Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Ohhhhhhhhhhhh Fuuuudddggggggggeeeee

Ever seen the movie Christmas Story? Remember the part where the kid says ohhhhh fuuuuuudddgggeeeee when his dad knocks the lugnuts out of his hand? Ever have one of those moments? I had one today.

I walk into the office today, oblivious to how my future is going to turn out. I reach my office and the CEO (a very nice lady) says "Is that Carl?"
I answer yes.
"Zeus is down"

Ah well, such thing in life happen. I'll just go to the server closet and restart. Everything will be fine. I reach the closet and see the machine. A poor sickly machine. The hard drive light is solid. The screen is blank. The computer Gods laugh as they see what I start to realize. Hard Drive problems.

I restart the server. The windows splash screen comes up then goes blank. Somewhere, someone just got struck by lightning. I wish it was me. I quickly take the server out of the rack and take it to my desk. A haven for fixing computers. I can more easily diaganose the problem there..

The server is now sitting on my workbench. I start it up. The windows splash screen comes up once more. It disappears and I listen to the hard drive. No horrible clacking..although it is running loud. After a minute or two the login screen appears. I log in and while it is slow it does work. I go to the event viewer to see what has happened between 7:30 am and 4 pm last night. Lots of red Xs. All of them say device/harddisk1/ has a bad sector. This bad..very bad.

Nothing horrid though. Just run checkdisk and have it mark off the bad sectors. I'll call dell and get a new drive. Everything will be fine. It goes through the first diagnostic fine. The diagnostic where it actually checks the surface of the drive is a different story. It stays on the first part for 30 minutes. The percentage is still at 0. The outlook is gloomy.

Ok, I'll run the operating CD and use the recovery console. Perhaps the windows version doesn't work, but the DOS version must! I put in the CD and boot. It goes through the normal screens. Hit F6 if you need to install a 3rd party RAID device. drivers loading..drivers loading. F2 for automated system recovery. This is not normal, but I don't want to recover the system so I just sit and wait. I'll be given some options soon.

Now it starts to check for previous versions of windows. Normally it does this when I'm about to install. Oh well, I've never used this disc before. Perhaps it's a little different.

Copying files to system installation folder. Now THAT'S a screen I know I see when I'm installing. But it couldn't possibly be installing. I didn't hit F2. There's no automated recovery.

System reboots on it's own.

OOOOOOhhhhhhhhh Fuuuuuuuudddddddgggggggeeeeee

I have just formatted (aka erased) and installed a fresh copy of the operating system. My heart sinks, my hands tremble I scream NOOOO! It's to late though..it's starting configuration screens (all by itself I might add).

I reset again and find 2 different installations. One incomplete and one my original. Thankfully nothing is overwritten. I call Frank to help me out. I'm going to need to put the data on a different server.

Fast forward to 1:30 pm. Everything is setup on the backup server. Called dell..they agree it's the drive..one will be here tomorrow. It's been a long day. I want to go home and snuggle up next to my wife.


  1. even if i didn't understand a lick of your technical jargon, i loved the story. sounds like you had an interesting day, either that or you wrote one for us. thanx, and i bow to the awesome computer genius, for were it not that you and your ilk existed, me and mine would all wither in this tech driven world and die a horrible, frustrated death all the while mumbling something unintelligible about the "thing...in the...thing" kay, later gator. and snuggle away, perks of the job.

  2. I have no earthly idea what you were talking about (actually, I followed some of it, suprisingly), but I know the emotion-stress overload that goes along with a day like this. Hang in there...it's almost over! :)