You have heard it before: Not IF, but WHEN. You think it doesn’t apply to you. Somehow you are special, careful, lucky, immortal, or at least your digital files, your creative output from twenty years, will live forever. Safe, protected. You spent all that money on a fancy Neil Poulton designed LaCie RAID rack. Nothing can touch you. No harm will befall you. You sleep well at night.
Get over it. Wake up. Face the facts. Face the music. Admit vulnerability. It’s what you don’t expect that bites you.
One day you turn on your computer, expecting to roll out a new batch of beautifully edited photographs, the best you have ever made.
Wait a minute! What does this mean: “Experiencing low power status”
“Consistency check on array 0 failed”
“Array is degraded”
Yep, all your pictures are unavailable, can’t be read, can’t be retrieved, can’t be looked at, can’t be delivered to your clients, and you won’t be paid. Your legacy is down the drain, not to mention your livelihood.
Words flashed through my fried brain: I thought RAID 5 was the best!
Then the judge inside my head: “You failed; you are degraded; you have low status”
Acceptance is the first step, remember. It has happened to you.
And your procrastination in making good back ups, not just RAID, not just of your Lightroom Catalog, but of every bit and byte, has come back to bite you.
Then the panic hits: Can i download software to recover my data? How can i save money and still get my pictures back? How much money is this going to cost?
I used with my trusty Duck Duck Go search engine, found names, read reviews, considered the pluses and the minuses. Agonized. Painful awareness of my lazy ways.
The internet gives so many choices, which one is safe? Which one is best? Which one is reliable? Some reviews are angry, some are exceedingly grateful. How can different people have such completely different experiences with the same company? I talked it over with my son Noah, who is very attentive to reviews.
Did i mention that this was in the middle of the shutdown for the corona virus?
So, at 10pm that night i submitted my case online to two different companies that had good reviews on www.trustpilot.com
Bright and early the next morning i received an email from one of the companies. I responded with a couple of questions, then i received a phone call from the other company. Good conversation filled with juicy information: their company is just across the street from the other company. The other company will be more expensive. Etc etc etc. It was a tough call from such responsive companies, each one appeared capable of doing the job.
When the estimate came back, I talked it over with my business partner and wife Lisa, and we decided we had to do it, had to spend the money, there was no other choice.
I really appreciated Mitchell’s honest and intelligent description of the process, what would happen to my eight hard drives, what i would receive, how long it would take if i accepted the slower path for a lower amount.
Mitchell helped keep my anxieties in check, gave me important information about packing up the drives, encouraged me all along the way. I couldn’t have shipped off twenty years of photographs without his support. I trusted him and he did not betray me. We talked during the waiting period, exchanged several emails with questions about the hard drive on which my photographs would be returned. And helped us work out the best way for us to pay.
The big day arrived when i received an email listing all the folders that the technicians had recovered. Just to see the names of the folders, all my clients names, the job names, so beautiful and reassuring. He did tell me the sad news that three pictures from my iPhone were not recovered. Out of thousands and thousands of pictures, it was almost funny. It put the entire process into an amazing perspective.
My wife suggested that we ask for a second hard drive duplicating all the data, and Mitchell arranged to do that for the same price as the original one. It took a few days for the files to be loaded onto the two drives after we made the full payment.
Then a big box arrives via FedEx containing all the original drives and these two beautiful new duplicate drives with every single pixel intact.
My life has taken a big change in work flow. All the pixels from that failed LaCie 8big RAID 5 are now stored on two different drives. Every picture i have made since the failure of the RAID are now stored immediately on two different drives. Following the editing and output, the new files are also stored on two additional drives.
My next step since Mitchell and Secure Data Recover technicians saved my life is to duplicate all the pictures to a third drive that will be stored at another location. I am still considering storing in the cloud, but our local internet service is kind of slow. If the new fiber optics cable comes to town, then I will probably do that, too.
A very big thanks to Mitchell and Secure Data Recover technicians for helping this painful lesson turn out with a happy ending!!