SHCC WYSIWYG Article from April 2012

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This article was written by Don VanSyckel, the club president, as a part of "The President's Pen".  This article appeared in the April 2012 WYSIWYG newsletter.

Upgrading Disk Drives

by Don VanSyckel

Back to home, gigabyte is nice. While I have wireless available at home, the house is wired and I use wired connections when I can which is most of the time. They are always faster and more secure. In the middle of all this I discovered my back up disks were full and needed more space so I decided I better do that before I had a problem. You know, Murphy lives in Michigan also and I could envision making a decision to wait for a couple weeks until a more convenient time to upgrade the disks and during this have my main data disk crash and go bad. So to make sure Murphy didn't come for a visit I decided to upgrade immediately.

The task consisted of several parts. Remember I mentioned I use two file servers. The first one has the main data disk and a backup disk. the second file server has a backup disk. Both servers have the data disks separate from the boot disk so moving data disks does not touch the window's install. Several steps were involved

1)On the second server the disk needed to be swapped for a larger one.
2)On the main server the backup disk was removed and the main disk was moved to the backup function.
3)On the main server a larger disk was installed to be the main data disk.

#1 was done by adding the larger disk to the server and copying all the data. In doing this I checked to make sure all the data by file count and byte count was on the new disk. This went pretty smoothly but during the process I noticed a couple places where the backup data had missing content which I noted to check later.

#2 was done by removing the backup disk.

#3 was done by adding a new larger disk to the server and copying all the data from the now backup disk (previously main disk) to the new main disk. This went OK for the first part of it. I did the copy in sections and as each section was done I checked the file count and byte count to verify. I caught a couple of oversights but no machine problems.

Then I started running into issues. While working these I remembered it was in this same area of the data that the other backup disk had some holes in the data. I searched more. Finally I found the problems but it was hard to believe. I had a series of directories each for a month and I had saved emails in these. I use Thunderbird and when you save an email to a file, Thunderbird defaults to put the subject of the email as the file name and then a dot 'eml'. Days, weeks, and months ago when I had save these emails occasionally there was a complaint that the file could not be saved as named. I don't remember the exact message but I would shorten the name and that file save would work. Apparently about a dozen files spread across several directories had names that were too long for windows to handle. Think of the irony of this, Windows made and saved the file and now the same Windows could not access it, read, delete, or rename. In addition I have Window's file compression enabled and these files were not compressed. Since the files could not be read the file copy used in the backup process would crash on any on these files ending the backup of the current branch of the directory tree. This is why there were holes in the backup data.

As stated these files could not be deleted. A trick I learned a long time ago is that sometimes when there appears to be a problem with an item, file of directory, the actual problem is in the parent directory in which the 'bad' item resides. So to test this i made new directories next to the directory with the bad item in it. I moved all the 'good' files into this alternate directory, moved the original directory to the temp directory o that disk drive, and renamed the new directory to the name of the original directory. Later after doing this where needed I tried to delete the directories in the temp directory. The good news is the directories deleted successfully. After getting rid of the 'bad' files and their parent directories the backup process work through the remainder of the data.

Then I went on to upgrade the disk in one of the two desktop computers I have. But this is another story all by itself so I'll leave it for next month.

End of Article

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