Log in

No account? Create an account
06 January 2007 @ 11:35 pm
Computers, dumb moves, and me  

So I managed to do something really stoopid on our computer. Fortunately we own a copy of TechTool Pro, since Disk Utility was unable to repair the hard disk. Unfortunately, TechTool has been running since, oh, about 2am and still isn't finished. It showed fairly swift progress at first, but it's been getting progressively slower since morning. I don't now have any idea when it will finish.

So I'm typing this entry on Susan's old ThinkPad, which she bought used/cheap a year or two ago when she wanted to try on-line poker and all the programs only ran under Windows. It's nice to have something, so I'm not blind and out of touch with the world, but I'm not very comfortable on this machine so I probably won't do as much reading and posting and replying to comments as I would otherwise have.

(And "holding my breath," hoping that the real machine will more or less recover, since the last backup was about a month ago, just before I upgraded from OS 10.3x to 10.4. I'd really rather not loose all that stuff, time, and effort. We'll see.)

Current Mood: distresseddistressed
Larry Sandersonlsanderson on January 7th, 2007 05:52 am (UTC)
It heals it.

Saw your twin, Michael Caine, in the Children of Men tonight. Well, superficially, anyway.
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritterfredcritter on January 8th, 2007 10:03 am (UTC)
Re: Hope...
My twin? Michael Caine? Hmmmm. First it was David Crosby, then Jerry Garcia, and now Michael Caine? The other two I could see but . . . Michael Caine? He's like real handsome and stuff. Odd.
Peter Hentgesjbru on January 7th, 2007 09:10 am (UTC)
Hope recovery goes along well!
Stephen Leighsleigh on January 7th, 2007 02:15 pm (UTC)
Crossing fingers. TechTool Pro is a good program...
Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on January 8th, 2007 10:12 am (UTC)

Thanks. T'was to no avail. I think I might buy a copy of Data Rescue II (by Prosoft Engineering). That claims it might at least let me recover many of my files. Know anything about it?

The other thing I noticed (at Other World Computing) is this cute little kit that contains a "Serial ATA 2 Channel PCI/PCI-X 32 Bit Controller Card w/ SATA and eSATA Ports" and two "Maxtor MaXLine Pro 500 500 GB SATA Hard Drives" [for a mere $359 plus shipping (plus, I imagine, some amount of money for 2 SATA cables, a power-spitter cable, and a two disk hardware mount thing—none of which appear to be included, although I'll give them a call in the morning before ordering to find out)]. They seem to be saying that I can just install all this in my Blue & White G3 and thereby have 1Tb of bootable internal hard disk. I reckon I'll get that up and running and then try to recover the files off of the wonky 80GB internal I had been running off of.

the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on January 7th, 2007 03:31 pm (UTC)
I've been re-working my backup strategy, trying to deal with the need for frequent backups as well as my worries about having all my data on my computer on the road.

The one time I needed my backup recently -- a couple of years ago -- the problem with the particular file migrated to my backup as well. Not good.

Fred A Levy Haskell: Fredcritter eyes onlyfredcritter on January 8th, 2007 10:24 am (UTC)
Re: Backups

Would internet back-up/syncing be too slow or too insecure? I notice that, for example, .mac has provisions for both back-up and syncing, and I think I've seen ads for other service companies.

Wouldn't regular incrementals (combined, I suppose with alternating/leap-frogging fulls) allow you to dig into the stack deep enough to find a file version from before the file acquired a problem? I suppose it depends on things like when the file took the hit relative to when the backups were run…

Not that I could afford or justify it, but I've always felt that tape backup is probably the way to go for regularly backing up massive amounts of data. But I've never really looked that deeply into it. I know I'm going to try to figure out some kind of workable backup strategy after this. I used to be fairly conscientious about back-ups, but the volumes have become so large and the time has consequently become so long (and the last time I tried to back up everything to DVD it quit with an error. Not only was I not sure why, but I couldn't figure out how to find out—I didn't really want to sit and watch it for, what?, 4-6 hours?). I guess if I end up getting the two 500 Gb internal hard disks (like I mentioned in my reply above), I could just set it up so one was the main drive and the other was a backup, getting automated incrementals. Until I filled up the 500 Gb, of course, but that'd probably take at least a little while…!

Larry Sandersonlsanderson on January 8th, 2007 11:23 am (UTC)
Re: Backups
Just sent you the article from the NY Times on PC Backups.

Tape has pretty much lost the war on size. It's really expensive to get large tape backups. And then you've got to do them.

I like Internet backups that are automated, but then there's cost involved. The advantage of them is that they're automatic and that they save mutliple restore points. If something goes bad, there's a good chance you can restore from a point far enough back that it's still good.
the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on January 8th, 2007 11:40 am (UTC)
Re: Backups
I have an easy-to-use back-up strategy, with a Maxtor One-Touch Drive. It takes a while, and is dynamic, but it really is "push one button" easy. I had to get help setting it up, though.

the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on January 8th, 2007 02:12 pm (UTC)
Re: Backups
It also -- and I don't know why -- takes a long time.

the laughing leaping waterminnehaha on January 8th, 2007 07:03 pm (UTC)
Re: Backups
My backup procedure is very simple. I have all old data -- previous years -- in a separate folder, and I back it up once a year in multiple places. Current year data is all in a single folder, and I use a file compare program to synch it with my backup disk. So newer stuff always overwrites older stuff.

I could do multiple incremental backups, but that's more complicated.

I've been thinking about online backup storage. I could send them encrypted files, so security isn't an issue. But it would be very slow on hotel wireless, which is where I'd mostly be doing it.

Spacecrabspacecrab on January 10th, 2007 09:16 pm (UTC)
For about $100, you can buy a 250GB external USB drive. Larger ones are more expensive.

Once you have the external drive (and a working copy of OSX), you can use Disk Manager to duplicate your OSX partition on the USB disk (plus you could create an additional partition on it for data storage). USB drives are bootable. If you do regular sync operations and your regular drive goes bad, you can boot OSX from the USB drive, reformat the regular drive and put the partition back on it.