We happened to drop one day last week, and didn't notice that we couldn't read the disk because we were busy playing
Diablo III: Reaper Of Souls it wasn't plugged into our laptop. This particular hard drive contains our iTunes media, and over the years (gosh, eight and a half years now!) we've not only piled on loads of music, but also videos, podcasts and apps!
Overall we figure we've about 500 gigs of iTunes stuff now stuck in an external hard drive that we cannot read.
That's 500 gigs of combined music and videos that we have not only looked for cover art, but also loads of other details such as the year said media was released, genre, lyrics and goodness knows what other info we put in when we were in a rather OCD mood.
So we've sent the hard drive to a shop to see if they can access the files or, better yet, work their magic and make the hard drive readable again. If the hard drive works then we can immediately get iTunes to work instantly with little effort, otherwise we'll get them to copy all the files out and we'll have to (shudder) re-associate all the files from iTunes.
If not, well, we're not sure yet if we'd rather just delete all our files from iTunes and start from scratch, or really try and get the store to retrieve as many of our files they can. After all, we still have our physical CDs (for some of the music), and thankfully we have a pretty decent internet connection to redownload everything else again from iTunes.
Still, just thinking of the amount of work awaiting us...fingers crossed!