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Date Fri 07 September 2007

A few months ago, a disk on my Compaq Proliant ML370 went down. The machine has 6 Ultra3 Wide SCSI 15k RPM drives, 18 Gb each, in a RAID 0+1, so I figured that between such a configuration and weekly complete tape backups, I’d be pretty much set. At least for a “home” user. I powered down the system (eek! downtime!), feeling lucky that it didn’t host any critical services. At a loss for a spare drive, and hoping that the decade-old SCSI controller was just having a bad morning, I let the system sit for a few hours and then powered up. It rebuilt any lost data and came back fine.

Unfortunately, a week ago, the same problem happened. The good news is that there wasn’t much important “data” on the disk. The bad news is that the disk was the root partition, and that I lost *both* mirrored drives in a 42 minute window. The system is now down indefinitely, pending my winning the lottery and getting the money for two 15k SCSI disks.

Now, I originally wasn’t too worried. The system is mainly used for storing unimportant data. However, I quickly remembered three facts about STOR1:

  1. My two and only tape drives are hooked up to this box.
  2. This box is my CVS server, so now not only are my nightly builds stopped, but I don’t have CVS access.
  3. The To-Do list item stating “fix STOR1 backup script and re-enable cron job” should have been a higher priority.

So, in the future, you will not only read about data recovery operations using a LiveCD, bare metal recovery of the system, but you can also expect my wiki to include a page on implementation of Bacula.


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