Friday, December 14, 2012

Nov 23 - Dec 9, two weeks of Happyness and despair

On the week leading up to Nov 23, I was going to return to full form and resume my bloggyness. Unfortunately, my cold was getting worse and if there's one thing I hate, that is letting my health spiral out of control. November 23rd was supposed to be my celebration, which so happened to be Thanksgiving Day as well, but being the mangatron is not a rosy life.

My down times started when I went out that weekend before Nov 23, and my main purpose of that trip was to see prices of external hard drives out there so I can make plans for the end of the month. My destination was SM Megamall, and I was horrified to learn of the pricing there. In all the shops I looked in at their Cyberzone (a collection of electronics stores in one place), the average prices for a 500GB drive was PHP3999,99, simply speaking that's $100. One hundred one's for just 500GB? That's pathetic, and the reason why I was surprised was because in CDRKing's website, that's the price for a 1TB, and the CDRKing at SM Megamall had 320GB's over php3000, and I saw one person buying that, my god I felt sorry for them, being ripped off at that mall. I know for a fact it's that particular mall, because CDRKing wasn't alone in those exorbitant prices, other shops selling Buffalo drives had the same ridiculous pricing.

Me not being able to speak the local language makes things harder (yeah not every store speaks english), as I was not sure if they have a "price guarantee" like in the USA. I thought of showing them their site and get the prices down to it, but they didn't have any bigger than 500GB >__>

When the month came to an end, I later knew why it was that particular mall with inflated prices, as I sought out my local CDRKing and their prices were the same as their website. I didn't get any donations (despite hurrying that Android fix ~__~), but I could not pass this opportunity much, I needed a hard drive now as 2 months went by with me stagnating with my 1TB, it was either I end my contributions to the online community or I take the chance, and thankfully I was able to borrow enough for the Toshiba 750GB hard drive (not exactly my proudest moment asking for money >__<).
It didn't take me long to open the enclosure. Full size 2.5inch drive detected! Eat that, WD and your proprietary trite.

Since my Expresscard only has 1 USB3.0 port, the Toshiba drive had to go USB2, which wasn't bad actually. The difficult part was getting whatever data I could get off the 1TB drive, and that took a mother loving 4 days, 2 days at only 12 hours, the latter 2 days I went round the clock copying via SuperCopier, a nice proggy by the way. That was when my new found happiness was starting to turn sour: I had an elaborate plan, see: I couldn't afford a new 1TB drive, no way was I going to sacrifice my health again, and since all I could get was 750GB, I was placing my last bit of faith in WD and their data lifeguard tools to write zero's to the drive once I copied what I could from it. My first problem was I was losing free space fast, 750GB wasn't going to cut it, and I needed backups fast, I hated playing triage with my data and "luckily" I was able to acquire 2 company drives at 60GB each. One drive died when I started to copy to it, and the other one was Mac formatted. My troubles kept piling up when I found out I couldn't copy Windows Mobile ROM kitchen's from the 1TB drive, and I had to say my final farewell to Windows Mobile development, at the hand of Western Digital and their defectively designed [external] drives.

Because it's a no brainer when a drive, on USB3.0, took 4 days to copy 749GB of data off it, that definitely means something is wrong, and it's not the platters. I had used up 898GB of space on that drive, losing the rest to CRC errors and lack of available space. So my elaborate plan was to write zero's to the drive in the hopes of a forced regeneration (as the HDD Regenerator program failed to regenerate the bad sectors), and that's where the problem comes crashing down, for the first few minutes, it was going smoothly, until I .noticed the "time remaining" counter rising as each block was being zero'ed. 2 days of zeroing, it got so bad to the point when it went to 82 days remaining (might have been more >__>), I had to stop it. It canceled fine, and I had enough of spending time on this drive, and using their WD Quick Formatter, I was able to format the drive fine, and oh I thought lady luck smiles upon me once again, and when I tried to copy to the drive, it stopped halfway and just died. I though oh maybe I really need to write zeros, so this time I used the quick option, which would write zeroes to only the first and last million sectors on the drive. Near the end of the format, it had an error that it was unable to write to the end sectors, upon canceling that I tried to quick format again, and that failed.

The drive is dead. I ain't going to sugar coat it, it was funked the moment something happened to it, and it all just went downhill from there, and there was no saving it. My first suspicion was why HDD Regenerator, the best software for regenerating, failed to fix the drive, it wasn't the program, it was the drive, it was no longer able to be written to, which explains everything from the start: in order to regen the sectors, it will need to write it back to the area on the drive, but since it wasn't working, I could not regen, I could not write zeroes, and any attempts afterward was for nought: my 1TB is no more. Which brings me to my current predicament: I had maxed out my 750GB (699 available), and squeezed space into every other drive I have, and now I'm back to square one: severely low on space. I've had it with this, I can no longer trust WD and their 1TB or higher external drives, until they fix their drive design I refuse to buy their ridiculous trite. It is unacceptable that I had to lose both data and the drive itself all because their proprietary design, combining both the hard drive and USB3/2 controller into one, increased the chances of a drive failure compare to a drive like my 750GB above, a hard drive + USB controller. With a  2 piece design, it isolates a failure should it happen, meaning that if one part fails, it is easier to pinpoint and only that part needs to be replaced. I had no way of knowing I had a defective drive, and if I could have been able to separate the parts, it could have saved the drive by giving it a new controller and pushing the required wattage for drive spintimes for write operations.

But it was never going to be that way, thanks to WD. And thanks to them, I lost my Ubuntu install due to moving it to a drive that started to fail (I HAD NO SPACE). My 3rd oldest drive, the 250GB giant drive, had accumulated bad sectors and corrupted my Linux work, losing everything I worked on for Android. Thanks to continuous urging from www2287, I had uploaded the kernel source to github, but all the setup I had for Ubuntu, that was bandwidth I had to do all over again to revive my kernel development.
Unfortunately, regenerating the sectors could not stop corruption, as my Ubuntu was virtualized, and with it's file information changed, it could not be booted up.

I am glad to be rid of the drive, though. That was almost 3 months of my life on a standstill, all because of that drive. I had to uninstall my Company of Heroes installation because I was low on space, I had to uninstall my favorite game from this laptop that I'm borrowing because of WD. That drive left a trail of damage to my desk and my health. The affected during this ordeal with the WD drive:

-1x 4GB MiniSD. After trying to free up space, I was writing to it and it died.
-1x 60GB HDD. A company drive, from a dead laptop built in 2004, it died after plugging it in for the first time and writing 1 file to it.
-My 250GB drive suffers bad sectors after moving my Ubuntu install onto there due to my space predicament. Drive is now fluctuating between 5%-6% SMART health analysis according to HD Sentinel.
-The ultimate fail was my elaborate plan, which depended on me transferring the 750GB drive's data back into the freshly formatted 1TB and putting the 750 into the laptop replacing the 320GB currently in there (the same 320GB I bought last year that eventually saved my Sony vaio when it died), and giving the 320GB back to the loaner of the php3500,00 I borrowed for the 750GB drive.

The worst part of this ordeal concerning my health was my left eye, and the sad discovery I made regarding that...

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