Bike photo disaster averted...(OT)
A story of being too cocky. (computer distraction kinda off topic.)
Background: Many of you know I take lots and lots of photos. I even do some professionally--sporting events kind of thing. It's one of my passions.
I mostly back-up my photos by having a redundant drive at home, putting a lot of photos on a drive I have at work, and making CDs. The problem is I don't regularily back them up but every 4 months. In a 4 month period, I usually take 1500-2000 pix. I haven't done a back up since august and to make matters worse, I had two Moab trips and a mexico trip where I took a lot of RAW pix. Those RAW pix are big files and require DVD backups which I haven't gotten around to. Plus, usually, I give folks some CDs and since I had so many files, I hadn't done that either. Recipe for disaster.
So I get all the parts in the mail on Friday to do a motherboard upgrade. Board, processor, videocard, and memory. A normal person would back everything up before such a task no matter what. But not me, I was so confident, I figured it would just work. (Idiot chuckle here)
So there I go, tear out the old board, and put in the new one. I had the normal glitches where for example, an LED panel connector was not compatible with the pinout on the new board. But I got through it. "No problem" as I thought it went smoothly.
The only tricky thing that happened was I had trouble remembering what drives I had connected in what order and what controller. I have 3 drives and forgot to write it down. So I guessed based on the master-slave jumpers looking at them installed. The computer wouldn't recognize things. Naturally, I figured it was the connection of masters and slaves. So I start moving jumpers till I get it going (leaving out a drive for now).....A mistake that will be the crux of the whole mess I'm about to get into.
Once I got the system running, I tried hooking up the drive I had left out-- The 200GB with all my pix. In windows, I clicked on the drive icon and saw "Drive is not formatted, would you like to format it now?"
I immediately brought up restore2000 which is a great recovery program I have used on someone elses drive and saved all their data. It said no file system on this drive..so I ran a scan. After the 20 minute scan i saw all my photos and was relieved. I did have to go get another hard drive to put the recoverd files on, so there I was installing a USB drive late on Saturday night. Renee thought I needed to let it go but when stuff like this happens, I can't sleep anyway.
I ran the recovery task and got a look of "Oh No!" when 80% of them did not recover. I was horrified. I did remember the drive being read for a really long time while trying to boot, but gosh, i can't believe it corrupted that much data. I was sick to the stomach at this point because the recovery program can get the data off as long as it's not over written.
So I start restoring from my backups onto the new disk and figuring out what really got destroyed. I figured I had lost about half of 4 months worth. Maybe I could live with that. But some of those were really important including my Moab freeride collage image that I cherish so much. All I had was a low res copy ai emailed to someone and posted. I was preparing a high res copy for a gift to the rider and was thinking, "What am I going to say to him tomorrow?"
So I slept it off and woke up fresh with positive hope. I decided to try and format the drive and then do a recovery this morning since the restore program works well on formatted drives. It was odd since the drive showed it had only had 32 Gbytes for a 200 GB drive.
Format wouldn't work. Weird. I was starting to get really puzzled about why it could be only 32 GB at this point. Maybe a pin on the connector got bent when plugging it in. So I decided to pull the drive and look.
"No, pins are ok...The slave jumper looks ok, oh wait, This is a seagate drive (the rest are maxtor) what is this, 'limit drive to 32 GB' on the slave jumper pins?"
Suddenly I had that mixed emotion of really happy, yet really pissed! So calmed down,took the jumper out to make it a slave and did all the necessary stuff and booted.
There the drive was, just like it should be! Whew! I was so excited, I had to write this.
I didn't dodge a bullet, the gun just wasn't loaded when I looked in the barrel and pulled the trigger. Lucky me, yet stupid cocky me! Lesson learned.
So the question goes for really knowledgeable computer people (Who are probably going, "You didn't know that? You are an idiot!"), why is there a jumper to limit the size of a 200 GB drive to 32 GB? Is it for some old systems that can't see large drives--FAT32 or something? That subtle thing really hosed me. My other drives don't have that jumper (least it's not labeled)
Last edited by lidarman; 12-11-2005 at 12:03 PM.
Damn, I hate that sick feeling. Glad to hear you recovered everything.
I have no idea on that computer sh!t - guess that makes me even more of an idiot.
Loose Nut Behind d' Wheel
I only make technology - I don't know how to use it. ;^P
A year ago, my old computer was hanging up on boot-up, and usually took 3 tries to get running. I found out there was a bunch of bad capacitor dielectric going around in 2000-2001, and that bad caps could be identified by their bulging ends. Sure enough - I had 3 duds. A technogeek coworker talked me into buying a new motherboard instead of replacing the whole box. Oops, memory footprint has changed and I need a new memory card, too. Well, I never did get it to recognize my graphics card, and the USB ports were flaky, but I limped along because I hate fussing with these things. Stupid computer started hanging up on boot-up again about a month later, and slowly began taking longer and longer to get going over the course of the next several months. When it got to about 8 tries, I decided not to put any more money in it and order a new one. The day I got the new one out of the box, I tried to fire up the old one to transfer my data - not nearly as many photos as you, but cherished ones nonetheless. Sure enough, the old computer stubbornly refused to boot. I gave up after 2 hours. Meanwhile, the NEW computer refuses to get past the 3rd Windows setup screen without rebooting. What am I, cursed? After a chat with the help desk, I get the software reloaded and succeed in using the computer 2 more days. After that, it would boot up and then shut down and reboot immediately. Endlessly... until I pulled the plug. After another chat with customer support, I'm told it's either the power supply or the motherboard. They send a tech with a power supply the next day, but that's not it. Motherboards are out of stock, so I wait a couple weeks. Still no motherboard. Okay, send the piece of junk back and order something different. So far, the latest one is working, but I still need to rescue my data from the old drive. Oy.
I'm glad you were able to retrieve your data. Wish me luck!
Look where you want to go. This is as true in life as it is in mtbiking.
Originally Posted by Lucky
At one point last night I was thinking, I will never, never, ever try to build my own computer again (even though I have done it successfully twice before). But today all I can think about is something simple. Just back up your data somehow, and often. Sure it might have to be installed on new hardware, but photos and many types of data are priceless. We are all told to back up. But when you are on the brink, the feeling must be like a smoker being diagnosed with lung cancer--you feel "shoulda, woulda, coulda" with dire consequences. Last night I had that feeling...kinda like a bad dream in the end cuz I woke up!
Glad it worked out. Coulda been ugly.
Simple data rule: Paranoia is a good thing when tinkering with anything that can "screw with" (technical term) data.
Back up early and often.
I endorse self propulsion
that's a sick feeling isn't it? its great you were able to save all those pics. its also a good thing that you weren't able to format the drive. that would have been bad in your effort to retrieve your data.
basically windows will only recognize 32GB on a drive formatted as FAT32, unless the drive was formatted using another operating system. so it makes sense that your recovery app was only able to retrieve about 20% of your data, since 32 is a little less than 20% of 200. its odd that the jumpers were set that way out of the box, since FAT32 isn't used nearly as much as NTFS nowadays.
...even Legends f$%& up once in a while!
Originally Posted by lidarman
I think you meant to post this on computergeekreview.com
Think about this. Heaven forbid your house burns down. Your computer and all your backup solutions (DVDs, spare harddrives, CDs) burn down with it. Granted you would obviously have other issues but if photography is your business(which sounds like it is at least part time with you) then this is a huge probelm. Computers, cameras, tvs, etc can be replaced. Lost images cannot. Do yourself a favor and set up some sort of offsite backup. Even if it is just DVD backups stored at a friends house.
.........I'm off to take some of my own advice.
Wow! Rich, glad to hear it was a "DOH" kind of moment. Having worked at a number of small design firms who look at back ups and redundancy with skepticism, glad to hear another story of horror to back me up (haha - good pun). I have to go to bat for the same crap I'm always blabbering about like: 1) CD/DVD copies off site of all projects 2) CD/DVD copies on-site in a little fire-proof safe 3) Off-site automated back up - pretty cheap insurance and have had to use it twice - once succesfully, once so-so.
It can be annoying, but the more days and weeks that go by, the more time it really takes to sort out older back ups and get all the newer stuff ready to write - then do it and keep it organized. My wife throws an external into the mix that can be taken away, stored safely, etc... but shes the smart one in the family ;-)
Anyhow, very glad it worked out. Buy another external yet? Or waiting for the crazy holographic drives to come out (er, or are they out yet?).
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"It's better to regret something you HAVE done, than something you haven't..." -
I tried babelfish...
but still have no idea what you're talkin' 'bout, Willis. So I'm gonna take a guess and hope one of the following replies will be helpful for whatever problem you're experiencing. 1. "RTFM." 2. "Brass nipples." Glad I could help,
- Joe (who's got a 120G Seagate external hardrive that gets used -slightly- more often than every 4 months)
Backing up files is for pansies!!!
I dont know that I agree with the offsite backup, but one thing you can do to kind of safegaurd that HD is to put it in an external enclosere, and use it via USB rather than having it installed as a slave drive. Less chance of corruption or problems with switches. That is what I usually do for backups. DVD burners are helpful too.
On a side note, completely unrelated, I back stuff up on hard drives too.
xcopy C:\Docume~1\Jonathan\mydocu~1 D:\backup\Jonathan\mydocu~1 /e /h /r /y /k /q
Scheduled batch files have always worked for me.
come to think of it, I need to back up my pictures...