Okay… what have I learned today?
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
- Ignoring rule number 1 should only be proceeded by backing up your crap.
- For those who are too lazy or too confident to pay attention to either of the first two rules, this advice: don’t dick around with it… dummy.
- Don’t be a cheap bastard and use RAID striping instead of buying a full sized disk (unless you’re dealing with data that is totally expendable).
- It takes a really long time to rip 870+ CDs… you don’t want to imagine having to do it twice.
- The perceived time it takes for Windows to start up increases in logarithmic proportion to the amount of data you think you have just lost.
- System restore can save your butt.
- If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. (that deserves mentioning twice)
Okay, what ruined my day you ask? This morning, before going into work, I did a quickie web search to see if there were Vista-compatible drivers for my RAID card. This weekend I plan on installing Vista on my home machine and I realized I needed to lay some groundwork first… like making sure there were drivers for the various bits of hardware I have. So, there are Vista drivers, Yay!
So, genius boy here decides to download and install the new driver at 7:30 in the morning before going to work. Heck, it’s for the card I have, no need to worry about something going wrong (sure, it seemed perfectly reasonable at the time). A quick install and reboot later and my 500 gig music drive is suddenly two 250 gig, unreadable drives. I almost cried.
Knowing I had to go to work and didn’t have time to futz with the damn thing I just shut down, kicked myself, packed up to go to work, then kicked myself again.
The worst part of it all was that as soon as I wasn’t focused on a task at work my mind would wander and …
“CRAP!!!! I SO SCREWED MYSELF!!!!”
If I had only bought two 500 gig drives instead four 250 gig drives the failure would have been no big deal… I’d have had two identical copies of my data (see rule number four above). Given my RAID array wasn’t fully bullet-proof (and running just fine, thank you very much) I really shouldn’t have even played with it in the first place (see rule’s number one and three). And so on…
All day I kept re-living my idiocy. As soon as I could reasonably leave work I came straight home (panicking again every time my mind would wander at a stop light), dropped my coat just inside the front door and ran straight upstairs to sit down in front of my computer… the machine which I had so unceremoniously raped this morning.
I tried a couple of things, each requiring what seemed a stupendously long reboot time. It’s amazing how painful it is to watch what usually seems a reasonably quick boot time when you’re imagining your entire CD collection going through a digital paper shredder.
In the end I did what I should have done first thing this morning, I used system restore to put my machine back in the state it was before I installed the drivers this morning. Well, actually, what I should have done first thing this morning was poke myself in the eye with a pencil, and then kick myself for even considering updating the drivers for my RAID card when there was nothing wrong with it’s operation to begin with, followed by poking myself in the other eye to ensure I was unable to see well enough to screw myself.
Honestly, sometimes I have the common sense of a small soap dish.