woops… *slip*… BONK!

Yesterday night I… this is horrible… tripped over my power cord and dropped my laptop. NOOOOOOOOOO!

It was a sad moment to see my trusty old HP dv1000 go down and hit the wooden floor – the only 3 square feet of my apartment that’s not covered with carpet. After re-assembly (hmm lots of doors to screw back on… and cracks to push closed… and… yeah) it booted up and happily told me that windows cannot start since its files are corrupted. At this point i’m just about to start banging my head against the floor… Luckily, on reboot, Linux popped right up, happily booting into my good ol’ Ubuntu login screen. Yes for Linux! Afraid that im going to do something else to my laptop… like, i dunno, spill my ice cream over it or something, i shut it off, hoping i’ll be able to recover my data.

Today I bought myself a nice Maxtor Basics Personal Storage 3200 320Gb external USB drive. I really couldn’t decide what I want, and I was going for firewire, or maybe an enclosure with a nice fat, fast hard drive, or maybe a small portable external… In the end I settled on the Maxtor since the Western Digital My Book drives were tested to write almost 3 times slower that the Maxtor and Iomega ones, and if im going to start doing regular backups, write speed is way more important than read speed right? I picked it up with extended warranty for about $190, which i thought wasn’t too bad (sure, i could get better, but i needed it right now)…

I was impressed when i took it out of the packaging (and this is one of the few devices with packaging you don’t need to destroy to get in!). Its a nice, gray, sleek package, with a small footprint.Very much of a “business” “professional” “hidden” appearance. I plugged it in (the little green light pops up) and after some fooling around with gparted to partition and format it with FAT32 (it came with NTFS, and I only had linux, and since i would probably want to access my files from a windows computer in the near future, FAT32 it was. I’m not going to fool around with the unstable NTFS support right now).

How does it perform?
I copied my entire 59.3 Gb Data partition in 1 hour 8 minutes, which comes down to 14.88 MegaBytes per second (or about 120Mbps) which is faster than what I would have been able to do over LAN (i was thinking of buying a hard drive for my desktop and backing up to it) but probably still slower than what FireWire would have given me. On the other hand, the Western Digital My Book (according to CNet) would have taken about 3 hours and 36 minutes to copy the same amount of data. I’m sure the 16 Mb cache of this drive, unusually large for enternals, helps a lot.

The drive is smooth and reasonably quite as well. I was told while buying it that Maxtor has a power issue and that they drives fail easily, which i didnt quite believe (I have an old SCSI maxtor that has been running strong for about a decade) but i did end up paying the $30 for the 4 year extended warranty just to be safe.

Now, my laptop still needs a doctor… And it seems like my Windows boot partition is gone, cause the drive makes all kinds of weird sounds when i try to access it, and don’t really get anywhere…. :-(

so, luckily I have all my code, music and the like on my new external, but so far things aren’t looking happy for my laptop.

Once I, ahem, get a new baby to play with (Thank you Yahoo!, now i know what my Hack Day prize money will go to…) i’ll set up an rsync script or something. rsync apparently can do some sweet stuff with keeping a backup synchronized. I’ll have to look into it now…

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