Theory confirmed

So I just walked into the Tower of Babil (in Final Fantasy IV for DS — keep up with me, here) and the very first encounter was ludicrously overwhelming: Three fire critters who launched a triple salvo of powerful, all-effect fire attacks. I dragged my sad self away with most of the party dead and Cottaged everyone back to life. Subsequent forays have of course failed to live up to this initial welcoming committee — just as in every other dungeon I’ve slogged through. I will be curious to hear other people’s experiences with this game, so I can determine if this is a deliberate part of the game’s design or just some bizarre fluke present only in my review copy.

Horrible reality update: My girlfriend was selected as one of six graduating students at her school whose work has been strong enough to merit a professional post-grad portfolio review, which generally means great things. Lucrative contracts with photo agencies, for example. For a second there I thought maybe things were going to turn around… but then as she was printing her work at the school lab yesterday, one of her classmates managed to yank her hard drive by the power cord, flinging it off the desk onto the floor. This of course completely destroyed the drive. The drive which contained her entire semester’s work (and then some), which naturally she hasn’t had time to back up in all the 18-hour work days leading up to finals. Even if the data ends up being recoverable, I doubt it’ll be restored soon enough for her review session… and the process will cost a ridiculous amount of money, which of course we (read: I) don’t have in the wake of our past few life disasters.

I’ve never experienced such a persistent, relentless string of modest good news being followed by infinitely worse turns of events as in the past few months. At this point I’m about one setback away from launching a serious research effort into the best-tasting brand of rat poison. I figure if I’m going to give up, I might as well enjoy a tasty demise. Mmmm, poi-son-licious.

32 thoughts on “Theory confirmed

  1. Petchow Rat poison:

    Story: 3. Not much story to speak of. Mr. Petchow discovered the poison through chemical research.
    Graphics: 2. Again, not much to speak of. Just a picture of Old Shep on the front of the bag.
    Sound: 8. Their jingle is catchy.
    Gameplay: 7. It’s simple, but addictive. Just swallow the poison then die. Hard to do wrong, but not standout either.
    Overall (not an average): 7.5. If you’ve liked other rat poisons, give this one a shot, otherwise, pass.

  2. This is one of the most depressing posts I’ve read in ages… big love. That’s a brutal story.
    Hope you can figure something out.

  3. Holy crap, that sounds brutal. Maybe you can take out a loan and get the friend to pay part of a rush data recovery, and then earn the money back in spades with your GF’s new job.

  4. They recovered our drives after a massive fire at work a long time ago. Have someone look at it, seriously.

  5. Please tell me the careless drive-flinger is currently recovering in the hospital.

  6. I’d say this is another reason to always always make time to do backups… but my work backups are 2 months old…

    I’m assuming the school doesn’t have any record/copies of her work? things she’s turned in? stuff she’s shared with other students in team projects?

    sad times :/

  7. For future reference, telling people “Shoulda made a backup!” is the single most obnoxious thing you can do in the wake of a horrible data crash.

  8. hay! Rat poison? Didn’t Dolly Parton try to kill Dabney Coleman with rat poison in 9-to-5? What is your obsession with Dabney Coleman??

  9. The PA guys had pretty good luck with some data recovery company when Gabe ran into some trouble. Might want to drop them a line to get an idea what to expect.

  10. Oh man, I knew it. The universe really does revolve around Dabney Coleman.

    Estimates on data recovery run around $1500 for the level of damage we’re talking here, but fortunately she knows a guy who’s basically a tech genius. So maybe that’s something good.

  11. Because ‘You have excellent photos that have just been erased thanks to an uncaring, unfeeling world’ is too depressing:

    “Babil”? My copy of FFIV, the GBA version, calls it the Tower of Babel.

  12. Wow, I really hope that works out. I honestly can’t think of something more soul-crushing that doesn’t involve death. At least it’s recoverable, even if it is costly.

  13. does the drive still power on?
    if so Spinrite may do the trick.
    I’ve used it on drives that seemed dead and it did wonders.

    good luck

  14. I don’t think there’s anything I can say here but “Augh D:” It makes me want to wrap my external hard drive in cushioning AND nail it to whatever surface it’s on at a given time. I think any attempt to salvage the hard drive should be made, it’ll be worth it!

    “Back ups”… unfortunately, not everything can be safe everywhere anyway… things can happen to hard copies! My sister used some old family photos in a photography project for school, and someone broke into her car, and in addition to taking the usual stuff you’d think a robber would take, they took the school project and the originals of the family photos. What kind of robber takes family photos that aren’t even worth anything?

  15. Salvage what you can of the hard copies of her work so at least she can have a tentative meeting with the higher-ups.

    If the interview is that important, she needs to go into it with as much of her material as she can and you should look into the best data recovery group that money can buy if her friend cannot do the job.

    Also, like kungfukid said, put back the Paypal button. I would gladly pay a little bit to help with the recovery efforts and call it a subscription fee.

    Best of luck, m’man.

  16. If I’ve learned one thing this quarter, it’s to back up my stuff. I lost a complete preview that took me over a week to write, two columns, and a news story that I had in the works when my MacBook’s drive decided to suddenly call it quits. While it wasn’t my livelihood at stake, I can say that I know your pain in the slightest.

    Try some of the recovery software suggested in this thread, and then let me know if it doesn’t work for you. I’ve got stuff off of drives before and I can try and ask around for good programs that might be do the trick. It’s worth the time to try.

  17. Parish, all I can say is that you need to start going to church.

    Nothing this bad happens so consistently without some devine intervention.

    God doesn’t like you….

  18. My hunch is that it’s more the drive mechanism that’s a goner, and not the discs themselves. Salvage that shit.

  19. Re: Merus

    It’s supposed to be Babil or Bab-Il (the Japanese is Babuiru), although it’s clearly a reference to Babel (which would be Baberu).

  20. I think with the recovery thing, time is your primary concern. There’s a reason that in the military they resort to extreme measures for data deletion, like shooting the hard drive with a full clip from an M16, or smashing it with a sledgehammer and tossing it overboard in a weighted bag. It’s easy to break the read head on a hard drive but the data itself is damnably tenacious.

  21. Zen and Mark are spot-on I think. I really hope your data can get recovered in time.

  22. I have nothing to add but good wishes. Best of luck to you and your girl. Things are hard now but they will get better.

  23. Parish, I’m confident good things will come your way soon, just don’t give up. Rise above the crap.

  24. Had something similar happen to me with a laptop hard drive. It was definitely toast (how’s that for your worst case scenario?). I had an external HD backup but I still lost 4+ months of data. If she does all her work electronically, chances are she submits it electronically or on hard media (CDs, DVRs and all that), or via file transfers. If so, there might be copies out there that she can gather. So while you wait to find out the verdict, she might want to think to herself whether any portable media she used to submit work is still around.

    I was able to recover most of my media by going through a bunch of CDs that were returned to me after projects were graded. I also managed to recover a pretty sizable iMovie that was a semester project by hitting up a professor who had a habit of retaining such projects for teaching purposes: once I explained what had happened, he helped out immediately.

    Her classmate should definitely pitch in to defray the cost. It’s not bad form to ask.

  25. Yes! Tell her to check gmail and other places for any electronically stored data! This saved my ass in many a time, and might get her a few things back to work with for a portfolio. It’s worth a shot!

  26. Just wanted to throw my hat into the “that sucks, wish I could help” pile. I’m going to massage my ego and assume that hearing this from me in particular will somehow make you feel better.

  27. Maybe I’m blind or something but where’s the paypal link? Seriously, this sucks for you both and I’d like to help even if it’s just a little. I’ve fried more than a few drives in my time and it’s too bad I’m not closer to lend a physical hand. I hope her friend comes through!!

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