Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Not The Best Christmas Present

Like many people around the world, yesterday was spent with family and friends gift giving and much to much eating (the fried rice and turkey was fantastic).

Last night though I received an unexpected gift, from windows - a corrupted hard disk. Oh what a joyous event, a little drive that could was now a little drive that couldn't. Well by little I actually mean 500Gig. So after a few attempts at booting windows, Last Known Good, Safe Mode, Safe Mode Command Prompt etc, I then attempted a restore and low and behold the windows recovery option couldn't recognize the installation. Enough to drive your sanity to the limits.

I attempted to use a Recovery CD - Linux based and while I could use one tool to see the files in the drive still - or at least a listing, that was about it. GParted realised the disk was corrupt and instead recommended chdsk be run before trying to use GParted again. So cutting an unexciting story short, 16hours latter and chkdsk is still running. It's found a whole heap of problems and is still cracking along, slowly.

But here is the real lesson in the story (not the usual back up your stuff one) - avoid hibernate / sleep / standby in windows. Before the crash I had been copying files between two local drives, it had then gone in to standby - when I returned to the PC it was reporting a CRC error in the copy. My first though was a stuffed disk but since watching chkdsk I am thinking again - most of the corruption relates to files which were being copied, the point where windows was crashing relating to the disks or acpi. At the moment it's still a hunch but this MS knowledge base article isn't very reassuring Hard disk may become corrupted when entering standby or hibernation or when writing a memory dump

Any way heres hoping for a happy ending. I think I have at least another 8 hours of disk checking before I'll know the results. After that I'll be avoiding sleep / hibernation and standby, but thats just me.

Hope your technology this Christmas works better for you than it has me ;-)