Drive Crash

Joy of joys, maybe because I haven’t updated my blog… Woke up yesterday morning and my PC had crashed (rebooted?) and was sitting there telling me there was a read error on the disc, refusing to boot. ARGH! The boot hard drive is about a year old. I guess in retrospect I should have shutdown for a bit and tried again, but, I assumed the hard drive was crashed.

I tried rebooting a couple times, no difference, I booted from the WinXP install disc and went to the command line recovery. My D: drive appeared to be intact (160GB ) but my C: drive was having problems, could’t do a “dir” or anything. So, I ran CHKDSK on it, it said it fixed a few things, now when I did a “dir” my 60GB of data appeard to be TWO files, a file with “boot” in the name and a file which was something like “found.000”. OH SHEESH!

I pulled out another (older) hard drive and installed the OS on it then uses a data recovery tool. I was able to see all my old files and was able to recover a fair bit of the old data, at least I got back most of my digital pictures, BUT, a lot of the files (for which I have no backup) were toast, restored as 0 bytes or just corrupt. NTFS is not a very resilliant file system (but you probably knew that).

I did a completely scan of the failed disc and it has no errors, is healthy, all that. Very frustrating. After I recovered all the recoverable data, I ghosted the newly build disc over to the disc that previously failed (I don’t THINK I am asking for trouble; SMART says the disc is quite healthy, and the small disc I used in the interim is much older).

Today, I am pretty much all back up and running. One driver left to find and install, a couple pieces of software left to install, and a couple schedules to setup. Took probably 6 hours to get back to an almost steady state.

So, in the end, I feel like Kerry Bradshaw — crashed disc with only some recoverable data (I think she had no recoverable data). I have been using computers for 20 years, you would think I would back up better. The result is that I am going TODAY and getting a backup system, I guess one of those external hard drives that I can setup regular backups to. Just the data, no need to backup transient info or installed software.

All I can guess is that maybe my motherboard is getting flaky, I have had some video issues, etc., recently. I guess it is time to get a new motherboard and see if that helps. The funny thing is less than a week ago a collegue asked me what I do about backups and I just replied: Nothing. At work this isn’t true because I keep all of my source code and critical files in Source Safe or at least on the server. At home, I really do nothing (some stuff is burned onto CD but really very little), and I got burned for it. At least most of my digital pictures are intact.

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