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Two Kinds of People: Those Who Have Lost Data and Those Who Will - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Dec. 20th, 2004

04:27 am - Two Kinds of People: Those Who Have Lost Data and Those Who Will

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So I sat down at about 3pm today to seriously sink my teeth into some work that I wanted to get done before Monday. Not more than 10 minutes after I booted my laptop, it's harddrive ate itself. Froze up and wouldn't boot on power cycling. The CD-ROM drive for that laptop died a few weeks ago so I couldn't even boot off of CD to investigage. That laptop has been my main development workstation for several months now.

It is now 4am, 13 hours later, and I finally have a usable workstation set up. In the past 13 hours I have:

* Dismantled my laptop and removed the harddrive.
* Set up a work space in my basement near my server rack.
* Connected the hardrive to an old celeron desktop that I had laying around.
* Downloaded and burned a LNX-BBC CD.
* Used LNX-BBC to fsck the drive. This took 3 passes before the drive stabilized and mounted properly.
* Confirmed that although the drive now mounted that the data in it was well and truely hosed with 762 files in lost+found.
* Mounted the drive and networked the machine to my disk server and copied all the files that were still uncorrupted onto a stable disk for safe keeping.
* Installed a floppy drive and made a Hitachi disk utility floppy from disk image.
* Ran the Hitachi disk checking program from floppy on the drive to detect any remaining errors.
* Cobbled together a celeron desktop machine that I could install Debian onto in order to bring into the office at OJC since my laptop will be dead for a while.
* Encountered massive hardware problems with the Debian install and gave up.
* Worked on getting GNOME running on trogdor, my disk server.
* Swapped video cards between imsahp and trogdor because trogdor's video card would only do 800x600.
* Downloaded and configured GNOME on trogdor.

Now I have a workstation I can work on at home but that I can't bring to OJC.

Hardware failures are frustrating!

Comments:

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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 20th, 2004 05:12 pm (UTC)

Re: I feel your pain

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Yah, the upside to this is that I had a MUCH faster machine than my laptop basically sitting idle waiting to become my new web server. I hadn't installed a graphical environment on it or anything since it was just going to be a server. This got me to get the graphical environment configured, install a good video card, and now I've got a VERY zippy GNOME install, much zippier than my laptop.
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From:davedash
Date:December 20th, 2004 04:01 pm (UTC)
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heh, you can look back in my journal and see when my laptop drive failed. Luckily I had and have Rsync backing up my machine every 3-4 hours as well as friends who seem to be able to get me hard drives at a moments notice.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 20th, 2004 05:14 pm (UTC)
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Nice.

I back up my server daily but never bothered to back up my laptop because it didn't have any vital files on it.
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From:sdm
Date:December 20th, 2004 04:13 pm (UTC)

ouch!

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wow -- that sucks big-time... so when was the last time you did a backup of your files???
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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 20th, 2004 05:11 pm (UTC)

Re: ouch!

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I didn't have any vital files on my laptop so I wasn't running backups (all important stuff was in CVS on my server or copied onto websites or somesuch) but I was able to backup almost everything from the crashed drive to a safe place after I ran the fscks. I mean if you lose 1000 files at random out of the tens or hundreds of thousands on a hard drive, you don't actually lose that much important data, you just hose the drive and it's ability to functionally boot. I have no idea _what_ I lost but I wasn't nearly as worried about that as about just having a workstation I could use.

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From:zarfmouse
Date:December 20th, 2004 05:54 pm (UTC)
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If half of the bits are lost data it'd be 00 types of people!
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From:culfinglin
Date:December 20th, 2004 09:11 pm (UTC)
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oof! how annoying to have your day derailed like that. :P

but i'm glad it prompted you to get some things done you'd been putting off. :)
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From:skywind8
Date:December 21st, 2004 01:27 am (UTC)
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"Two Kinds of People: Those Who Have Lost Data and Those Who Will"

I would love to see this on a ThinkGeek t-shirt. :D
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