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Thread: Frustration (Rant)

  1. #1
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    Angry Frustration (Rant)

    Don't you hate it when you are working on a presentation for a couple of weeks (days actually) and the computer you have the files in decides to ****-the-bed?

    I have a Linux Special Interest Group meeting tonight and the subject I am going to cover is Digital Photography. I was going to go over F-Spot and digiKam for sorting, editing and organizing pictures before moving on to using Gimp and possibly Krita.

    I have my notes, as well as selected pictures on the hard drive. This morning I tried to boot it up quickly so I could copy the notes (OpenOffice.org writer, saved as a MS Word doc file) and go over them during lunch at work.

    So I booted it up, put in the encryption passphrase and took a shower.

    The HAL daemon is dying. It gets stuck on that. The hard drive "clicks" make a rhytmic 4-5 clicks and the repeats... over and over and over...!

    Normally it would be "LiveCD to the rescue!" except that the hard drive is encrypted so I *should* not be able to get the files off of it (otherwise the encryption is worth nothing)!

    Luckily I have other avenues for the meeting, just without notes and hoping the pictures are available on my USB (otherwise I'll have to find the link to the Flickr album I got them from and download them again).

    It always seems to happen at the last minute! Argh!

    (looks like I'll be taking Fedora 9 off this hard drive and replace it with something else. Experiment done.)

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    Thread moved to Soapbox
    Last edited by kastorff; 16-Jul-2008 at 06:44.
    Keith Kastorff

  3. #3

    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    It is always sensible to make backup copies of your work.

    I even make backups of the backups.

    Fedora 9, opensuse 11 is soooo much better

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    I picked Fedora 9 only because it included full-disk encryption and one of the guys at the meeting wants use to look at Encryption in Linux (esp Tru Crypt).

    At least this hard drive is used only for the computer club demonstrations so the files on it are mostly backed up somewhere (except for the notes from last night...)

    Tonight, though, I'm supposed to be getting a 2nd laptop hard drive and the tray for the laptop. This way I have one for my personal Linux (openSUSE 11) and one for computer club demonstrations. All I need to do to switch is pull out one drive and slide in the next (without having to remove the drive from the tray and the adapter from the pins,... etc.).

    Once I get my server fully functional, then I'll have a spot to synch the files with for backups and so it's accessible from either hard drive or a desktop.

    The timing just sucks.

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    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonbite View Post
    The timing just sucks.
    I feel for ya.

    Its the risk of this very sort of hardware problem (motherboard, hard drive, graphics card, wireless card, etc ....) that has driven my wife and I to have 3 desktop PCs and 1 laptop, between the two of us. [She owns the desktop & laptop, and I have the 2 remaining desktops] We are both VERY HEAVY computer users. We backup quite often from PC to PC (and to external hard drives), so that if there is a hardware failure, its not catastrophic, although it can be very inconvenient.

    My wife is a BIG WindozeXP fan, so that is one reason why I have not removed Windoze from my PCs (all PCs dual boot WinXP/Linux). On more than one occasion, when she had a problem with hardware, we did a quick move of one of my desktops to her location and she used the WinXP. The laptop (which also dual boots WinXP/Linux) is good for an interim computer, during the hours until the desktops are moved.

    Anyway, best of luck in sorting your problems.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    A co-worker I was talking with mentioned that maybe the hard drive cannot recalibrate for the temperature change.

    Since the hard drive is older (from a Pentium I w/MMX laptop era, now in a Pentium M @ 1.4GHz ) it may not be able to calibrate itself from the temperature fluctuations (warmer when it was last on, cooler this morning when I tried).

    I'll have to see if it works when I get home (and is presumably warmer than it was this morning).

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    Well, it didn't work when I got home, but I think I can still use this as an example for using encrypted hard drives.

    Since one of the scary things about encrypting your hard drive is to not be able to get the data off of it when something goes wrong, I am hoping that by RescueCD or some other means be able to access the data on the hard drive.

    Luckily the person who gave me the laptop was able to get a 2nd hard drive tray (and hard drive too! woo hoo!). So now I can easily switch between the old (encrypted) hard drive for the computer club demonstrations and the new hard drive which I just finished installing openSUSE 11 on last night (I look forward to messing around with KDE 4 and see these problems for myself!).

    I did a Net Install, so I have the latest KDE in the /oss directory (4.0.4).

    Otherwise the presentation went alright because instead of using my laptop for the demonstration I used 2 attendees' laptops. One had Kubuntu so I demonstrated digiKam and the other had Ubuntu sos I demonstrated F-Spot and Gimp. Overall I think it went alright, nothing Earth-shattering but I think I got them to understand layers in Gimp a little better.

    It was also a great example for backups and one of the guys there has done some work on rsynch and grsynch so he brought up some of his settings which I want to implement at home (espeically in light of this failure).

  8. #8

    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    Why would you not be able to get data off an encrypted harddrive?
    Any boot CD that includes the same encryption tools used on the harddrive should be able to mount the encrypted partition(s).

    If the harddrive is not even accessible, almost nothing helps, encrypted or not....

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    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    Quote Originally Posted by dragonbite View Post
    The HAL daemon is dying. It gets stuck on that. The hard drive "clicks" make a rhytmic 4-5 clicks and the repeats... over and over and over...!
    That's not HAL, that's the hard drive. If it was HAL, the bay doors wouldn't open and your coworkers would be murdered in their sleep or thrown out an airlock into the void of space.
    I will not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will permit it to pass over me and through me. ... Where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Frustration (Rant)

    I managed to take this "disaster" and turn it into a computer club meeting subject! woo hoo!

    "How to get encrypted data off of a hard drive that won't boot."

    Of course, once I got past the encryption part (easier than I thought) then I found out I had set the partition as an LVM format! So I had another thing to research on how to get past!

    Ultimately I was successful and was able to demonstrate it to the other members.

    When I get some time with my notes I'll post what I found out from this event.
    "Linux provides freedom, problem is most users don't know what it is or how to use it." ~me
    Friends don't let Friends wear red shirts on away parties!
    Linux User #477531 | Danbury Area Computer Society (www.dacs.org)

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