My most common failures are 1) Data corruption and 2) a hardware failure.
Item 1 is dealt with by using the backup copies. Item 2 has some good recovery methods as we replace either the case or the drive. I rarely have to replace both parts.
If there is no backup you send it off to a place like www.drivesavers.com
I have an old lacie external hard drive - 160GB FireWire Drive T6552LL/A - after months of no use, I plugged it in and it just won't open. I tried to plug it into a new mac mini and also some sort of PC at school. In both cases, the hard drive showed up, I could check the info (and found out it was half full), but could not see any files. In some instances the folder would open and just freeze my computer.
These are newer computers than I had used with the hard drive in the past. Am I missing something that I need to do to make it compatible?
Any advice would be much appreciated, thank you.