Friday, April 23, 2010


I haven't had much to report for the last 4 months. Everything was running incredibly smoothly. The system would go weeks without needing to be restarted. I could add stuff to the server and the client wouldn't miss a beat. The wife was happy. The kid was happy. Even I was happy.

Than the apocalypse hit.

I was intending to back up my data before the move both locally and online. Unfortunately I didn't get around to it. Now I'm paying.

We had a power failure this past week. The data on my 2TB drive, the one formatted as ext3 and connected to the Ubuntu server is inaccessible. I haven't reformatted it yet to see if the drive is salvageable, but from what I could find online, it doesn't look good.

Re-ripping movies and music is disappointing, repeating that work will take much more time than I have, but it's all replaceable. The most important thing on the drive was my family photos and videos. Luckily I had another external drive that I had backed these up to. Additionally that drive is backed up online. Plug in the backup drive. Power light is on, no driving spinning up sound. Hmm, not good. There is a chance this drive is still alive but the enclosure is dead. I'm not hopeful though. To top it off, my internet service went out this week so I didn't have a way to check my online backup, or do any proper online diagnostics. When I finally got online this evening, I was able to check the online backup and I have everything backed up to September of last year. I have a few suspicions but I'm not sure why there isn't more recent. It will take several days to restore the online data that I can.

There is some good news. I had a 500GB drive and a 1TB drive that I managed to survive the move. I hadn't had a chance to reformat them and press them into service. The 500GB has most of my photos, music, and some of my ripped TV shows. The 1TB has a good hunk of my ripped movies. The Mac has our recent photos and home movies, back to November of last year. Fortunately I didn't get around to cleaning it up yet. The big casualty are the photos and home movies from October 2009. Luckily, the best photos I uploaded to Flickr, so even that isn't a total loss.

Now some hard choices. I decided to take Ubuntu off the Dell laptop media server and replace it with it's original Windows XP operating system. I like Linux, and I want to keep experimenting with it, but I don't trust myself with it enough to allow something like this to happen again. I suspect there will be some things that will be more difficult with a Windows server than with Linux. However, there will also be new features with the Windows server that I wasn't able to figure out with Linux.

The next posts, I'll explain what sort of software choices I'm going to make for the server reborn.

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