Recently, I found myself in the situation of having to undergo a large-scale recovery operation on a 15-year-old hard drive with a total runtime of nearly 70,000 hours. The drive had long suffered from numerous defective sectors and reading errors.
The specific hard drive model in question was the SAMSUNG HD501LJ, a contemporary model widely used in systems of that time. It was later replaced by 750GB and 1TB models in the following years before the hard drive division of SAMSUNG was partially acquired by Seagate in 2011.
The task at hand was not an easy one, as it involved:
- Safeguarding and reading as many data as possible.
- Making existing data available on the file systems.
- Locating and making available previously deleted data from the distant past.
- If feasible, writing the data onto a new storage medium of equal or greater size to restore the original system.