There it is. Today, Claudia’s SlackWare box wouldn’t start anymore. A quick wirr on the harddisk, then silence. No output on the monitor. BIOS wasted?
I decided to buy a Mac Mini!
I thought about it before (2005-02-06 Software, 2006-03-01 Gadgets, 2006-03-06 Gadgets) – and today, as I walked Claudia to her studio, I decided to take a look at the nearby Eschenmooser. I didn’t know that they had 10% off today, so I was lucky.
Total: CHF 1586.30 (USD 1300)
Now I need ext2/ext3 drivers for the Mac…
On the ever-helpfull EmacsChannel, I got some info regarding my fried PC:
In the mean time, I’m downloading software upgrades on the new Mini.
Back to my file rescue mission. I installed the Ext2 drivers from the ext2fsx project on my old iBook running OSX 10.3.9, plugged in the external USB drive, and waited. And lo and behold! It mounted the various partitions on the drive!
Unfortunately, it was not possible to simply copy the folders via the network to the new drive connected to the second computer. Permission problems. In the ext2 preferences panel I indicated that I did not want permissions used on these partitions, and started fooling around. I did a
sudo su and tried to create a tar file, thinking that it might circumvent the permission problem.
Kernel panic! A little transparent box tells me I have to reboot my Mac!
I do that, and my drives are no longer mounted automatically. The readme just said to run fsck_ext2 on the devices to repair them if they did not automount. At first the disc did not show up in /dev, however, so I was confused: What device? After asking around on IRC, I realized that the disc had reappeared in the meantime:
alpinobombus:/usr/local/sbin alex$ ls /dev/disk* /dev/disk0 /dev/disk0s3 /dev/disk2s1 /dev/disk2s3 /dev/disk2s6 /dev/disk0s1 /dev/disk2 /dev/disk2s2 /dev/disk2s5 /dev/disk2s7
So then I started to run commands such as
fsck_ext2 -C 0 -p /dev/disk2s5 – they take forever! The -C 0 makes sure you get to see a progress bar, and the -p makes sure you don’t have to answer questions when fsck encounters problems. Just fix it, man!
I guess this is taking forever because I’m doing this via USB.
I can’t believe that I finally finished checking all the disks, mounted them using
disktool -m disk2, opened one of them in the Finder, started browsing, and got another fucking kernel panic!
Now I’m running
for p in 1 2 3 5 6 7; do fsck_ext2 -C 0 -p /dev/disk1s$p; done and I’m hating it.
I noticed that all filenames with Latin-1 encoded characters in their filenames got shortened: From the first non-ASCII byte onwards, everything was replaced by a questionmark. (Latin-1 characters result in invalid UTF-8 encoding.) Thus, copying the directories resulted in duplicate files on the target system. Then I produced a file list using
find and had no problems doing it. Then I tried to copy the files using
cp – and another fucking kernel panic!!!
for p in 1 2 3 5 6 7; do fsck_ext2 -C 0 -p /dev/disk1s$p; done again. Current mood: ice cold death.
Some time later…
Ok, I think I have all the data now. Luckily enough I didn’t have too many files with Latin-1 encoded names. I also noticed that browsing directories with such files in the Finder doesn’t crash the system, it just truncates the names. Thus, I was able to copy large parts of our home directories going directory by directory, and then skip or rename the truncated filenames – actually if I had several files called ver? I had to copy one, rename it on the HFS drive, then copy the other, and rename it as well. As I said, once I got the knack of it, it wasn’t too much work.
I also got into the habit of mounting the external hard disk, going to the ext2fs preferences, and make sure the partitions were all mounted read-only. That saved me from fsck-via-USB terror on the two or three occasions it still crashed.
I also had to set the jumper for one of the old disc drives to “Master” because “Cable Select” (CS) didn’t work: The drive would not mount.
Let’s see whether I remember any thing else…
Ah yes, I didn’t like the quality of the enclosure’s internal stuff (Pyrogate). The IDE plug and the power plug for the drive didn’t fit well, so it required grippers to unplug the bastards. The damn thing also got very hot, and the fan was always blowing. I can’t believe the 250G Iomega external drive I bought is so incredibly quiet. Well done! (Up until today I’ve been very happy with the Pyrogate “business drives”, however: Very small external drives that worked very well for backing up my iBook.)