This week I was over at a pho­to stu­dio and one of their new long-term off-line stor­age dri­ves, a brand new West­ern Dig­i­tal 750 GB dri­ve in an exter­nal case, mas­sive­ly failed for no appar­ent rea­son. We didn’t have a lot of data on it yet, prob­a­bly only 100 gigs or so, but the thought of los­ing that dri­ve didn’t sit well with me. I imme­di­ate­ly pulled out DiskWar­rior and was informed that the dri­ve was too dam­aged (fsck claimed it was a “bad super block: wrong mag­ic num­ber”). Noth­ing I tried would get a result short of refor­mat­ting, which I didn’t want to do since as far as I knew, noth­ing wrong had actu­al­ly hap­pened. So I sent off a quick note to Alsoft ask­ing for advice. I was very sur­prised, and impressed, when I got note back from Marc telling me to IM him with some details and he’d try to help out! I got online and we tried a few dif­fer­ent approach­es through DW and the com­mand line and after about an hour we were able to make a full recov­ery of our pho­to data on that dri­ve! Amaz­ing. Alsoft went above and beyond this week and the stu­dio was most grate­ful. WD, on the oth­er hand, is now on my short list of dri­ve mak­ers to think hard about before pur­chas­ing. We’ll see how they han­dle the return/claim on this bad dri­ve. Huge thanks to Marc @ Alsoft and DiskWar­rior! Go buy your­self a copy if you don’t already have it!