solarbird: (Lecturing)
[personal profile] solarbird

All those posts I made about data cleanup and old hard drive data recovery got someone I know from my old SF club interested in his old Amiga hard drives, which he sent me, and which I imaged for him, and did as much file recovery as I could.

One of them was just fine – complete image, files pulled off separately as well, life is good. The other…

This is what’s actually in the disk’s partition table.

And for those who have no idea what that means: disks can be divided up into smaller disks, more or less. There are reasons to do this, mostly on servers, mostly not workstations, but whatever. These are called partitions.

This particular drive is cut up into six, count ’em, six partitions, sort of, except that two are completely broken and one is made up of parts that are also at the same time parts of two other partitions, and just kind of… overlayed atop each other.

Spoiler: this don’t work.

It’s like if you got to chapter two of a book, and midway through, chapter three appeared, overprinted and interleaved with the second half of chapter two. And after chapter two ended, chapter four picked up, printed underneath the rest of chapter three, making chapter four unreadable. But you can still make out chapter three if you squint.

There is no partition utility in the world which would let you do this.

The amazing thing is that I managed to recover the contents of both “TWork” partitions, which is a lot like getting chapters two and three from my analogy back and sorted out separately and readable. Couldn’t do anything for chapter four, though. And chapter six… I don’t know what happened there. It’s some kind of goddamn chainsaw murder scene with horror movie implications.

Sadly, both of these drives did the all-too-common very-old-drives-out-of-storage thing, where I managed to image them and pull contents, but after one last heat up/cool down, they just said “aaaaand we’re done here” ’cause that seems to be that. They’ll work long enough to come online, but the Viking won’t even stay up long enough to format it, and the Quantum ST will format, but will only let you write between 10 and 60 megs before taking itself offline and hiding from the controller until you reboot the machine. So no eBay listings for these.

Still, I’m happy. I made enough auctioning off all this old stuff to buy another microphone kit and I am closing in on another toy. Expect more DIY studio gear posts! It’ll be fun. 😀

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Date: 2017-01-19 03:45 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
Wait, so partition 3 starts at 364MB and goes to 740MB…but partition 2 goes from 318MB to 636MB and partition 4 goes from 636MB to 3421MB…wait, what, how? Why? Whatthehell? HOW? How was there even any usable data in there to get back out?

(I do not grok computers, but your book analogy was excellent for my layperson’s comprehension of this.)

I am very impressed with your tech wizardry.

Date: 2017-01-19 04:03 am (UTC)
alatefeline: Painting of a cat asleep on a book. (Default)
From: [personal profile] alatefeline
I understood that, which means you are very good indeed at explaining things. I just want to *facepalm* forever anyway.

Date: 2017-01-19 09:01 am (UTC)
vatine: Generated with some CL code and a hand-designed blackletter font (Default)
From: [personal profile] vatine
Back in the day, one reason to partition a disk was taht the logical structure of some file systems just couldn't handle the VAST and SPRAWLING vistas of (for the day) large disk. Possibly never a problem on Amiga, but that's why we ended up with many many new FAT file systems.

Date: 2017-01-20 11:31 am (UTC)
vatine: Generated with some CL code and a hand-designed blackletter font (Default)
From: [personal profile] vatine
Oh, definitely, I just wanted to provide some historical context on why it was sometimes necessary, back in the 8086issic period. I mean, I remember installing linux on a MASSIVELY large 63 MB disk...

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