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Windows 7: One second: The time it takes to wipe 3 years of work

24 Oct 2009   #1
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 
One second: The time it takes to wipe 3 years of work

Quote:
October 20th, 2009

One second: The time it takes to wipe three years of work

Posted by Zack Whittaker @ 5:43 pm

It only takes a single second, some would argue a micro-second, to wipe an entire hard drive. Without the need for electromagnetic pulses or an industrial liquidiser, all it takes is a single spark of electricity to cause havoc with your entire electronic life.
How do I know? Because last night I hit the realisation that I lost everything in a blink of an eye. Hereís how, kids.



Two days ago, I was in my home office working on my degree work for the week. Just as I finish writing up a seminar, I stretch my legs, kicking out the all important power cable at the back of my machine. Itís not the first time Iíve done it, so I was annoyed at potentially losing what I had been working on but not particularly fussed.

I restarted the machine and with an element of surprise, the POST took a while longer than per usual and it stopped, not before asking me to insert boot media. At this point, I thought the master boot record used to boot up Windows was corrupted. No big deal, but the Windows 7 disk I needed was in my office on campus - over a mile away, and this was 11pm.

So I trail my way up to campus and get the almighty powerful disk I thought needed to fix my master boot record. Instead of trailing all the way back home, I decided to pull an all-nighter and get some work done. To say that I felt a little delicate the next day would have been a massive understatement.

Once I finally got home, I slam the disk in and with a little persuasion begin Windows setup to recover the drive. After a while it dawned on me that not only can Windows setup not find my drive but neither can BIOS. At this point I realise that I am in deep trouble.
More at: One second: The time it takes to wipe three years of work | iGeneration | ZDNet.com

Even frequent backups on a spare ide or isata drive(internal, external makes no difference) is a good preventative measure to avoid loss due to an unrecoverable disaster of some kind.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #2
thefabe

Windows 7 ultimate 64 bit / XP Home sp3
 
 

To many user don't take the time or find it not that important to back up their data. A cheap USB drive can save your life. Also creating restore points is another frequently overlook item. Nice post to remind us of the risk that is taken if not done. Fabe
My System SpecsSystem Spec
24 Oct 2009   #3
Zen00

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

So, I've never used it myself, but I've heard good things about using Spinrite on your drive to recover data.

But yeah, I have a backup drive as well, I use it to save my data to when I do clean installs and such.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
.

24 Oct 2009   #4
rsvr85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

I feel sorry for the guy in a way. However, this quote baffles me; "And did I back up my machine? Of course I did - but on a separate partition, and on that hard drive."

Why would somebody who clearly relies on a computer so much backup their entire PC to a different partition on the same hard drive? Correct me if i'm wrong here but, isn't the point of backing up, preparing for worst case scenario? (which in this case is loosing everything and getting ripped off). A backup drive is your wing man and that backup drive in my eyes, should always be a seperate dedicated drive/device. I'm sure many people are backing up to a different partition on the same drive and there are instances where that may come in handy, however, this guy heavily relies on his PC and would kill to retrieve his thousands of hours of work, therefore, he should be backing up in a more intelligent manner in the first place.


An old geeks proverb - "He who laughs last, probably has a backup"
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #5
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

With several things going on at once and having added additional drives in to prep for testing 7 and then all of the various programs along with the betas and later RCs I tend to find drive space a commodity where two 1tb HDs found their way in simply to back things up as I go along rather then wait and then.... ?

Even temp files that I know will eventually be deleted entirely somehow find a place on one of the extra drives set aside for storage. Nost however only have one or two drives with everything often found on the main drive. While any one of the OS drives can be wiped clean at any time too many would be devastated if that is seen or a drive simply gives out without any warning!

The one item pointed to in the article there however is going right out and buying a new SSD? For most the new drives are still a bit higher priced and still haven't caught up with the increased capacities seen with your newer usb external drives upto 2tb for some or one of the 1-1.5tb sata models sold for much less.

For laptop users on the other hand without an external drive and no room for a second internal hard drive the option then becomes removable media such as burning data dvds as one means besides what can be backed up onto usb flash drives. Carry your important things right in your pocket with those.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #6
smarteyeball

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by rsvr85 View Post
I feel sorry for the guy in a way. However, this quote baffles me; "And did I back up my machine? Of course I did - but on a separate partition, and on that hard drive."

Why would somebody who clearly relies on a computer so much backup their entire PC to a different partition on the same hard drive?
For the majority of users it's a placebo effect.

Most users expect that the worse thing that would happen is that their installation gets corrupted. A failing hard drive is something you believe only happens to other people.

Once a hard failure has been experienced, there is a 97% 'lazy to vigilant backup' conversion rate
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #7
rsvr85

Windows 7 Ultimate x64
 
 

Quote:
For the majority of users it's a placebo effect.

Most users expect that the worse thing that would happen is that their installation gets corrupted. A failing hard drive is something you believe only happens to other people.

Once a hard failure has been experienced, there is a 97% 'lazy to vigilant backup' conversion rate
I've never experienced from a hard drive failure. It's common sense to use a separate device, surely?!
I have however, experienced the gut wrenching feeling when i thought i'd lost my backup drive. It was quite an easy (if not time consuming) fix in the end. I simply refuse to backup my backup (does anyone actually do that?!)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #8
chuckr

XP_Pro, W7_7201, W7RC.vhd, SciLinux5.3, Fedora12, Fedora9_2x, OpenSolaris_09-06
 
 

Poor Zack Whittaker....

He shouldn't be kicking his power cables...

I'm the only one who should be doing that...
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #9
Lee

Win 7 Pro x64, VM Win XP, Win7 Pro Sandbox, Kubuntu 11
 
 

Backup is one of the keys to peace of mine when it comes to digital information. I have a music location that stated back in 1957 and goes through to 2008 which spans 350 gigs. All of that 350 gigs is on DVDs. A few of my friends have told me that is just plain dumb. One of those last week lost a 1 Tb drive to a power spike along with thirty years of family pictures. Backing up isn't just common sense it is a must do situation. Think smart, not stupid.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
25 Oct 2009   #10
Night Hawk

W7 Ultimate x64/W10 Pro x64 dual boot main build-remote pc W10 Pro x64 Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64
 
 

Evidently someone lacked a good disaster recovery plan and paid a high price when thinking this was all a joke! I've had one or two drive go over the last decade while forunately I had already upgraded to new larger drives and had loaned a few out.

But you "never know" is the key phrase to remember when something can go amiss and then those not prepared lose out. This is something even more important to get across to the novice users since they wouldn't otherwise even be paying attention and wind up in a bad place.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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