Recover from System Failure

Recently I had a hard drive blow up. This is not a figure of speech, there are actually carbon scoring marks on the inside of my computer case, and you can see a gash in one of the IDE controllers onboard IC’s (zoomed in on this photo courtesy of Paint Shop Pro)

Hard Drive Failure

What did I learn?
That my strategy of backing up db dumps and important config files to another partition of the same drive does not do you any good if the hard drive controller goes. Note to self: time to bone up on rsync. I did have some backups burned to CD and replicated to another HD on a different computer, but they were woefully out of date.

I investigated Hard Drive recovery quotes. For this 10Gb HD, they ranged from a max of $1,000 down to the best quote of $350. Ouch :(

I found an identical model HD on ebay and purchased it for $24.99 + $7.00 SH. When the drive arrived, four screws were all that held the controller board onto the drive, and a quick swap allowed me to access the old HD contents. Critical files were quickly copied across the network, and the entire drive was replicated later that night.

What was my recovery plan?
I was running RedHat 7.2 on this system. In the past, I had run earlier versions of RedHat and Suse on it as well. Since RedHat began making noises about desupporting the consumer version of it’s distribution about a year ago, , I began investigating alternatives. I have another system here running Fedora, the successor to RedHat