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23 March 2007

blue screen or how do a dba neglected backuping his own machine

Early this week I was gently surfing on the Internet with my home PC when I got interrupted by a blue screen. Well, I was used to those in Windows 3.1 and Windows 95, but nowadays, I just waited that the machine reboot. But it did not come up. Even booting Linux from CD or using Windows Recovery CD did not help. So I think my disk or my controller crashed. At least when booting from Linux, the OS is stuck after loading module driver for S-ATA.

I really hope it is the controller and not the disk.

I always tell the customer to backup their productive data. I tell developers to use a repository that have reliable backup (like Veritas Netbackup). Myself I often have scripts that targz my source from one server to another server (just in case the sysadmin is too lazy). But what do I have at home? Nothing! Not even an old DVD image or whatever!

Ironically, I was browsing this week the Adobe Message about Online backup of all my pictures. This is the most valuable part of my disk, the pictures of my kids.

Well, paying 100$/year for 5 Gb of pictures sounded expensive.

There are also some free/cheap services like with unlimited storage for 25$/year. I did not see flickr as a backup service before. But to keep your pictures online, it may be convenient too.

Alternatively, I could have my own external disk drive to maintain copies.

Also I could look for Tape backup, the tapes have quite a long life in comparison with CD/DVD copies. And you can have multiple copies of multiple versions in different locations. In the cheapest segment, I have found tape drives starting at 500$ for DAT (20G/40G) and about 1000$ for DLT (160G/320G).

Ok, I am open for feedback ...