Disk Failure!

So it’s been a while since my last post and it’s interesting to see that I haven’t blogged since I entered the E2 program. I’m now done and it was indeed quite an adventure. I’ve leave out the details for anyone who is interesting in pursuing it, but be ready to be tired!

We’ve now moved back into the city and on a very loud and annoying street. I get to enjoy the sound of buses, random drunks, jack hammers and velociraptors.

So back to the nerding topics. Shazouty had an uber disk failure which made me a very sad panda and I potentially lost about 4 months worth of data /sadface. It turned out that having raid 0 is good and bad at the same time. I don’t know if this was just a bad batch of disks, a random anomaly or what. Regardless, one disk was silently failing with bad clusters. The raid was protecting the data by having it available on the other disk. However, the secondary disk was slowly degenerating as well. While both were sprouting full of bad sectors, they were in different sectors so one was protecting the data from the other. That happened until eventually both disks had a bad sector… on my file table. Additionally ReiserFS had apparently stop being a good choice… years ago.

So after trying ReiserFsck to death and booting off cd images over and over trying to squeeze off from the dying raid, I realized it was time to cut my losses and just learn from the lesson. Fortunately, some of the data was still on Bunny(Diana named our newest laptop) and Badbox, so it wasn’t a complete loss. I now have a monthly reminder to check the SMART data of the drives to check the bad sectors and also backup to an external drive.

While this nerdy info isn’t as programming nerdy as I’d like my poasts to be, I will try to make sure I have some interesting for the next post. In the mean time another youtube video.

Badbox is Bad!!

The “good” bad apparently. So as my RC candidate of Windows 7 is to expire within the next two weeks, I decided this would be a good weekend to wipe and load my official copy of Windows 7 Ultimate.

Well the install started as smooth as I would expect. First came the formatting, then the installation of windows, the drivers and finally the software.

Unfortunately, I started noticing that my desktop’s network connection kept dropping. It would force me to disable and then re-enable the hardware for the network connection to restore. At first I was concerned it was my router or my modem, but alas, it was worse.

I was re-installing WoW, even though I’m not playing it till the wedding, and at some point my entire PC just powered down. Along with the constant network card dropping. I eventually took off my PC Door and felt the heatsink. Indeed the heatsink was a good indication that things were way too warm.

So to satisfy my curiousity, I downloaded a hardware monitor to get my cpu temps. It was reporting -40 degrees! Looking at the software I figured that it may not be compatible or some other story so I checked out the forums, it turns out that my cpu was so hot, that it was overflowing the maximum thermal sensor value of 85C.

Quickly reacting, I took a deep breath and blew in the case and as I did an eruption of dust spewed from various cavernous regions. When I pulled my head out of the desk to check the temps, it had reported that the cpu temps were now at 75-77C. Funny and sad at the same time. I haven’t upgraded in so long, that I haven’t cleaned out my pc in a long time as well.

It was time to clean out the dust and I began. Piece by piece completely coated in dead human skin particles and other anomalous objects. I started wiping away and dismantling. I got to the cpu heatsink and when I removed it, there was no longer and adhesive force. The thermal grease had turned into a thermal cookie and was no longer provided any thermal conduction.

I then took everything off and got my q-tips out to remove the gunk from around the sockets, but as I started cleaning the sockets, it then recalled to me that Intel decided “Hey, lets put the pins on the motherboard instead of the cpu!”

I ended up bending three pins… I thought I had them all fixed, but my desktop was no longer booting. It kept whining and complaining with post codes that aren’t documented on google. I was almost going to stop by J & R at that moment to finally just upgrade to a socket 1366 platform.

However, I decided that I at least need to give this box another shot. 2 hours later of prying everything off and looking at the socket with a magnifying glass and a paperclip, I managed to fix the board

Everything came back up, and I’m now restoring the settings of the board since I reset the CMOS as a potential option for resolving what I didn’t realize was a bent pin at the time. I’m now happy to report that load temps are at 64-67C now and my machine is overclocked back to 3.2Ghz on the cpu and bumped up on the memory 200mhz to 1ghz.

People who don’t overclock their pcs due to concerns about longevity, meet my E6600, 3 years at 33% overclock and still not dying. Badbox is still alive, allowing me to perform mischevious programming deeds! Unfortunately I wanted today to be a good milestone day for XNA evolution step 2 and another webcam app project. However, that will just wait till later in the week.

Time for bed, night all!