Saturday, July 16, 2005

The Great Hard Drive Crash of July 2005

It's kind of sad that I'm writing this. After all, the story behind my last hard drive crash is still on the main page of my blog. But the hard drive that held my sever's OS died yesterday, bringing down the server itself (which will be referred to as Galt, as that is its name). The trouble started yesterday, when Galt locked up several times. It seemed odd that this was happening, as Galt is a fairly stable system. I don't think it had ever crashed until yesterday. After several reboot cycles, Galt spat out some error messages that it was unable to recover the filesystem's journal (bad). Eventually, Galt would no longer boot with the drive in the system. I had originally thought the problem was with the motherboard, as there were times when the computer wouldn't even boot into the BIOS, but it turned out that my PCI IDE controller wasn't properly seated into the PCI slot. I still have this problem, though I think I've been able to hack a solution. As we speak, I'm reinstalling Gentoo on the drive I was using for Windows 2003. Unfortunately, the dead drive is out of warranty, so no free replacements for me this time.

As for data loss, I lost nothing that isn't completely recoverable. I moved my home directories onto the RAID (something I am VERY glad I did) when I was building it 3 weeks ago. That means my 4 year collection of email (with a hole when Windows crashed my freshmen year) is safe and sound. I lost my DVD database, but I can recreate that given enough time to do so. And, if I can boot the system with that drive installed, I may even be able to recover that without having to recreate it. I'll have to reinstall all the programs I've been using on the server and reconfigure everything, but I've been complaing about having nothing to do anyways. Besides, I had been thinking about doing this to remove the cruft that existed on the machine anyways. This just forced my hand.


Blogger staticfoo said...

Worst case, you can edit the fs by hand. It's not too hard to do if you have ext3.

7/16/2005 9:42 PM  
Blogger Aaron *@ said...

I would hope that I could get Galt to boot and the drive mounted if I set it as a slave. I think that was the reason why it wasn't booting with the drive in the system. But I still have a long ways to go with the emerge before I get to worry about that

7/17/2005 1:00 AM  

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