Wednesday, February 20, 2008

when a hard disk dies...

it's odd what you want to recover most.

I should have known - I was in denial, for sure. Even during Lotusphere, there were some unexplained events with my laptop, but denial is a very powerful force. Since Lotusphere, with increasing frequency, my laptop would misbehave. An error on boot... Access Connections disappearing from the toolbar... But I circumvented each obstacle... If I can get by it, it can't be that serious, right?

Last Thursday, when IE suddenly refused to connect but Firefox was happy, I decided it was maybe time to heed Steve's advice and do a chkdsk, which of course involves a reboot. Blithely I tried it. Reboot, chkdsk successful, but as it launched, blue screen... Tried it all again, not a fluke. Tried it again in a different T60 shell, same thing. Dead disk.

Then the panic starts.

Source trees - ok on that count, submitted my code a few hours ago. Work mail - all on the server, no problem, can always make another replica. Presentations - ouch. But if I have to write them again, I still could. Personal email - now THAT is only on the machine as I so neatly remove it from the server... That's a real problem. My history is in my email - it's a journal of conversations, and I felt its loss deeply.

I actually felt kind of disoriented. It's probably pretty unhealthy for a laptop to be so much a part of one's comfort zone.

But there is a pretty happy ending. Someone was able to put it in a drive tray, and if you don't try to boot off of it, the data is accessible. My personal email has a new home on my home machine. My presentations have been preserved. A new disk is on its way from the mothership. All's right with the world again.


TexasSwede said...

A USB drive tray ($40-50 at Fry's or Best Buy) is one of the best investments one can do. You can plug in any old drive there and use it for backup (take one of the old 17 or 25 GB drives from the pile in the closet, format it, backup all your photos to it, label it and put it away), or to save bad drives or drives that won't boot but where the data is accessible, like in your case.
The one I have only take desktop size IDE disks, but there are some that take both IDE and SATA, as well as dapters to get them to work with laptop disks.

George, Group Admin said...

Many years ago I had a stream tape backup system that ran faithfully every day. Had weekly incremental backups and full backups followed.

Today I just use a USB 2.0 external drive, large enough, have a second backup drive behind that, that is incremental, much safer. The things that get copied each day are important, photos, some data files, the things I would rather not have copied get scrubbed every session and at the end of every day. A clean laptop seems to run better.

john deere said...

Carbonite all the way!

It just recently saved my rear with a new laptop, where I thought mt personal email had been moved off..