Bad drive and next steps

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chrismd77
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Bad drive and next steps

Postby chrismd77 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:17 am

Well like other people on this board, I woke up to a frozen ML Server along with unresponsive clients on Wednesday. I rebooted the server and it hangs on the Windows XP welcome screen. Tried to reboot in all safe modes and get a blue screen of death every time while trying to load Mup.sys. Ran a Seagate scan disc utility off a CD and found bad sectors. I attempted to repair them but was unsuccessful. After speaking with others in the computer industry the consensus is the drive or drive controller is bad and the drive needs to be replaced. I will be adding the bad SATA drive to another machine as a slave, crossing my fingers and attempting to see if I can read anything. Hopefully I will!

I have TONS of hours into my ML installation and I really, really hope I can save some if not all my work but I do have a few questions that I hope you guys can help with.

1. Should I continue down the road of trying to revive this drive?
2. I do have a Windows 7 machine I can use as a new Server, are they any instructions currently written on this type of recovery from failed drives? What to copy over and when and should I complete clean installs of everything and then copy over the data folders?
3. I don't have a ton of money right now but should I upgrade to version 4?
4. If I get access to the old data and upgrade to version 4 do you guys think the upgrade will be a pain in the A**? I don't think I will be able to follow the recommended migration instructions.
5. If I can not access any data and have to rebuild from scratch would you stay with version 3 or upgrade to 4?

I know the question will come up about backups and I am kicking myself for NOT setting a ML Backup schedule so I do not have any backups. The only thing I hope to have are the MLServer directories and all data in them. The list of ML plugins I have is pretty long.

I want to say thanks in advance for all the help,

Chris

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DaveB
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Re: Bad drive and next steps

Postby DaveB » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:26 am

One very important question for you - do you have a current backup of your Cinemar directories someplace other than the failed drive? If not, you may be very screwed.

Always, always always back up your Cinemar drives at minimum weekly. I do incremental back ups daily and a full dump once per week. If my drive dies, I can recover. My backups are both on site and off site.

There are some data recovery services out there, but they charge a large price.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
:shock:

chrismd77
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Re: Bad drive and next steps

Postby chrismd77 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 9:44 am

I know, i know i know :( The simple answer is NO. I am hoping I can read the bad drive and pull off the data at the folder level. Do you have a recommendation for my two situations

1. I can read the data
2. I can not read anything

I understand I am put myself in the position and I am not looking for a miracle fix but I do what to move forward in the right direction. And protect myself in the future.

Thanks, Chris

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Re: Bad drive and next steps

Postby DaveB » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:01 am

If you can get to the Cinemar directories, copy off everything that you can. Most important are your Content folders. If you loose the rest, you can rebuild that portion with a fresh download of all programs and drivers. If you can get more, then do so. The mlserver directory is most important as it also contains all of your custom images and macros.

If you can get nothing, then upgrade to v4 and live with the v4 canned interface for now. You can then start picking away at modifications. Many of the customizations that you completed in v3 land are done for you in v4 land. I had a similar occurrence and simply started fresh with v4. I am very happy that I did, as many of the things I was trying to do in v3 were easier or already done for you in v4.
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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Re: Bad drive and next steps

Postby CinemarDave » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:50 am

Chris,

>>> 1. Should I continue down the road of trying to revive this drive?
Yes, but stop trying to let Windows try to fix it. Put the drive in the second PC and see if Windows will mount it. If it can mount it then you can try to copy the Program Files\Cinemar and Program Files\MLServer folders.


>>> 2. I do have a Windows 7 machine I can use as a new Server, are they any instructions currently written on this type of recovery from failed drives? What to copy over and when and should I complete clean installs of everything and then copy over the data folders?

In the V3 would you just need to copy the contents of the 2 folders I mentioned above. Then you'll have everything.

>>> 3. I don't have a ton of money right now but should I upgrade to version 4?

While we strongly want everyone to upgrade to V4 the old adage is true if it isn't broke don't fix it. If your V3 installation was fine tuned as was doing everything you wanted it to then there is no compelling reason to upgrade. There are tons of new features in V4 that you will ultimately want but this is probably not the time to worry about that.

>>> 4. If I get access to the old data and upgrade to version 4 do you guys think the upgrade will be a pain in the A**? I don't think I will be able to follow the recommended migration instructions.

Migration is not a PITA. It is a little work if you are a MusicLobby and DVDLobby user. It all depends on how far you have customized from the standard scenes. You can always start off with the new V4 scenes and then slowly customize them over time. If you cannot restore any of your old data then it will be like a first time customer so you would follow the new user path.

>>> 5. If I can not access any data and have to rebuild from scratch would you stay with version 3 or upgrade to 4?

That is purely your decision for all the reasons in #3. If you want to purchase a couple of hours of support time and you can put your old drive into the new PC I could remote in and see what I can do with it, if anything.

chrismd77
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Re: Bad drive and next steps

Postby chrismd77 » Thu Jun 28, 2012 10:55 am

Thanks. I guess I am left with a decision to make. I will be mounting the bad drive tonight and I will post what I find.

Is there a list of what plugins are supported in V4? I am really leaning towards a new Version 4 installation and might like to start from scratch. This will give a chance to clean up a ton of variables and macros I don't think I am using. The issue I see at the moment would be telling the wife I need all weekend to reprogram the automation system!

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Re: Bad drive and next steps

Postby CinemarDave » Thu Jun 28, 2012 12:04 pm

>>> Is there a list of what plugins are supported in V4

95% of all the V3 plugins are supported. Some really old plugins that few, if anyone, used have not been converted.

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Re: Bad drive and next steps

Postby chrismd77 » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:03 pm

I loaded the bad SATA drive into the new PC and I was able to copy what looks like everything. I have copies of my MLServer, Client and DVD Profiler directories and everything in them. Tomorrow morning I will load v4 server and client on the new PC and play around a little. If I have any questions I will let you know. I am really hoping to like Version 4 and then make the switch.

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Re: Bad drive and next steps

Postby DaveB » Fri Jun 29, 2012 4:33 pm

Chris;
I find, that just for the command builder alone, it is worth the investment. Many of the higher profile drivers like music, dvd, radios, HAI and so on work much smoother than v3. You probably can transition out of DVD profiler due to the great advances in Content Manager. The kinks that were in v3 were mostly resolved in v4. I have been on v4 for several months and never once wanted to go back to v3.

(and No, this is not a paid advertisement :lol: )
Thanks!

Dave Bruner
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