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Seagate ST3000DM001 3TB Drive Suddenly Dead

Posted on 2013-12-08
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Last Modified: 2013-12-12
This drive was purchased only 18 months ago as a backup drive, so it has "everything" on it. "OF COURSE, IT DOES!"

I booted up and the drive is not recognized in my win 7 or on any other box. There is a brief spin for about 3 or 4 secs. then nothing.

My wife is beside herself because all my daughter's 2013 photos are on the drive - every month of the year.

Is there any home remedy to recovering this drive?

This is an internal drive.

Thanks, ---GRIFF
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Question by:griff4345
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by:Chris Millard
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Sadly, if it doesn't spin up then the answer is no! You might try getting another drive of the same model with exactly the sae firmware and try swapping the controller card, but it's a hit and miss operation.

I'm not impressed with Seagate of late. I have the 4 of the 2TB model (ST2000DM001) and I've just yesterday sent away the 3rd one for a warranty replacement!
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by:griff4345
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Yes, the warranty replacement is great for the drive (they can swap in refurbished if they wish), but no good for what you lose. I really wish these manufacturers could be held accountable for their poor workmanship when this takes place. I wouldn't make a blanket statement like that but for the tremendous amount of apparently early failures spoken about in so many forums.

Thanks for your reply.
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by:rindi
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Since it is a "backup" drive, you also have the data on your main drives. So just replace the bad drive (you may still have warranty on it) and then backup your other drives again. If possible get a 2nd "backup" drive so you have 2 backups.

If you deleted your original data, send the drive to a recovery agency, provided that isn't too expensive. A good such company is Gilware:

http://gillware.com/
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by:rindi
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It isn't poor quality. All drives break sooner or later, they have moving parts, and they are extremely sensitive, particularly those with such high capacity. That's why backups are so important, so you have your data not just on one location.
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by:griff4345
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Rindi:  I appreciate your opinion, link to gillware.com. and your obvious success as an Exchange Expert.

But I would suggest that a drive, regardless of the engineering, may not be as sensitive as you suggest. Any manufacturer who allows a drop shock up 350 G's and still will warranty, has faith in the mechanical ability of their product or they're playing the odds. Do you realize just what a 350 G shock is? I restate that this is poor quality.
Nevertheless, thanks for your answer.
---GRIFF
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by:Alan Henderson
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For future reference, please realise that as rindi implied the backup drive is just that. It's for backup. All the important stuff should be saved somewhere else.

You should have a local backup drive and another more remote backup. If your house burns down or your computer and backup drive are stolen you're in trouble without a remote backup.

I alternate two backup drives weekly and keep one away from the house. My most important stuff is kept in free cloud storage. I use Dropbox and Copy - with referrals that gives me 50GB of free storage on the other side of the planet from my home in New Zealand.

I also use Evernote which provides me with 1GB more per month (60MB for free accounts).

Worry free.

:)
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by:garycase
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Just to re-emphasize what's already been said ... you said this was bought "...  as a backup drive."

A BACKUP implies that you have the data somewhere else.    Apparently, from your comments, you don't ... so hopefully Gillware (or the recovery company of your choice) can recover your data.    But in the future, remember that ALL data that you care about should always be stored in AT LEAST two different places.

A "backup" drive is not just a drive to MOVE data to ... once you've done that, the data's no longer backed up (as you've learned all-too-well here).

By the way, Newegg has a sale this weekend (expires tonight) for a PAIR of 4TB external drives for $235.   That's a very good price for 8TB of storage ... you could use one as a backup/external storage drive (as you apparently used the one that just failed); and the other as a true BACKUP of the 1st drive (set up a synchronization utility to run every night and keep them in sync).   http://www.newegg.com/Product/ComboDealDetails.aspx?ItemList=Combo.1504965&nm_mc=EMC-EXPRESS120713&cm_mmc=EMC-EXPRESS120713-_-EMC-120713-Index-_-Combo-_-Combo1504965-LC1
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by:garycase
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By the way, with modern cloud storage options ... MiMedia,  DropBox, Carbonite, etc. it's very simple to set up an automated backup to the cloud.      You should do this even if you also want to keep a local backup copy.    But if you set up another backup drive, be SURE it's truly a BACKUP !!
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by:griff4345
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I truly appreciate all the comments. Here's what I do:  •I keep fair track of all my files, •I back up my files at least monthly (sometimes more often) on external drives at home, •I use DropBox, •I also backup, on a weekly basis, to MYPCBACKUP who are located in England and use Amazon Servers.

MyPCBackup decided to drop my account and I had to quickly download my files to my HDD - over 650GB. I immediately experienced the loss of the internal 3TB drive and one of the backup drives as well. I was in the process of purchasing a new drive and moving all files to it when this happened. With what wisdom could this have been averted?

Call my methods what you will - at this point, I have to call it bad luck. There is always a shoulda-woulda-coulda. I simply asked for a method of recovery, if known. I already know what I "could have" done.

I apologize for what may easily seem to be a snappy reply, but please consider our positions reversed.

Thanks, ---GRIFF
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by:griff4345
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You know, I'm reading all the other comments at this time. I've concluded that perhaps I did not explain myself correctly. That is the only reason I can think of that this question has solicited so many slaps on the wrist rather than a series of possible solutions.

I withdraw the question - please have a moderator be in contact with me to expedite that.

Thank you!
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by:rindi
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If they decided to drop your account, that was probably for a reason. Maybe you didn't pay in time, or they changed their terms of use, or the company went bankrupt. Personally I think cloud storage like that can be problematic. First you usually don't know where the data is stored, or how private it stays. But anyway again, as it's "just" a backup, you still have the original data elsewhere, so why download your files from the backup location to your HD, and not just make a new backup from your original files? I would just have left the data on that MyPCBackup account and let them delete it, or better I'd have deleted it myself.

And again, a drive breaking doesn't have to do with quality, they all break. Warranty also isn't insurance. Warranty always only replaces or repairs that hardware, and not the other things that the bad hardware may have caused to break as well. For that you'd need to have a separate insurance. For example if your fridge breaks the company that built the fridge will replace or repair the fridge under warranty, but it's contents that also went bad because they were at a high temperature for too long are always your problem unless you have insurance for that particular purpose.
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by:garycase
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Your question simply indicated this was a backup drive, and did not note that you had other cloud-based backups that had "failed" at the same time ... or, for that matter, that you had a 2nd internal drive that had also failed nearly simultaneously.

You made a very interesting comment that reflects very badly on the reliability of one of the cloud-based backup services:   "... MyPCBackup decided to drop my account "  ==>  Could you explain what happened?    It's be interesting to know if this is a service we should NOT be using.    One other note:  There's a VERY good chance that they have your data on their servers.   I'd contact them ASAP and see if you can arrange to re-download all of the lost data, even if you're not going to be using their services in the future.    Whatever fees they may charge for that will be far less than a recovery company would charge for your failed drive; and there wouldn't be any question about the success of the recovery.

As for what others do for backup ... that obviously varies based on your tolerance for data loss.   I do NOT want to ever lose data ... so all of my data is always on at least 4 different systems, one of which is a fault-tolerant server => so I'd have to lose 5 drives simultaneously, all of which are on UPS-protected systems (so there's never an improper shutdown or spike due to power failure) before I'd lose any data.    And even that is mitigated by a monthly backup I do to a set of bare drives that I keep in a fireproof, waterproof, data-rated safe.
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by:Alan Henderson
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I haven't been contributing as much as I'd like to EE but I continue to maintain my membership because every now and then I get help from a few giants like rindi, nobus and garycase.

Sometimes I wonder why they bother.
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by:griff4345
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I can't disagree with many of the suggestions targeted toward backup. I completely get that and concede that you are all quite correct. I really want to end this and I'm certain you do as well. @vallis:  I used to be a member, giving advice, too. I felt the same a few times - just why was I wasting my time beating a dead horse. It started to get old, but the reward was in finally knowing I actually helped someone past the precise problem they presented.

This is exactly where you guys don't seem to get it. roybridge and perhaps rindi with the gillware.com suggestion are the only two who addressed the "question". Everyone else decided to give a class on backups.

I'll make a decision on my solution pick.

I surely know where to send any colleagues who may want to know about backup routines.

Thanks and goodnight.
---GRIFF
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by:Joe Winograd, EE MVE
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Griff,
You say it's an "internal drive", so maybe the problem is not the drive itself, but elsewhere...motherboard, power supply, connectors/cables, whatever. Before giving up the ghost on it, or sending it to a data recovery house, I'd pull it out and place it in an external USB enclosure...maybe you'll get lucky and the drive itself is OK. Worth a shot...2.5" and 3.5" USB enclosures are inexpensive. Regards, Joe
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garycase earned 500 total points
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I can definitely 2nd the suggestion for Gillware -- I've been advocating them on EE for over 6 years, since the first experience a friend had with them after I suggested them.
http://gillware.com/

As for nobody addressing your problem ... don't forget you didn't actually expand on the problem in your question.   You said "... This drive was purchased only 18 months ago as a backup drive ..." => but made no mention of the other backups you had ... in particular the complete backup you had in the cloud at MyPCBackup.

Regardless of the reason you've severed ties with MyPCBackup, by far your best recovery possibility is to contact them and see if you can arrange to download all your files (in particular the pictures you need) again.   It's almost certain they'll still be on their servers.

KNOWING that you need backups ... as you clearly do and tried to take care of by buying the Seagate "... as a backup drive" ... is NOT the same as ensuring that you ALWAYS actually HAVE a backup of your data.      I'm reminded of a friend who lost a leg in a car accident (and fortunately didn't lose his life) because he forgot to wear his seat belt ... this was someone who "always" wore his belt => but naturally the one time he didn't, it was nearly catastrophic.     In this case, the "seatbelt" is your backups ... and if you skip it one time, Murphy almost guarantees that's the one time it will matter !!

As for recovering your data ...

=>  Your BEST option is to contact MyPCBackup and simply download it all again.

=>  Barring that (e.g. if they actually don't still have the data), your best chance of success is to send the drive off to Gillware or a similar recovery company.

=>  If you want to try a "do-it-yourself" approach, swapping the PCB between your drive and another identical drive (must be not only the exact same make/model; but must also have the same firmware rev) MAY allow access ... but note that some modern drives store the reallocation table in firmware => if that happens to be the case here, this won't work unless both drives are "pristine" ... i.e. no reallocated sectors.
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by:Gerald Connolly
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It seems to me that one of the topics missing from this discussion is the difference between "Backup" and "Archive".

I agree with Rindi If its a "Backup" you should still have the originals!

I have always used the following definitions:
-Backup: Data on Main Disk COPIED to Backup
-Archive: Data on Main Disk MOVED to Archive (Preferably to more than one disk)

Now we also need to talk about where you keep your Backups and Archives ...
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by:garycase
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Agree with the distinction between backups and archives.   Note, however, that archives should also be backed up :-)     i.e. ANY important data should reside in at least two places.   Ideally, one should be off site, but most personal users aren't set up that way.   I'm a backup fanatic, and still am missing that "off-site" requirement for much of my data -- although all of our documents and pictures are covered via cloud storage.     I DO have a complete backup of all 39TB of my data stored in a data-rated, waterproof, fireproof safe.
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by:griff4345
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This decision was difficult because all suggestions were valid, but not targeted, in my opinion, to my particular issue. However, anyone interested in the pros and cons of backups and archives can easily take a lesson from this series of expert comments. Each of the respondents have plenty of experience under their belts. I thank you for your answers and hope we have a better experience some time in the future.

A QUESTION YOU HAD ASKED:  The MYPCBACKUP cloud backup issue, however, was a threatening letter indicating that a sweep of my METADATA indicated some software that was in violation of their EULA and would require termination of my account. On the other hand, if I would like to upgrade to a business account, it didn't matter what was in my METADATA. Isn't that interesting and what does that say to you about shady marketing? So I bailed on that with much disgust - and by the way, you can reach no one at that company. OK....... thanks again and may all of you have much success going forward.
---GRIFF
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