3 Questions about Data

Three questions in this post. All about data and it’s loss. The first question concerns a faulty Mac hard drive, the second an overwritten video tape, and finally a question about converting and reading data in an old format.

fixing a hard drive problemQuestion: I have a 1tb WD My Passport for Mac ext hd, last week out of nowhere it stopped showing up on my laptop (I always eject before unplugging). Went to Apple store and they said it might be a b tree failure?! It has lots of photos in it. Can they be recovered?

Answer: The b-tree is the system Mac’s use to store data on storage devices like hard drives. From experience, it’s very unlikely to be a problem with the b-tree, as the hard drive would still show up on your laptop. More likely is a hard drive problem of some kind. Is the hard drive making any different noises at all? You can find a good explanation of hard drive problems, including their symptoms in this hard drive diagnosis walkthru – http://data-recovery-tips.co.uk/hard-drive-diagnosis-walk-thru/.

Question: I have a video tape containing data that was accidentally overwritten. The video was at the beginning of the tape and the duration was around 30 minutes. When I re-wind the tape to the beginning I can see the very start of the overwritten video for a fraction of a second before it cuts to what overwrote it.

Answer: Oh dear, when data is written to video tape it entirely overwrites what was written underneath it. There is no chance of recovering this data. I is gone. I found this useful link explaining how camcorders work here http://www.explainthatstuff.com/camcorders.html.

Question: Do you have the ability to unload and export into either ASCII or EBCDIC, data provided in either AS400 SAV.OBJ or SAV.Lib format contained on a LTO5 tape? if so what is your pricing model and typical lead times and where does the conversion process reside as the data would need to stay within the EU.

Answer: EBCDIC code? Good grief, I haven’t heard that word for about 20 years, when it was an alternative to ASCII, I think ICL mainframes used to use it. LTO5 tapes are a little more recent and I know where to get those converted but I don’t know whether they support AS400 or EBCDIC formats.

More next time! Keep your questions coming!