Thursday, April 29, 2004

Hard Drive woes

Been down for a few days while I rebuild my system from a hard-drive failure. Those S.M.A.R.T. enabled drives are really great... only if the OS would report that information to the user! Todays hard drives are great at detecting and in many cases silently correcting errors without you even noticing. They'll even remap a sector or a track if there is an unrecoverable error detected. Again, all without the user ever knowing that it is happening. Nowadays, when a hard drive actually begins reporting errors back to the OS, your drive is most certainly in a world of hurt. This isn't a nice warning that things are beginning to fail so you can take action, no, these errors are just letting you know that the Grim Reaper is hovering over your shoulder and has come to claim your hard drive and all its data.

Luckily there are some very nice data recovery tools that can reconstruct a virtual image of the drive that allows you to copy as much data off the drive as possible before the Reaper finally sucks the soul from the drive. Looks like I only lost about a days worth of actual work... but the several days worth of re-installing, rebuilding and reactivating everything that I had is worse.

The only good thing about all this, is that it is an opportunity for me to clean up all the various unused cruft that has crept onto the drive over the past year or so.