ARRRGG! Under the heading; yes it can happen to anyone – I suffered a catastrophic drive failure on my primary notebook this weekend.


Best I can tell it was from a corrupt MBR, very strange considering the system was not a multi boot or had multiple partitions. And of course it struck at the worst possible time as I’m on the road with back to back customer calls to make.


So here are the lessons to learn from my misfortune:


  • Always keep a current backup of anything you care about. Fortunately I had all “My Documents” form a few days before on a flashdrive.

  • Consider a partitioned drive separating your data from the OS, this is something I had been thinking about for sometime and will go into my next build.

  • If you are a road warrior, or find your self away form your office much, keep a copy of your OS installer and any hardware drivers with you. I did not have that special HP XP Pro recovery disk with me, so I was forced to rebuild with Vista…. Oh Vista, just when I think I’m out you Pull me back in!

  • Keep a copy of Ubuntu or some other cd image bootable OS with you. Thanks to my copy of Edge Eft (Ubuntu 6.10) I was able boot the system, browse the undamaged files and copy them off to an external USB drive. Needless to say, Ubuntu’s stock went way up with me!

  • Tools would be nice…. Before our airports went all medieval on having a screwdriver in your carry-on, I would always have at least a small Philips on me, and sometimes a Leatherman tool. After this debacle I’m seriously considering a packing a small toolkit in my checked bag, just in case.

At any rate, the mire fact that I can type up this entry today is a good sign that my system and work week are on the road to recovery.