blank stare

Geeks preach religious backups to everyone they know. You never can be too careful! However, being the hypocrits that we are, we rarely do it ourselves it seems. The following is a true story that happened to me today.

I had quite a digital scare today. Amongst a couple of weeks of insane hard drive swapping around, I managed to NOT backup “My Documents” new 160GB SATA-RAID 0 array on my linux box. So, today I went and formatted the drive which was holding *all* of my personal files including:

  • ~20gb music
  • ~3gb of documents, spreadsheets, and pictures
  • ~5gb of downloaded programs
  • ~2gb of web development files

Well, needless to say, I formatted the drive and I thought I had copied everything over. While WinXP was installing on that machine, I came back to my Xandros box to open up my stationary template and type a letter. But the documents folder wasn’t where the rest of the migrated files were. After a slight panic, I started checking other places on my file system to no avail. I had done a full format on all 80 gigs of the drive that WinXP was now installing on, so mild depression started to settle in. All my invoices that I’ve sent to companies that I’ve done computer work for – gone. All my academic papers and writings – MIA. Hundreds of digital camera pics – obliterated.

After the XP install finished, I made sure that absoultely nothing on the system was going to write to the drive. I have a program that I bough several months ago when doing some work for a client called NTFS Restorer 2000. The program has to be installed to use though. That meant writing to the C:\ partition where I knew the old “documents” partition would have been residing. Knowing that it’s only a few hundred kb’s when installed, I took the risk. I installed the program and began the scan over all 80 gigs of hard drive space.

By some miracle of God, the files were there. I immediately set up a share on my Xandros system and copied the entire directory over to the linux file system where I knew the files would be safe and secure. Then, I opened up that stationary template and wrote my letter of resignation. But more about that at some other time.