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Disclaimer: The entries you find in these pages are based on my individual opinions and thoughts. Some of the entries may be just plain wrong, and others harmful. Should you choose to act on, or try, anything you find on this site, you assume any and all risks associated with your actions. So there.


DiskWarrior Rules!

March 20, 2004

DiskWarrior is one of those gems of a program that I discovered in a time of dire need. I had to repair an HD that fsck wouldn't fix, and I was skeptical of Norton's capability. I needed something immediately, and Alsoft offered a download of DiskWarrior that I could use to build a boot disk. It's been my favorite ever since.

The thing I like most about it is that it doesn't attempt to repair the existing HD, at least not right away. It creates a virtual disk of sorts, performs repairs on the preview, and rebuilds the disk's directory based on real data that it finds on the real disk. At least this is my assessment of how it works; my experiences bear this out. Their approach seems to me to be more reliable than Norton's fix-it-on-the-fly approach, since you don't touch the original data until you're sure you've got a valid directory. I've used it to repair disks that I would not have thought Norton stood a chance against.

On this particular occasion the HD in question wasn't being recognized by Disk Utility or Disk First Aid (OS 9.2.1). I pulled it and put it into a Firewire external case and plugged it in to my laptop. Disk Utility saw it, but couldn't repair it. TIme to pull out DiskWarrior. DiskWarrior gave me a preview rebuild of the directory, and put the "Preview" of the hard drive on my desktop. While DiskWarrior stated that it could not repair the volume because it was too damaged, the preview gave me an error-free way to back up the volume. Once backed up, I erased the drive and restored all the data.

ATA Bus Wierdness

March 20, 2004

After doing a data recovery and restore to a hard drive in a Power Mac G4 (Mirrored Drive Doors 2003) 1.2Ghz, I put the drive back in the unit and booted up from a 9.2.1 Universal disk I make a while back. The drive was not recognized when booted from CD, and Drive Setup didn't even know it was there. I pulled it out again and plugged it back in. The drive was plugged in to the IDE connector nearest the processor, and I noticed that there was an ATA/66 connector available next to where the CD/DVD plugged in. It still didn't work. Hmmm....

I plugged the drive in to the ATA/66 and it showed up. I was getting ready to tell the client that the logic board would need repair when it occurred to me that maybe my "Universal" boot CD wasn't so universal. After verifying that the System Folder on the HD was blessed, I booted from the hard drive itself. Since it worked fine in ATA/66 slot, I decided to give it one last go in the other slot— an
Ultra ATA/100 slot. It booted right up.

So, just because a CD boots a computer, doesn't mean it supports all of its components. Just because you've found a problem, doesn't mean you really know what it is, or that it is the only problem you have. In my case my "Universal" boot CD didn't support the Ultra ATA/100 hard drive bus, and what appeared to me to be a bad logic board, was simply lack of support for the bus in question. Don't jump to conclusions, always find more than one way to verify your suspicions.