The Undead Drive

In the middle of copying over the third chunk from the crashed drive this afternoon, I noticed that said bad drive was mounted on my desktop, and that I could read it!

I’ve spent the last hour furiously backing up the photos, mail, address book, time log, GarageBand mixes, notes, and other stuff I thought I’d lost forever.

Good: Having FileSalvage recover your lost files.
Better: Having the drive mount and not even needing FileSalvage!

Update Feb 24: I went back and tried to get a couple less critical things off the drive today and it’s back to being dead. Good thing I got off what I could the other day.

Crash of '05: Followup

The replacement drive has been working fine after the old one crashed last month, but it’s been bugging me that there were some files that I couldn’t recover, like some family photos taken around Halloween. Yesterday I bought FileSalvage, a program that promised to scan the bad drive and recover what it could, but it had problems working with the damaged drive (10megs scanned after 3 hours).

I put on my geek hat and discovered that Unix’s “dd” command can be used to copy raw disk blocks from the damaged drive to a spare partition, a couple gigs worth at a time. It took about an hour to copy the first chunk, and FileSalvage then recovered a bunch of stuff off of it, including 4 of the missing photos. Encouraged, I continued with the next chunk, and an hour later I’d recovered fifty of the family photos! It will take over 20 hours to recover the drive at this point, but it’s something I can do at my leisure, as time permits, and while it’s working I can be doing other things. I see now why DriveSavers charges two grand or more to do this!

Growing pains: music servers and puppies

Four years ago I spent $200 on a 30gig hard drive for our music server (which ran on some customed-designed software named 3mer, but that’s a whole other story). We’ve finally outgrown that drive, and a random trip to Best Buy (for the Invader Zim DVD) turned up an 80gig drive for $29 after rebates! This is amazing, and we should now have plenty of music storage for a few more years.

And puppy Carley, who will be five months old on the 29th, is getting bigger and more dog-like all the time. Her fur is getting some curl to it and her face looks more grown up. She understands two commands, sit and shake, and we’re working on speak! for a very practical reason: so she can let us know vocally when she needs to go out.

Update: Looks like the old playlists got lost in the move; I think there’s a way to get them back but it could be way more work than I’d like.

Back to normal

…or at least a convincing imitation 🙂

The PowerBook has been up and running for a few days now, and Barry and I had a productive day at House-Mouse yesterday.

I’m realizing that networks helped save a lot of my important files. My client sites were backups for me (just as I am a backup for them). And all the songs I bought over the past two years from the iTunes Music Store were backed up on the music server and the iPod.

Those backups weren’t created consciously, they just happened as part of what I normally do. But because the network is there (both our house network and the internet), it would be easy to make backup copies of important files, I just need to remember to do that.

I haven’t totally realized yet that my computer extends far beyond the physical box I carry around with me; Its reach extends to the other computers in the house, and elsewhere on the internet.

A hard crash

On Monday the hard disk crashed on my PowerBook. Since this machine contains my life, things were a little tense for a while. A trip to Small Dog to get a replacement drive, then a geeky half hour or so to install it. Got it pretty much all back together before I realized I’d missed a step (omitted in the instructions on pbfixit.com) and had to take it back apart again.

Then I began the hours-long process of reinstalling Panther, running System Update, and reinstalling my applications (BBEdit, Photoshop, InDesign, etc). Restored what I could from my most recent backup, which unfortunately was three months old. FTP’d down my client sites (the sites themselves are my backup!). By the time I went to bed (after midnight), I had enough restored to be productive.

I wrote a quick note to my clients telling them what happened, and reminding them to backup often!

Since then I’ve been downloading the various little things that make cyber life more pleasant, the utilities and contextual menus and so on.

An now I’m just about back to where I was.

What was lost? Some recent photos, a couple songs from the iTunes Music Store that I hadn’t yet copied to the music server or my iPod. Lots of geeky notes, like how to get various perl modules working on OS X. Some lyrics, downloaded movies, bookmarks. Three months worth of emails. Sigh.