The other morning I set out to do a fairly simple project. The
client had an oversized DOS partition, a badly sized /u, and wanted
to recover the DOS file space by cutting it down from 300 meg (!) to
the 20 meg he really needed :-)
I estimated this might take two hours, probably less.
The client makes complete system backups every night, so when I
arrived on site, I verified one tape completely and one tape
partially, so I felt pretty comfortable there.
I then noted that he had two sets of Emergency Boot floppies, so
I shut down and tested one of them. Life was good, because I
could mount the hard drive, and read the tape.
Confident that I could now proceed with assurance, I booted up
dos and repartitioned the disk. Not wanting to end up with
multiple Unix partitions, I blew off the existing partition,
restored the Dos stuff, and then blithely booted with the
Emergency floppies and...
I-hate-you-with-my-entire-soul errors and I said "Oooh. Dang!
This is not good, but *fortunately* we have the second set of
Emergency disks, so..."
As you may remember from above, I had not actually tested the
second set, had I? Heck, they were plainly marked, they had
a date that matched the first set, they had been carefully put
away with the first set. You certainly wouldn't think that
anyone would have taken that second set, formatted them for DOS
and used them to copy some files, would you? If someone *had*
done such a dastardly thing, you surely wouldn't think that they
would have carefully put those now useless disks back with the
other set, would you? No, you certainly wouldn't think that
was very likely, would you? Me either. But that's what had
Well, three and a half hours later, everything was working again.
Reinstall (floppies!), configure a tape drive, restore, you know the drill.
Not exactly how I had planned to spend the morning, but... I guess
it could have been worse.
In retrospect, I *should* have checked the second set. It only
takes a few minutes, and certainly would have been worth it.
(I did try diskcopying the blown disk; no dice).
Another thing I *should* have done is noted the start and end
points of the existing Unix partition. If I had done that, I
might have been able to just re-fdisk and get back up to
where I started.
As I always say, you can't be too careful, can you? Floppy
disks do blow up sometime, and while it's rather amazing that
the darn thing worked once and wouldn't work ten minutes later,
the utterly amazing does happen now and then, doesn't it?
I think some day I shall write a book on all the things I
*could* have done that would have saved me grief :-)