This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



October 2004

Waiting for the Trifecta

So this morning I was at the daily meeting we have at work. I had my work laptop open and had booked a meeting relevant to some stuff being discussed, I was looking at my to do list for the day, and OK, maybe during some of the slow parts of the meeting I snuck a peak at a news site. But then one of the people was giving a presentation on what they had been working on, so I closed the laptop and paid attention to the presentation.

About mid-way through, my laptop gave off a loud, completely unexpected BEEP. Well, at the end of the presentation I opened it up, and it was showing an angry error about not finding the hard drive. And then it just generally wouldn’t start. Kept cycling through the initial start up, but never actually starting up.

Sure enough, initial suspicions were confirmed a couple hours later by the guy here who deals with this sort of thing:

Your HD is bad. They are shipping a new one. You will have a new hard drive, OS, and software installed by the end of the week. Probably fully functional end of day Friday. Let me know if you need another computer to use in the mean time. […] You also might want to put together a list of the programs you will need installed on the laptop when I rebuild it, and then send the list to me when it’s complete. […] Sorry there was nothing I could do to recover the hard drive.

Yes, indeed. Dead hard drive. Lost everything that wasn’t already copied onto the network. All of the important finished documents were copied onto our document library, but works in progress, my email archive for work, all that fun stuff, all gone.

Luckily, unlike last time when I lost important things like emails back and forth between my friends as they insult and tease each other, this time it was just work stuff, so nothing important. I’m not really that concerned, although it still sucks.

I am however waiting for a third important hard drive in my life to fail. I’ll be double checking all my backups tonight.

9 comments to Waiting for the Trifecta

  • NM162

    I think this is a sign from the Hard Drive Gods: Time to sacrafice one of your furry critters to appease them. They’re very very angry with you.

  • NM163

    Why I sleep at night very comfortably:

  • Abulsme

    I’ve looked into services like that before. My problem is I’m no good at isolating “important things” from “everything”. To back up my whole 60 Gig drive (almost full) would cost a bundle with those services, plus the transfer speeds on that much data just sucks even with broadband. Incremental backup helps, but still. And of course right now I’m on a 56k line, which pretty much makes online backup not really an option.

    I’m basically looking at backup onto an external firewire drive on a scheduled basis. Problem is I still have to plug it into it, and I usually don’t have my laptop in a fixed location. So options that do it wirelessly with the drive attached to a server that is plugged in, or an actual storage device with its own network connection become attractive. There are still bandwidth issues, but at least it is just within the Wireless LAN, not accross the internet. Dunno. I’m unhappy with my current methods (especially since they were cumbersome enough I wasn’t doing it daily any more), so I’m researching alternatives (slowly, when not doing other things.)

  • NM164

    You haven’t tried the service. I do a full backup of my hard drive 30gb and it will do it overnight. The first backup is long but because all other backups are incremental it’s not a problem. Focus on backing up data, not applications. Copy your documents directory with your email in it. That’s the first priority and it will bring your backup down to size. Apps. are recoverable. Could you use your brain for once?

  • Abulsme

    Of course data is moire important. My data accounts for about 40 gig of my 60 gig. And Apps, while recoverable, are a major pain in the ass. I’ve always concentrated on being able to restore a whole system in one fell swoop. Makes it much easier in the case of a disaster. And while this kind of thing is possible to CONSIDER with broadband, as long as I am on a 56k, even backing up 1 gig over the network is unthnkable, let alone 60.

  • NM165

    Does’t using an online backup service not only make all your stuff the responsibility of someone else that you don’t know with no liabilities, but also put all your information in a place where it can be accessed by anyone who wants to snoop?

  • Abulsme

    No, not quite. All those servcies (at least the good ones) use a couple of layers of security. Of course, anybody who REALLY wanted to could get at the stuff, and your stuff would be subject to court supenas and the like if it ever came to that, but they try to basically be secure. Not sure if the TOSs at the place relieve them of all liability if they lose data, but I imagine you could still sue them if they did.

  • NM167

    But that doesn’t mean that the people involved won’t mess with your stuff. Dunno. I think the best way is to save it yourself. Yes, if something ahppens and yoe’ve got both drives in the same general vicinity and something catastrophic happens and they are both destroyed, than you’ve got a lot more problems than lost data.

  • NM168

    The services store multiple copies of data in hardended data centers with far more security than we could ever have on a home network. It is far more likely that they can break your home network than their place. The one I use uses a complex encryption key, to which not even they have access. My data can’t be accesed without the key. If it’s security this far more. It’s almost the same difference as storing money under your couch or in a bank vault.

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