[CentOS] Need a Centos 6 USB hard drive recovery procedure

Fri May 10 17:27:34 UTC 2013
Rock <Rocksockdoc at gmail.com>

On Fri, 10 May 2013 08:32:35 -0400, Yves Bellefeuille wrote:

> I think that the user was too quick to assume that the computer "had a
> virus or something". If he thought it might have a virus, why didn't he
> try an anti-virus program first?

Good question. The Windows XP machine is an old Dell B130 which, every
year or so with the kids using it, develops a "slowness" that is 
interminable. The CPU stays at 100% with nothing overtly going on, and 
just clicking to open a folder takes 20 seconds.

Every time that happens, I merely back up the data (which all the kids
know to put in c:\data) and then I wipe out the machine and rebuild
Windows from scratch.


Populating the data is trivial usually, simply because all data, no 
matter what it is, goes in C:\data; and then all applications, no matter
what they are, go in C:\apps; and all menus, no matter what a program
creates, go in a single location (which is the ONLY thing ever stored
in a Microsoft-created menu, simply because they're always polluted):
 C:\Documents and Settings]All Users\Start Menu\Programs\menu

I have them save all installation programs in c:\apps\installers, so, 
in the end, backup is trivial because I only back up three things:
 And the menus (which follow the same hierarchy as the apps, by design)

Note: The apps are *never ever* stored by brand name! 
Apps are stored by function, e.g.,

And, these functions are well thought out over the many years I've been
organizing PCs. For example, "misc", "etc", "utils", "system", etc., 
lazy catchalls are never allowed. All applications have a definable 
function, and that's how they're stored. Lazy people can't find stuff
on their machines, and lazy people have messy machines. 

Anyway, suffice to say that it's trivially easy to back up the
data on any of our Windows machines, simply because we designed
the file system hierarchy from scratch to be easy to rebuild.

After rebuilding the OS, I simply copy everything back to the same
locations (which is consistent across all our Windows machines) and
even the menus work when I copy them back.

Of course, I re-install all the programs; but they're all saved
in the installation directory - so that's trivial (except for the 
stupid programs such as iTunes & the CutePDF Writer & the Adobe
Acrobat Writer, etc.. These badly written programs are easy to 
find simply because I store *nothing* in C:\Program Files, so, 
anything that goes in there, went there despite our entreaties
otherwise during the installation process (the kids know the rule
to *never* allow a program to do its own thing - always choose
"custom" and always tell program to go where it belongs). They 
know to describe it as a "dog pooping" when a program, such 
as iTune's Bonjour insists on "pooping" wherever it wants, 
instead of being well behaved and going where we tell it to go.

As a side note, we avoid at all costs the use of any directory that 
has a space in the file name, as special characters make a mess of
scripts and UNIX backups. In addition, I delete any directory that
has a "My" in front of it, as they get polluted by other programs
(e.g., My Vides, My Pictures, My Documents, etc.). 

In summary, we only use four directories on Windows:
 C:\apps (this is the program installation directory tree)
 C:\data (this is where all user data goes, with no exceptions!)
 C:\tmp (this is where all temporary downloads go, for example)
 C:\{horrid Microsoft path}\menus (the menus reflect the app hierarchy)

> It sounds very much like the user had the reaction many inexperienced
> users have: "The computer doesn't do what I think it should be doing: it
> must be a virus!"

I must say that I disagree with your assessment of the knee-jerk
reaction; but I do still appreciate your help and advice.

Of course I did run a virus scan (I'm using AVG) and I even added a 
Trend Micro Housecall scan. Both found minor things such as BHOs 
and both found heuristic problems with some of the installers, 
but nothing overt popped up as especially worrying.

And, I did google for the solution for a corrupt disk and I did
follow Microsoft Support instructions.

Of course, in hindsight, I *should* have run a dd first ... but
I had not expected the chkdsk to damage anything so I hadn't gone
to the trouble. Lesson learned!