There are two things that I am really fucking tired of seeing.
First thing, companies marketing ‘supercharged’ servers or computers. Look, until that fucker comes with pulleys, belts and a fucking Eaton or Whipple Supercharger bolted to the top of it, stop saying that. The server is not supercharged, it’s not faster then the same machine from a different company of the same class setup with the same software and tweaked the same.
Second, I am tired of seeing ‘Green’ server rooms with grass growing under the floor tiles or around the racks. This is a god damn server room, it’s not a sod farm. Wild animals do not roam the server room grazing. (Not counting lost IT personnel in the larger rooms.)
So last Friday (May 1st, 2009) I was asked at work to upgrade the hard drive in the CEOs laptop. Alright no problem, we go to the closest store and pick up a new two hundred and fifty gigabyte hard drive to put in the laptop. I get the new drive and decide to make sure the old drive has no errors before I image the disk over.
I run the usual Windows `chkdsk` commands and it finds some stuff and fixes it quickly. I put the new drive on a small external USB adapter and throw in the TRK Rescue disc to run a `dd` on the drive. The program completes, and I put the new drive into the system. The new drive boots up and all is fine. I can resize the partition later when I have more time.
A little later I get a phone call saying that there are no folders in the CEOs Outlook Pane. “Alright.” So I walk up and take a look, sure enough no folders under the six PST files that were mounted from the local hard disk. I close the Personal Folders and then remount then in Outlook. Nothing. “Alright…”
So I browse to the My Documents folder where the files are kept and I search around. I find the six PST files. Looking over them, file size: 0 bytes. Yeah, zero bytes. Three of these files were over two gigabytes (2GB) and the other three were in the range of eight hundred megabytes (800MB). Now, we have a problem.
I come to find out that the `chkdsk` run found something wrong with these large files and marked them as zero bytes in the file table on the drive.
So I quickly take the original hard disk down to my system here and throw it on the USB adapter and start running a simple undelete utility on the files. It finds them, but still as zero bytes, and only restores a zero byte file. Now we have a larger problem. So I start searching around the Internet for some utilities that will scan the disk and reconstruct the damaged or missing PST files.
I come to find a program called Office Recovery by DiskInternals. The program installed, and I had it scan the disk. This took forever on my little machine but after many hours found the parts and displayed them to me. I was able to save the mail to a PST file on my primary hard disk. But still a problem, all of the new messages had their times erased and most of the messages have the `From:` field replaced with their Exchange counterparts /O= and /OU= stuff.
I need to recover the files themselves, not the contents. So a little more searching and reading up and I find out that a program I found a long time back can help. So I installed X-Ways Forensics, and had it scan the external disk. Following some bits and peices of information around the Internet I was able to do a File Recovery by Type. This scans the entire disk for any files with the particular header, looking for PST files you need to search for the header: `!BDN` in hex of course. It found the files, so I told it to grab four gigabytes (4GB) of data starting from the beginning of each PST file. This of course pulls tons of useless data with it, but does get the information that we need.
I then had six four gigabyte PST files sitting on my primary disk. Alright, lets try this. I loaded Outlook and File -> Open -> Personal Folder, I selected the first of the PST files and clicked OK. Nope! Outlook threw out some horrible errors and told me to fix the corrupt file. But for once… Just once, it told me how to do this. I then located `scanpst.exe` which comes with Office and using the utility chose to fix one file at a time. This reduced the file size to an acceptable level and I was able to import them into Outlook successfully. Once in Outlook, I created a new Personal Folder and moved the contents into the new folders so I was sure they would not be corrupt. After working on this for eight hours, I decided that was probably the best I was going to do, and the most data I was going to be able to recover.
This morning I put them back on to the CEOs laptop and for now she is happy. But this entire problem would not have been so huge if we were allowed to make backups. We have on many occasions, multiple times a month gone up with external drives and blank DVD’s to help back stuff up, and we are never given time to do so. She does not want her data stored on the multi-thousand dollar SAN we have setup for such things.
How do you tell the CEO to use the technology we have for the company to store data, that is protected for her access only and strictly monitored? You want data protection and backups and security, yet will not allow us to back it up, blow off I.T when we want to help you back up from your local machine.
Either way, this could have had a much worse outcome, I think she will let us take backups and give I.T the time it needs to do so as well.
Okay, so this morning I decided that I will go ahead and read through some of the new happenings over at MP3Car.com and such, see what people are talking about and some new ideas. Yet after going through the articles on the front page, there are no new ideas just a large compilation of articles on commercial products and features and how to connect your iPhone / iPOD to your vehicle or even to your custom carputer.
Honestly, what is the point of connecting your iPhone or iPOD to your carputer if you want to play music? Did you spend time and money creating a unique system for your vehicle and didn’t think of a way to play music from it? Could you not find a way to connect OBDII to your carputer, and instead need your iPhone to do it for you? Simple maps and GPS on your iPhone instead of your carputer?
Really, what the fuck people? If you wanted all that, don’t even install a custom computer in your car, just use your iPOD / iPhone in your car with the cables to connect to the head unit. I am not angry about using your iPhone instead of a full fledged computer system, yes it’s smaller and easier and quicker to install. But why would you install the computer and then use the iPhone to fill in the gaps you never figured out or put enough time and thought into to make the computer do the work instead of more and more devices.
Some articles on the front page are even talking about the death of the carputer and migration to the iPhone. Fuck. That. Some people do not want your fucking shitty iPhone. I hate phones, I hate them with a passion. I would never get an iPhone, to use as a phone or a ‘replacement’ for my carputer when my carputer is completely free, open source, I can configure it to do anything, work anywhere, and not need special programs or unlocking hacks and such. I want a reasonable sized LCD touch screen monitor that I don’t -need- to look at while driving to know where to press to change music and play lists. I want one device to do everything in a simple manor without going from screen to screen. I want an -integrated- computer in the vehicle to make a complete feeling!