Wednesday, May 30, 2018

No Tears

It has been a while since I wrote a proper blog post like this.
It was an emotional roller coaster ride for me for the past 2 months (April & May).

I went to Korea for a week with my mum and my sister. It was the best vacation ever in the most perfect place. We ate everything we wanted to, bought everything, went everywhere, took thousands of photos, went to various places to see cherry blossoms bloom.

Nothing could have gone wrong, but I was so wrong.

On the very last day of the trip, my new Seagate hard disk went dead. No light, no nothing. It was basically undetectable with photos from the first 6 days of the trip in there. I did not panic at that point of time yet as I thought it will be fine once I'm home and try again.

We came back to Penang and it doesn't turn on. It kept forcing me to initialize it which is to reformat it. I did a quick google search and was shocked by all the results. I downloaded so many recovery programs but none worked. I cried throughout the night and did not manage to sleep at all. The following day I had to go back to Singapore from Penang. At the airport, I called Seagate support and they told me that my drive is entitled for one time rescue service. It was a small tiny string of hope which I held on to despite all the anxiousness and pain.

On the same day once I reached Singapore I handed my 2 week old drive over and prayed for the best.
Fast forward one month later, they called and said sorry it was not recoverable due to severe firmware damage. I was furious. I was pissed. I asked them why am I penalized for a fault that is not mine. They said please back up various copies in future.

This Seagate drive was the Ultra Slim Plus version which I bought for this trip and to backup everything from my Western Digital drive. And because my bad luck doesn't end there, my WD drive was dead too due to old age. I lost not just the Korea photos but all the photos from 2011 - 2015.

I know not everyone cares about old photos but to me photos are the most precious thing ever. And I can only blame myself for not being more cautious. For being too trusting of hard disks because nothing ever happen to my drives. I bawled the night they told me and took my WD to a recovery center the next day to be told I need to pay 1600 SGD to recover the WD. And for the Seagate, likely 1900 SGD but will need to wait for physical assessment (the drive was on the way back from Seagate lab).

I then came back to Penang for a week, which is where I am now, writing this post.

At this point, I started to accept that the Korea photos are gone and that's it. I will just have to move on and visit Korea again with hopes of recreating memories. To be honest, it still pains me to think about it because we did spend a lot of time and effort taking photos.

I started to download everything from my google photos which consists of photos dated from 2011-2015. I'm grateful that I blogged quite religiously back then during 2011-2013. But cut down a lot during 2014 and 2015. And the part where I don't know if I should cry or laugh is that I never posted a single photo of me and my boyfriend anywhere on FB, Instagram or my blog.
We lost the photos from early dating days apart from those that I kept on my phone. lol.

My boyfriend supported me throughout this entire crazy ride and stated that we would rather use the recovery money to go to Korea again, get a GoPro, get more lens, take more photos. I did calm down.

After completing whatever recovery possible from PC and SD card, I got back some Korea photos from last 2 days, but only some due to partially overwritten by photos taken after. If only we knew then...
It was just a series of unfortunate events that my sister and I did not backup or copy anything. I was too tired everyday to even think about the possibility of something going wrong. Also considering that the Seagate drive is new.

The moral of the story is:

1. Never ever buy Seagate. Even if it is sold to you at 90% off (heck even if it's free), I will never use them anymore. I have reason to believe they did not put in all effort to recover my drive.
If you cannot even solve your own firmware issue, who can?
Couple of recovery services were surprised that they cannot solve it because there wasn't any physical damage to the drive. And with patience they should be able to fix the firmware. The stupidest of it all is that this particular model is encrypted so it's not easy to fix the firmware. I asked them to pay for the reimbursement for me to get third party to recovery it but they refused.

Also, I found that Seagate has decided to cut cost or make their drives light and slim that the drive is only wrapped with aluminium foil. No metal cage like WD protecting their drive. How ridiculous is that?

My sister's seagate also died after a year. They sent me a replacement new drive which I'm so scared to use because every time I see it, I expect it to fail.
After this incident, many people told me that the failure rate of Seagate is higher than WD. So lesson learned guys, they suck.

2. Back up everything everywhere. Goes without saying. And develop hard copy photos. Use cloud, use couple of HDD. (I got a new Western Digital, hope it lasts)

3. Live Love Laugh. If there is anything I learn from this, is that we should live in the moment. During my crazy panic attack, I realize that I cannot recall what I did in Korea and had to force myself to think. I always reminisce my trips based on the photos I take and it became a habit.
Maybe, just maybe I should have paid more attention to the surroundings, the feelings, everything at that point of time instead of focusing on taking photos and creating beautiful Instagram feeds.
I guess there has to be a right balance between living in the present and taking photos for the future.

I think I should post on my blog more. Because if not because of this blog, I would have lost more than the Korea photos.

I have been thinking a lot about my life recently and how I want to live it. Hopefully, I will come back to write more.

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