oh jeez, i nearly died. My external firewire drive, which contains not only all the masters from Dowsing Anemone, LLLLLibrary Loft, as well as pretty much my only copies of spoonion, put to bed with a shovel, all the website crap I'm working on, etc. BUT ALSO all the drum tracks and horn/violin/bass demos from the NEW album,.... would no longer mount.
Anyway, the drive sounded fine, so I determined that the problem was basically that the firewire ports on the drive died. I did a lot of searching online for a possible solution, and I couldn't find anything where anyone mentions what to do when you know your drive's data is fine but the freakin' ports just have burnt out.
Maybe this is something that's just really obvious to people, so no one feels the need to post messageboard topics or blogs about it. I dunno.
Anyway, for everyone who DOESN'T know (like myself), after a few days of freaking out, searching fruitlessly online,and getting absolutely zero helpful responses from the drive's manufacturer and every "drive repair" company I contacted, I finally came across an article where a guy's talking about upgrading the size of his drive within its enclosure. From this article, i was able to deduce that:
When you have an external drive, basically it's just a regular hard drive inside a special case (an enclosure), and it's the enclosure which has the firewire or USB ports, not the drive itself. So if your drive's firewire ports crap out, you can just take the enclosure off the drive, and install the drive either directly into your computer, or into a new enclosure. It's actually really simple, and if this happens to you, there's no need to panic.
It's just annoying that it was so impossible to find this simple bit of info online. Is this just something that everyone already knows? For pete's sake. If I were Stephen Colbert I would give a furious Wag of the Finger to DRIVE REPAIR/DATA RECOVERY COMPANIES, who did not need to quote me $750 - $2000 for data recovery when they simply could have told me about the basic principle of DRIVE ENCLOSURES and how easy they are to replace.
Anyway, that's why I'm posting this as a blog. In case anyone doesn't know about this basic property of external drives. So I have all my data back and everything is "fine" now. Whew!