Experience Catastrophic Hard Drive Failure Without Catastrophe

Experience Catastrophic Hard Drive Failure Without Catastrophe

If you've ever wondered what caused massive hard drive failure or what a pretty much destroyed hard drive looked like, there's an app for you.

Drive Savers has created the DriveSaver app for the iPhone, calling it the "first online hard disk drive simulator," which it is, in all likelihood. The app is free. Of course, Drive Savers isn't being completely altruistic here - they're a data recovery company and want your business. But for those who aren't intimately familiar with the interior of their computers, the app is pretty cool.

Be forewarned: Turn the volume down a bit before playing with it - it's loud.

The simulator lets you look at the inside of a drive, both a spinning platter hard drive or a solid state drive, giving you an idea of what it looks like. You get your choice of what type of catastrophic failure you want to experience virtually, some of which necessitate your involvement (just as in real life - touch a chip on the SSD, contaminate this disc), others which don't (catastrophic head crash failure, for example).

Your options are:
• Clicker failure
• No spin/seized motor
• Spin up and down
• Electronic failure
• Contamination failure
• Head crash failure

Then there is, of course, the option for one-touch dialing to DriveSavers - even if you're not in the United States. You can also request an estimate via web and you'll get a response within 30 minutes by phone or e-mail, which is perhaps the one of the more innovative features of the phone.  The process of recovering your data can be fairly complex and costly though, be forewarned.  That said, if you have extremely valuable data on that drive, it literally could be a life-saver.

The company also offers you a variety of best practices to prevent data loss, backup strategies, data recovery and more.  There's also a whole bunch of photos from their ISO 5 certified cleanroom, which is an absolute necessity, if they have to get down and dirty disassembling your drive, to get at the delicate platters so they can retrieve your precious data.
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Good for them! I don't mind advertising apps as long as they deliver some functionality-- this one will go on my iPod next to the "3D Brain" app.

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Haha, is there an online simulator for this?

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Okay, found a Flash Based version for those of us that don't have an iPod Touch/iPhone:

http://www.drivesaversdatarecovery.com/ep/drivesaver-the-first-online-hard-disk-drive-simulator/

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I found an additional hard drive crash simulator: http://myexternalharddrive.ytmnd.com/

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Haha, I wish you had warned me about turning the volume down!!

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BTW - how did you add the link in your message above. Did you use some inline BB-type code, or were you able to use the Edit button? Try as I might, clicking the Edit button on my message takes me to a "Resource not Found" page.

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@3vi1: The BBS software here does require you to post, edit, and repost if you want any of the fancier features. And sometimes, especially when you're the first person to reply to a new story, you do get the "Resource not found" page when trying to edit your reply. My hope for HotHardware in 2010 is that we'll be able to use the full editor in addition to Quick Reply from the news listings.

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Good find on this app. I will have to get it and show my clients it when they have problems with there hard drives as well. 

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ClemSnide:

@3vi1: The BBS software here does require you to post, edit, and repost if you want any of the fancier features. And sometimes, especially when you're the first person to reply to a new story, you do get the "Resource not found" page when trying to edit your reply. My hope for HotHardware in 2010 is that we'll be able to use the full editor in addition to Quick Reply from the news listings.

I'm used to being the first one to reply to a new story and not being able to edit.... what struck me as weird was that gibbersome had been able to edit his message in the same thread, whereas even 12+ hrs later I was still unable to edit my response.

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This app is a one time use app for me :D, i used it then it got boring then it gets removed. :)

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That was great, 3vi1. Loved it.

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Thanks for that link Gibbersome,.....I bookmarked it to use when explaining drive failures to people that I occasionally help out.

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Yes, sorry, gibbersome - I should have included that in the article. Thanks for posting it. (Sorry I didn't respond yesterday; I have two small boys who sometimes keep me a little busy.)

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I like their app (don't have the iPhone so I went to the website).

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Good work gibber I was wondering as I don't do the iPhone thing. At least not yet!

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As far as it goes you should make a direct image and keep it somewhere safe. You get the option directly through Windows, and software like the Acronis (Disk Director suite and True Image) tools I use are not in any way expensive either. I think I paid 40-45 for both (20 for one 25 for the other).

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@rapid1: Today, I use Clonezilla (http://clonezilla.org). It's free. I don't use it much though - restoring Linux is a lot easier than windows since you just back up your home directory (all program settings are stored in there) and you don't need to reload anything from media (since all the apps are downloadable from the repositories). I just run a tar command to copy/compress my home directory to a file on an external drive every so often.

Back when I was using Windows, I preferred Drive Image. That program was so good that Symantec bought out PowerQuest, threw away their old Ghost code, and renamed Drive Image to Ghost 9.0.

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:D im going to try it now Wink

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Yeah Acronis works on basically every OS except foe Leopard maybe, of course I don't know as I don't use Apple machines, although if it work on Linux it really should both being a basic Unix base. Either way I like all the tools that Disk Director and True Image give me as well.

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I wonder if I can use this to rescue the HD on that Dell laptop? The issues on that one are very strange. It will boot through POST and start Windows, but never boot into Windows. I have ran deep diagnostics on it and it seems to be a hardware problem, but I just wonder if I could use this and recover it? It could also be a boot sector infection or misdirection of some kind. Of course a lot of tools are mentioned here, but I cannot get into the OS to install any, maybe I will have to use a USB key boot device. I think the HD hardware is just gone at least for now.

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This is a pretty cool application. I firmly beilieve the iPhone is the best technician tool money can buy. I am adding this application to my article on hard drive noises (http://www.johnwaddy.com/blog/hard-drive-noises-solved/).

Thank you for the find.

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johnwaddy:

I firmly beilieve the iPhone is the best technician tool money can buy.

I highly disagree with you on that statement. Knowledge, training, and experience are far more valuable.

The primary tool I use for troubleshooting any issue is my brain. I can't image what use an iphone could possibly be when solving a problem... other then using hyperterminal to call the iphone to test a modem... :-|

If you don't have the answer... google it...

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Just love reading on this website..Big Smile

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