My manager (or rather former manager) gave me a disk for fixing my hard drive this afternoon. It was the legendary Hiren Boot CD. An amazing piece of plastic of just 68 megabytes. At first there was success, the partition table was able to be recovered, but still Windows refused to pick up the drive correctly. After rummaging around all the utilities, there must be hundreds, I found the HDD Regenerator. This was able to recover bad sectors and make them good again. This was what I was looking for, I let it run while I went to watch Hollyoaks (on E4) and then Eastenders in the lounge. When I got back to my room, 44 sectors had been repaired. Fantastic. Some goods news at last, after a weekend of false starts. I then tried to use some other software to get my hard drive back up and running but it did not work. It was about 9.30pm and I had a few options. I could leave some further diagnostic tools running over the day and hope that they rectified the problem. I turned to Easy Recovery (which Pav had found for me on Sunday night). It recovered about 468 mp3 files. Most were okay but a few were malgamated together, into bigger files ranging from 2gb to 16mb. I made an executive decision. I decided to scrap the recovery and start again. It was a tough decision, but I thought, rather than waste any more days on a rather pointless scheme, it would be better use of my time to roll back my collection to 2003. In a strange twist of fate, looking at my backup DVDs, I discovered that the files were last updated on 22nd March 2003. Four years to the day (almost) from when my hard drive failed. Don’t believe me? Well you can actually look back at the archives. Strange how things work out. Of course, I wish I had actually got around to making backups earlier, as I always promised I would. Just other more important things always would get in the way. Although I do not have any excuse really, I have a DVD burner, plenty of blank DVDs and an external USB caddy with 320gb hard drive.
Rebuilding my mp3 collection will not be a major problem but missing some of the classic video I had recorded, including Arsenal highlights and comedy moments from Eastenders. Never mind, the lesson has been learnt, I have to backup everything onto both DVD and my external drive, just to be safe. Plus I can get some of the more important shows / clips back as I sent copies on DVD to some of my friends of Michael Jackson material and to Terry, the Highbury – The Final Salute.