Last week, one of my son’s friends lost a summer of work he’d done filming a documentary. It was a crucial college project for which he’d solicited and received considerable financial support via Kickstarter. He’d backed up months of footage garnered from extensive travel and interviews to an external hard drive. Secure that he had a backup, he deleted the source data to gain more room on his Mac. It wasn’t until the external hard drive failed that it dawned on him that a backup isn’t a backup if it’s your only copy.
My son’s friend was distraught and ready to run all manner of over-the-counter recovery programs in a desperate attempt to salvage his labors. That would have been about the worst possible thing to do since running these tools against a mechanically compromised or logically corrupted drive often extinguishes any hope of data recovery.
By virtue of the superior genetic material and parenting skills of his mother, my son Madison is a very bright young man and had the presence of mind to intercede and tell his buddy to stop, do nothing and bring the drive to my lab to see what could be done. My son also understood that data recovery is uncharacteristically economical when you know someone who will do it for free. Continue reading »