Technology is such a wonderful thing, until it it not.
As some of you might know, I am overseas. Travelling across Europe. Taking a lot of pictures, and generally enjoying myself.
The problem arose a few days ago, in a small German town called Deggendorf. The older, smallish 250GB HDD in my laptop started misbehaving and throing bad sectors. Sign of old age. Anysways, I could not trust it… So… I found a lot about a whitegoods, audio visual and technology store and store called MediaMarkt, their idiosyncratic behaviours and had a glance at how European technology supermarkets (Harvey-Norman/Dick Smith equivalents) price items.
The upshot of this is that the laptop has been thoroughly backed up, has had its data storage surgery and is now much happier, running with a slightly slower but new and hopefully more reliable 1TB HDD.
Because I am running a Linux based system, I was able to simply mount a new drive in an external drive case, partition it up, mount things up in a new hierarchy, rsync everything across form one disk to another (excluding some runtime ephemera, and avoiding the one partition with bad sectors) and then to invoke some grub magic and fix up the fstab. It worked really well, and with minimum of pain.
Everything seems to be running smoothly and the bad sectors on HDD ‘ate’ only 25MB CR2 file one of close to 5000 photos. It is annoying but not a disaster, as I shoot in both JPG and RAW/CR2 format in parallel.
More about the trip can be found here.