August 19th, 2008

Pensive Kevin

So Much for Backups

Well, something is really strange with my computer. As I reported a while back, I went to the cloned backup and then poured my documents back into it, then cloned the (presumably fixed) machine back into the drive that earlier would not boot. Things seemed okay until the next time I shut the machine down. The next time I restarted it, the drive wouldn't boot, but the clone (which was the one that originally wouldn't boot) would boot. What? I swapped the drives around and repeated this process of cloning presumably-working drives. Net result: neither drive will boot. And it's not specific to this computer, for the drives will not boot in the other identical Dell laptop, either.

Now I do have a sort of further backup, in that I have a 120GB drive (the two troublesome drives are both 160GB) on which I spent some time a few weeks ago doing a bare-metal installation. It doesn't have many applications on it, but I think I have the installers for everything I need. I even can restore the data, because the non-booting clones will read just fine when attached as a non-booting drive. What I don't seem to have at home are the addresses of the various network drives (not to mention my two desktop computers) at work, so while I can install VPN and run it, I can't actually connect to anything. I'm going to have to write down those addresses tomorrow and then enter them later, assuming I can't find them hidden somewhere on the non-booting drives.

Of course, this all assumes that the 120 GB drive doesn't refuse to boot the next time I restart as well.