Dec 24 2003

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Crashing hard drives and routing failures

What a day it was today …

Around 6:30 this morning I THOUGHT I heard the phone ringing … but it wasn’t ringing upstairs, so I figured it was on our 2nd line (which happens to be a Vonage Voice over IP line), so I knew it was probably a wrong number (only Steve knows the VoIP number anyway).

Well, woke up to get my coffee and noticed that we had a message on the answering machine … I listened to it and it was indeed Steve calling to tell me that he my system was totally inaccessable.

I hadn’t done anything to the Covad DSL service I figured something was wrong with the Dell server.

Went downstairs and didn’t see anything wrong with the server … but I did notice my Dell laptop was reporting that it couldn’t find a hard drive.

So now I had two big problems.

First I tried to figure out what was wrong with the Covad dsl service.

I could ping out ok, but nothing was getting in … even when I tried to acess it from the internal network.

Since I had just installed a new Linksys BEFSR81 8 port router on the SBC ADSL service, I figured it was interfeering somehow.

So I replaced the BEFSR81 with the old BEFSR11 (1 port router) and it started working again.

Ok, one problem solved.

I started looking at the laptop …

My main concern about the laptop is that I be able to get my Quicken data off it. Ever since I upgraded to Windows XP my networking hasn’t really been right. So the daily backup of my quicken data hasn’t been happening for a while.

I ran a hard drive diagnostic and was quickly informed that the drive was bad. Luckily I had purchased an extended service contract on the laptop, so I called Dell. Talked to a very nice Indian gentleman named Jason about it … we quickly determined that the drive had indeed failed. He arranged to ship a replacement drive. He said the drive would probably arrive on Saturday or Monday. Oh well, that’s a long time to be laptopless, but I can cope.

I then started to try and extract what data I could from the laptop. I was able to get it to recgonize the hard drive for short periods of time and copy some critical data off. Luckily I was able to get the quicken data off without a problem. I still want to try and get more, but the Quicken data is the most important.

Had a moment of panic though, I had copied the data to a Samba share that I (thought I had) named “backup”. So I logon to the linux machine and go to the backup directory. It was empty!

Oh no, this is bad. So I figured I had typed the name wrong … I tried “Backup”, no luck.

I checked my home directory on the Linux system and found a directory called “backiup” … lo and behold, my quicken data is there. Yay!

I talked to Steve a little while ago about the reason for the SDSL problem … he mentioned that there was some very weird behavior. He would ping my Covad IP, but the response would come from my SBC address. Very very very odd.

I then realized that I had been playing around with dynamic routing on the BEFSR81! I switched back to the BEFSR81 and turned OFF the dyamic routing and everything worked fine again. I really gotta learn not to play with things and not turn them off when I’m done.