The day I returned from my 3-week trip in the Richtersveld, I was too quick to remove all the original image files (.dng) from the internal drive of my laptop to an external drive. After I thought I had an automated backup of all the files newly copied to my external drive to another backup drive, I removed all the files from my laptop's internal drive, because I was in need of space. I was also comfortable to do so because I still had the USB drive I carry with me during my travels, on which I had a backup of all the original images anyway.
A few days later, I was browsing through the images in LightRoom 3 and was surprised that a couple of files were never loading the hires image and totally crashing the Finder (OS-X Leopard). The problem was that some of the original dng files were corrupted and causing the Finder and even the Terminal to freeze. The only way out being a hard shutdown!
Meanwhile the travel backup drive had to be used for installing a test OS with Snow Leopard to be ready to deploy the new OS in all the Macs in the office. So it was too late when I realized that I did not had an original backup anymore and that the second backup was incomplete!
However the real problem was to find these corrupted files, as I came back with around 1500 images plus 6500 time-lapse images! It simply took me two full days!
Nothing recommended on the net was really working. The only working procedure was to copy files across to another drive until there was a freeze. Then rebooting and finding which file was corrupted. Then trying to drag the corrupted file to the trash, which did not always work! And again moving to the next series of files and so on. I found 27 corrupted images amongst the 1500 images, and only 3 amongst the 6500 time-lapse images. Fortunately none of these images were critically important... as all I could do was to trash them.
The lesson... always check the consistency of the first backup! Or better: keep or make a backup from the very original files... and that is what I will definitely do systematically in the future!
The frustration... a few days later I ordered a new 2 Tb drive (because I needed more and more space) and reported the incident to my supplier who asked me to bring in the drive with the corrupted files. As soon as I showed them the 1 Tb Seagate, they immediately confirmed that that model was having a lot of problems and that there was a recall on them... so I got a new drive.