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Old 04-11-2009, 05:23 PM   #1
Completely Clueless
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Angry Disaster Strikes! (again)


Hi all,

So I've got PCLinuxOS all nicely set up and running on my smallest PC, an Acer netbook. So I figure before installing additional apps and whatnot, it might be a good idea to image the base installation, and just to be super-cool, I'll do what most people overlook and backup the MBR, too. So I've copied both components of the system over to an externally-powered USB drive. About one minute AFTER the last process completes without error, the phone rings and in going to answer it, I trip over the power lead to the USB drive. YOINK!!!

Well nothing much seemed to have happened at first, but now I find the thing won't re-boot and reports a corrupted partition table. No problem, I think, having earlier backed it up! Anyway, to cut a long story short, it seems not only was the computer's system corrupted by the sudden, involuntary unmount, but also the external drive's contents, as several attempts to re-install from the backups have failed. All I get is a blinking cursor after the BIOS hands over control to the OS.

It's irritating, but not such a big deal as there was no loss of personal data, but I'm just wondering WHY this innocent clumsiness had such catastrophic consequences. I've done similar things many times in Windows and sure, the Win OS complains about it, but carries on unaffected nevertheless. It's not as if there was any data being read or written from the external drive at the time, so I fail to see why this single act of carelessness crippled the box in question. Can someone enlighten me? I'd have thought the instant removal of power from storage devices that aren't transferring data would simply leave them perfectly intact, but obviously not. But WHY NOT??
 
Old 04-11-2009, 09:54 PM   #2
cybercord
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I won't rub it in, but this is a learning experience many have had in the past. Like "are you sure you want to format c:" and many more. You hit the nail real good. Yes it was your act..... But it may have been a simple way electronics work. Hard drive like to be told to "park heads" for dis mounting and such. This stops data transaction and put the HD into a mode of "I'm going to sleep". HD's are high speed spinning devices that do not like changes in inertial forces. The physics of is that the 90deg rule of inertia was drastically displaced when you move the device and applied many G's in a different axis to the original inertial forces. Thus, it is possible that the HD had a hard crash (not just with the floor) and the heads and disks may have touched. It has nothing to do with the OS, at least this time. Oh, unless your Spock, you will never understand the Universe. There are many of us still clueless and in various states of cluelessness. And I wonder why my camera did not work after dunking it in water.....
 
Old 04-12-2009, 04:39 AM   #3
Completely Clueless
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cybercord View Post
The physics of is that the 90deg rule of inertia was drastically displaced when you move the device and applied many G's in a different axis to the original inertial forces. Thus, it is possible that the HD had a hard crash (not just with the floor) and the heads and disks may have touched.
D'oh! Sorry, I appear to have given the impression that the external drive was physically damaged when it wasn't. When I tripped over the power lead, it was cleanly whipped out, instantly powering the (still mounted) drive down. It was this simple act that appears to have buggered up the file systems on both the external drive and the computer itself. I'm still mystified as to the dire outcome when there was no data transfer between the devices taking place at the time. :-/

Last edited by Completely Clueless; 04-12-2009 at 04:42 AM.
 
Old 04-12-2009, 06:54 AM   #4
jolphil
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Hello Clueless,
My guess is that it is to be yet determined whether your damage is software,hardware or a combination of both..You can try to repair the software issue but ultimately you may have to start from the ground up and
replace/reinstall..The first thing I would do is to run each disk with the manufactures test to see if physical damage has occured...Either way you will have some direction as to how to proceed..We all hope you will be lucky and come out of this with a valuable learning lesson..We have all been there so we know how you feel..
Goodluck,
jolphil
 
Old 04-12-2009, 11:27 AM   #5
thorkelljarl
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Assuming that the system will boot...

You might make a clone of your installation with Clonezilla and use something like testdisk on the copy to try to restore your installation. Working on a copy is more advisable than working on the original. Some of us make mistakes.

http://www.clonezilla.org/

http://www.cgsecurity.org/wiki/TestDisk

Testdisk is on several rescue and forensic live-cds, for example SystemRescure LiveCD. Look on the list.

http://www.livecdlist.com/

Clonezilla provides very little documentation, but google has guides and howtos.

Last edited by thorkelljarl; 04-12-2009 at 11:30 AM.
 
  


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