Some background. I’ve had all manner of computer bugs bite me, but I’ve never lost data. A hard drive has never crashed on me before.

Last night, when we started up our one Windows machine, it thought for a couple seconds and then said “Operating System not found”. We tried to revive it for a while with no luck. It looks like the hard drive cracked.

Then I found my server, vorpal, had been cracked into. It didn’t seem like the hole had ever been used, but it was scary enough by itself. Then, in the heat of the moment, I almost killed it entirely with a dumb command. Thinking it was dead I went crazy imagining all the trouble it would be to get it back. Luckily, it came back on its own time.

This morning my laptop, the machine I do everything on, started making loud clicking and scratching noises on its disk. I back this machine up regularly — the whole thing every week. Except, for no real reason, I hadn’t for the past few weeks. I scrambled to get everything off the disk into the backup as the clicking sounds grew louder.

As I tried to mount the backup, I noticed that I had encrypted it with a proprietary program that I only had on the encrypted disk. I managed to get a copy of the program and move the data to a decrypted disk, but something went wrong along the way and the disk wasn’t bootable. I tried to install the OS again over it to fix the problem, because the 10.3 installer said it couldn’t install 10.3.1, since it was newer. I tried to fix the problem manually, but that only made things worse and revealed deeper flaws. Tomorrow I’m going to buy a new computer.

You might not want to get near me this week.

posted November 25, 2003 01:18 PM (Personal) #


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Aaron Swartz (