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I didn't lose anything of course, but it has forced me to reconfigure my system a bit, which of course takes a bit of time, and I have to restore my VMWare environment from backup, to a different HD, while I shop for a replacement.
Nudge nudge, grab lots of coffee as you try and reminisce on your old HDD. But truthfully, you'll get over it. I once had the unfortunate mishap of clearing our whole tape archive after some smart ass switched the tapes, thus clearing over 100 GB of user info.
Actually, this was a sudden failure. Drive had been passing all SMART tests - I check periodically - and the system had been up for two months. The drive apparently quit several hours before I noticed it. It is the sudden failures that bite you, however I maintain a good backup procedure.
Drive reports "drive not ready" regardless of what you do with it. It was the drive that holds my VMWare virtual machines, so it didn't hurt me really; I just unplugged it, loaded a live CD, reloaded grub on the boot drive, changed a few pointers in fstab and menu.lst, and was back up. Then loaded the virtual machines backup onto another HD in the system that had the space and all is good.
Though - and this is a confession (shhhhh!) - about 13 months ago I dropped that drive on a concrete floor. At the time it was my system drive. It immediately sounded different and started reporting IO errors. So I ran spinrite on it and ordered a new drive. Moved my system to the new drive, ran spinrite on this one again, then let it sit in the box and idle for a month. Ran spinrite a third time, exercised it for about a day, got no new errors, said "it is probably OK", and move my VMWare stuff to it. So, I don't know if this failure is related or not, but given that this is the only SCSI drive I have had fail this decade I am suspicious. Oh well. Got another year out of it, and lost no data.
I have to ask, was it a Seagate or a Maxtor drive?
After the trouble I have had with these drives, I only use WD (Western Digital) now, and for good reason. My 12GB WD drive has been running 24/7 for years now, and sometimes under heavy load, no problems whatsoever.