The day the genealogy died

Truth be known, this blog was supposed to happen over 18 months ago. Oops.

Everybody knows to back-up their data via several different methods and with over 1GB worth of files from 25 years of genealogy research, I had a lot to lose. I wasn’t concerned when the HD on my old desktop got closer to failing because I had everything on an old but trusty external HD, and had just created a Dropbox account. I’d also started uploading files to my website.

So what happened?

My desktop became so slow that I moved all files solely to my external HD, in preparation for uploading them to Dropbox. That was Sunday.

On Wednesday evening when I went to back-up to Dropbox, my external HD was not responding. So I Googled the symptoms and my heart immediately sank.

I did have my GEDCOMs on my website but everything on my desktop and external HD were completely gone. At least at that point.

I took a deep breath and rationalized that if law enforcement can pull deleted or damaged data off drives, then somebody out there could get my files back. After quite a bit of searching including asking the IT department at work, I found that most businesses charged $1,200 with no refunds. They all had terrible online reviews and offered little promise of getting my data back.

I held out and eventually stumbled across LowCostRecovery. I was confident LowCost could help based largely on a tech forum where posters knew the owner and recommended him.

LowCostRecovery is a very small operation. It did take them several months to find a Western Digital slave unit that was a good match to get my data back, but they did it for well under $600 including the cost of the 1TB external HD that my data came back on.

End result? They said there were 4 files that were not recovered and my guess is they were corrupted originally anyway. A tough $600 lesson to learn, but I was relieved to get 99.9999% back.

Since then I’ve been happily sorting files and entering them in to my database, finally getting to the point that I can work on blogging.


About Dennis Lohr

A Wisconsin boy now living and working in Pennsylvania, I was blessed to be raised in a German-speaking home to aid in my research.
This entry was posted in Genealogy and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to The day the genealogy died

  1. chmjr2 says:

    Best of luck and look forward to reading your blog.

  2. DSUpshaw says:

    Congratulations on your new blog. I am looking for to reading it.

  3. Welcome to Geneabloggers!

  4. Jana Last says:


    Welcome to GeneaBloggers!

    I want to let you know that your blog is listed in today’s Fab Finds post at

    Have a great weekend!

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