DeepThought Accidents

[ deeptht ] Message 1347: Wed May 3, 1995  12:43am
From: Space Cadet (spcecdt@deeptht)
Subject: Re(1345): been a while...

     The oldest files native to deeptht are dated Feb 19 1991, due to the worst
disaster deeptht has experienced.  The 120M Seagate drive that Bela loaned me
was getting more and more flaky.  He warned me that it would need regular
reformatting when he lent it to me, and it eventually hit that point.  I
remember frantically trying to copy files from the drive, which was getting
worse by the minute, to another (or maybe it was to tape).  At one point it
looked like it was completely dead, but then I got it back again.  I was under
enough pressure that when I restored, I forgot to give the option that tells
cpio to restore the file modification dates.  I think reformatting it got me
through to June, when I bought a 660M drive.  Seems like it must've, since I
don't remember having any other drive in there.
     The 32M root drive also failed about that time.  I was using my old ST235
from my DOS daze for my root drive because the 120 couldn't be booted from.  It
had lasted me since 1990 under DOS, but XENIX beat on it; it failed less than a
year after installing XENIX on it.  The third of 4 heads of the ST235 failed;
whenever the drive seeked it sounded like springs jangling around.  I didn't
have much alternative but to reinstall on the drive, telling XENIX that it had
only two heads (reducing its capacity to 15M), so that XENIX wouldn't use the
3rd head.  Bela hacked the ST506 driver to ignore the 3rd head, so that I could
have used the 4th, but 15M turned out to be enough.  Much of deeptht's old
config was lost with its root filesystem, including its password file.  I
reconstructed the passwd file by generating login names and uids from user's
home directories; I think we got real-names from the request file (for those
who requested an account after I instituted that), user mail, and other
systems.  We got passwords by grabbing the encrypted passwords from ucscb and
gorn for users who had accounts there too.  Bela wrote a script to merge
various things into a new password file.  phew!  Here's an old forum posting
from shortly after that...
[ general ] Message 4719: Fri March 8 1991 7:34pm
From: Zaphod, Galactic Prez (spcecdt@ucscb)
Subject: messing with people's minds

     so, as previously stated, I recreated deeptht passwd entries with
passwords from other systems.  
     Yesterday, before I'd told anyone around here about it, Allen sits
down to log in.  He reflexively types his *b* password.  He's logged in.
A half minute or so later, it occurs to him that he typed his b password,
not his deeptht password.... "what the...?!?!"
     Then Jeff sits down on the other terminal and tries to log in.  He
tells Allen that his password doesn't work.  Allen says "hmm... try your
b password..."  Jeff tries it and it works.  "What the?!?!"
[ whine ] Message 2744: Sat June 1 1991 2:43am
From: Zaphod, Galactic Prez (spcecdt@ucscb)
Subject: ack

     deeptht's root drive started to *really* die yesterday... spontaneous
resets every few minutes... so I thought, OK, I'll swap it with the drive
in the machine downstairs.  But first I have to back it up.  I tried.  The
tape drive started acting flaky.  Weird errors.  Would read, but not write.
So I thought, well, maybe this is related to the root drive going bad.  I'll
make a root/boot floppy and put a kernel with a tape driver in it on it, and
the backup utilities.  Try to make a floppy.  Floppy drive starts acting weird.
First floppy creation fails, second one seems to work until I try booting off
of it, and it doesn't work; on the third attempt the floppy drive doesn't work
at all.  So I say, OK, I'll just back it up onto my second hard drive.  Second
hd starts acting weird.  Bad sectors everywhere.  Then bad sectors on the root
drive too.  So then I say, OK, I'll just get my mail, because I've just
about finalized a deal with someone for a new drive.  I try to go multiuser so
deeptht will pick up mail.  It fails.  Too toasty to go mu.  So I say,
OK, I'll do it manually.  I reboot.  I try to clean /usr so I can mount it and
invoke uucico to get my mail.  fsck gives up on it.  Too many bad sectors.  I
try to badtrk it.  badtrk fails.  I bring the system down, fiddle with the hw
a bit (remove unneccessary cards, etc.), bring it up, and /boot is bad.  Boot
off of a floppy and try to mount it, but the root dir is "not a directory".
Try to figure out some common factor here; test the power supply every way I
can... seems OK but replace it anyway... does no good.
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