Zen And the Art of Recovering From a Hard Drive Crash

Last Monday my computer suddenly crashed. I rebooted and got a famous Blue Screen saying: UNMOUNTABLE_BOOT_DEVICE.

I tried to reboot. Still nothing. I tried to recovery console, safe boot, boot CD…. nothing helped.

Note: this was the hard drive where I had stored all my game development data, university course information, hobby info, writings – basically everything imaginable within last 5 years. And no, I didn’t have a backup copy.

Weird thing was that I did not worry. I was pretty amazed myself. I guess I just thought: Yes, I could worry about the situation – but in the end: what would that change? If the data was lost… then worrying would not help – if data wasn’t lost… then worrying would have been pointless. I decided to see what would happen.

The next day I bought a new hard drive and managed to fix the problem with disk check and luckily all data was there. I guess the zen philosophy can help you to relax… but I still suggest taking back-ups in frequent basis. Now I know I will.

Juuso Hietalahti


  1. I’m happy Linux user since over a year, and I meant Linux version of fdisk ;) With MS version of fdisk it won’t be possible to recover that ;J

  2. My friend once was trying to install Gentoo Linux using their new graphical installer. The stuff were buggy, so at the installation process something went wrong and the installer printed out a lot of error messages about partition table. After that all partitions dissapeared :P My friend got into panic and she start crying about her precious data.
    So I’ve told her to calm down and show me what was happened. Nex I’ve wrote down all that drive geometry informations printed out by the installer before it dies, and calculate the proper sizes. I’ve asked her if it’s resembling her old partition set before installer actions and she confirmed, so I’ve just started fdisk and typed in all that geometry informations and restore all her partitions one by one. All data were back into their places again :)
    Conclusion: It’s always good to chill out and analyze the situation instead of getting into panic, because fear may cover from you a solution of the problem ;)

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