I made a WTF



  • Sorta.  It's not programming related, but it's still making me hate myself for not figuring it out sooner.

    So Windows Vista reboots my computer during the night while I'm sleeping to apply an update.  I'm fine with that.  Unfortunately one of the programs' device drivers I installed decides to BSoD on boot.  So Vista reboots.  And reboots.  And reboots.  And reboots.  For four hours straight.

    I wake up, see what's happening, and boot into XP.  Then I go to access my Vista drive.

    It's not there.

    I check again, it's not listed in My Computer.  I try to access it in the Command Prompt.  "The system cannot find the drive specified."

    Of course I'm not very happy at this point, because I had my Steam games and my perfectly legal music and perfectly legal Stargate episodes and my perfectly legal video games stored on that drive.  Not to mention when the computer rebooted I had been DOWNLOADING the latest perfectly legal Stargate episodes and I had been planning to be watching them by now. 

    So I check out Disk Management.  The disk is marked uninitialized and unformatted.

    I search the internet and determine the best course of action is to try and initialize the drive.  I do so and nothing apparent happens.  Unknown to me at the time I had just made things worse... "Initialize" must be a code word for "Wipe the partition table" because that's what it did.  Moral: Never listen to the internet.

    Of course then when I try to reboot into Vista just to verify my drive still actually existed the boot loader complains the drive isn't there either. 

    Fortunately after hours of searching and rewriting the MBR, I found a tool and rebuilt the partition table, which I thought had been my original problem.  Of course it still didn't work.  But now I was able to view the drive perfectly in Windows XP Recovery Console and in the tool I used to rewrite the partition table.  So I rewrite the VBR (commonly called the boot sector) to the drive.  Still won't mount in Linux or Windows.  I am out of drive header things to rewrite. 

    So then I give up and start looking into buying an external drive, since I can access the drive from DOS I should be able to copy everything over, format, and copy back.  Besides another drive would be nice since I'm running out of disk space anyways... again.  So I boot from DOS and am glad to discover my BIOS mounts USB drives (a 1gb flash drive, not useful for mass data recovery :)) automatically in DOS.  So I boot from a perfectly legal torrented CD that contains probably thousands of dollars of recovery software (none of which had fixed my drive) to use NTFSDOS to see if I can copy some small files off of it... and my USB drive doesn't mount.  I try USB drivers on the CD, it mounts it once but the directory structure is garbage.  So I reboot and then discover it won't mount again.  I reboot off a plain DOS boot disk and it doesn't mount.

    I check my BIOS settings for related settings for mounting USB drives and find nothing, but I notice that S.M.A.R.T is turned off for whatever reason in the BIOS, as well as CPU temperature warning.  I turn them both on while I'm there.

    Then I get concerned that I might have corrupted my USB drive.  So I boot into Windows to check it.  All of a sudden Windows finds new hardware, Steam starts up,and the drive appears in Explorer out of f***ing thin air, and all my files are OK.  I figured out later Windows must've used S.M.A.R.T to fix the drive.

    I'm still annoyed I tried fixing this thing for like 25 hours and I ended up fixing it by accident.  I actually think my dad mentioned S.M.A.R.T when I talked to him, but I ASSUMED it was on.  I didn't realize the BIOS was shutting it off every boot (one of the repair tools turned it on and I assumed it would stay on).

    I still have to run chkdsk /f on my drive (I figure I must've screwed SOMETHING up in my quest for my data) and I'll probably have to reinstall Vista since I couldn't get past the BSoDs anyway, but the latter can wait until I get around to partitioning my XP drive so I can run XP, Vista, or Linux at whim.  Which I will be able to do when I order my external drive (yeah I know the primary reason for it is sorta moot now but more data capacity is always cool with me).
     



  • Reason #1 why I don't allow Auto Updates to reboot my machine.  Download new updates?  Definately.  Install them?  Maybe.  Reboot my machine.  Hell no.  I want to be there when it boots.

    Same reason why I don't auto reboot on BSOD.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, at my old job I installed a screensaver from SysInternals that simulates a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a...ok, you get the idea.  I come in one morning, and my machine is off.  Apparently, one of my coworkers saw my screensaver running, and hit the power switch...  :)
     



  • Uh, I don't think the real problem is S.M.A.R.T. But I'm sure the real WTF is your constant use of "Perfectly legal" on things that sound doubtfully legal at best.  The fact that you feel the need to reinforce their legality lead me to believe that they are, in fact, obtained through illegal means.

    Not to start a flame war, but I am not particularly concerned whether or not your software/media is pirated.  Just don't be a goober and try to justify the software you have, legally or otherwise.

    Now, if you had said "perfectly legal child pornography." I'd feel different about you, and probably contact the authorities. 



  • [quote user="danielpitts"]

     But I'm sure the real WTF is your constant use of "Perfectly legal" on things that sound doubtfully legal at best.  The fact that you feel the need to reinforce their legality lead me to believe that they are, in fact, obtained through illegal means.

    [/quote]

     I can't tell if you are trying to out-sarcasm him, or if you're really that slow.



  • Moral -- don't keep important data on a drive with a beta OS installed.



  • Moral # 2: keep important data on a flash drive (encrypted of course). Mine is 4gb, and you'd be surprised at how much junk does NOT come under the heading of irreplaceable when you only have 4GB, and need to set up your backup scripts, one directory at a time.



  • You definitely don't have any problems picking up on sarcasm.  And you definitely have a great sense of humor.  And your friends probably have the best time talking with you.  And you have the perfect sense of humor and nothing gets by you at all.  You sound like a lot of fun, just a rockin' good time had by all when you're around.

     

    Get it?  By reinforcing how cool it must be to be around you, it makes it more funny because it probably isn't true.  Just like the original poster did.

     

    Lighten up. 

     

     



  • Wait. I know I've seen this before. Oh yeah. 

    Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Spicoli just totalled the star quarterback's brand new car. "No problem. I can fix this. My old man's a refrigerator repairman - he's got a whole garage full of tools ..."

    monkey + tools = monkey



  • [quote user="Grimoire"]

    On a somewhat unrelated note, at my old job I installed a screensaver from SysInternals that simulates a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a...ok, you get the idea.  I come in one morning, and my machine is off.  Apparently, one of my coworkers saw my screensaver running, and hit the power switch...  :)
     

    [/quote]

     

    We almost killed a Development manager with one of those. One of the QA guys found a BSoD screensaver and installed it on every Windows box in the QA lab. Dev Manager poked his head in there either really late or really early when no QA folk were present, and he nearly had a heart attack. The poor guy who deployed the screensaver got way too much formal grief over it.

     



  • [quote user="flightee"]

    Moral # 2: keep important data on a flash drive (encrypted of course). Mine is 4gb, and you'd be surprised at how much junk does NOT come under the heading of irreplaceable when you only have 4GB, and need to set up your backup scripts, one directory at a time.

    [/quote]

    Well all my irreplaceable stuff is already on my flash drive :)... but some of the torrented stuff I had was accumulated over a looong time, and some of it was probably not available anymore.

    And I've used that BSoD screensaver (on a related note Sysinternals' tools are excellent).  Except once I came back to my computer and tried to get the BSoD to go away, and it wouldn't.  Then I realized it wasn't the screensaver.  :(  Anyways I just use the sleep mode on my monitor now, since I have my own dorm room and no one really sees my computer anyway except me.
     



  • [quote user="Grimoire"]

    Reason #1 why I don't allow Auto Updates to reboot my machine.  Download new updates?  Definately.  Install them?  Maybe.  Reboot my machine.  Hell no.  I want to be there when it boots.

    Same reason why I don't auto reboot on BSOD.

    On a somewhat unrelated note, at my old job I installed a screensaver from SysInternals that simulates a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a...ok, you get the idea.  I come in one morning, and my machine is off.  Apparently, one of my coworkers saw my screensaver running, and hit the power switch...  :)
     

    [/quote]
    <font face="tahoma,arial,helvetica,sans-serif">Yeah, I never leave or trust my machine doing auto reboots alone... Specially after installing / upgrading / patching my OS...
    Got myself cut once with an SP2 install on Win2000 before... After the reboot, I even can't load Windows!

    Later! (googling for "sysinternals bsod screensavers")



    </font>



  • [quote user="Grimoire"]Reason #1 why I don't allow Auto Updates to reboot my machine.  Download new updates?  Definately.  Install them?  Maybe.  Reboot my machine.  Hell no.  I want to be there when it boots.[/quote]Problem: some updates force a reboot even if you have Automatic updates set to "Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them" (and according to some reports even with "Notify me but don't automatically download or install them"). Very funny when you come to the computer in the morning, only to find out it rebooted 2 hours after you left it, and the job it was supposed to do during the night got terminated at 20%...



  • [quote user="ender"][quote user="Grimoire"]Reason #1 why I don't allow Auto Updates to reboot my machine.  Download new updates?  Definately.  Install them?  Maybe.  Reboot my machine.  Hell no.  I want to be there when it boots.[/quote]Problem: some updates force a reboot even if you have Automatic updates set to "Download updates for me, but let me choose when to install them" (and according to some reports even with "Notify me but don't automatically download or install them"). Very funny when you come to the computer in the morning, only to find out it rebooted 2 hours after you left it, and the job it was supposed to do during the night got terminated at 20%...[/quote]

    Really? Is this is with Windows?  I've never had this happen (I'm not saying its not true, just amazed -- I'd be rightfully pissed about it!)  I've had it bug me all day for a restart, but never seen it decide to take matters into its own hands.

    On a related note, I really never could fathom why Windows thinks it needs to restart after those  "Windows Genuine Advantage" updates. WTF?

     



  • Windows XP sp2. Most recently seen about 2 weeks ago - I set one of my computers to scan a bunch of documents, and when it stopped too early, I went back (thinking something jammed), only to see it restarting. After I logged in, I was greeted by "Your computer was recently updated"... Before that, around February, 4or 5 computers (out of 30) automatically restarted in the middle of the workday (IIRC, the restart nag dialog popped up, but instead of giving Restart Now / Later buttons, there was just a progress bar with 60 seconds timer. Needless to say, users weren't very impressed.

    On a related note, I really never could fathom why Windows thinks it needs to restart after those "Windows Genuine Advantage" updates. WTF?
    Probably so that it can bug you when you try to log in, if your windows isn't genuine (of course; I've also had Windows bug users with this, even when their Windows copy was genuine - in 3 cases; twice it went away automatically, once I had to call M$).



  • [quote user="Grimoire"]On a somewhat unrelated note, at my old job I installed a screensaver from SysInternals that simulates a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a...ok, you get the idea.  I come in one morning, and my machine is off.  Apparently, one of my coworkers saw my screensaver running, and hit the power switch...  :)[/quote]

    Windows NT crashed.
    I am the Blue Screen of Death.
    It's only the screen saver, silly!

    (Slightly adapted from Ponderables)



  • [quote user="Grimoire"]On a somewhat unrelated note, at my old job I installed a screensaver from SysInternals that simulates a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a BSOD, followed by a reboot, followed by a...ok, you get the idea.  I come in one morning, and my machine is off.  Apparently, one of my coworkers saw my screensaver running, and hit the power switch...  :)[/quote]

    A coworker once hit the power switch of a Linux server because it was displaying a Windows blue screen.

    Yes, that was a screen saver.



  • [quote user="The MAZZTer"]

    I figured out later Windows must've used S.M.A.R.T to fix the drive.

    [/quote]

    Nonsense. 
    No such thing could have happened.  S.M.A.R.T. just monitors hard
    drive operating parameters and triggers a warning if any of them are
    indicative of drive failure, hopefully with plenty of time to back up
    data and replace the drive on a more convenient schedule.

    There's nothing in there that would allow Windows to suddenly see a drive again.

    I
    had to solve a similar problem recently.  Windows munged the
    PRIVHEAD and VMDB of an 800GB two-drive stripe when it was told to
    import the foreign disks. 

    Initially, I was going to just
    write the correct LVM structures to the drive, which prompted me to
    waste a lot of time locating information on their undocumented LVM
    format (licensed from Veritas).

    I ended up using a Gentoo install
    disc to pipe the output of dd for the volume portion of each drive in
    the stripe through gzip, then redirected to file
    (fortunately, the volume was mostly empty, so highly compressible).
     Then I recreated the striped volume in Windows, boote
    back into Gentoo to dd the data back onto the drive at the right
    position, and everything was restored.

     


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