Where did all the content go?
Okay, so one day in September, the server went down and didn't come back up. The server's at my home in Connecticut, so I had my dad look at it; he said there was some weird error message and it wouldn't boot. Turns out the hard drive got corrupted and destroyed the superblock for the partition that had /var and /usr on it, which made it unmountable and unusable. (All the content for OberWiki (and my other sites, including all my pictures from China) is in /var.)
There are some tools I can use that can hopefully salvage some (most?) of the data, but before I can do that I need to make a backup of the drive in case anything else happens. To do that, I need a spare empty 30GB+ hard drive.
does that mean that when you get the 30gb hard drive the data will be back? (10/26)
Maybe. If only the superblock is damaged, all the other content should be fine, so the content would be back. It depends on the condition of the drive, and whether and where more corruption is. --Alxndr (10/26)
Will you be merging the replacement data with the old data? (11/1)
I guess so, even though there's not much replacement data at the moment. I'll worry about it when I get there. --Alxndr (11/1)
I think we're all waitin' for ya to get the old data back... :P any way we can help? how much you need for the hard drive? Bet ya could get a cheap one off eBay. --noah (11/11)
If I can get my hands on a blank 30GB internal hard drive, I can probably salvage the data over Thanksgiving break. (I've heard that the backup process could be done within a partition, without wiping the backup HD's contents, but also that the process is buggy and I want to play it safe with that data...) At the suggestion of a CS major, I emailed Oberlin's network admin about getting some help. but he hasn't responded yet. (30GB hard drives seem to go for around $30 on ebay...) --Alxndr (11/13)
Thanks to Peter, I have my hands on a spare hard drive. I'll work on saving the data over Thanksgiving break and hopefully it'll be back up here soon. --Alxndr (11/24)
Update time: the drive backup took all the time I was at home, so I brought Peter's hard drive back to Oberlin. I'll start working on the actual data recovery the next time I'm not swamped with work, hopefully sometime during this weekend... --X (11/30)
Okay, I need to learn more about journalling file systems... Fortunately, there's another break coming up. A month without classes will give me tons of free time which I can spend pouring over arcane manpages and sequences of hex numbers...yeeha. --X (12/17)
Could we have an update? :) --Jesse Baer (2/28)
Yeah. I've learned that there's a reason you have to pay one or two thousand dollars for data recovery like this: it's fucking hard. I still know very little about the internals of Linux file systems, and the fear of utterly destroying what's there is preventing me from taking any leaps of faith when it comes to data recovery tools and futzing around with partition tables.
So in a sentence: I don't know. If there's anyone out there who can help with the recovery, or happens to know someone in CIT or the CS department that might be able to help or offer some pointers, that would be sweet.
And finally, my endless thanks to Peter who has lent me his huge external hard drive for like a year now. --X 11:25, 11 Mar 2005 (CST)
Final update. I've given up on the data; I don't have the time, teachers, or resources to recover it. Sorry, folks. --Alxndr 14:45, 1 Jun 2005 (CDT)