I almost had a heart attack today!

My Desk

Here is a tip for you – when you are swapping hard drives of the same size, and from the same vendor label them using a sharpie so that you don’t mix them up.

You see, my Windows box has 2 identical drives: 160 GB Seagate Baracudas. I got another Baracuda to replace one of the faulty drives. Over the last few days I carefully moved over all the important data to the other drive. Then I ghosted the faulty drive, and located the image on an external 320 GB Lacie drive. Of course, Ghosting didn’t go very smoothly – there were some bad sectors on the disk and it kept crapping out. I ran CHKDSK around 5 times yesterday, until it ceased to find new errors. Then I ran Ghost with the -BFC and -FRO flags which essentially meant that it would ignore all disk errors and continue no matter what.

Today I swapped out the drives and proceeded to restore from image. At some point I had some doubts. Did I swap the right drive? I unplugged what I thought was the data drive, and I booted up Knoppix to make sure, and saw that the drive I was working with was unformatted and empty.

Ghost crapped out on me 3 minutes into the process. I tried again, and it just kept crashing. I’m currently looking at the error reports it left me to see what was going on. I’m suspecting that either the image is faulty (because of the disk errors that were skipped), or it is something else. I read somewhere that Ghost 2003 sometimes throws a fit when restoring from a USB 2.0 connected drive…

Anyway, I decided to go back into windows to look at the error reports. So I swapped the drives again and my machine told me that the primary drive is missing. I went back, and swapped the IDE cables (I figured that I just connected them wrong) and the machine booted…

Then I noticed that my data drive was gone – it was completely unformatted. I assumed that by mistake I started restoring to the wrong drive and I wiped it out. Can you say panic attack?

Finally, I figured out that I might have messed up the drives somehow, and perhaps Knoppix was just having trouble mounting the other drive because it was not connected properly. I swapped them again, and I could no longer boot.

At that point I started trying all combinations, making each disk in turn the primary drive. After 3 tries I finally was back to the original setup. I don’t where it went wrong, and after all that swapping I don’t remember what exactly happed.

I’m so relieved right now it’s not even funny. All my data is safe and sound, so I don’t even care that Ghost kept craping out on me.

Next time I will label the drives before I start doing anything.

[tags]backup, restore, ghost, symantec, norton, ghost 2003, seagate, baracuda[/tags]

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2 Responses to I almost had a heart attack today!

  1. Fr3d UNITED KINGDOM Mozilla Firefox Windows says:

    I have a similar problem – I have three identical Western Digital SATA2 250GB drives. For example, Windows tells me that drive C is connected to SATA channel 1, when it is in fact connected to channel 3! The same happens with my D and G drives.

    At least you didn’t lose any data though :) – I once wiped out an entire 30GB of backups (including some coursework due in the next day!) thanks to Ghost restoring to my backup drive (which I forgot to unplug) and not the normal one!

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  2. Luke UNITED STATES Mozilla Firefox Ubuntu Linux says:

    Heh…. I feel a bit better now knowing I’m not the only one to do this :P

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