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Drive Cloning Mishaps

I just accidentally deleted a 1,5 TB chunk of files I'd been moving from a bunch of smaller/older drives onto one larger one, and late night decided to clone onto another drive the same size. For posterity.

I can't say for certain if I somehow accidentally put the drives in the wrong slots, copying the empty drive to the source drive, or if something just went horrible wrong with the cloning process... but whatever happened it definitely went horribly wrong! Opening up the drives today I'm greeted with two identical, and EMPTY drives! Identical drive signatures (that's easy to fix though - just go through disk management and hit the 'offline' notice to fix it - hopefully this wasn't the fix that somehow started this nightmare) aaand identically barren wasteland. Nothing there. Zilch. Nada. Stereotypical synonyms on nothing end burst.

This comes at the end of a few weeks spent backing up files, just in case, and has me realizing two things. Firstly: If you decide to clone a drive, it's best to have a backup of that drive somewhere safe already, because the clone process might in fact impact BOTH drives - not just the additional one. And secondly: I don't really need this particular chunk of data.

It still stings though. I'm running a shallow Recuva scan on one of the drives I copied files FROM - to which I've unfortunately copied new files to after, and running a deep scan on the now empty source drive, hoping that everything will still miraculously be there, just hidden away by the new partition index.

A shallow scan didn't work though. It recovered files that had been previously deleted on the OTHER drive, which had been cloned to this one, so I'm not certain this attempt will do much good either. It's currently running on two hours, with three more to go, so it's still a while left until I find out. Fingers crossed. UPD: Didn't work. Fingers uncrossed.

But it makes you think a bit. About files. About what files you really need. About if all this time you spend copying files to/from and between locations is really worth it... also knowing that a fire or similar freak occurrence could easily wipe away the entirety of these files regardless. Backups or no.

I need to get some backups to a different location, but cloud backup's expensive for large amounts of data, and I don't have that great bandwidth either way. Leaving a copy with a friend is an idea but I'm paranoid by nature, so I'm currently reading up on encryption too. Not that I don't trust my friends, I just don't trust my friends to be paranoid by nature.

So for now I'm backing up locally, and backing up certain selections of smaller files online, and pondering additional backup strategies. Also currently thinking about all that time. All that drive, poured into these drives; so easily dead; so messily revived. Just like my bike.

Not that I ever could revive my bike. Not without a little more alchemy practice. Alchemy drive recovery? Hmm! Unconventional anime spin-off ideas...

Missing Boot File In The Morning

I made a stupid mistake yesterday. I was initiating a drive through a docking station on my laptop, and noticed a 'mark as active drive' option in the activation menu that I wasn't sure I'd seen before.

So I clicked it.

What this does is apparently make this particular partition the boot partition of the drive, and unless you have an operating system on that particular partition then you probably done messed up good.

I read the little help snippet after I'd done this, and rapidly changed back to what I thought was the original partition (the C drive, right?), and thought all would be good again. Seemed like nothing had happened after all. I kept using the computer that day, and today... it wouldn't boot.

Missing boot file.

I should mention I didn't even get a warning during the first change, but I did get a warning when I was changing back, telling me the implications of this dangerous procedure. That if I wasn't choosing a drive with an operating system on it then it'd be fucked up totally.

Needless to say I was pretty distressed about this new message, turned to Google on my regular computer, found a bunch of third-party solutions trying to sell particular recovery software products, a few commandline answers on Super User, and then I found Hiren’s BootCD PE.

I formatted a USB key, installed the ISO, and booted it on my laptop.

It's basically a little miniature OS, made to look like Windows 10, with a wide repertoire of programs that help you with all sorts of computer repair-related tasks, and basic software for anything else, like writing or browsing the web. It's barely a gig large, but works like its own enclosed OS, straight via USB, and though I didn't try any network-related tasks I assume you could as well use this instead of your regular OS.

I assume you can save additional files to the USB stick too if you have some space left. It's basically like Chrome OS but better, in that you can actually manage the hardware that powers it, use it as a dual boot, or carry your entire OS with you between computers.

I'm sure you can do this same thing with a lot of Linux-based OS:s, but I for one am not that accustomed to it, so this was pretty cool.

I tried some MBR and recovery-related apps, since that was my main purpose with using it after all, but that didn't help at all. I tried booting again a few times. Nope. The error message asked me for a Windows Recovery CD, which I didn't think I had - which is why I resorted to Google and alternative methods, but I decided to do some digging around anyway since the above (or my skills in using it) didn't seem sufficient to solve the issue... and what do you know! I had one lying around after all.

Booted with the CD, ran a system recovery thing, and there you go, problem solved. It wasn't such a difficult task after all. Just took me a couple hours to get it all working again.

Moral of the story: don't mess with settings you don't know anything about, and get a recovery CD if you don't already have one.

RELENTLESS DOPPELGANGER

Ever wanted to know what AI-generated Death Metal sounds like? Well here's your chance! It's been streaming for over a month so far and shows no signs of stopping either. Can't say this really suits my earbuds, but I'm curious to hear how it'll sound in another month or so.

If this AI grows: who knows. It'd be a tireless music production powerhouse, ready to spew out an endless repertoire of audial greatness for all possible musical tastes.

Maybe we won't need human musicians after all.

Wind 7 End

The Windows 7 End Promo

That time is coming huh... the time of ads. The Windows 7 Adocalypse.

iMazing HEIC Converter

A few months ago I spent a few days in the little mountainous yet homely winter wonderland Östersund, with my brother and co, and my camera just happened to run out of battery during one of the most important phases of our stay: a Christmas fair. Fortunately my nephew had an iPhone with him, and the camera quality on that is not bad! He actually had two, so we could both take pictures.

Handy having an extra company phone sometimes, even if the reason for it in his case is that Apple don't have any phones with dual SIM. So if you need two numbers you need to phone.

Guess that's one way to sell some extra phones.

Another thing Apple aren't as good with is adapting to format standards, so instead of JPG or PNG or any of the regular image formats I'd usually expect, I ended up with HEIC.

Windows can't open these. At all.

I looked around a bit and found an explorer extension by the name of CopyTrans HEIC, that I installed just to be able to display them, but viewing the files was still a slow process, so in an attempt to sort through these files once and for all I dug a little deeper and found this. It looks like this:

iMazing HEIC Converter Step 1

Read on...

Gmail Turns 15

Happy Birthday Gmail!

Maybe you've seen the signs lately? The blogs? The loading screens?

Been thinking maybe they'll throw in a few extra features to celebrate, but it doesn't seem that way. Yet. Still hopeful though.

In line with their 15th anniversary I've been using the service for just about 14 myself! Been there from the start. Before the beta. From that first phase of true email service innovation, anticipation and promise.

I'm still not a fan of all the design changes they've made along the way, but in general it's definitely been more good than bad. It's hard to find an email service that really compares. Except maybe Tutanota.

Here's to another 15 though! And then some.

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