Rule 1: Backup! Rule 2: Backup! Rule 3: Backup!

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  • I have these 2 16GB each usb flash drives which I've been carrying around for at least 15 years. Well not exactly these two for that long, but I transferred their content onto newer drives when they were full, you get the picture, don't you!

    So, back to the story. I use one as my main drive and the second as a backup. I used to make a full backup every month and I did so until end of 2014, when I eventually became complacent and fell into the "it'll never happen to me" trap.

    So, to cut my fcuking miserable life short, yesterday night my main usb drive all of a sudden failed. It failed miserably. I have special unix tools to recover data from the command line, but nothing! There were millions of bad blocks which could not be recovered. Basically three solid years of my digital life wasted forever! If only I had kept on making my fcuking backups!

  • Oh no! S0 sorry for your loss ... :death:

    I managed to delete all my e-mails a few weeks ago. I thought life had come to a stop, but it has been mildly liberating and I have only really needed to refer to one of them since then. Thankfully this is a fallow period of work, otherwise the result could be very different.

    If I owe anyone here an e-mail message, perhaps you would write to me again and I can try and pick up where we left off!

  • :( Thats a bit shit....Solid state drives are more problematic with write and rewrite ops,harder to recover data(as youve found) unlike a disc drive.Youll probably need some forensic data recovery tools...I doubt the readily available off the net ones will recover much.

  • Thats bad news about your loss, but i would have to ask why are you using a USB drive as your main drive?

    It seems you have been incredibly lucky up to now, one bad unmount or physical damage can easily render your data inaccessible.
    What format file system were you using, fat or ext?
    Going forward i would look at a proper solid state drive rather than usb. Also, if you don't already create a separate home and os partition, then mirror the home partition to either another usb or a nas drive, or even an sd card if your pc has a reader.
    Journalling file systems and swap partitions are a no no on flash drives, and you can disable a lot of logging to save write cycles.

    As for recovery, ive had a lot of success with photorec, covers a wide range of files and has recovered stuff off broken usb drives people have asked me to look at.

  • As a rule I never ever use an SSD drive for data. SSDs have a finite number of write/erase cycles, you can however read from them as much as you like. So I mainly use my SSD for my OS, games, and applications. Data I would store on a mechanical hard drive.

    Also with regards to backing up, if your data isn't in 3 places then it doesn't exist.