Well, I had three hard drives die on me over the weekend. My personal laptop hard drive gave out. My Inspiron hung exactly when I inserted a CD to burn a backup of my files. Still, I managed to get my important files off of it by using it in a USB enclosure, with the last file I wanted getting copied exactly as the drive died. It was a total loss. I could not format or fdisk it. Sigh.

   

Then a backup drive in the house went out taking all of its data with it. And a desktop hard drive decided to start "clicking," and with the backup hard drive dead, there was no place to back up the data.

   

Double sigh.

   

A fun part of testing is playing "what if." What if the user clicks this button? What if power goes out while OneNote is trying to save? What if all three hard drives go out at once? As I was shopping for replacement drives this weekend, the salesman mentioned I might want to get a NAS (network additional storage) server with two drives for mirroring purposes. The cynical testing in me considered that three hard drive failures was the reason I was there, so the sales pitch to use two drives really didn't carry much weight with me.

   

That's a tendency of testers anyway. It's our job to be critical, but to be overly critical (really, what are the odds of both drives failing simultaneously) can interfere with otherwise solid backup plans. I did not get the NAS server for home use. I spent my money on a replacement drive for my laptop instead, and am looking around for other backup options. In the meantime, I will remember this experience when I develop test plans for dealing with hardware failures.

   

The other cost I had to pay was losing time I had planned to devote to working on more powertoys for OneNote. Daniel Escapa gave me a code base which I'm tweaking for release soon. I can't say what it is right now, but I will give you a hint: I got a T-Mobile Wing last week...