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When bad things happen to good people (and computers)

January 19th, 2007 Leave a comment Go to comments

I had what must be the worst birthday ever yesterday—the hard drive in my PowerBook decided to die yesterday morning. Well, not die completely, in the words of Miracle Max, it was only “mostly dead.”

Miracle Max: See, there’s a big difference between mostly dead, and all dead. Now, mostly dead: he’s slightly alive. All dead, well, with all dead, there’s usually only one thing that you can do.
Inigo: What’s that?
Miracle Max: Go through his clothes and look for loose change.

Since the drive was only mostly dead, with much coaxing, I was able to pull 10GB of data that was more recent than my last backup. I was able to buy a new drive and install it in my PowerBook, and get it up and running again by about midnight. I am still installing applications, but I was able to get back to productive work this morning, with only one day lost. It could have been much worse…

The irony, of course, is I decided a few weeks ago to start doing full drive clones (after a close call with Suzanne’s PowerBook), to allow for restoring all of the files from a failed drive, including the OS and applications, and the JBOD case and drives arrived—you guessed it—yesterday morning about an hour after the drive failed. More details on the hardware and software solution in the near future.

What made things worse is the drive I was using for my backups was full of files from Suzanne’s computer, in case what we thought was the cause of her problem (a bad RAM module) was only another symptom of a greater issue.

And, as a warning to everyone out there depending on the drive’s embedded S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) to provide an early warning before a drive failre, my “mostly dead” drive that abosultely does not work correctly does not report any problems. You have been warned.

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  1. Suzanne
    January 21st, 2007 at 21:06 | #1

    “Worst birthday ever?” What about your birthday visitor to the office?

  2. January 21st, 2007 at 21:28 | #2

    Suzanne was very great and brought me dinner from China One, a mylar Sesame Street balloon, an a bottle of Basil Hayden’s bourbon. While she definitely made things better, I would rather have not been through the filaed drive experience.

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