Well, well. Hello again. For those curious about my ordeal, I put the drive in my PC just last night (May 11th). Before that, the HD had been sitting on my office desk while I was contemplating what to do about it.
After a friend of mine soldered new TVS diodes (two of them) on the drive, it was successfully revived (yeah!) and this allowed me to peruse through its deleted items using 8 different software. While doing all sorts of scans on it, the drive would fail simply because of the cheap wiring of the SATA adapter I'd use (four of them). I eventually settled for a device that encompassed both power and data connectors side-by-side on the converter box. Luckily enough, the spacing was right and made for a secure connection.
So that being said, I performed a deep analysis yesterday morning using Ontrack Easy Recovery 6.22 portable and this one gave me EXACTLY what I wanted: a perfect directory structure (with cryptic folder names but I can live with that). In the end, I was lucky enough to recuped absolutely every single file. The story gets very interesting when you consider how Windows deletes files and how I was able to patch everything up.
1. On the dreadful night of April 26th, when Windows asked that I confirmed my intention to delete such a large chunk, it started by deleting the oldest files of the topmost folder in my Jukebox directory structure. This folder was called 50s-60s Gold. In effect, it deleted 2000 files dated back to November of 2010. For some reason, I had performed a complete disk overhaul during that month and had imported all my music back onto the drive which reset Windows "Date Created" and "Date Modified" counters to that month.
2. When I realized what I was doing, I stopped and Windows suspended the deletion with 800 of the most recent files from that first folder accounted for in a hidden folder known as "LOSTFILES".
3. Many other folders (with all files accounted for) were visible in an area known as $RECYCLEBIN.
4. Some 8540 files remained visible on my hard drive since I had stopped before complete deletion could take place.
5. Recall that I have a backup dated September of 2010. This will allow me to pick the 2000 files I am missing from the 50s-60s Gold off of that backup !!! Yeah! So basically, the break in the "space-time continum" only spans several weeks between September and November 2010 for a single folder. Very little harm there.
Now where am I going with this? Someone here suggested that I should forget about recovered files because they may not be contiguous. True enough, once I had recovered, I randomnly clicked Yes - Long Distance Runaround and was treated with the middle of a latin salsa tune. WTF? Clicked a few more, and it turns out, some are corrupted, many aren't.
But at least, deletion was totally recursive, the "Date Modified" for each file is exactly as it was (Date Created of course was reset to the moment files were put back into the recovery directory). This means that while some files are DOA, I can account for all activities performed during november 2010 onward which is the best I could hope for.
I have since acquired two Hitachi 3 TB Touron externals. These little silent beauties should keep me going for a while until I figure out how to deal with the DOA files.
End of story (fiouf). I get out of this in relatively one piece but boy did I sweat over the prospect...
Going nowhere @ 220 ft