SUMMARY: Dead disk, corrupted backup tapes, bah

From: Steven Cogswell (
Date: Thu Oct 02 1997 - 17:42:27 CDT

Dear Sun-managers folks;

Here's a summary that took a while. On Sept 8/97 I posted regarding a hard
drive that had died, and backup tapes of said drive that had been mangled
(one by getting eaten in the drive, the other by having an incomplete
disk-died-while-dumping dump which overwrote the previous weeks dump on
another tape). I only post the summary now, because only today can I
finally say the situation has ended.

So as not to bore everyone with my usual rambling, the high points:

- Sent my stuff to data recovery place, drive, tapes and all.
- The disk (seagate st32430N in enclosure) was in fact a goner. The head
had basically gouged out the platter, the recovery place couldn't do
anything with it. I got it back early and returned it for my warranty rma.
- The recovery place tried to make heads or tails out of the
partially-overwritten tape, but the deciphering the resultant ufsdump
format (which consequently was missing the directory structure on the
front) proved too daunting for them. They gave up on this after a few
- They were able to get 1.5GB of 1.8GB back from creative tape cutting and
splicing from the tape that had been eaten. Not bad. All my users got
their stuff back. Personally I got most of my stuff, excepting all my
masters' degree research from the last seven years. I got a tar tape today
in the post, and I'm extracting it as I write this. Case closed.

For those keeping score, the bill came to CDN$3750 for the tape recovery.
At current prices I have to pay, that would have been about 208 4mm dat
tapes (not counting the obvious volume discount I'd probably get). There's
a moral in that fact somewhere, I'm sure.

Best regards,
Steven Cogswell (

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