How Linux ended up saving the day.

Sometimes in life catastrophes happen, and when they do you are generally least prepared. OK, as you recall I had a little bit of a misadventure with a failing hard-drive last month. Yes, I consider a failing hard drive a huge calamity, especially if it is on a machine that houses all my RnD projects, and that is exactly what happened. It all started one September morning when I could distinctly hear, “swwwiiing….. click.. click.. click…” sound coming out from the hard-drive.

For the people who don’t know, that sound is the hard-drive’s death chant. It’s like an angina that occurs before a heart attack. And, that is pretty much what happened. The hard-drive did fail very soon and even though I could get most of important data out on a new drive, majority of my RnD data was left on the disk. I do have regular backups of my systems, but there is a limit to how much one can backup, especially if the data on the disk is like 100 GB.

Last week I decided to try and retrieve some of my RnD projects from the failed drive. Windows refused to start, and I was left wondering what it was that I could do. Only a part of the disk had gone bad, if  some way I could access the remaining partitions I could get most of the data out. That is when I decided to try Linux to get at the partitions on the drive. I threw in a Ubuntu live CD ROM and after some tweaks to fstab, woila mounted readable NTFS partitions! I recovered 100% of my previously lost data!

Moral of the story: Always always keep a latest version of Linux Live CD ROM with you. Like an inflatable air bag, you may not use it most of the times, but if it saves you from a crash it’s well worth it.

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