I'm not posting this really looking for help, I've tried quite a bit and done some things to the drive so I'm aware that data recovery isn't really an option any more, and the drive is out of warranty so I'll just replace it. I just thought I'd share my story, get some input, and maybe point out something for other people to watch out for.
I recently finished 6 years on active duty with the Army (United States). I finished up at Fort Lewis, WA. I lived in an apartment off post with my wife and kid in Lakewood, WA. When I started my terminal leave I moved back to my home-town here in eastern Kentucky, just shy of 3,000 miles (4828 km) away. Movers took most of my large furniture; bookshelves, recliners, etc, and I sent my wife and kid home on a plane about a month before my leave started to get settled. I packed myself, a small dog, a cat, my electronics, guns (basically anything I didn't want to entrust to a 3rd party), enough clothes for a week and some emergency equipment into my Ford Explorer and drove the rest of my household goods home over the course of 4 days. When I left Lakewood, WA, my Western Digital 1 TB MyBook external hard drive functioned properly. The server was having issues with overheating because the thermal paste had worn out, but the external worked fine and contained a lot of backup data. I packed it in my laptop bag and stuck it in the back of the car with everything else. At some point in the ride, something must have happened to that hard drive because when I got home and plugged it in, the partition type was labeled as "Unknown". I put it on a shelf and figured I'd fix it once I got around to actually setting the server back up. Well my server is g2g again, and now that I've taken a serious look at the hard drive, it appears to be in pretty rough shape. 2 sectors marked as bad, failed the shortest self test Ubuntu would run, so the longer ones weren't even necessary. I've tried using testdisk to recover the partition but it keeps saying "write error" and for some reason guessed it as being NTFS when in fact it was EXT4. I figured I'd just reformat the whole drive as MBR, put a new partiton on it and try to use photorec to recover whatever data I could, but I can't even get the drive to format. The only magnetic devices I can think of other than the stereo speakers (normal, factory speakers) that it might have come close to is a bundle of 2 magnetic CB antenna bases that I had under the seat. I've already checked and the drive is no longer under warranty so I'll probably just replace it even though it's only 2-3 years old. I was under the impression that modern hard drives were shielded against small magnets like that though which is why I didn't sweat it, so my question is this.
WTF actually happened to my drive so I can avoid it in the future?