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Old 02-24-2008, 09:45 PM   #1
Nishtya
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A humbling experience to lose 4 yrs of data


No, I don't really blame linux. The blame is squarely on me. Four years of running linux 90% of the time, and most of that debian and it derivatives.

But this weekend, I decided to play. See, I always had two disks in my main pc. The big Windows disk primary and the smaller secondary disk for linux. Oddly, linux was my primary OS. Always has been. Still will be. I kept my linux data backed up to the big windows drive because in Windows I had a nice app from NTI, to do an image/restore when I needed. And of course linux never crashed so I kept my windows backed up on the linux disk. That is where I screwed up, bad.

So tonight, boy am I pissed. To make a long story short, debian testing/sid being what it is, Audacity had the gall to konk out on me and wasn't up to the job (actually any job that required it finding the freakin INPUT). I had two choices: a) put etch on the spare partition of the linux disk and use that or b)install PSLOS on the spare because audacity proved in livecd to work just fine for my purposes.

Like an idiot I went for the PCLOS install. I knew this was trouble. I did it anyway. I thought I couldn't go wrong if I partitioned the disk with gparted first and just TOLD PCLOS to use what I created for it. I knew drake sucketh. I knew drake has a history of making everything go POOF. But I did it anyway.

Long story as short as I can make it. Complete fresh install of my linux and all my backup (mostly email of FOUR years) that was on the linux drive go byebye.

My mistake. I know that. Just needed to vent.
 
Old 02-24-2008, 10:10 PM   #2
Jeebizz
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Welcome to the club. I have had my first major data loss experience this last summer. It was due to hardware failure. I had a quarter of a terabyte's worth of data on an external hard drive. Pictures, programs, and music all collected in the span of EIGHT years, gone! The moral of our story is... Backup BACKUP BACKUP!!!!
 
Old 02-25-2008, 12:25 AM   #3
PatrickMay16
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Nishtya, don't give up hope. Maybe photorec can recover some of the lost files.
http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/PhotoRec

It recovered old data off of one of my disks... it can probably do the same for you. If I were in your situation, I would stop anything from writing to that drive IMMEDIATELY and then running photorec.

Last edited by PatrickMay16; 02-25-2008 at 12:26 AM.
 
Old 02-25-2008, 11:47 AM   #4
Micro420
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I'll make sure never to hire you.

Seriously man, what are you thinking? BACKUP BACKUP BACKUP! Employers can expect downtime, but losing 4-years worth of data!??!? Hopefully others will take heed of this warning!!!

I have had crashes and downtime, but I make sure to backup my data to multiple sources, even out of state in case the big earthquake hits California.
 
Old 02-25-2008, 07:50 PM   #5
Nishtya
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Micro, what would you not hire me for? Trust me, I would never try for unix admin nor windows admin. I am only root at home because I am all there is and so I have to be root.

I have been lax with my backups lately. The 4 year's worth is music and email mostly. some of the music just purchased a day ago darn and I hadn't done a backup yet on the downloads. The important stuff like tax returns, resumes LOL, and oddly, pics are backed up quite often. The emails have receipts and account info so it was quite a loss. The emails: my own fault and no one else's. I thought I had backed up the email archive but it was the wrong client's folder I copied over. My own stupid fault. Too easy to blame the whole icedove/tbird mozilla/firefox/ice ape "pick one".

The big casualty was my password vault. Kept on linux of course. I cross backed up data linux to windows and vice versa. But the passwords I was afraid to put on the windows disk. So I skydove without a parachute there. MY BAD. VERY. You do not want to have a cable guy telnet (into windows) into your puter so you can get your master email account, really you don't. I felt rooted. Dirty.

Absolutely I screwed up without having verified backups.

Jeebiz, I had my last disaster two years ago and thought it would never happen again (actually the exact thing hasn't happened). I just had a better backup in place. Stupid me tried to restore grub.

You know what I did? Do NOT ever do grub setup (hd0,0) of course you know what hd0,0 is. The boot sector. You do not want to setup grub in the boot sector. Oops, doesn't work unless you want to make everything go POOF. I have cheat sheets everywwhere to remind me, set (hd0)no other 0...argh. I never made that mistake again.

guess I was due.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 01:49 AM   #6
hbar
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I haven't had a "data gone POOF" story (for a few years at least); I'm just posting to say that I recently discovered rsync and I think it's the best thing since sliced bread. I'm using rsync in a cron script to mirror everything important over 3 drives weekly, and it will probably save my ass one day. HIGHLY recommended.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 04:12 AM   #7
crashmeister
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I never install install anything anywhere (as in on any disk) that has already valuable data on it.
Heck - usually I even disconnect the other disks in the box just in case.

Plus it goes to a VM install first.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 05:21 AM   #8
Randux
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hbar View Post
I haven't had a "data gone POOF" story (for a few years at least); I'm just posting to say that I recently discovered rsync and I think it's the best thing since sliced bread. I'm using rsync in a cron script to mirror everything important over 3 drives weekly, and it will probably save my ass one day. HIGHLY recommended.
I do this hourly to copy my entire desktop system and I have the exclusions properly set so I don't overwrite LILO and fstab on the mirror system. I can actually boot into the mirror system and it's just like home. It took a bit of work but now it's automagical.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 08:15 AM   #9
Su-Shee
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Well, as I'm the candidate for some rm -rf / <- space inserted here before some dirname, because I was tired....

I do backups with rsync every few days onto another machine and I got all my important stuff like source code and articles written and so on in CVS on a different machine, even though I'm the only one using it.

If I'm getting really nervous - like for my thesis - I check into CVS, put a copy on another machine physically outside my appartment and send myself the stuff as an email where it resides at gmail's and on my IMAP-host.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 08:56 AM   #10
jukebox55
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i must be living in the 90's, all i do is backup anything i want to keep to a 1gb pen drive ready for burning to dvd-r, never had any problems.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 11:56 AM   #11
jiml8
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I agree about rsync. I have crons that routinely backup /home and / (with some exceptions such as /tmp using rsync to different hard drives in my workstation. Every few days I plug a USB external HD into that workstation and copy the backups off to it, then I take it out of the building (it usually rides in my car).

It is a great way to protect the system.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:19 PM   #12
jay73
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Quote:
(it usually rides in my car)
Aren't you worried about car crashes then?
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:24 PM   #13
jay73
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Personally, I never use any partitioner that comes with an installer. I always pre-partition using a gparted livecd. If I find that I made an error, I just restore the original partitions. It's certainly a lot easier then restoring stuff after it has been repartitioned, reformatted and overwritten.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:24 PM   #14
Nishtya
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I picked myself up a whopper deal on a 320GB external disk and will start backing up more regularly. Hindsight, yeah.

I myself used unison and was really happy with it though I was idiot and didn't look careful enough at what I actually syncing.

Me too Jim... was going to keep the external drive in the car but am thinking the vibrations and temp swings can't be a good thing for it. Maybe will lock it up at work?

oh,
Quote:
Originally Posted by jay73 View Post
Personally, I never use any partitioner that comes with an installer. I always pre-partition using a gparted livecd. If I find that I made an error, I just restore the original partitions. It's certainly a lot easier then restoring stuff after it has been repartitioned, reformatted and overwritten.
I DID use gparted for the repartitioning and it went fine. And when I installed PCLOS I was adamant with the drakwhaterver not to touch my main linux's partition. And it didn't seem to...but then, on reboot, the main was "unallocated" and all the misery started from there. I think maybe it didn't like the reiser it sat on. I don't know for sure. The PCLOS is installed and running fine but I doubt I will ever HD install it again without it being on a completely separate disk and any windows disks physically removed.

Last edited by Nishtya; 02-26-2008 at 07:32 PM.
 
Old 02-26-2008, 07:41 PM   #15
jay73
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I don't know what happened, I have installed PCLinux more than once and I haven't had that kind of issue yet. But it's true that their Mandriva-based partitioner is rather confusing, certainly in comparison with the partitioners that come with Debian, Suse or Fedora.
 
  


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