I spoke to Iomega on Friday, and they agreed the 1TB external Hard Drive I got last April was still under warrantee (and I didn't even have to fax them a receipt). They said the problem was probably in the power cord and would send one (and a USB connection, Just In Case) on Monday. It usually takes 3-5 days, they claimed.
It arrived Tuesday.
Somewhat to my surprise, the new power cord helped. Either that, or turning it off for three days. Whatever. The drive was still unusable, but at least Tech Tools was able to see it and I could try to Restore files. I did so.
The drive was a back up, and a repository of iTunes. My long-term goal was to put all my CDs into iTunes (in aiff). Since I have very few songs where the originals are mp3s, and fewer of them are only in iTunes, I didn't lose much, except time. It would have been annoyingly difficult to reload the CDs and recreate the playlists. Some large percentage of my collection is CDs that aren't on CDDB and I had to enter the information by hand. Not bad when doing so one at a time. Doing so all at once is problematic.
And then I remembered the real loss: Back in September, I visited Berkeley for a memorial to my aunt. I did several interviews talking about her. The three most important: I got a great remembrance from her normally terse second husband Steve. Another from her sister (my mother) talking about them growing up. And another from her first husband Arthur. All my podcasts are backed up, but the unused voice memos (interviews) were still only in iTunes.
The first thing I did was Restore those three sound files. It took several hours, but it worked. *whew* and *whew* again.
And then noticed that the dead hard drive had come to life, zombie style. It appeared in the Finder, but as Read Only. Fine, I could live with that. However, I had no place to put iTunes or the Time Machine backup files. There was a reason I needed a terabyte HD. I simply didn't have space on the rest of my system for either set of files.
I called Iomega. They were sorry the new power supply didn't fix the drive. They would send a new one plus a mailer for the old one, for only the cost of the mailer. Okay fine, $25 for a replacement. As long as I could rescue the data.
Then the drive disappeared from the Finder and was unavailable from other tools. I turned it off.
The next day, the new 1.5TB LaCie arrived. To my chagrin, I realized I don't have an 800 FW connection to spare (only one comes with the G5, and it's used for the monitor). I didn't want to use the USB 2.0, so I reluctantly plugged it in as a FW 400. I may get a FW 800 card, but it's not a priority.
The LaCie worked fine out of the box. Quiet, and passed a Disk Utility verification.
I turned on the broken HD with trepidation. As with the previous day, it was seen by the utilities but not by the finder. I proceeded to try to Restore iTunes. Somewhat as expected, this took all day and didn't save much by the time the drive appeared on the desktop. I quickly copied the iTunes folder, all 136.52 GB, onto the new drive, which took nearly three hours. *whew*
Then, for some reason, the Time Machine files don't want to be copied. (An unexpected error has occurred, Error code -1426) I don't know if this is a limitation on Time Machine or what. On the other hand, I'm not hugely worried about losing old backups as long as I have a current one. It took several hours for a new initial Time Machine backup, but finally it's working. Apparently, a backup takes more than an hour for the hourly backups, so I only have the one, but I can live with that. The backups back to May (when I upgraded to Leopard) are probably gone. Annoying but not more than that, I hope. A problem to worry about later.
When the replacement Iomega arrives, I'm going to make one last stab at getting the old Time Machine files off, then erase the data (If I can) and send it back.
In the meantime: Marscon. I now have Thursday and part of Friday to make a Marscon CD Exchange CD. I have too many songs that sort of fit in dreamshark's theme of "Divine Madness". Love makes you crazy! Psychotic people are murderers! Madness is the proper reaction to an insane world! Ah well. At the moment, it's called Outside the Box and starts with "21st Century Schizoid Man" by King Crimson and ends on a high note, "I Can See Clearly Now" by Johnny Nash. That may change.