Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Backup your Backups...

As someone who makes their living working with computers, data and connectivity, I have no excuse to lose data when a disk goes bad - no excuse. Except one must remember that even the best laid plans (lenny, I's gonna have me some rabbits) can go horribly wrong. I thought I'd run a routine defragment job on one of my systems Sunday night - the job ran for 10 seconds and barfed. This isn't normally a big deal, except when I went to access a file on that disk several moments later and got the dreaded "disk isn't formatted, would you like to format it now".

Crap. Crap. Crap. OK, the only thing I care about on that drive is my money file - my checking account info from the last eight years - I depend on that program. No sweat, I've got a backup, every Wednesday night I back up the file and overwrite the previous version - if you sensed a "gotcha" coming well, there it was. My backup on another disk of that file was corrupt - don't know how, don't know why. So 11pm Sunday night I kick off a chkdsk on that volume and head to bed - tossing and turning with dreams of data loss fresh in my head.

I wake up the next morning, labor day - fittingly - and chdsk is still running. Crap. I reboot the damn machine and it's dog slow coming up - too many apps and drivers trying to read a dead disk. So I bring my old pIII out of the closet an old SCSI RAID 5 machine purchased when a former employer went out of business (dot-bombed) and had a fire sale. This machine has no problem booting up without reading the bum disk. To save pixels, I ran chkdsk a total of 17 times for one stinking file - but I got it back, in fact it appears the whole disk is back for the moment - don't know how I got THAT lucky. Don't worry, I have no faith in that drive anymore, I'll place an order for a replacement.

So, the moral of the story - backup your backups. Test your backups and it pays to be persistant...

No comments: