Driveswap: A Saga of Ineptitude
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This is gonna be long, and rather technical, so I’ll try to use the fuckwords to keep it entertaining.

For those of you who might not know, I work at Office Depot. I’m one of those schmucks in the tech department who come up to you every five seconds asking if you need help, then talk about protection plans for twenty minutes when you finally do need assistance. Or at least, that’s what I’m supposed to do. Instead I just wait for the customer to get that glazed-over look of a complete moron in their eye, and then try to help them as quickly as possible because chances are they’re an overall-wearing redneck with eight teeth who smell like cat shit and old moth balls. But I digress…


I wish that Professional Looking Black Man would come to my store…

Anyway, one of the few benefits of working this job is that I get first crack at the clearance sales. And boy, was there a doozy this week. A two terabyte external hard drive for forty bucks. That’s two fucking terabytes, for less than a 360 game. Do you realize how much porn and Gundam eps can fit on two fucking terabytes? More than I have time for, that’s for sure. So, obviously I snapped that shit up, with the intention of taking it out of its enclosure and using the thing as my main hard drive, because fuck externals. Seriously, fuck them. The laptop ones almost always have to take up two fucking USB ports, or they’re slow as shit. And the desktops need their own power supply. Because that’s what I want to do with something “portable”, lug around a fucking power brick.

So, I get the thing home and crack into it like a monkey fucking a coconut, and behold, it’s a Seagate Barracuda Green, AKA an “eco-friendly” drive that probably moves at 5400rpm. But, I don’t care, I’ll just disable write-caching and protection on the thing anyway, because fuck data integrity (this was not the source of my problem, actually).


Picture this, only in hard-drive form.

So, I’m faced with the conundrum of how to actually copy my main drive over to the thing. On my laptop, I was just able to copy the data over using Windows’ built-in copy software. However, for some reason I was of the opinion that this wouldn’t work (probably due to having a shitload of data backups at work end up incomplete when using it, but that might be because the slack-jawed idiot who brought it in got kettle corn on the drive platter or something), so I tried DriveBackup XML. Now, this might be a fine program, don’t get me wrong, but when I went to do a backup all of the data moved over fine, but it somehow torched the Master Boot Record of the drive. In layman’s terms, that’s like a cleaning service moving over all of the old trash and shit from your car along with the parts, but leaving the fucking ignition with a screwdriver jammed into it. In even simpler terms, computer won’t go blinky-blinky no more, won’t make sexy girl time on screen.

I decide “hey, maybe it was just a bad backup”, format the thing, and waste another day moving shit with Windows’ copy handler (500GB of shit takes a loooooong time to copy, let me tell you). Fast-forward a day later, and I’m still getting the “media test failed, check cable” message when I go to boot. No big deal, I slave my old hard disk back in and download a boot CD to try a complete ghost backup.

But I never get to that part, because this is where things get good. You see, I’m a lazy motherfucker at heart, and I really didn’t want to have to sit through another copy job. I have Max Payne 2 to finish, Goddamit! So, I decided that I would just try to fix the MBR without formatting the drive again. Great idea, considering I’m a fucking Linux wizard. I’m so fucking good at Terminal, Linus Torvalds lives in my beard! Anyway, after I dick that up and get a flavorful new variety of error message (“MBR Fail! Now with extra Riboflavin!”), I realize that I’m gonna have to use a boot CD. Now, rather than do the sane thing and just hook the drives I’m trying to work with, I wanted to get them into some sort of retarded configuration where I could have everything hooked up at once. So, using the components from the enclosure, I hook up the old drive via USB. Windows stars and bluescreens three times. Fuck. Oh, well, I figured that wouldn’t work, back to plugging in the SATA cables.

CLICKCLICKCLICKCLICK

The fuck was that? No seriously, the fuck was that? That better not have been the hard disk failing.

YOU’RE HUGE, YOU MUST HAVE HUGE GUTS! RIP AND TEAR, RIP AND TEAR!!!1!

I plug it back in, and nothing. The fucking hard drive died like an old man slipping in the bath. Honestly, though, for a Hitachi Deskstar (the Ford Pinto of hard drives!), six years isn’t bad at all. So, I assumed that I was out all of my data, but then I realized that I had a nonworking backup! So, I reinstalled Windows, and found all of my data in Windows.old. So the computer is back to porn-ready level, but I have to reinstall everything ever.

Thank Christ for laptops.

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