Decided that I really should find out what I had and what could be salvaged from various HD’s lying around the place. 3 were IDE so pulling the right bit from an enclosure mean I could fire them up. They had a combined 320gb. One disc shows me there is a lot there but cannot read it, another grinds away forever and the smallest 40gb gave me only 6gb of actual data. Total data loss of over 300gb. But these were old discs and had been backed up when new machines appeared so actual data loss is probably zero.
The PC I had up to recently – one Steve built for me some years ago had 2 SATA drives in. (I had debated either installing Ubuntu on there or running it from USB to rescue what I could but I thought Â£15 was a fair trade in time/money) To get at those I ordered a NEWlink USB 2.0 Docking Station for SATA HDD and that worked perfectly. 2 250gb drives. One was a single partition and everything I had on that was backed up on newer discs. The other was in two partitions – the Windows part had failed to boot took some time to get the data off – very very noisy – but other data came off well enough.
So in total I had storage space of around 820gb and I am confident I have lost nothing that matters. Easy for me to say because it’s not like I have anything super important but it’s in some way testament to the way I backup what actually does matter (and I’ll bet that a stack of what people think matters doesn’t, not really, not in the big picture) and also that for so much data accumulated I just don’t give a crap. Lose data forever or have a big argument with the wife? I’ll lose the data. Data is all 1’s and 0’s but life has the bits that matter :)
The Docking Station was a very neat purchase for Â£15 but what to do now…. I could leave it for a ‘just in case I need it again’ or I could use it as a backup drive for one of the girls. Be a useful thing for snapshot backups if you had a somewhere safe for them wouldn’t it? Buy 12 drives and use them on a rotating basis through the year.
The drive I cannot extract data from is an exercise awaiting but then I have 5 drives. None are reusable given the noise they made during the process. 1 I will take apart just to see what’s there, another I will take outside, throw high into the air so it smashes to the ground and then see if the drive is broken and the other 3 … not sure yet. I don’t think they have Great Big Magnets which was always my motivation to take things apart when I was a kid.