Monday, April 10, 2006


On Saturday I was ripping some CDs to my iTunes library so I could load them onto my new iPod. I really like this iPod idea. It is much easier to carry the iPod to work and back than it is a stack of CDs. The music is really a godsend in my office. Since I work in a small cubical farm full of software developers it can get pretty quiet in there a lot of the time. When I started working there several months ago I noticed that I was the only person who did not wear a pair of headphones while working.

Well there I was ripping a CD when suddenly an error message popped up on the screen. iTunes was not able to write one of the mp3s to the hard drive. So I canceled the process and clicked over to see what the problem was. That is when I discovered that I could not access any of the files on the F: partition of my hard drive. This is where I had been saving mp3s for several weeks.

I paniced. I grabbed the external hard drive that I use to back up my laptop (which I am using right now) and plugged it into the desktop computer. As soon as it showed up I deleted everything on it and started filling it up with the contents of the other data partitions on my computer. While that was going on I tossed a recordable DVD into the laptop and started backing it up, since I had just deleted my laptop backups to make room for the desktop backups.

I was nearing the end of my backup excercise when I ran into a few files on the C drive that wouldn't copy. They weren't critical so I didn't worry about them. I had the DVD backups from last month so I was mostly just trying to make sure that I had the latest iterations of everything.

After the backups were complete I disconnected the external hard drive and started trying to find out what went wrong. I grabbed a couple partition and file repair and recovery tools to see if they could tell me what was going on. The first tool I tried was a partition recovery tool called TestDisc. This tool scanned my hardrive looking for the partitions. On the first scan the damamged partition didn't show up. So I followed the suggestions and ran the search again. The second time not only was the original damamged partition not found but the next partition also seemed to have disappeared.

I spend the next several hours trying different tools to try and recover the hard drive. During that time, the damaged just magnified itself. Eventually I was losing more and more of the programs and files. Eventually the system stopped working all together.

So I tried a low level format and reinstall of the operating system. Windows 2000 wasn't even able to properly install on the newly partitioned and formatted hard drive.

So today I picked up a new hard drive and now I trying to get the OS installed, updated and running the way I like. Then I'll start on the applications. After that it will be coping data back onto the new drive. Then I have to find a way to download my iPod back onto my hard drive or I have to start ripping CDs all over again. Unfortunately I hadn't backed up my mp3s. But I have the source CDs so it's just a matter of time to get them back again.

I thinking about picking up a networkable hard drive that I can use to backup both the desktop and laptop computers. But I need to look into them a little more. Maxtor has one that you can even add USB external drives and USB controlled printers. I was going to order it, but then discovered that combo printers that print/scan/copy don't work with the print server. Since that is what we have here at home I guess I'll keep looking around.

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