Recovering from a Crashed Hard Disk

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Two weeks ago the hard disk on my main Windows machine (the one I use for video editing and commercial software in general) failed to the point of becoming unbootable and I have spent most of my free time since recovering. Some random observations.

  • Even if you are reasonably careful about backing up your important stuff, the disk will die when you have valuable stuff on it that is not backed up.
  • Build yourself a copy of The Ultimate Boot CD for Windows now. (It will be a lot harder to build if your only Windows machine with a CD burner is dead.) This allowed me to boot up the machine and transfer my data to an external hard drive.
  • Get yourself an eternal hard drive with a USB connection now. These are reasonably cheap and they are the only really easy way to back up all your important data on a regular basis.
  • If you buy a new SATA hard disk it will probably be SATA II (300Mb/s). If your motherboard is more than a year old it will probably only support SATA I (150Mb/s). To get this to work right you will probably have to put a jumper on the drive to make it run at 150Mb/s, and you may have to go to the manufacturer’s web site to find out how to do this.