It is a sad day here at The Other Side.
My hard drive died a couple weeks ago. Normally this is a cause for panic, but I didn't because having been doing this for a while I thought I had everything backed up. Well. I didn't.
I didn't lose any of my PDFs save for maybe the most recent ones I bought since May, but I can always go back to DriveThruRPG and re-download those. My current OSR/Old-School books were in the hands of editors, so they were saved.
I did though loose all my documents for my Ghosts of Albion adventures Blight, Obsession, Wilderness and Synchronicity. I have printout of Blight and Obsession, so that isn't too bad. And I lost all my personal emails from 2011-2012.
Figuring it was the circuit board (given the errors I was getting) I worked with a company that specialized in this brand of hard drive (Seagate Barracuda) called PCB Solution.
I worked with Kevin to find a new board for this drive and in truth my hopes were high, even if he felt (and he did tell all this upfront) that my drive might be further gone that I thought it was. Undaunted I picked up their repair kit and got it in a couple of days. It easy easy to do as long as you have no fear of cranking open your computer or drives. I got it in installed and slapped it into a new external drive enclosure and ... nothing.
I worked on a few other tricks I have picked over the years. Back in the day I ran the official usenet alt.sys.pc-clone.gatewat2000 FAQ, so I consider myself a bit smarter than the average bear in this respect. But if there is one thing I have learned, there is always someone smarter. And it will take someone smarter than me to fix this one.
Here is what I have learned (and should known already):
1. It doesn't matter how much you back up. Back up more.
2. Stop buying Seagate drives. Every single one has died on me and took much valued data with it.
So that is what I know.
I do want to publicly thank Kevin at PCB Solution. He really went above and beyond the call of duty to help me.