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Oh Please help. Nightmare situation.

Discussion in 'Recording' started by EricWatkins, Sep 20, 2009.

  1. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Hey everyone. I hate to start another one of these threads but here goes.

    I am working on two major projects right now. One is a scoring project and the other is a recording project.

    I have a Sonica Labs Hush quad-core 2.66 with a main drive, a sample drive, and an audio drive respectively named C, D, and E. I am still running XP 32 professional.

    Today I was getting a couple glitches when playing back some RMX grooves and a simple bass line and I thought that that was weird as this machine has never shown any signs of stress during performance. Realizing that I hadnt cleared my internet cache in a while, I did the whole thing of clearing temp internet files, cookies, history, and all that from Firefox and used the disk clean-up utility in windows on C drive. After that, I rebooted, then opened Cubase 4 and went to the "E" drive where I store all my project files. So far so good. I click "E audio drive" , then "Cubase Projects", then it shows all of the folders that I keep of my projects. I click on the folder of the last project that I was working on and the pc doesnt respond for a moment. THen, a window pops up stating " The disk in drive "E" is not formatted. Do you want to format it now?" THen I say to myself "What the #*%^?!!!!. So I say no of course and then check other folders. All of the others seem to be there except the two last folders that contain the projects I have been working on recently. Now I feel like I want to puke. Worse yet, if I hold the cursor over those two folders without clicking, it says "Folder Empty". Is this a hard drive crash? WTF? I am about to freaking cry! Seriously, I just recorded this guy for about 12 hours over the past week and it all seems to be gone or corrupted or something. I used the Windows search function on the audio drive and it cant find the files. It finds the folder it was in but it doesnt find the files. All my other files are around. Any suggestions? I think I'm going to be sick.

  2. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    I'm guessing those files are gone. Clearing temp files didn't do this either. A fault while shutting down Cubase during the recording session might. I'm not sure what the disk utility did, but as a matter of default it wouldn't have deleted non-temp files. It is possible that the files were inadvertantly sent to a different drive so if you knew the date one of them was recorded, then you could use the search utility with the advanced options and search all your drives for that specific date. If that turns up nothing then the files are gone.
  3. blaumph2cool

    blaumph2cool Active Member

    Dude, what are you doing surfing the net on your production machine.

    You broke the cardinal rule of pro audio computers and that is [never ever under any circumstance (unless you are getting driver updates for your DAW etc) use your rig for internet surfing.]

    Theres just too much junk out there that can attack your system.

    That being said it does sound like an issue with the file not completing the write process which as John stated can be caused by improper shut down or unlugging a device before the process has completed.

    Just curious is the drive in question an External drive? is it one hard drive partitioned into several drives?

  4. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Yeah I know. THing is, I have so much software that I'm also constantly updating drivers, registering new products, etc. THen eventually you just slip into bad habits on your DAW like you do on any PC. THe drive is an internal SATA 500 GB. It is seperate from my OS drive and sample drive. It is a dedicated audio drive. THe only things that get stored to it are CUbase project files and the associated wavs/aifs.
  5. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    I know you said you know
    but I just had to echo what Chris said

    and make those back-ups

    click and drag that session folder to another drive
    write a CDrom or DVDrom at convenient points during the tracking process

    YOU JUST HAVE TO do these things
    it's not hard and it will save pain like this

    you say it is a " It is a dedicated audio drive. "
    " ... it says "Folder Empty". "

    get your hands on a data recovery package
    if you haven't written files TOO the disk then there may be audio data still in tact on the drive

    good luck
    I think you may need it
  6. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    I am currently in my 25th hour of the recovery software running with (according to the software) another 75 hours to go. Ugh....I'll let you know what I find out if this thing ever finishes.
  7. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Once you get past the denial phase and come to the logical conclusion that yes, you are indeed screwed, you can jot this to memory as lesson learned. Careful now, lessons can be costly.

    One major part of the lesson you need to understand is that even more important than recovering that data, you need to quickly implement the specifc things you are required to do to make sure that this NEVER happens agian.
  8. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    I have already made the preparations for the aftermath of this. I currently have 2 externals on standby. When this is all said and done, and I can start working on that PC again, I will save to them as well as to my audio drive every time I save a project. If anyone here has a better solution or any suggestions at all that are relatively simple to implement, I'd love to hear about it.
  9. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    I'd also like to comment on how much I love the little jabs like, "Once you get past the denial phase and come to the logical conclusion that yes, you are indeed screwed". Really constructive and helpful in a situation that is about as stressful as a work-related situation gets. Please post something in the future that can be helped with the pointy end of a stick. Much appreciated. :wink:
  10. Kev

    Kev Well-Known Member

    sorry Eric

    I guess people could see that it was likely you had fallen into the void and there was no point in giving false hope.

    Did that recovery software software get to it's end ?
    and was anything recovered ?

    we do feel the pain and there will be another victim in the future, it is the way of computers.
  11. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Software is at the halfway point now. It is saying that it has found 11949 files but I wont know if any of them are what I'm looking for until it's done. Meanwhile, I reloaded Cubase 4 on my old P4 along with Stylus, Kontakt, Albino, and GPO. I have 8 small scoring projects to finish tonight out of 11. I have till 8am to finish them. Thank goodness for the old standby PC. I'll definitely post the results when this is all over. Right now it's saying about 50 hours left.
  12. AudioGaff

    AudioGaff Well-Known Member

    Eric, I'm not here to comfort you or wipe your nose. I don't have to give you helpful advice or tell you things you want to hear. You take a jab from a pointy stick when you deserve to take a jab from a pointy stick. Better thicken up that hide of yours if you want to survive in this business.

    There is no valid advice to give someone that is grasping for straws in desperation when the root cause was the fact that you were not properly prepared to start with. This was bound to happen to you sooner or later. I hope you learn something from the experience. I hope other others can learn from it as well.

    I wish you luck.
  13. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Sigh..........I wasn't looking to be coddled or comforted. I didn't ask for that. I found myself in a bad situation that I admittedly got myself into. I wasn't looking to scape any responsibility for what had happened. I was looking for help. I'm sure that you are much more mighty and wise than I when it comes to recording and I am sure that you don't ever have any problems with your process that ever stem from your own lack of responsibility, knowledge, or otherwise. Must be nice.

    Of course, you don't know me or who I am but I can tell you a few things. For one, I am always the first to beat myself up when I do something wrong so, although it might not have occurred to you, I had already given myself a nice dose of what you were delivering. For two, I have been a member here for quite a while. I have things to contribute as well as to learn and I have contributed, in a respectful manner, when I felt it was appropriate and helpful. Three, I'm a nice guy. I run two businesses and give away a lot of my time and resources from both to help out friends, family, and sometimes, just someone who could use a little break.

    When I do walk into someones house who's furnace isn't working on the coldest day of the year, I don't chastise them because they should have changed their filter earlier or they didn't take care of a squeaky belt or something. I fix it, with a smile, and if they're really down on their luck, walk away without writing an invoice. If someone walks in the studio and breaks an old string, I don't make them feel like an ass about that either. It's just not my job. Their punishment is the clock that's still running. It's self-fulfilling you see. They don't need me to harp on their ass because they already know that they messed up.

    Now I am paying the price for my mistake. Even if I do recover the data, it will have taken days to do and a lot of unnecessary work. That is the real lesson learner here. Not your snide remarks or thoughtless comments.

    What bothers me the most is that, were the situation reversed, and you were on my end, you would be treated far better than you treated me. I'm not saying that I was treated horribly or anything like that, but it's just that you are basically coming off like an asshole when you really don't need to.

    Life is too short. There are lessons to be learned out there but most of them don't need to be delivered in a scathing tone. Lighten up and treat other people the way you wish to be treated. Reach out to help others as much as you can. Especially in this day and age where most of us sit miles apart, distantly connected by the internet. We need to feel more connected as a society anyway and tones like this do nothing to help.
  14. JoeH

    JoeH Well-Known Member

    Ok, ahem.....assuming we can't "hear" the tone and inflection of each comment and all the possible ways they can be taken (and misconstrued, perhaps), shall we move on?

    Let me add my .02 worth regarding data loss, and recovery (as such). Maybe it will help next time.

    It won't help your current situation, but do know that many have been in your spot before. I was, several times, always learning the hard way.

    The first was a long time ago, and it was "only" a completely lost day of musical scoring of MIDI files to floppy. Poof! All gone, with one bad "write" episode while using Cakewalk. To this day, I know I did nothing wrong per se; it just crashed in the middle of writing back to the floppy. (Nowadays, I create templates and timed backups, constantly saving as I go, esp with EDLs and so on.)

    More recently, in 07, right after I moved to my new digs, I accidently dropped an external hard drive the equivalent of less than 2 feet (from the top of the computer case - sitting on the floor) to a concerte floor. The drive had almost a week of edited video clips. (We'd imported days worth of stuff; over 300 gigs worth) and had a client in for three or four days of sitting there with us, making editing choices on the fly, etc. etc.

    To my horror, the drive made serious noises (and beeps!) when starting up, and of course could not be read. In a total panic, I ran to the nearest data retrieval company 30 miles away, who charged me $1500 UP FRONT - win, lose or draw - to accept my drive, ship it CA, take it apart in a clean room, and get what they could get from it. No guarantees, and no promises.

    In the end, they happily reported that they saved almost 80 gigs worth of stuff from the drive. Which turned out to be utterly useless anyway: God knows what they were thinking.....it was hundreds and hundreds of JPG and BMP images (probably busted up pieces of AVI files), wav files here and there (which were just NOISE when played), and mostly Gibberish. No refunds, either. They did THEIR job, as far as they were concerned.

    We had to fess up to the client - who was wondering what the heck was taking so long - reimport the video clips, and then ask him (beg is more like it) to come back and redo the editing with us. (Fortunately, we didn't need to do it ALL, some we re-did from memory). Of course, we GAVE THEM the time free, and completed the project Gratis for such a screw up. I had to pay my assistant as well for his time, so overall, I lost about $5-6k in the process. Not pretty, but I learned....oh BOY did I learn.

    These days, there are always two HD copies of everything that is still "in progress". As soon as I bring back a live recording, (recorded to CDr, SD chip, and mulitrack HD), it gets copied to the main drives, and the original is now re-labelled as the "Backup" version. I keep two copies of everything until the final CD is created and given to the client. Even then, I put another two copies of the mixes away - one on the shelves, and on for the warehouse/archives off-site. Once we've finally signed off, or gone on to print copies, only then we finally free up the drive space and remove the "Backup" copy.

    I know this probably doesn't make you feel any better, but some of us DO feel you pain - from personal experience - and sometimes that not-so-gentle ribbing is just borne of shared anquish.

    All that said, I am VERY curious as to what results you get from that data recovery software. If it's any consolation, you too may become an expert on this sort of thing. Hopefully, you can help some of the rest of us someday, should this yield any results after all those hours of disc-repair.

    Hoping for the best for you. :cool:
  15. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Thanks Joe,

    Although the software currently says 23+ hours left, I assume that it is actually less as the time seems to be going down faster and faster as it goes. IE, I think it said 28 hours left about 3 hours ago. I am hoping that by late tonight I will be able to start sifting through the rubble and see what can be reclaimed. I will most certainly report what my results are.

    As I mentioned before, I can view and access about 98% of what is on the drive. Oddly, it's just the stuff that I had saved in the past week or so that is really giving me a hard time. Thanks.
  16. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    If it were me, I'd still take a go at searching all of my other hard drives for it. All it takes is the destination folder to be changed once to misplace stuff. Good luck on the recovery software as well. I've had mixed results with it.
  17. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Ok, I wish I had more to tell you at the moment but here is what I know.

    The software did indeed locate all of the missing Cubase files and the missing wavs. Unfortunately, at the moment, I am stuck because this was a demo of the software which requires purchase in order to actually relocate the files to a safe place. I am actually having a hard time right now due to a credit card glitch, in actually purchasing the software. Seems like a BS technicality at this point but it's holding me up none-the-less. I will let everyone know what the end result is when I get it purchased.
  18. TheJackAttack

    TheJackAttack Distinguished Member

    Save the sector numbers of where your files are because you are going to have to run the program again when you finally do get the licensed version. With the sectors in hand you can narrow that search parameter immensely which will lessen your wait/frustration time.
  19. EricWatkins

    EricWatkins Active Member

    Actually, it gives instructions on how to save the log file which is generated by the demo. Once the purchased version is on the pc, you just load the log file into it and it brings them back up. Sounds good anyway right? Lol
  20. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    I hope this is not too late. I was watching tech tv last night and someone was dealing with a similar issue. It seems that the partition table on his mbr was corrupted(rendering the secondary hard drive unreadable as according to the partition table the drive did not exist) and fixing or rewriting that resolved the issue. The other thing was that this seemed to be a recurring problem which suggests to me that it may have been a problematic sector on the drive or the drive was failing altogether.

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