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500 Gigabytes… Missing

This is one of those things I pray never happens to people. I lost all my data on my primary computer. Yes, all of my data. All 500 Gigabytes of stuff.  Some of it I have burned to CD, own, or just don’t care about… Like for example, my MP3 collection is gone. That’s ok. I can get that back. Also gone is all my software. That’s ok, I have the cd’s for that.

However, there are some things that are permantly going to have been lost forever. This includes: Most, if not all the pictures taken with MY digital camera. It includes my old designs for this webpage and the code that went with it. It includes the code for some of my old programs (some of which I might still be able to find if I look hard enough, things like Alex‘s TreeMapper).

The point of it is… I didn’t have a backup. Nope. No backup. I mean, really…. How do you backup 500 gig’s of data? It’s not like I could have put 2 terrabytes into my computer (ok, so I could have, but no…)

Ok, so let’s talk about how I have prevented this from happening in the future. For starters, I replaced the dead hard drive. Always a good way to prevent data loss: don’t put data on bad hard disk. I also purchased a 5th hard drive. I’ll get to why in a second. Before yesterday, my Raid was Raid 0, which is why I lost all my data. This form of raid is known as striping. It makes for faster hard drives because it can read from all 4, but it means that all your files are spread across multiple files. This of course isn’t ideal. Now my raid is Raid 0 + 1. Meaning: 2 drives are striped (for performance again) and 2 drivers are mirroring the 2 striped drives. This means I don’t have a terrabyte of usable space anymore (just 1/2 a terrabyte). But it also means that if any 1 hard drive fails, I’m still running.

But, that wasn’t good enough for me. I didn’t like the idea that 2 hard drives could fail and I would be in the same situation. So I also bought another 200 gig SATA hard drive, which I plugged in seperately from the raid. I’m dumping weekly backups to this drive of all my files. That means it would take 3 drives dieing to fail.

Now as soon as I get a cable modem, I’ll also dump remote backups to an external hard drive at MSA (that’s what it’s there fore afterall). But I don’t have that yet. Hopefully, this will prevent massive data loss in my own world.

On the same note, JR Computer Associates Servers have been worked on today. The idea to put FreeBSD on one of them has been thrown out by me because I didn’t like the missing functionality and some compatibility issues I had run into… Maybe the next time I get some spare time I will try freebsd, but until then, Mario and Luigi will both be running debian.

So thats what I continue to do now. Leaving MSA: 8:00pm today. Not to shabby for what all I got done. I wonder what I will still get done tonight.

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