My 500GB WD My Book just failed.
And of course, it was the drive I was using to consolidate my Media before burning it off on DVD, which I have been lazy about for the past few months.
I had the USB connection on it die a few times while streaming some shows to my PS3 and I didn't think anything of it. Then today I wanted to put together a couple new driving cds when it disconnected again. Load the diagnostic and the SMART bad sector count failed. Friggin' great. Now it disconnects every few minutes and has started giving me CRC errors. YAY! I'm gonna let the drive cool down a little and then try to pass some more stuff over to my new 500GB drive, but I really really would rather be playing Disgaea 3 right now. In fact... screw this...
Definitely going to include some RAID setup in my next build. Grrrrr!
So after sitting on the broken drive for a week and doing the math on how much time/effort would be needed to recover my stuff I crossed my fingers and purchased a license for R-Studio. After a few disappointing runs and some scary moments of the drive failing to load ANYTHING I found the magic combination of cooling, angle, and R-Studio settings and managed to recover 280 Gigabytes of my stuff including 100% of my music library. Hoo-Freaking-ray! Thanks for the recommendations!