12 April, 2015

My Dying External HDD... revived – by Ubuntu Linux

Tux, the Linux penguin
Tux, the Linux penguin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In my years of computing, the volume of data that I have to keep grew lineary, sometimes exponentially, downloads here and there, documents piling up from transactions day in and day out. Naturally, an external HDD was required.

I bought a WD 1.5TB size, and it was immediately put to use.

It was big and heavy, and bulky, so when the remaining size in my internal HDD was enough to hold my daily space requirement, then the external HDD was disconnected and kept away.

And that was bad. The storage time was quite long, so by the time I needed to use it again, errors came up. Of course, this was all in Windows.

I tried using chkdsk to fix the error, and with a 1.5TB size, the time it took to repairing entailed long hours, and I had to leave it running overnight, but in the morning, the repair was still not done.

I had to abort, and to some point in time, that helped.

Until Windows had to give up on the chkdsk repair. I mean, today, I tried doing another repair for a very important file that I need, it didn't go through.

So I booted up in Ubuntu Linux, and used GParted to fix and repair the external HDD, and that somehow went through. Most importantly, the drive appeared in the list, and when I clicked on it, the files were shown. Not all of it, but the one I needed, I found, and copied out.

As one forum commentator said, “Way to go!” Reverse-engineer a Windows program and use it in Linux to repair a disk that can't be repaired in Windows! Of course, he is referring to fsck, and another utility.

Anyway, my external HDD is still okay after all, only that it can be accessed through Ubuntu Linux, not through Windows.

I might stick with Ubuntu Linux more often. This article is written and posted using Ubuntu Linux.

Till then!


The passing away of my old desktop PC

Screenshot of the Welcome screen of Ubuntu Des...
Screenshot of the Welcome screen of Ubuntu Desktop 11.04 CD (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


My old desktop PC died, officially. It was originally installed with Windows XP, but I tried to run in in Vista when the OS was released, then finally to Windows 7. Well, they all run okay, but to say the least, it was slow. And why not? It was an old PC that can only accommodate a maximum of 2GB RAM. 2 slots, that's all.

The longest time possible it was running Windows 7 OS, but when 14.04 Ubuntu was released, I thought, “Why not try and see if Ubuntu Linux will be better?”

I did just that. And it was on dual-boot mode. Windows 7 alongside Ubuntu Linux 14.04.

For some time, I run it that way, and one very stark difference is the speed. Windows 7 was slow, Ubuntu Linux was speedier. And they use the same hardware and all.

About 2 months back, I decided, I am not doing anything in Windows 7, or to say it more specifically, I cannot do anything in Windows 7 because I am simply waiting for a button click to get through, or complete.

Came the decision: Wipe out drive C:, and install Ubuntu Linux – only!

I did just that, and Ubuntu Linux installation started nicely. That was just about the time we were going to have dinner, so I left the old desktop PC alone while the installation was going on.

Afterwards, when I checked on the installation progress, I noticed that the lights on the PC were off. The power switch was still turned on, so I was wondering how it was turned off. I tried to press the power button, but no response. I had to open up the casing to check on what the problem could be.

No power. I did the standard troubleshooting steps, but there isn't anymore a response, like simply leaving the PC unpluged for a while and letting the stored charge be discharged, and upon plugging back in and turning the switch on would immediately turn the blower fan momentarily on, then off – well, none – nada!

A few more rounds of doing this, and with the night getting late, I had to retire, and to 'officially' retire the old desktop PC as well.

Good thing was that the secondary hard disk is still intact, and it is still in the PC today, but before the supposedly installation of Ubuntu Linux, I made it sure that all data was moved out of the primary disk, and all stored in the slave disk.

It has served me a long time, and it had its time. Computers don't live forever. And it picked a fine time to die, just when I thought of giving it a 'new life' with Ubuntu Linux...

Till then!