Friday, 26 April, 2002

Old Technology Saves the Day

Today I had to recover a bunch of files from a crashed laptop at work.  Somebody had installed Windows 2000 on a FAT32 partition, which is never a good idea because when a FAT system gets corrupted, the chances of actually recovering are pretty slim.  NTFS is a much better choice.  The result was, the only way to boot the machine was with a Windows 98 boot diskette—DOS mode.  So here I am faced with the task of copying about 200 megabytes from the laptop, and only a diskette to do it with.  And then I remembered the old parallel ZIP drive that I bought back in 1996 or so.  That thing's been gathering dust in a closet ever since I got my first CD burner.  I pulled it out, dusted it off, and found the installation diskette.  In less than five minutes, I was happily, albeit slowly, copying the files onto the ZIP drive.

The only real hitch was a 150 MB ZIP file that the user had created.  There was no way I was going to get that monster onto a 100 MB removable cartridge.  So I dug into my archives again and came up with a 9-year-old copy of PKZIP, which happily spanned multiple disks with the file.

Some days—rarely, but it happens—it pays to be a packrat.