I’ve been using an ACOM FireWire external hard drive for about 2 years, and up until recently had been quite happy with it - fast for both reading and writing, and seemingly 100% reliable.
But then about a month ago I had a serious problem with my PC’s internal hard drive. No worries, sez I, that’s why I do backups. At this very moment, the ACOM unit decided to pack it in - each time I connected to it (over the course of several days, I tried 5 different PCs) it said “The disk is unformatted - would you like to format now?” Arrgh!
A call to ACOM was less than helpful. The tech I spoke to said I should kiss my data goodbye - his best guess was that someone had secretly got hold of my drive and unformatted it, wiping out everything. I said that the thing had been in my custody all the time, but this didn’t change his opinion. He said that there are outfits that do data recovery, but it tends to be very pricey and ACOM definitely couldn’t help.
I bought a new PC, thrashed with the old one and recovered most of my data (at the cost of a huge amount of time). I was tempted to drop the ACOM drive in the ocean, but hung onto it. Today, I decided to give it one last chance. And it worked perfectly. All data is now recovered.
This raises several questions:
- Is there any rational explanation for this chain of events?
- Is an external FireWire drive a reasonable way to do backup? What are some good alternatives?
- Are there manufacturers preferable to ACOM? (I have to believe almost anyone’s customer support is better - “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”)
- Having let me down badly, is there any future for my ACOM drive? Would a rational person trust it again?