 16, 2009, 11:19 pm

    My first hard drive crash It suddenly started acting up. The OS will start really slow. I thought I could just defrag it or reinstall XP. But the drive died. And I did not backup anything. I lost important data & family photos, important documents, and many more files I can’t replace. I wish I thought ahead and saved my important documents to either to a backup disk, hard drive or at minimum save the most important things to flash drive.i use seagate harddrive for last 10 years. this hdd is very successful in my life

  • Devashish May 2, 2012, 3:33 am

    i have a seagate 80gb external hard p.c get slow because lots of virus i decided to format my p.c hard disk i was just formating my p.c my hard disk stop and does not work.i cannot start my p.c ,

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