Monday, 5 October 2009

Double Disaster …

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Areal 'cracker', this one. First, my hard drives failed without warning. For the geeky, they were set up as a RAID (Redundant Array of Independent [or Inexpensive] Disks) array which, in non-geeky terms meant that everything written to one disk was mirrored to the other. A RAID setup (there are many levels) is a bit of overkill for a home computer and is normally found on a commercial server. But that is the way it was configured when I bought the computer about 18 months ago, and I didn't see any reason to change things.

Effectively this should mean that one never loses information when a disk fails, because the computer should automatically stop reading and writing to the failed disk and continue operating (seamlessly) using the second!


So what happens when both fail at the same time? I guess that's a rhetorical question and needs no answer. I am sure everybody understands what the implied consequences are.

The failure, which I still haven't analysed, forced a trip to the local computer shops and I ended up with a new beast with all the bells and whistles. Never mind that there are still 3 perfectly working computers in the house.

I WANTED A NEW ONE (lying on back and kicking heels in air like a spoilt child).

So I bought it, even though the timing was a bit off. The release of Windows-7 is only three weeks away and I have pre-ordered my copy which will necessitate a 'clean-install'. That isn't such a big deal because I would have backed-up my data before installing and then copied the old stuff across.

But when you find yourself in a situation where you didn't have time to save all the important 'gubbins', you are faced with restoring from your latest backup. Something I do religiously, and on a Sunday, too! The most I am likely to lose is the stuff I've added between Monday and Saturday.

But worse was to come.

The new computer rejected the backups with total disdain. The new computer is a 64-bit OS; the old computer ran 32-bit. That shouldn't have mattered because 64-bit will run 32-bit perfectly well under normal circumstances. My circumstance was obviously 'abnormal'.

Much 'too-ing' and 'fro-ing', with the assistance of Maria who slowly but inexorably unzipped old backups to see what was where, and I've managed to put back some of the more important stuff. But my attempts have been rather listless, knowing I will have to do this all over again in a couple of weeks.

To add to the gloom my web hosts informed me that on Saturday they had a massive RAID failure (where have I heard that before?) and that all user accounts on that particular server would need to be set up from scratch. That would be OK under normal circumstances, but my circumstances at the moment are not. I'm sure I have relatively recent backups of the various accounts I run from that server (this is one of them), but there are a few things missing. And I really can't be bothered chasing down missing files.

So if this blog and Paradise have a graphic or two missing, please bear with me until such time as I can track down the little bleeders and restore them.

One 'positive' that has come out of this is that I was determined to reinstall Windows Live Writer (WLW). Cath had already contacted me, before the failure, to say that she had discovered that WLW didn't work with a 64-bit OS. I sympathised, looked for solutions and forwarded them to her, but couldn't help any further because I wasn't running 64-bit.

I am now. And Cath, I have to tell you that all I did was go to the download page and after checking the system requirements …



… I hit the download button and the programme installed itself without throwing a single 'hissy-fit'!

That's it for now …

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Thumbelina said...

I am so sorry to hear about your pc troubles! Both failing at once? Some one is out to get you. hahaha! Well, not really, but you could be forgiven for thinking so.

I'm glad you got most of it back. Thank goodness for back up and I am delighted to hear you do your back up religiously (wish I could say the same) on a Sunday! lol

I went to that help page too...
It's compatible with Vista on 32 or 64 bit. I'm on XP pro. :-(

Awaiting Windows 7. Not long now....

Breeze said...

Well Terry, I'm here to ask if this has anything to do with my template on my blog that you helped me set up being non existant all of a sudden.

I was looking for advice and saw it even possible?

My blog is being showcased today and tomorrow at a big health conference. And it has no template graphics! lol


Fletch said...


Yes Carolyn, it does!

Your luck has held, though. I managed to claw back a few more files from my worthless 'backups' this very afternoon, and your files were amongst them.

I've now restored the images to the folder I built for you on my server, and it all looks like it is working.

Sheeeessssh! Close call.

Good luck with the competition.

Sniffles and Smiles said...

Okay, so I shouldn't be here...It's not Wednesday or Thursday yet...and I'm on a two day a week comment schedule! But...I saw you posted, and the title worried me...and I find it was computer trouble...I am ALL sympathy!!! Arghhh!! My hard drive crashed about 6-7 months ago...what a nightmare! I can't even imagine what frustration a double crash, which was supposed to eliminate such difficulties, must have brought you! Simply horrible. Glad that you were able to pick up a new computer, and hope that all the remaining glitches will be ironed out for you soon. Wonder if I got down on the floor and started kicking if I could negotiate a new computer...LOL...Catch you again over the weekend! ~Janine

Fletch said...

@Cath (Thumbelina)

Sympathy much appreciated. Slowly clawing back the more important bits. Amazingly, I've been 'forced' to re-download a whole bunch of programmes because of the '64-bit/32-bit' incompatibilities. Marking time for the moment, until I get my brand new Win-7 disks ...

Had to respond to Breeze first because the timing of my double losses impacted on her close to CATASTROPHIC proportions, seeing as how she had entered her site for a competition. All is well; she says she managed to enter the competition , with a working template, just in the nick of time!


Honoured to be visited 'out of schedule'. Thank you, too, for the sympathy vote, and forgive me for the blatantly OTT post title.

I've read and re-read your last post on Sniffles and Smiles, but words have failed me so I haven't commented.

I will ... I will ...

Thumbelina said...

No probs Terry - I've had my time too and you've been there for me when I needed your help so it's only fair that Breeze et al get the same support!

I am marking time too...

Lee said...

Sorry to hear about your hard drive toubles Terry! But I'm delighted to hear you have a nice new machine. I've been on the end of a harddrive failure before and was blessed with a good techy friend who actually got it working again long enough for me to pull what I needed off of it onto the new one he installed. My Dad has this huge Terabyte drive that I can hardly imagine him filling up but he makes multi-channel music tracks. Lots of bytes in those. Hope you're having lots of fun with all those bells and whistles.


Shrinky said...

Oh Terry, what a bummer! I know the pain of losing thousands of photographs forever that way, a couple of years back - irony was I moved them to an independent hard drive, then DELETED them all from my computer to free up space - it was the brand new heap of crap, separate hard drive that died. It had to be sent off and, wait for it, was f*****g well replaced by a brand new model. I learned a hard lesson that day about keeping two copies. BUT who the hell could foresee the need to keep triplicate copies?? How unfair is that? Horrible, horrible luck - good luck with the recovery, I sure hope it doesn't take too much longer before everything is restored.

Fletch said...

Thanks for the commiserations, Carol.

You've all been quite 'kind' in your remarks. Could have been different with a load of 'virtual-raspberries' being blown in my direction.

Win-7 now installed and I am slowly getting back to normal. Must say it has been refreshing not to have to meet any sort of deadline (closed down my main site as well because of the server failure), and I feel as if I have all the time in the world to set up the new computer/OS the way I want to.

Which also includes getting rid of 5 years of accumulated junk!

Oh, joy .....

Shrinky said...

I'm guessing all is running smoothly again by now? Actually, I know what you mean, if FORCED off my laptop, it can turn out quite liberating to have all this time to do the things I always protest I can't seem to fit into my day (grin).

Fletch said...

As smoothly as one can expect, Carol.

Still 'patching' up my blog posts that were zapped by the failure of my web hosts. The sods simply referred me to the 'small print' when I asked them to provide a backup.

It was/is MY responsibility, so there!

Ah, well, I shall remember that when renewal time comes around in a couple of months ...

Akelamalu said...

Just popped by to say 'Thankyou' for the kind birthday wishes you left for me. :)

If that had happened to my computer I'd have just sat and cried! :(

Fletch said...


Thanks for the comment.

CRYING was not an option, although I know what you mean. The frustration of dealing with a 'double-disaster', mine and my web hosts, is not something I want to repeat any time soon.

I keep stumbling across 'broken' bits on this site and on 'Pardise', but it only takes a few minutes to restore the missing applications, so I can say I am well on the way to recovery!