Dicing with death (of a Laptop Hard Drive)

We all make stupid mistakes once in a while

Late last month I backed up all my important data to a laptop hard drive that I had put in my external usb case so that I could format and install Windows again, this was to do with upgrading to a new core i7 based system, replacing the Motherboard/CPU/RAM, unfortunately I was running a RAID 0 array with my 2 new hard drives and the i7 motherboard’s raid chips were both different from the one I was using before, this requires a recreating the RAID and destroying the data.

Everything went smoothly and I was up and running quite quickly, however I noticed a symptom that I had experienced with my previous system, a pausing when browsing the hard drives and sometimes windows not booting (not passing past the BIOS screens), I noticed it was getting stuck on the external hard drive I was using so I removed it and all was well, I realised straight away however that there was something wrong with the hard drive.

I was able to copy over some of my files when I realised it was simply getting stuck on some, causing explorer to lock up etc and making the task very tedious, I was worried about taking the data off as if the drive has suffered a head crash I may be in trouble as hard drives can destroy what’s left of the data in the area when you attempt to read it, however that was not the case this time luckily.

I was able to run chkdsk once, it took forever but it was able to recover some files which made things better for me until I had the most important stuff such as precious photos etc off the hard drive and safe. I was skeptical that my problem was the hard drive, after all it didn’t make any odd noises or anything that would normally indicate a drive failure, so I took it out of the enclosure and put it in my laptop, immediately I got my answer, the BIOS POST halted on first boot up explaining that S.M.A.R.T is reporting a generic error (the most generic error possible I might add) that basically means the drive is failing and I should get the data off it.

It has taken me a few weeks and through using programs such as TeraCopy and an OSX program that I can’t quite remember now (it was no help anyway) I was able to get most off, about 20 files of no importance were corrupted beyond repair.

I now have all my backups on my main drive and also on another external drive that has proven itself to be quite reliable, if one goes I still have the other, lesson learned.

PS. Another lesson learned is that through much searching that hardly anybody experiences the issue that I did and most software is tailored to people making mistakes and formatting a perfectly good hard drive.

Firefox crashes, WordPress flash uploader and new host

Firefox has locked up again

Firefox has crashed again, I can always tell because It’s closed, in fact I probably closed it an hour ago, but it’s been slowly sitting there in the background hoping I won’t notice it, it does this occasionally when I close it, sometimes after I have used it for some time, sometimes when I only have it open for a short time, it doesn’t seem to matter, it just does it, further more I haven’t found anybody with a similar problem, except some sources that insist it might be the plugins causing it.

The WordPress flash based picture uploader has been giving me grief ever since I changed hosting providers recently, HTTP error was all I was given when trying to upload a file, using the browser based uploader worked fine so I used that instead, but it got annoying for me so I did a bit of googling and found out that the reason it wasn’t working is because on some providers you must have this directive in your .htaccess file:

<IfModule mod_security.c>
SecFilterEngine Off
SecFilterScanPOST Off

Now flashed based uploading works fine.

UPDATE: James at The Theme Blog has experienced a similar error and has posted another workaround here, if this doesn’t work out try that one.

I have been a member of Aussiehost for over 6 months now, however this site has stayed specifically on Servage up until a few days ago when I realised this website is a little slow on Servage for my liking, the latency is shocking. The changeover was seamless and I’m very happy with the performance so far.