When is a backup, not a backup?
Q I bought a LaCie D2 Quadra hard drive in 2007, for use with Time Machine. There have been no problems until a couple of weeks ago when the icon was suddenly not visible on my desktop. I’ve restarted the iMac, switched off the LaCie drive, unplugged it and restarted it, changing from FireWire to USB, trying it with another iMac – nothing. The drive doesn’t show up in Disk Utility. LaCie has offered to attempt a data recovery but it’s expensive. Do you know how I might retrieve some items from Time Machine which I can no longer find on the iMac? Harry Kessler A Does the front panel LED come on? This could be a fault with the USB enclosure, rather than the drive itself. As you’ve nothing to lose, I suggest you crack open the case, extract the bare drive and plug it into another USB 3.0 enclosure (under £20 on Amazon). There’s a 50:50 chance this will magically reunite you with your backup data. But if it doesn’t, I’m afraid the drive is junk. Time Machine should be for backups only. If it contains data you don’t have anywhere else, it’s an archive and you need a backup for Time Machine as well.
If you use your Time Machine disk to archive important data, you should keep a separate backup as well.