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Recovering from a Hard Drive Failure

Have you ever woken up in the morning and said to yourself, “today is the day that I'm finally going to backup my workstation!” only to find out that you're a day late and about 320Gb short? Well, that's about what happened to me recently, but don't worry, the story has a happy ending. I'm getting ahead of myself though.

Most people's excuse for not performing routine maintenance or regular backups is that they just don't have time. So when I discovered that I had some down time, I decided to take to take care of a few issues on my workstation. I performed a system update. Since I leave my system on all the time, I decided to upgrade the kernel and try to get software suspend working so I could cut down on energy consumption and heat production in my office. Finally, I resolved to finish backing up my home directory.

The system update went without indecent and the kernel compiled and installed without error. The next step was to reboot into the new kernel. When the kernel panic'ed, I figured that I had missed something in the kernel configuration, so I rebooted back to my older kernel, which also panic'ed. Since this system had been running not 15 minutes ago, I knew things were about to get ugly.

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